RDWC water level problems

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by drclemdo, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. Hello all I am a seasoned grower 15 years grown in pretty much everything last couple grows I used root spa 4 bucket system has worked perfectly fine for the exception of changing out the water from each bucket and the daily maintenance ph tds temp all the good stuff. Long story short converted my Root spa to a rdwc I ran 3/4in tubing from Rez to each bucket all the way thorough system.
    Water pumps from Rez to buckets then the water chiller back to Rez. The problem I am have which there are 2.
    First the water level in the last 2 buckets are about an inch lower than the 2 buckets in the front.
    2nd with the pump on it basically drains the 2 buckets in the back first then leaves a bit of water in the first 2 buckets.
    The water doesn't flow back into the buckets fast enough to keep the water level right under the basket I will add some picture please help I planned on having this finished this weekend but with the water flow problems I can't afford to put the clones in yet

    Attached Files:

  2. Your water supply piping to each bucket may have to be equal distance to get the same water pressure to feed each bucket. The pump turns on and has 4 outlets. The amount of resistance to flow in the pipe is going to divert more water flow to the outlet with the least resistance. If the supply water splits and goes to each bucket with the same size and length of hose the pressure drop is equal and the flow should be close to equal.
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  3. For the most part all the hose is the same size in length and diameter. I did have to cut down on the length on the return line at first the line was to long and the water would not drain back to the Rez shoot it wouldn't even make it to the water chiller now that the return line hose is shorter I get a complet cycle only thing now water levels won't stay the same
  4. Last night i took out the 3/4 in return line and switched it out for a 1/2 that is the crazy blue tubing which won't stay there after tonight. I though this might help slow down the drainage of the buckets
  5. Can you slow the water flow? Does that change anything?
  6. Not sure how I would slow the flow down I have tried relocating the pump to different spots in the system when I get home I will shorten all the tubing I can to make the system
    Shorter but I think I will still have the same
  7. I think I can see the problem. Nevermind... hehe looked at it again and I had it all wrong..
  8. #8 Tbone Shuffle, Jul 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
    Ok.. I think I understand how it's working now. It took me a few. The pictures were confusing to me.

    Your water supply is gravity fed and your return is hooked to the pump. The route the feed water has to take to the first set of buckets is really short and easy. There's much more resistance to flow from the res to the back buckets because the supply water has to run through the first set of buckets to get to the back.

    You have to re pipe your supply water so there's a main trunk line that has 4 outlets. One for each bucket. You don't want to feed in one bucket and out to the next. That's the problem I think.
  9. Just looking at your pictures it's so hard for me to understand how that is supposed to work. Aren't those rings in the net pots for top feeding nutes/water from the res?
  10. Yes I was using those in the original
    System before inmadenit a rdwc the rings help get the clones started until the roots reached the water line
  11. I think if your supply was larger line you could do it like current culture and other RDWC setups going in one bucket and out the next but those setups use like 2" pipe to link the buckets. When you're using 3/4 like that it doesn't make it to the back bucket fast enough. If your pump was smaller it wouldn't be as much of a difference. I looked up those pumps they're constant flow rate so you can't adjust that.

    If your supply didn't go in one bucket and then feed the back one I think it wouldn't do that level change thing.
    Look at how big these pipes are.
  12. I agree I was hoping there would be a solution without starting from scratch maybe replace one one set of pipes I can take better picture in a few hour
  13. Better pics

    Attached Files:

  14. That's got to be the issue man. The pump kicks on and is sucking it out of the far buckets faster then the supply can refill the last buckets. Run a main feed line down the center between the buckets for supply and branch it to each bucket so there's 4 branches. Then they'll fill up at the same rate. That or larger diameter fill tubing and smaller circ pump. Then it wouldn't be able to pump fast enough to outflow the 3/4" gravity fed supply.

    You know it would probably work like it is.
  15. These are the net pots I use. I think they work great. You don't need those huge net pots. It's a waste of gravel. You don't need that much gravel. In fact 6" isn't necessary. I know people who grow large plants in 4" net pots.

    These particular net pots have a raised up section in the center. It helps them stay much stiffer then other net pots. They let bubbles right up the middle of the net pot. I drill a 5/8" hole in the top of the raised center section. I use an aeroponic cloner to start my clones so they have long dangling roots. I dangle the roots down the hole I drill in the center into the res the day I plant them. There is no lag time waiting for plants to grow into the res like that. It takes about a week off of the veg process. You also only use half the gravel or less to fill them up. Less gravel to wash or buy.
    HTGSupply - 6" RhizoCore Basket Bucket Lid
  16. Nice pots but doesn't fix my water flow/ level problem
  17. No you'll have to repipe it to fix that dude. There's no magic fix.
  18. Ok just to be clear where should I repipe it
  19. #19 Fennario Mike, Jul 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
    Your pump is too strong for the size tubing that you have. I have an Under Current RDWC and a DIY one that I made using their specs. Basically, you want a return line about 2.5x smaller than the size of the lines from each bucket. UC uses 2" lines to each bucket with a 3/4" return line and a 350 gal/hr pump. This exchanges the total bucket volume about 6x per hour.

    It looks like you have 3/4" lines from each bucket - you're going to need to reduce the pump size and the return line size. If you need to adapt to use your existing pump I'd suggest making a little bypass line around the pump with a valve. Using this valve you could control the flow rate and keep it from pulling faster than the buckets can supply.

    From looking at the pics, I assume that the pump is pulling from the bottom of each bucket, going through the chiller and back to the rez. This is how I do it.

    A couple of tips - you should have some filters to keep the roots from clogging those lines and another inline filter before the pump to keep crap out of the pump. Roots constantly shed and that stuff will foul your pump eventually. I rinse my filter at every rez change and it always has a bunch of root material.

    Also - change that return line to something opaque. The clear blue will grow algae quickly.

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