RDWC Build Sketch - Is it decent?

Discussion in 'DWC/ Bubbleponics' started by Joint Monster, Feb 19, 2018.

    Joint Monster

    Joint Monster Well-Known Member

    I was just hoping you guys can look over my sketch and make sure it makes sense, in terms of how a RDWC build should operate.

    So I still have to work out some of the smaller details, like how to go from a 4" pvc down to one that will fit my water pump. I will also have a ball valve and union before the pump on either side, so I can service it if needed. I already have 10x 4" Uniseals, so I will be using 4" pvc for my containers. 20gal containers with 4" net pots. Already have everything, so can't really change parts too much now. Just need to get the pvc connections and work out the layout.

    I noticed in Hygrohybrids build, he did a pvc connection from the rez. to each container, and then a separate return line from each container to a manifold, that then connects to his waterpump, that pushes water up and into the top of his rez.

    In my sketch, I was hoping I could just run a straight line through all four containers, then the last container returns to my water pump, which pushes the water up and into the top of the rez. (on the side but near the top). Will this sketch be okay for an RDWC?

    Excuse the sloppiness, I tried my best to draw it straight.
    [Key for Sketch]
    -The purple line is the return, it goes parallel in height back to the pump, all four inch until it gets close to the pump. In front of the pump I will have to add some kind of reducer to make the four inch fit the side inlet of the pump.
    -Green line is 4" PVC From the bottom of the rez. through the bottom of all four containers.
    -Blue line is the room. And the little light blue oval is the exhaust hole which will be used to go in and out of the room for the PVC.
    -The black square is 900GPH water pump.
    -Grey circles 20gal containers with net pots
    -Black circle 40gal rez.
    (On top of the rez in the picture I forgot to draw, will be the water chiller and smaller rez to circulate that water in it's own loop. It would be at the top left of the picture.)
    0RDWC Sketchup.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    Joint Monster

    Joint Monster Well-Known Member

    I'm like pretty sure this is good, "in general" in terms of RDWC. Even if someone can give a simple -Yes..that'd be good. Only because I'm a little cautious and I don't want to put holes in my containers in the wrong spot. My first RDWC build.

    And since I know you guys like pics, she goes into the rdwc very soon! just need to put it together.:hump::sleep: I know she looks a little hungry, she was good last night, woke up a little lighter green today... but 880ppm [bluelab ec. x700] and hasn't moved in the last few days. 5.4ph solid. 70F/21C water temp. Even slight purp stems just showed up today at full str CaMG, maybe will bump it up a little.
    About two weeks from seed, looking a little small to me, but maybe it's just me?

    Joint Monster

    Joint Monster Well-Known Member

    I also considered this like separate loop for the buckets, and then tap into it 3/4" for return line. (Or maybe bigger, the biggest size the pump takes, I think it might be 1") [Sketch 2]

    Or is my original sketch, where I have the return line coming out of the 4th container straight to the pump a better option?

    RDWC Sketchup2.jpg

    GBAUTO Well-Known Member

    Looks ok-the only suggestion is that pumps work better pushing rather than pulling. What I've seen is placing the pump at the exit of the last tote-reduce it down to the return line diameter and then back to the rez.
    Joint Monster likes this.

    Lordhooha Well-Known Member

    My return is basically gravity feed. I pump out to my totes and as totes are higher. Than my res it naturally flows back.
    Roger A. Shrubber

    Roger A. Shrubber Well-Known Member

    i'm curious, what's up with that last pic? is that an orange?....?
    JSB99 likes this.

    JSB99 Well-Known Member

    I'm a little confused about the green pipes. I'm not sure if this was a mistake, but you don't want you pipes running in a loop like that. With the way you have it, the pump is going to be drawing water with the least resistance, which would be straight from the res. You wouldn't be drawing any water through the buckets.

    This is how it should be set up:


    If you can have them in parallel, it'll work better:

    Joint Monster likes this.

    SmokeyMcChokey Well-Known Member

    Bottom of that page is how I do it. It shows all except feed lines. They are 1/2 vinyl tube. It goes pump to tee. One to the left pair teed off there into each tote and mirrored to the right. This way you just feed and it returns as it wants too. With 2" return PVC it shouldn't clog. And each totes water level will stay equal to the control tote because Newton or something like that

    Joint Monster and JSB99 like this.
    Joint Monster

    Joint Monster Well-Known Member

    Appreciate the feedback guys!

    @Roger A. Shrubber Haha yes, I clicked the colour pin-wheel near orange and that's what it gave me lol.

    JSB99 Thanks, that is the way I ended up buying parts for. (The first 4 in a line sketch made in your post.) Except from my last bucket to my pump, instead of getting reducers I will just get a 1" uniseal and run 1" piping straight from the last container to my pump.

    Smokey, so you pump water through the feed lines and they just return by themselves?
    I will not be running any feed or drip lines. Just the 950gal pump at the end of the last container, and two air stones per container.

    [Side question]
    If I have to turn my piping about 5" up and then 5" down (between my res and my first container) because it has to fit in the exhaust hole in the tent (which is not flat near the ground).
    ^If I do not do this, then I have to put my uniseal like 5" higher, which makes them about 1/4 up from the bottom of the bucket. (Versus putting uniseal near the bottom of the bucket)
    Or maybe I could raise the Res equal to the exhaust holes height? (although I will need something sturdy to hold the weight of ~30-40gal res).
    ...so basically this shouldn't cause a problem right, the pump should be able to push the water and keep the flow going?

    Here's a visual, again I tried to draw nice :).
    rdwc sketch pov 22.png
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018

    SmokeyMcChokey Well-Known Member

    Yes. If you can see my sigy latest journal and setting it up and trouble shooting was done this week. You're doing undercurrent which I've not done

    JSB99 Well-Known Member

    Before cutting any holes, let me think about your sketch for a few. I think you might be running into issues with your design.

    JSB99 Well-Known Member

    Raising and lowering your pipe elevation will greatly effect the performance of your pump. Although, you are using a larger pump, so that might help.

    If I had to build this, I think I would do one of these:
    • Cut your tent and pass the pipes through. This will allow you to go as low as it would take to clear the bottom tent pole (about 1/2"). Doing this solves your elevation problem, as well as any other methods to make the vent hole work for you. This is what I did to solve the same problem.
    • Raise the containers inside the tent a few inches. This would not only allow you to use the existing holes in the tent, but you could have a taller reservoir, because the reservoir would be at a lower level. What you'd want to do is make the holes in the tent buckets at the bottom, and make the hole in the controller bucket about 5", or whatever it takes to be level with the raised buckets. You'd lose a little headroom in your tent, but it's not significant. If I absolutely did not want to cut my tent, this is what I'd do.
    If you decide to build a base for your buckets, make sure it won't be effected by the humidity, and spills. Plywood, which would probably be the easiest to use for a base, should either be painted, or sealed with polyurethane, to prevent mold. Another option would be to create a frame with PVC pipes and adapters, that the buckets could sit on. This might be a little more work than a sheet of plywood, but it's very light, can be broken down, and is waterproof.

    JSB99 Well-Known Member

    BTW, you can just have all your pipes 5" high. The only problem with this that I can see, is being able to easily drain all your buckets. But if you have a shopvac, or some other method to remove leftover water, then it might not be too much of a chore.

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