[Hydroponics] PVC pipe processing method! Make your own water circulation cultivation kit with laundry drain hose

We are going to try hydroponics using PVC pipes on one wall of the room.
We are planning to line up five or six PVC pipes horizontally on a wall about 230cm long and 320cm wide, and we have already made a frame to support the PVC pipes.
This time, we will actually process the PVC pipes.
To watch the video, click the link below.

Let’s take a look.

Cut the PVC pipe according to the wall surface.

Prepare the required number of PVC pipes.
Since the length of the room is about 230cm, I thought there would be 5-6 PVC pipes that could be installed considering the height of the vegetables, so I prepared 5 slightly weak PVC pipes.
If you know someone such as an equipment shop owner, you may be able to get some extra PVC pipes.
I got three from a friend of mine who works at an equipment store, and bought two from a material store.

How to mark a straight line on a PVC pipe

Before cutting the PVC pipe, it is easy to cut straight if you draw a line around the part to be cut, but drawing a straight line can actually be difficult.
Prepare a piece of paper large enough to go around the PVC pipe, and wrap it around the part you want to ink.
You can draw a straight line along the edge of the paper with a magic marker.

A pipe saw is recommended over a woodworking saw.

You can also use a wood saw to cut PVC pipes, but it will get stuck in the middle of cutting, making it difficult to continue cutting.
In this case, you can make it a little easier to cut the PVC pipe by turning it slightly toward or away from you.
The top one is a special pipe saw (for cutting pipes) and the bottom one is a wood saw, but you can see the difference in the fineness of the grain.
You can see the difference in the fineness of the blade. The pipe saw has a finer blade, so it can cut smoothly without getting stuck.
The PVC pipe used in this project is 10cm in diameter, which is quite thick, so I chose a pipe saw with a long blade of 30cm.


Processing the end cap for the PVC pipe

Drill a hole in the end cap that attaches to the drainage side of the PVC pipe.
If we drill a hole in the middle, the water level in the PVC pipe will be lower than half of the pipe, so we need to position the hole a little higher so that the water level will be exactly half of the pipe.
Place the actual drain valve against the end cap and mark the center of the hole.
If it is too high, the valve will hit the inside of the end cap when you turn the valve screw and you will not be able to turn it, so be moderate.
Place the tip of the drill blade on the mark and drill the hole with the hole saw.
In the photo above, I am holding the end cap with my foot, but to be honest, this is not a job to be done barefoot. It is usually dangerous.
It is better to fix the end cap in a vise or vice.
The following products can be used for products up to 150mm, so the 100mm end caps used in this project can be fixed securely.

I also ordered the above product, but it didn’t arrive at the time I was working on it, so I ended up fixing everything with my feet while working on it…pointless shopping.

Connecting the drain valve to the laundry drain hose

Now that we have finished drilling holes in the end caps, we can connect the drain valve and the drain hose.
Pull out the threaded part of the drain valve from the inside of the end cap, and attach the drain hose to the threaded part that came out.
The threaded part of the drainage valve was too long to adhere to the end cap even when it was tightly closed, so we cut the excessively long part with a pipe saw to make it adhere.

Make a hole for the seedling in the top of the PVC pipe.

Now that we have finished processing the end caps, we will drill holes in the PVC pipe body for the seedlings.

Measure the length of the crop roots.

If the spacing between the holes is too narrow, the roots of the crops may get tangled up with each other and water may not circulate properly, causing water leakage.
Before drilling holes at appropriate intervals, measure the length of the crop roots and drill holes in the PVC pipe according to the length of the roots.
The photo above is of lettuce, and the length of the roots is about 30 cm from the tip to the thin part, and the lettuce next to it and the small tomatoes at the back are also about 30 cm long.

Marking and drilling holes at equal intervals on the PVC pipe.

Mark 30cm, 60cm, 90cm, etc. from the end of the PVC pipe.
Drill the marked areas with a hole saw in the same way as for the end caps.
There is room for a water supply hole at the far end, so we were able to drill 9 holes in total.
When drilling holes, burrs inevitably appear, so I shaved them off with sandpaper.
This is for injury prevention and appearance.
Chips from cutting with the hole saw and sandpaper accumulate in the pipe, so we washed them away with water.
There was no faucet outside, so I asked a friend who had acquired a PVC pipe to install one for me.
A sprinkler would make it easier to work with water outside, thank you Yoshida.

Caulking the connections to prevent leaks.

We are almost done here, let’s work hard.
The unfinished end cap and PVC pipe, the finished end cap and PVC pipe, the drain valve and the drain hose part need to be caulked.
Let’s start with the drain valve and the drain hose part.
Apply metamorphic silicon to the inside of the cap, and connect the drain valve and the laundry drain hose.
After screwing them in tightly, mask the surface of the cap with masking tape and caulk it.
When you have finished applying the caulk, smooth it out with your fingers.
(Well, maybe you don’t have to use your fingers, but there is something special for that.
Remove the masking tape when you are done.
If you do not remove the tape after applying the caulk, the tape and silicone will stick to each other and become difficult to remove.
Follow the same procedure for other areas.
This is an important process to prevent water leakage.
If you don’t plan to dismantle the pipe in the future, you may want to use “PVC pipe bond”, but in my case, I didn’t use bond because I was thinking about reassembling the pipe and maintaining the clogged roots.
Good or bad…After caulking, I left it for 24 hours and the metamorphic silicon was dry.

I lined up the processed PVC pipes on the frame made for PVC pipes and completed the work.

I was tired after doing these processes for five PVC pipes, but I was able to do it.
These are lined up on a special stand to complete the project.
At the bottom (floor), we placed a kind of water storage tank, and installed a pump to pump water into it. Without the pumping pump, nothing can start.

We pump the water to the water supply port of the top PVC pipe.
When the water level exceeds half, water will flow from the drain hose on the other side.
The end of the drain hose is connected to the water supply port of the second PVC pipe, and when the water level of the second pipe reaches half, water will flow to the third and fourth levels.
The drain hose of the bottom PVC pipe flows to the water storage tank, and the water in the tank is sent to the top PVC pipe again.
I haven’t circulated the water yet because this is an introduction of how to process PVC pipes, but I think it’s probably okay…irresponsible.
Because of the depth of the frame, it is physically possible to put two or three PVC pipes on the same level.
It is possible, but there is a disadvantage that it might be troublesome to take care of the crops planted in the PVC pipes at the back, so I’m thinking of trying one PVC pipe per tier first.
This is how I processed the PVC pipe for hydroponics using a laundry drain hose.
I hope this will be helpful to someone else.