Leakless RDWC

Discussion in 'Hydroponics / Aeroponics' started by tbf, May 12, 2018.


    tbf Member

    Hey everyone!

    I’m starting a new grow soon, and I was wondering if anybody had ideas on how to create an RDWC system that doesn’t involve drilling holes in buckets. I’ve been down that road before, and it usually leaks. Don’t want to chance it I my new apartment! I was thinking some kind of top feed system would be best, but I’m not sure how to drain each bucket. Thoughts?
    Michael Huntherz likes this.

    mr.jinks Well-Known Member

    Use square buckets, proper bulkhead fittings and 3m 4200. No chance of leaks.

    GBAUTO Well-Known Member

    Agreed-unless you want to step up to a 2"+ fitting, it's always a battle keeping returns clear of roots.
    redi jedi

    redi jedi Well-Known Member

    If you cant drill a hole maybe stay away from diy?

    JSB99 Well-Known Member

    Here's the problem with dwc, you will experience spills regardless of the fittings. It's just the nature of the beast. When you're dealing with a large volume of water, steps can be taken to minimize the outcome of a spills or leak. For instance, I built an enclosed frame and pond liner around my tent/dwc to catch up to 120 gallons of water.

    Let me give you a real life example I experienced about a month ago. I built my rdwc rock-solid, with 2" pipes and bulkheads. A leak was the furthest thing on my mind. However, I walked in to my room to find my reservoir overflowing. I use frozen water jugs in my water during the summer to help keep the temps down. What happened was the jug floated over to the reservoir bulkhead, and blocked it. So, water was being added back to the reservoir with none going out. Now I tie my jugs to the reservoir.

    Being in an apartment adds so many other variables, with a dwc. My advice would be to grow in Coco coir, which is still technically "hydroponics".
    nonamedman420, tbf and churchhaze like this.

    churchhaze Well-Known Member

    This fear is why I'm still low tech DWC.
    JSB99 likes this.

    JSB99 Well-Known Member

    If you have a second bathroom, you can set up a small rdwc in the tub.

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    DWC requires holes. Single bucket sites is your only option. And F that...
    TIMtoKILL and JSB99 like this.

    fridayfishfry Well-Known Member

    I am building a RDWC right now.
    I hate the idea of holes but my solution is leakproof so far

    Square buckets instead of round
    2" uniseals are $4 ... soak them in hot water and it makes insertion easy
    if you follow the uniseal instructions and drill exactly the right size hole, it's super tight, almost impossible to remove once rubber is cool and mine passed the leak test
    2" bulkheads are $10 and can crack rather easy
    2" heavy duty bulkheads are $25, so...

    easy for me to say, my RDWC is going in the backyard
    i don't think i would put 50 gallons inside without trying it out

    little hijack
    Anyone have problems with roots clogging the piping? i got 9" 4gal buckets and 2" schedule 40 PVC


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    Purpsmagurps and redi jedi like this.

    fridayfishfry Well-Known Member

    You could run RDWC on top of a flood tray or catch tray.

    Even if you build it right root clogs in return pipes can cause flooding.

    I'm running a lower-GPH pump to hopefully help prevent root clogs.
    redi jedi

    redi jedi Well-Known Member

    I never had problems with uniseals, the key is accurate hole size and no burrs. I prefer bulkheads for tear down and cleaning. There are sch 40 fittings out there but not cheap.
    ttystikk and Michael Huntherz like this.
    Sour Wreck

    Sour Wreck Well-Known Member

    i just built my first system and my leaks are very minimal.

    i believe i can solve most of them next time i flush the system.

    btw, i use bulkheads...

    fridayfishfry Well-Known Member

    I think uniseals have more give to the angle the pipe can be at. I need this because of unlevel dirt outside.

    Uniseals might make a tighter seal than Bulkheads.

    Bulkheads make it easier to clean..

    My solution is use PVC unscrewable unions mid-pipe in various places for dismantling (slip slip used with primer and PVC cement).

    mr.jinks Well-Known Member

    Use 3m marine 4200.... it stops most boats from sinking... so.....

    Don’t use 5200, it’s bomb proof

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    2" uniseals are $1.99 at www.allied aqua.com. DO NOT USE EBAY.

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    I hope you don't get root rot with those white buckets bruv. Black is SO IMPORTANT.

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    Also, you don't bevel them like that, you keep the cut straight and ANGLE the ends down. Not cut a 45* angle.

    IMAG0037.jpg IMAG0038.jpg IMAG0039.jpg IMAG0041.jpg

    My system requires no air pumps or stones. I actually use a 1600gph pump to a manifold FROM the res to each bucket site (will be done shortly) and the 2" pipe is there to bring the water from the filling buckets back TO the res. It needs to be 2" at least or the res drains too fast. The massive size of the pump creates a LOT of pressure out those 1/2" waterfalls therefore needing ZERO air pumps. I can't stand my current setup anymore using 1" returns. The waterfalls aren't pressured enough and I'm forced to still use an air pump. A very NOISY, HOT AND ANNOYING air pump.
    My mini setup using 2gal buckets though is setup with no air pumps, with 1 1/2" pipe and uniseals and is showing me faster results than I have EVER had. Hands down.
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    Purpsmagurps likes this.

    fridayfishfry Well-Known Member

    Haters gonna hate

    White absorbs much less heat from light which is the #1 issue OUTSIDE
    HEAT causes root root not light
    Light causes algae

    Try building a sprayer out of 360 cloner heads to aerate without heat. Like this
    Michael Huntherz likes this.

    Airwalker16 Well-Known Member

    I got a chiller. Keeping light out is too important to me. I'll show you my mini system in a bit.
    Go to the store and buy rustoleum black paint. It says on the can, Bonds To Plastic. Spray your buckets outside at least. I'd sand em once over for good measure to help the paint stick better though.

    fridayfishfry Well-Known Member

    If it becomes an issue I'll just make panda film cozies for each bucket. I'll be using h2o2 anyway. Panda goes white to outside, black to inside.

    Yes upload, I'd like to see it

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