Homemade Res Chiller For Under 50 Bucks Cheap And Easy Dwc Solution

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Growing' started by swampthang14, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. I notice alot of people having res temp issues and thought I would share what I did and what I plan to do on my next build (in progress). I currently use my chiller for a 5 gallon bucket but this could be used for much larger setups.
    What I used was a 5 gallon office style water cooler. The ones you place a bottle upside down in with a hot and cold valve to fill cup with.
    Anyways I got one local for 20 bucks and tore it apart down to the working parts.
    I then cup the aluminum cup the coils wrap around down to the coils. Be very careful not to nick the copper lines. After that I took the plastic resin kit from hobby lobby for 20 bucks and made a mold out of cardboard and tape. It takes a min to get this part right but once you got a bowl shape you are good. The idea is to let the plastic resin cover the copper coil and line so you dont get any kind of corrosion in your res. For the line coming from the bowl to the compressor I used a rubber hose split the length of the line. I filled it with silicone and let it dry for a couple days. I was then able to mount the compressor to the back of my grow box and hang the bowl down into the bottom of my bucket.
    The white bowl in bottom of bucket is the chiller.
    The built in thermostat on the unit I got doesnt work to keep temps as needed. It wants to make my water 35f which is obviously to cold. The water gets real foamy and frothy almost like a slushy lol. So my solution was a timer. I currently run it on for 2 hours and off for 3 hours. For the most part my res stays at 58-65f depending on room temps.
    My current build is a corner bath tub that I will use prob 3 buckets. What I plan to do on this is keep the water cooler unit all together and use the 5 gallon bottle as it sits upside down with a pump running water up to the top and letting gravity feed it back through the cold valve (you get a drink from) with a hose. If configured right I dont see why this couldnt be used for any size res. You can control your gravity flow and run sensors and create a top off hole all without bending over just black out the big bottle.
    I just wanted to let other growers know a cheap solution to a huge dwc problem. You can usually get a office water cooler for under 40 bucks locally instead of 300+ bucks for one that requires alot more cleaning.
    If anyone has any questions or difficulty understanding please post and I will help as much as I can. I may try to draw a pic if needed.  Thanks GC keep cool!

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