Re: Automatic Watering Systems

Date: Thu Aug 26 1999 - 20:41:07 PDT

Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 20:41:07 -0700
From: "TED HADLEY" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3059$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Automatic Watering Systems

I have build a rather nice automatic watering system for my CPs. I am a
black-thumb, so I have to be very careful. What I did was the following:

1. Got a *clean* 5-gallon bucket with a lid. 2. Purchased a fountain
pump. 3. Purchased a low-end lawn sprinkler controller 4. Built an
electrical box with a 24 VAC relay to control the 120 VAC mains power to
a wall outlet. 5. Miscellaneous plumbing fittings to connect the pump
to drip irrigation tubing and emitters


1. Cut a hole (oval notch) in the top edge of the bucket just wide enough
to accomodate the cord for the fountain pump. The length should be enough
so that the lid of the bucket does not interfere with the cord.

2. Attach necessary plumbing fittings to the pump to allow connection to
1/4-inch standard drip irrigation tubing. Drill a second hole near the
top edge of the bucket to run the tubing through.

3. Wire a 110VAC wall box & outlet with the relay so that when 24 VAC is
applied to the relay coil, the relay closes and applies power to the
outlet. Plug the fountain into this box.

4. Hook the 24 VAC relay coil to Station #1 of the sprinkler controller.

5. Route the drip tubing to the CPs. All my plants are outdoors on a
couple of plant stands so they will get plenty of sun. The flow rate of
the drippers is immaterial because the pressure is so low.

6. Fill the bucket with distilled water and secure the lid.

7. Set the timer and forget it. I water every day for 5 minutes. I get
1 month per bucket-full of water.

Works great!

Ted A. Hadley, Senior Mineralogist
Mineralogical Investigation Services Sunnyvale, CA 94087 USA

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