Automatic watering system with no outside tap

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Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  wabashene on Fri May 25, 2012 2:27 pm

Now we've become "empty nesters", I will have no one in residence to water my trees when we go away - probably for only a week at a time normally.

There's a good chance I could pursuade the young uns to pitch up every other day and water but a long-term independent solution is preferable imo.

I could have an outside tap installed and set up a sprinkler system with a timer for instance but this is quite a hassle as all the water is at the front of the house so any pipework would have to come through the attic and down the back wall. ( i.e. not cheap and I would still need timers, hosing etc.)

I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with alternatives using a ready supply of water from rainfall.

For instance :-

1. running a micro-hose or dripper system system off a submersible water butt pump with a timer or

2. some kind of gravity feed system off a water butts with programmable on/off valve

3. gadgets that work like these glass bulbs you invert into the pot etc. etc.


Some ideas/experience would be appreciated and may well be of interest to others.

Currently no hosepipe ban in South Hampshire btw but water metering imminent hence a system based on collected water is the preferred option

Thks

TimR

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Tom on Fri May 25, 2012 2:32 pm

I'm in the process of setting up (2), a gravity-fed microdripper system fed from a large water tank in my garage (this is in addition to my mains-fed system).
I wouldn't trust (3).
For me, the choice between (1) and (2) would be based on whether you can site your water tank / butt above the level of the trees.

Tom

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri May 25, 2012 2:52 pm

You can use wicks ( the thick one for oil lamps) put one end in a bucket of water on a stand and the other end you stick into the ground of the bonsai. You can do some adjusting with the hight of the bucket.
or You can use two wicks for each bonsai, one wick you drape over the top of the soil, the other you put under the soil. See how long it take to seep out. 20l with one wick takes about a week, but it depends how hot it is.

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  wabashene on Fri May 25, 2012 3:17 pm

Hi Tom,

I can get a 200 L water butt up on blocks on the decking with the base at least 2 ft higher than the top of the pots and fill it manually from other collected water as per the sketch below.

Would also screen off the open front and top of the decking with scaffold debris netting as an anti-sun and anti-cat measure


Would that give enough head of pressure for Option 2?

Thks

timR

P.S.

Post re wicks noted

thks

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Poink88 on Fri May 25, 2012 4:07 pm

wabashene wrote:I could have an outside tap installed and set up a sprinkler system with a timer for instance but this is quite a hassle as all the water is at the front of the house so any pipework would have to come through the attic and down the back wall. ( i.e. not cheap and I would still need timers, hosing etc.)
Tim,

You don't have a way to run pipe along the side of your house? PVC pipes are cheap and very easy to install. Trenching is the hardest part. Just my thought and may be cheaper than you originally thought.

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  wabashene on Fri May 25, 2012 5:06 pm

Would that I could Dario.

I own a house in the middle of an urban "terrace" which is joined up row of 6 houses so the is no side access.

When I was kid in Canada we were on 3 acres and had our own well.

It's grim down South

;-)

thks


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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Poink88 on Fri May 25, 2012 5:19 pm

wabashene wrote:I own a house in the middle of an urban "terrace" which is joined up row of 6 houses so the is no side access.
Gotcha. Is there no faucet along the back wall? Maybe the kitchen is there? Sometimes, it is much easier to knock or drill a wall opening and shoot a pipe out that way. Again just a thought.

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  marcus watts on Fri May 25, 2012 5:51 pm

Poink88 wrote:
wabashene wrote:I own a house in the middle of an urban "terrace" which is joined up row of 6 houses so the is no side access.
Gotcha. Is there no faucet along the back wall? Maybe the kitchen is there? Sometimes, it is much easier to knock or drill a wall opening and shoot a pipe out that way. Again just a thought.

i think its the fact we are metered here so every liter of water costs money too Dario - the system needs collected water to be affordable.

It is very easy to set this up - the water butt can go wherever you like, even hidden out the way, an aquarium/pond pump sits in the butt connected to the drip watering system pipes. you plug the pump to a timer and away you go it works perfectly - years ago i had a set up pumping water on timers to the plants - you can fertilise the butt too - its the basics of hydroponics.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  FrankP999 on Fri May 25, 2012 5:57 pm

wabashene wrote:Would that give enough head of pressure for Option 2?


I would worry about a micro-dripper clogging so a filter is probably a good idea. You probably will need a pump to overcome the filter's pressure drop.

