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    Thread: How to: Make a ring-main drip manifold.....

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      Post How to: Make a ring-main drip manifold.....

      I know of many people that think making a drip manifold to feed a number of plants from one pump is a difficult task.
      NFT tanks are regularly converted into Drip systems by simply sitting pots on the slope and making a custom manifold to feed each plant via a dripper.

      In this thread I will show step by step how easy it really is to make a Ring Main Drip Manifold. The reason its called a ring main is because the tubing runs in a square ring around the pots on the system using this technique allows for even output from all the drip stakes both near and far from the pump. The other simpler but less effective method is by just having a single line of tubing running from the pump down the middle of the pots with drippers branching off left and right, and a stopper at the end of the line; I would only reccomend making this sort of manifold for a small number of plants 1-5.

      Here I will be converting a Nutriculture Flo Gro 520 system from a single large drip ring to a pot system with dripper stakes. This system has a deep top tray sitting ontop of a 50L resevoir, the tray is designed to be filled with clay pebbles and 3 or 4" rockwool cubes planted into it fed via a large drip ring. I'm going to turn it into a pot and drip stake system to make it a little more versatile.

      The fittings and tools I have used in this How-To are as follows:
      • 16mm Rigid supply tubing
      • 16mm Flexable garden hose
      • 4mm Flexable drip line rubber tubing
      • 15mm Elbows and T-pieces
      • 4mm Insert nipples
      • Flood drip stakes
      • Zip/tag ties
      • 15mm Inline particle filter (optional)
      • MJ 500 (500 Litres per hour) water pump
      • Drill, Pipe cutters, Hole puch and measuring tape
      Heres how the original design looks:

      So well remove the old drip ring first and measure around the perimeter of the top tray where the pots will sit:

      Cut pieces of 15mm supply tubing to fit in a ring around the top tray of pots. 15mm tubing is the most popular size used for making drip manifolds. These pipe cutters are handy for cutting the tubing into sections.

      Now lets look at the fittings used for joining the 15mm tubing:
      Heres 15, 19 and 25mm elbows.

      And T-pieces:

      Stop ends 12 and 15mm:

      These are the Insert Nipples that the drippers will branch from, they come in 1, 2 and 3 outlets:

      Heres the 15mm tubing joined with elbows to make a basic Ring Main:

      Now drill 2 holes on each side round the edge of the tray to feed zip ties through to hold the ring main flat and sturdy on the system:

      Once you have ziptied all the tubing down to the system place the pots on the tray so you know where to punch holes for drip lines to branch from.
      These punches are avalable from nearly all hydro stores if you cant get one improvise something to use:

      Then simply punch a hole in every spot on the ring main where you want a dripper stake to branch from according to where each pot is:

      And then push an Insert Nipple into the hole till it locks in place:

      Now get your 4mm tubing and cut as many 12-14" ( The lengths of the dripper tubing should be cut all exactly the same and according to the distance from the main manifold tubing to the furthest away pot) lengths as you have pots/nipples for:

      Here are 3 of the most popular drippers:

      Push your choosen drip stakes onto the end of the 4mm tubing:

      Then push the other ends onto each nipple in the ring main:

      And Voila theres a drip manifold:

      Now cut the manifold where you want the hose for the pump to branch from leading into the main tank, then place a 15mm T-piece there to rejion the tube. Attach a length of 16mm garden hose to the T-piece and make a cut just where the hose enters the tank, this is where an inline particle filter will be placed to sieve the nutrient solution to avoid blocked drippers:

      Heres the Inline filter:

      Now just push the hose over each end of the Filter and push the end onto the MJ500 pump which will sit on the bottom of the resevoir:

      And heres the finished system with the pots and drippers:

      Nice and simple anyone can do it. Hope this thred helps someone construct a drip system of their own, or maybe you have an NFT tank and would like to make it into a pot and dripper system; any of the NFT systems out there can be converted.


      Last edited by chronical; 15th February 2006 at 10:50 PM.
      Any posts made by me are purely fictional in nature and by no means is anything I say to be taken seriously. I do not grow or condone the growing of anything not legal. Any and all pictures I post are pictures widley available on the internet and any discussions I am involved in are purely hypothetical or are commentary in nature and should not constitute advice or be considered advice to assist in activities that are deemed illegal.

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