Full Auto Drain-To-Waste System

Choco8

Grower
IMG_0085.JPGI've been using this DIY full auto drain-to-waste system I designed for about a month now with no issues. It uses simple digital timers to make everything happen, with the exception of the aquarium auto-doser I use for fertigation, which has it's own internal program/clock.

IMG_0076.JPGIMG_0077.JPGIt makes batches of nutrient twice a day, starting with an electric solenoid water valve operated by a timer opening up for 2 minutes to fill the nutrient tank to the desired level ( this is from a cold water line, using the house water pressure) with fresh water.

Next, the auto-doser is programmed to begin adding the different nutrients to the fresh water from the clear graduated plastic tanks shown, using the small peristaltic pumps on it's front panel. A small circulating pump at the bottom of the tank and some air stone stay on until it's time to deliver the nutrient.


4 hours later, another timer operates a sump pump in the bottom of the nutrient tank, delivering the nutrient through pvc lines and a simple array of large-outlet-size drip rings designed to flood the surface of the IMG_0079.JPGcoco in 2 minutes, with 50% waste. ( Rather than use a tank heater, I am letting the nutrient sit for about 4 hours to let it warm up a bit from the 58 degrees it is in winter.)


The waste water is allowed to drip down for an hour before sump pumps in the drain trays come on for 2 minutes and pump the waste water over to a utility sink for disposal. These pumps come on again for one minute an hour later just in case there is more drain-down.
IMG_0082.JPG

And that's all there is to it. All I do is keep the nutrient tanks full and rinse out the nutrient and drain tanks every 5 days.

Some simple pvc stands and under-bed trays for drainage:
IMG_0090.JPG
Inside the nutrient tank:
IMG_0091.JPG
Waster water outlet:
IMG_0084.JPG
Main setup from back a bit:
IMG_0081.JPG
 

TerpyTyrone

LED Recruiter
Site Supporter
View attachment 85726I've been using this DIY full auto drain-to-waste system I designed for about a month now with no issues. It uses simple digital timers to make everything happen, with the exception of the aquarium auto-doser I use for fertigation, which has it's own internal program/clock.

View attachment 85720View attachment 85721It makes batches of nutrient twice a day, starting with an electric solenoid water valve operated by a timer opening up for 2 minutes to fill the nutrient tank to the desired level ( this is from a cold water line, using the house water pressure) with fresh water.

Next, the auto-doser is programmed to begin adding the different nutrients to the fresh water from the clear graduated plastic tanks shown, using the small peristaltic pumps on it's front panel. A small circulating pump at the bottom of the tank and some air stone stay on until it's time to deliver the nutrient.


4 hours later, another timer operates a sump pump in the bottom of the nutrient tank, delivering the nutrient through pvc lines and a simple array of large-outlet-size drip rings designed to flood the surface of the View attachment 85722coco in 2 minutes, with 50% waste. ( Rather than use a tank heater, I am letting the nutrient sit for about 4 hours to let it warm up a bit from the 58 degrees it is in winter.)


The waste water is allowed to drip down for an hour before sump pumps in the drain trays come on for 2 minutes and pump the waste water over to a utility sink for disposal. These pumps come on again for one minute an hour later just in case there is more drain-down.
View attachment 85724

And that's all there is to it. All I do is keep the nutrient tanks full and rinse out the nutrient and drain tanks every 5 days.

Some simple pvc stands and under-bed trays for drainage:
View attachment 85727
Inside the nutrient tank:
View attachment 85728
Waster water outlet:
View attachment 85725
Main setup from back a bit:
View attachment 85723
Thats pretty schnazzy! Bravo!! 👏
 

Choco8

Grower
Super cool! What are you using for a microcontroller? No PH?
Thanks! It's not that sophisticated at this point, more cobbed-together, although I do want to put something together with a Raspberry Pi controller or something of the sort that would operate the relays from one central "brain".