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Poink88 on Fri May 25, 2012 6:41 pm

Marcus,

I assumed as much since I thought everyone (in any City worldwide...even developing countries) have metered water by now Wink

I guess being in TX for the past 20 years threw me off the rain barrel idea LOL...we hardly see rain here!!! Mad

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Fri May 25, 2012 7:22 pm

wabashene wrote:I could have an outside tap installed and set up a sprinkler system with a timer for instance but this is quite a hassle as all the water is at the front of the house so any pipework would have to come through the attic and down the back wall. ( i.e. not cheap and I would still need timers, hosing etc.)
TimR

Hey Tim,

Looks like you're getting good advice here. I know you said it may be prohibitively expensive to do so but please, DO NOT RUN PIPES OVER THE ATTIC. Being in real estate for the past 12 years, I am baffled everytime I see a hot water heater in the attic or any kind of water plumbing up there. A burst hot water heater or a leaky pipe and you're probably looking at tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Never mind the fact that if you added your own pipe to water your trees, your insurance company could be a pain in the you know what, should they decide to challenge whether they cover the damage.

I had a friend of mine who had a massive cistern (something like 600 gallons) and he didn't have a pump inside. Maybe it was the sheer size that provided the pressure he needed but we could easily water wherever we needed to no matter if we were 25feet from the cistern (at it's closest point) or 100 feet away (at it's furthest point). I will say he did not have a timer setup. I'm not sure how that would/could impact things.

I'll be hoping you find a plausible solution
Have a great weekend!!!!
Sam

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Poink88 on Fri May 25, 2012 7:53 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:Being in real estate for the past 12 years, I am baffled everytime I see a hot water heater in the attic or any kind of water plumbing up there. A burst hot water heater or a leaky pipe and you're probably looking at tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
Sam,

You are right and I am with you but the reason they are placed in the attic is Real Estate - premium locations that the water heater could be occupying is freed. Whether the trade off with potential water damage is justified or not is the question. Builders don't really care since that won't be their problem in the long run. All they care about is cost savings and square footage. It is the trend though and much as I hate it too...I have no option since all the new build that we checked are done this way.

I cringe of the thought of replacing the WH...taking the old one down is hard enough but bringing the replacement up is worse. I had a WH pop open on me once (due to calcium build up) and it was not pretty...to think that it was in my garage at that.

Poink88
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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  wabashene on Sat May 26, 2012 9:54 am

Thanks for the advice and info chaps.

I think the pond pump on a timer sounds good Marcus.

Do you think/know if an "all-in-a line snake system" would be better than branching bar system?


Probably will be handling 30 trees.

Thks

timR

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sat May 26, 2012 12:44 pm

Tim
If you have the means to collect rain water, you could install a on demand water pump, like they use in campers. They come either AC or DC, along with a battery timer and drip system will work. It will beach more reliable than any gravity or wick system.

Mitch

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  marcus watts on Mon May 28, 2012 7:36 am

wabashene wrote:Thanks for the advice and info chaps.

I think the pond pump on a timer sounds good Marcus.

Do you think/know if an "all-in-a line snake system" would be better than branching bar system?


Probably will be handling 30 trees.

Thks

timR

Hi Tim.
use a central line in the larger diameter pipe that is available -12mm ish, then T off with the smaller 6-8mm pipes. this will give more even pressure than a snake and looks much neater.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Tom on Mon May 28, 2012 10:13 am

I agree with Marcus - having smaller feeder pipes coming off a main works best for me (I have both).

In the UK you have three main choices, Hozelock, Gardena and B&Q own brand. In my experience the Gardena stuff, though more expensive, is by far the best. They have online catalogues etc to help plan the system. An inline filter/pressure regulator (in the catalogue, a few £) is a good idea whatever system you go with.

Re your earlier post, I'd have thought you'd have enough pressure to run micro-drippers but nothing that involves spraying. I use 2 micro-drippers per pot to get more even watering.

Tom

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  wabashene on Mon May 28, 2012 10:30 am

This is absolutely top info guys and I can go to a supplier now with a fair idea of what I'm after.

Much obliged.

TimR

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Re: Automatic watering system with no outside tap

Post  Guest on Mon May 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Hydro engineering 101 !!!!
...This forum is really something. I'm just watching, don't mind me. study

regards,
jun Smile

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