Monday, January 17, 2011

ONE DAY BUILD - Auto Waterer

Last Saturday I put this together for my wife. She has a bunch of potted plants living out the winter in our basement. Unfortunately watering them gets to be a real pain, as we have to go upstairs for water, and dole it out to each plant individually.

I upcycled the guts of a battery powered shower cleaning sprayer, keeping just the pump. I added about $12.00 of plumming parts from the big box, and a #5 (non-recycleable) bucket. When I explained to the plumming guy at the big box what I was doing he even went out of the way to give a piece from the scrap bin - saving me about $6.00.

It's pretty simple right now, the float switch is wired inline with the motor and a wall wart. When you pour water into the bucket the float switch closes and the pump comes on. There's about 25 feet of 1/4 inch tubing coming off the output of the pump. Over every plant I drilled a small hole in the tubing. With the pump on, all the plants get a health squirt of water. When the pump empties the bucket the float switch turns it off. It will pump 3 gallons of water in about 5 minutes. So now, every couple days I carry a couple gallons of water down the stairs, dump them in the bucket, and forget about it. [Image] One of these day's I build a moisture sensor and an alarm so it will tell me when it's time to water - or even do it with an Arduino and an ethernet shield so it will send me a tweet - or have it's own web page with a web cam - or - or - or -

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