Dutch Bucket Drains Keep Clogging

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by Chris Edward, Apr 17, 2018.

    Chris Edward

    Chris Edward Active Member

    Hello all,

    I will cut right ot the point, if you want to read further, I explain everything in more detail, But basically…

    Does anyone know how to keep roots out of the drains Dutch bucket systems?

    This is my second time around growing in Dutch buckets and my second complete rebuild of the system.

    Both times the roots from the plants clog the drain pipe and eventually cause a flood.

    The first system used uni-seals and the drain pipe inside the bucket was straight with huge holes in it. That was a very stupid idea!!!
    The roots just went right through with no resistance…
    The bonus with the uni-seals was that I could turn the drain pipe around a few times and then I could pull the roots out.
    This worked for a while until the roots completely clogged the drain and I couldn’t pull them out easily.
    Plus after several weeks of spinning the drain tubes the seals began to leak, a little at first then a lot (over a quart a day).

    The second system is a bucket within a bucket (to allow full drainage from the media). The drain has an elbow on it, turned downward, like a traditional Dutch bucket system.
    The inner bucket, which holds the media and the plants has large holes drilled in the bottom, at the corners with net pots to allow water to pass through to the bottom bucket so it can drain out.
    This second system uses bulkheads, so I can’t simply spin the drain tube to remove the roots like with the uni-seals…
    With the previous plants it took until flower for the roots to come through the drain holes and then it went from a few to the drain being clogged in a matter of a month.
    This time they are in their 5th week of veg (this strain takes a bit longer in veg and flower) and I am already seeing roots.
    So I am worried that by the time the plants get into the middle of flower the drains will be clogged.

    Last time I just added a 1/3 gallon of nutrient solution/water per plant a day (I alternated so the nutrients wouldn’t build up) and this seemed to be enough to keep the plants going.

    My worry is that this time the flowering period will be in the summer and I don’t want to deal with root rot and I am afraid that the stagnant nutrient solution will help cause this problem.

    Does anyone know what I can do to keep the roots out of the drain?
    This grow is already too far in to modify anything, but for next time.
    I am thinking of putting fine nylon mesh (150 micron) over the tops of the net pots to keep the roots from going past the net pots, butother than that I am basically out of ideas.

    Any and all ideas are welcome…

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