Tools Youll Need

Electric or battery powered drill - 3/8" or 1/2" chuck

2 7/8" & 4" hole saws for cutting plant sites and service port holes

5/8", 3/4" & 7/8" speed bore bits (flat, inexpensive drill bits)

1/8" drill bit if micro sprayers are used or 7/16" bit if pin sprayers are used.

Hacksaw for cutting PVC pipe

Razor knife for cutting poly tubing

Step 1

Pvc CementPin Sprayers Hydroponic

Step 1. Measure and mark off the locations where you will drill two opposing 3/4" holes that will hold the 1/2" PVC spray bar in place. With the 31 gallon Roughtote reservoir, mark the center of each hole 5" from the top if using pin sprayers or 4" from the top if using micro sprayers. Be sure to center the holes as shown.

Step 2. Measure the inside width of your reservoir, divide it by 2 and cut (2) pieces of 1/2" PVC pipe to this length. These will serve as your spray bars. Adding the 'T' fitting between them will give them the extra length required to exit either end of the reservoir and accept an endcap on one end and a garden hose adapter on the other.

Step 3. Using a 3/4" speed bore bit, cut out the two holes you just marked in the previous step. We purposely drill this hole smaller than the external diameter of the 1/2" PVC pipe so its a force fit, preventing any leakage.

Step 4. Using a 7/8" speed bore bit, cut a hole on one side of the reservoir bottom for the level tube grommet. This hole should be centered exactly 1" off the bottom - see inset photo.

Hole Sizes Hydroponic PvcHole Sizes Hydroponic Pvc
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Step 5. Install the two spray bars you made in the last step by gently forcing their ends into the support holes as shown here. Press fit the 1/2" PVC 'T' fitting and screw in the barbed adapter as shown in the inset photo. I prefer not to use PVC cement on this junction to facilitate easy disassembly and storage.

Step 6. Affix the weather stripping foam tape to the reservoir to seal the lid from leaking. Be sure not to stretch the tape any or it will shrink back to size and pull free from the reservoir. This seal is very important and could leak if not done with care. Take your time and DON'T STRETCH THE TAPE!

Step 7. This photo was taken before I realized the 3/4" MHT adapter (black threaded nipple) can also be glued directly onto 1/2" PVC pipe. You can still build it as it is pictured in the photo, but the two extra parts pictured are unnecessary. The nice thing about this design is, you can use the pump to drain your reservoir by simply removing the 3/4" MHT cap as shown in my hand. Note that MHT stands for Male Hose Thread and it fits standard garden hoses to make draining simple.

Hydroponic Pvc

Step 8. There are actually a few small steps to finish up here. a) Using PVC cement, glue the 1/2" endcap onto the other spray bar end - see picture. b) Insert the 1/2" rubber grommet into the 7/8" hole you drilled earlier. c) Gently press the 1/2" barbed elbow fitting through this grommet - you may want to use a little soap as a lubricant here. A snug fit is a must to prevent leaks. d) Cut a 17" piece of blue or green 1/2" tubing and attach to the elbow at bottom. e) Drill a 5/8" hole in the handle to secure the top of the level tube. You can keep the tube from pulling free with a plastic tie or clamp inside the handle.

Step 9. (5) sprayers per unit seems to be the magic number here, although depending on the size of your reservoir and pump, you may opt otherwise. To use the micro sprayers shown, drill (5) 1/8" holes, equally spaced with one in the center of the PVC 'T' as shown in

360 Degree Micro Spray Head

Note. Choose a sprayer that works at low enough pressure and delivers an even, 360 degree spray pattern. My favorites are the 360 micro sprayers and pin sprayers.

Note. Choose a sprayer that works at low enough pressure and delivers an even, 360 degree spray pattern. My favorites are the 360 micro sprayers and pin sprayers.

Micro Sprayer Vegetable Garden

Step 10. You will need a 10/32" tap to create the threads in each of these holes that allow these sprayers to screw in and out. The 360 degree pin sprayers (inset photo) come with a rubber seat that seals them into a 7/16" hole and make installation a bit easier. They both work very well and are easy to clean although the pin sprayers are slightly more expensive but you can get away with 3-4 per unit.

Step 11. After installing your sprayers, it's time to plumb the pump assembly. A few things to remember here are; a) Keep the pump tubing from kinking. b) Make sure the filter flow indicator arrow is pointing away from the pump. c) Use a hair dryer to soften the tubing and get it over the pump nozzle. You should use a stainless steel hose clamp on this junction which is not shown in the picture. You may also opt to use 3/4" tubing and PVC fittings instead of 1/2".

Step 11

Step 12. Fill 'er up with water and take it for a test ride. Adjust the rotation of your spray bars so the spray is as flat as possible. Never run your Aerospring dry - the top of the pump is the lowest level you should ever allow your nutrient to reach, any lower can cause pump failure.

Step 13. Time to cut out the plant sites and access port using your 2 7/8" and 4" hole saws (respectively). My favorite configuration is shown in this picture, use it as a guide to help you measure and layout your grow sites. Don't be afraid to add more grow sites as the nice thing about this design is that you can elect to have as many as your container will fit. Using 2" cups you can have up to 40 grow sites in this very same lid, an ideal configuration for rooting many cuttings all at once.

Note. It's a good idea to add the 4" access port on the same side as your pump. This will allow easy access to the filter, which should be inspected and cleaned every 2 weeks.

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Responses

  • anu
    What size drill bit for micro sprayers?
    8 years ago

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