Making A Hydroponic Reservoir Drain

There’s are a couple good reasons why it’s a good idea to make a drain for your hydroponic reservoir. Since light produces algae growth, the hydroponic reservoir should be dark so no light will penetrate through. This creates the problem of not being able to able to see the water level of the nutrient solution. You will have to open the lid to the reservoir, maybe even having to move things or shut down your system to get to it. A water level also makes for an easy was to drain your reservoir for water changes or just needing to move things around. It doesn’t take much water to make your reservoir heavier than you can lift or may want to lift.

Luckily it is extremely easy to make a hydroponic reservoir drain. Whether you’re using a bucket, tote or tube a drain can save you a lot of time, work, and headache.

Supplies You Need To Make Reservoir Drain

Before you start you will need to pick up a few items from your local hardware store

Hydroponic drain

  • Colored PVC tube that you can still see through works the best but is hard to find at your local store. It’s sold online but if you have to use clear or black PVC tube (I used clear for this reservoir drain) that will work as well. When using a clear tube you will have algae growth in the drain tube. Hard water buildup can also make the tube cloudy.
  • 1/2 inch elbow for PVC tube. I prefer to use rain bird elbows. They come in a 4 pack for a couple of dollars
  • 1/2 inch rubber grommet. This is something that I couldn’t find at the “major” hardware stores. They sell them online, but I was able to find them sold locally at ACE Hardware for a dollar and some change.
  • A bucket or tub to use as your hydroponic reservoir. For smaller systems, I like to use black 5 gallon buckets. For larger systems totes or tubs work well. Keep in mind the thickness of the plastic of the reservoir and the grommets spacing. Too thick of a plastic and your grommet will not fit.
  • Electric drill with a 1/2 in hole saw or 1/2 inch drill bit. A step drill bit makes things really easy.

How to Make a Reservoir Drain

Now that you have your supplies, it takes about 5 minutes to make your hydroponic reservoir drain.

  1. This first thing you want to do is decide where you’re going to drill the hole in your reservoir. You want it to be at the very bottom so when it comes time to drain your reservoir it will drain as much as possible.003
  2. Insert your rubber grommet into the hole. I suggest using a screwdriver or other tool to make sure it’s sealed well around the edges.012
  3. Take the 1/2 inch elbow and insert it into an end of the PVC Tube.030
  4. Next your going to insert the other end of the 1/2 inch elbow into the rubber grommet by slowly twisting it back and forth. Be careful not to force it or it will push the grommet through. If you take a little bit of dish soap and put it around the end of the elbow it makes this step easier.034
  5. Finally, fill your reservoir with water to make sure your seal is tight and that there are no leaks.044

You now have a drain for your hydroponic reservoir!

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