The manifold simply rests on top of the grow chambers and directs the sprayers downward into the chambers with PVC "T" fittings as show at right. Each "T" fitting is connected to a short piece of tubing with an end cap glued in place. A hole is then drilled into the end cap and a sprayer nozzle installed. The size of the hole is dependant upon the sprayer you choose - however, you may opt to leave out the sprayer and simply use a smaller hole in the end cap as a nozzle - similar to the way the larger system's spraylines rely on holes to create a spray. If this is the case, start off with a hole no larger than 3/32" - this way you can increase the size of the hole to increase the flow of nutrient without running the risk of drilling too large a hole which would turn the spray into a trickle. With five chambers and a 300 GPH pump, I've found a 1/8" hole works best.

Assembly of the larger manifold is basically the same except it is located at the same end as the drain fittings. See diagram at right for details. Each chamber is then connected to the manifold with a 3/4" threaded adapter, this way they can be individually removed from the system and the empty fitting can be plugged with a 3/4" screw-in cap. When it is time to drain the system all you need to do is turn off the pump, close the blue valve and connect a garden hose to the fitting directly below it on the manifold. Turning the pump back on will then divert the flow out the garden hose until the reservoir is empty. When finished, remove the garden hose and replace the screw-in cap on the fitting, open the valve and refill your reservoir. The access hole just behind the chamber on the reservoir lid allows easy addition of water and nutrients and access to the intake screen on the pump.

You will probably want to provide some additional support for the manifold just behind the chambers - this extra section can be connected to another set of grow chambers in the event you would like to expand your system. Realize that adding another set of chambers will lower the pressure in your plumbing system and require a larger pump. I recommend a 1/4HP pump for this purpose as it will support up to (10) five foot chambers - I use the 1/4HP pump even for systems with only five chambers since it preforms really well and delivers a high pressure spray and plenty of aeration to the nutrient inside the chambers.

To complete your system, use PVC cement on all non-threaded PVC fittings to eliminate the possibility of leaks and separation. Fill the system with clean water and pressure test its operation - you'll probably want to remove the level-adjusting standpipes for the first test just to make sure there are no leaks in the plumbing before you allow the chambers to fill up.

6" System

Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

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