This setup relies on separate timers to initiate each stage of the nutrient cycle (dispense, distribute, and dispose I call it) and the aquarium doser has it's own clock and function timer to do the fertigation. Because this is DTW and nothing is being recycled, I don't need any kind of constant feedback or monitoring. I've been using the same nutrient recipe for so long with no ph problems, so I don't worry to much about it unless I'm having issues. Once in awhile I'll check a batch after it's been made, but it's pretty consistent.
 

cedew

Trimmer
Thanks! It's not that sophisticated at this point, more cobbed-together, although I do want to put something together with a Raspberry Pi controller or something of the sort that would operate the relays from one central "brain".

This setup relies on separate timers to initiate each stage of the nutrient cycle (dispense, distribute, and dispose I call it) and the aquarium doser has it's own clock and function timer to do the fertigation. Because this is DTW and nothing is being recycled, I don't need any kind of constant feedback or monitoring. I've been using the same nutrient recipe for so long with no ph problems, so I don't worry to much about it unless I'm having issues. Once in awhile I'll check a batch after it's been made, but it's pretty consistent.
Ahhhh I see. Would also be cool to setup a controller so that the timer could be set to incrementally adjust between changes in feed, though I'm sure it's not tough to sort out the changes manually where if 10 seconds gets you 10ml, then you have a pretty good idea of how to get to 20ml.
 

Choco8

Grower
Would also be cool to setup a controller so that the timer could be set to incrementally adjust between changes in feed,
FWIW the aquarium doser program can do different amounts at different times ( but of the same liquid for each pump), and is quick to adjust with a few clicks if you want to. You could also have a second doser setup powered on by a timer. All sorts of possibilities! I'm not sure if that is what you are asking about, let me know :)
 

cedew

Trimmer
FWIW the aquarium doser program can do different amounts at different times ( but of the same liquid for each pump), and is quick to adjust with a few clicks if you want to. You could also have a second doser setup powered on by a timer. All sorts of possibilities! I'm not sure if that is what you are asking about, let me know :)
I just mean that you could setup a profile to eliminate the larger swings in changing feed, as in, you could setup a veg/bloom transition period to happen over a week, two weeks, etc., or if you have a step to change from light flower to heavy flower, instead of making the change in mix in one feed/day, you could transition 10% one day, another 10% the next, etc. Obviously not a huge deal because we deal with it just fine manually, but kind of a cool feature to having a microcontroller.
 

Choco8

Grower
I just mean that you could setup a profile to eliminate the larger swings in changing feed, as in, you could setup a veg/bloom transition period to happen over a week, two weeks, etc., or if you have a step to change from light flower to heavy flower, instead of making the change in mix in one feed/day, you could transition 10% one day, another 10% the next, etc.
I get you now. Yes that would be really cool. You would just need enough of the different reservoirs and peristaltic pumps for each fluid, and setup a "glide path" for the changeover.

Now if I can just stop taking pictures I'll get something done.
Lemon Pie Cola Vertical_DSC00922.jpg
 

High kev

With a “k”
I feel like a caveman looking at this Nice set up
View attachment 85726I've been using this DIY full auto drain-to-waste system I designed for about a month now with no issues. It uses simple digital timers to make everything happen, with the exception of the aquarium auto-doser I use for fertigation, which has it's own internal program/clock.

View attachment 85720View attachment 85721It makes batches of nutrient twice a day, starting with an electric solenoid water valve operated by a timer opening up for 2 minutes to fill the nutrient tank to the desired level ( this is from a cold water line, using the house water pressure) with fresh water.

Next, the auto-doser is programmed to begin adding the different nutrients to the fresh water from the clear graduated plastic tanks shown, using the small peristaltic pumps on it's front panel. A small circulating pump at the bottom of the tank and some air stone stay on until it's time to deliver the nutrient.


4 hours later, another timer operates a sump pump in the bottom of the nutrient tank, delivering the nutrient through pvc lines and a simple array of large-outlet-size drip rings designed to flood the surface of the View attachment 85722coco in 2 minutes, with 50% waste. ( Rather than use a tank heater, I am letting the nutrient sit for about 4 hours to let it warm up a bit from the 58 degrees it is in winter.)


