It is exciting to evolve all the skills that are needed to DIY hydroponics.  When working on the nutrient area (what I’m referring to as The Base), plumbing skill are definitely required.

Next on the “todo list” is to put the other two Gutter / PVC pipe net pot / irrigation tubing together.  As I started doing this I noticed an oops..

Simpson DOHOOPS!

I attached the irrigation tube to the Gutter instead of attaching the irrigation tube to the top shelf as I had in my Fusion 360 design.  

NewImageThis is further proof to me that I can’t follow directions – even those I put in place by design!  Oh well, challenges bring opportunities.  While the nutes must travel up the feeder to get to the rock wool, I assume the water pump will pump the nutes with enough pressure.  In the back of my mind I think there is a way I could model this, but the math and setup is something I am not practiced at doing.  So I will continue as if the water pressure will be strong enough to pump the nutes up into the rock wool from the irrigation tube.  Also, 1) it is easier to attach the irrigation tube to the Gutters (than the top shelf), 2) there is less of the build exposed on the top shelf since the holes and zip ties are hidden, and 3) the amount of uphill the nutes have to travel isn’t that much.

Marking the Gutters

The holes on each Gutter align differently to to the holes on the top shelf.  Before adding more to the gutters, I made sure to know the orientation of each Gutter relative to the top shelf.


1 -> closest to the front of the Base, 3” -> lower end of the Gutter (i.e.: right side of the Base).

Adding Feeders

Here is an image of a Gutter with the feeders added to the irrigation tube and then inserted into the net pot PVC:


Simpson DOHOOPS!

I found I didn’t need to attach the irrigation tube with zip ties. Having the feeders fed through the holes on the PVC keeps the irrigation tube in place.

Ever Onward…

I had the material I needed from previous efforts.  The BoM is something like:

Part Qty Store Location Price Tax Total Price Web Page
DIG 1/4 in hole punch 1 Home Depot Aisle 33, Bay 014 $2.10 9.50% $2.30
DIG 1/4 in. x 100 ft. Poly Tubing 1 Home Depot Aisle 33, Bay 014 $7.31 9.50% $8.00
DIG 1/4 in. Barb Connectors (50-Pack) 1 Home Depot Aisle 33, Bay 014 $5.22 9.50% $5.72
DIG 1/2 in. Compression End Cap 3 Home Depot Aisle 33, Bay 014 $1.63 9.50% $5.35
Black Tubing Flexible Premium Vinyl Hose ID 1/4” OD 3/8″ 25 Foot Roll 1 eBay   $9.99 0.00% $9.99
Everbilt 1/2 – 1-1/4 in. Hose Repair Clamp 3 Home Depot Aisle 33, Bay 009 $0.98 9.50% $3.22

Here’s an image of the end cap and clamp that is at the end of each irrigation tube:


As I glued the PVC net pot pipe to the Gutter, I noticed how less than straight the net pot pipes were:


As if some type of drunken party happened.  Drat.  And yet, I will continue on.  Chanting the usual – I must be more precise, I must be more precise…I have a suspicion that precision is not my best skill.  Luckily, everything is about practice…so…chant on I do.

Two of the holes in the Gutter holding net pot PVC pipes were too big.  I ended up smearing a lot of silicon seal around the hole.  The challenge I had was having something I could rest the PVC pipe on while it dried.  I scurried around the house looking for something that would raise the PVC pipe to the level I had penciled in the side.  I then slathered PVC cement around the silicon seal.  This might be dumb.  I am not sure about the reaction of PVC cement to silicon seal.  I am assuming the PVC cement will not eat the silicon seal away and the cement will find a PVC <-> PVC bond – at least partially.


Hmmm… if I need spacers in the future I might make blocks on my 3D printer.  This takes a bit of time (to print) but will work.

Of course – ick!  messy.  Yet I bumble on…

It’s hard to get the barb connectors into the feeder tubing…




It took me awhile but finally all three Gutters have their irrigation tube and feeders attached.  


Putting the intake manifold in is up next.