The waste water is allowed to drip down for an hour before sump pumps in the drain trays come on for 2 minutes and pump the waste water over to a utility sink for disposal. These pumps come on again for one minute an hour later just in case there is more drain-down.
View attachment 85724

And that's all there is to it. All I do is keep the nutrient tanks full and rinse out the nutrient and drain tanks every 5 days.

Some simple pvc stands and under-bed trays for drainage:
View attachment 85727
Inside the nutrient tank:
View attachment 85728
Waster water outlet:
View attachment 85725
Main setup from back a bit:
View attachment 85723
 

Choco8

Grower
UPDATE : Here is a list of the components used in this system for anyone interested in building one. I'd be happy to assist anyone taking the project on:

"Whole House" type water filter - $40- $80 (optional)
INLET VALVE - 3/4" Stainless Steel Electric Solenoid Valve 110VAC Normally Closed Air Water - $50 (Amazon)
NUTRIENT PUMP - Active Aqua AAPC1010 Utility, 1479 GPH/5600 LPH Sump Pump - $120
WASTE PUMPS - VIVOSUN 1150GPH Submersible Pump (4500L/H, 100W), Ultra Quiet Water Pump with 11ft High Lift - 2 of these @ $36 each = $72

Outlet Timer, 7 Day Wall Plug in Light Timer Outlet, CANAGROW Indoor Digital Programmable Timers - 6 of these @ $14 each = $84

DOSER- Jebao Aquarium Dosing Pump (DP-5) - $91

DOSER TANKS- Marinecolor Acrylic Liquid Storage Bucket 3 Rooms 4.5 Liters - 2 of these at $54 = $108 ( you could easily make your own clear graduated containers from 1 liter soda bottles. I just thought these looked really cool, OK?)

NUTRIENT TANK - Probably $40 or so for the main tank and the smaller one I sliced up. I can't find the model on Home Depots site, but there is a similar one with wheels.
It's a Husky storage bin ( 45 gallon I think), with a cutout in which I inserted a second smaller storage bin that been sliced in half horizontally so I could use the lid from this smaller bin to access the tank without disturbing the other plumbing.
VIVOSUN 317-1750GPH Commercial Air Pump 20W-102W - $45
AquaticHI 2 Pack Large 4 inch (100 mm) Cylinder Air Stones - 2 pack - $14
Hygger Mini Wave Maker - $70


PVC LowBoy Tables
3 Way Tee PVC Fitting -Grade SCH 40 PVC 1" Elbow Fittings - 12 of these @ about $3 each = $36 ( you can probably find them cheaper on the web)
1" PVC for table frames - 3 x 10' lengths @ $5 each = $15

1" PVC caps for leg ends -12 @ 83 cents each = call it $10

WASTE TANKS - 14-Gal. HDX Tough Storage Bin in Black - 2 of these @ $10 = $20

Waste and Nutrient lines - 1/2 PVC - probably 6 10' lengths, some elbows and stuff. PVC is cheap and the joints are reliable - Estimating $100 for all of it including the flood rings.
This cost doesn't include the copper fittings and pipe on the inlet side, probably another $75 to round it out to....

TOTAL SYSTEM COST - $1000 including the fancy-ass clear tanks so you can feel like a scientist. Lab coat not included.
 

Choco8

Grower
Forgot the trays!

2' x 2' TRAYS FOR LOWBOY TABLES - I bought mine from GrowGeneration. 4 of these @ $36 = $144
You can make the PVC tables so that these set down into them so that about an 1" of the tray is gripped all around the perimeter.

Another cool trick which I stumbled on is making these fit in the tables to the right height so that a plastic milk crate can be snugly placed under the center of the tray, which would otherwise sag from the weight of a large pot of coco mix over time. A milk crate is ideal for this as it won't absorb water and quickly dries, and doesn't impede the flow of air, and is the right height for this setups drain scenario.
 
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