Designing a DIY RDWC with Built-in Chiller


I run a chiller. I seem to have more root issues than the average grower and the chiller gives me a little dominance over those issues


Same video I used for my RDWC build.


I like how he added all the unions in for ease of cleaning. Planned on it already, but the use of Uni-valves was a great idea that I hadn’t thought of before.


My uniseals leaked on the round buckets I used but other than that I loved the video.


I figured that might happen. My containers are square totes. Should be fine there


Here is my system. It is a bit different now since I moved it into the garage. Added more unions and another ball valve.


Just found and got caught up on your topic.


Yea I couldn’t remember if the video was posted in there somewhere.


As for the first video posted, yeah that guy is super long winded. After a few minutes i understood his system and saw there was an hour thirty minutes left of him talking about it. I bailed.

Ball valves to isolate sections for pump removal and unions to make it easy are great advice. Honestly thats as much as id take from his video, besides the specs of his pumps. His was 600 or 650gph, but he didnt have a large system either.

Im always hesitant when someone has teoubke explaining the small things and so i looked for mistakes and sure enough the system would be greatly improved by repiping it a little, looks like anyway, he has flow through one bucket and then dead heading into another one. No exit. With good flow i guess everything equals out due to a swirling action in his second bucket (left side plant) i only say that because thr plant doesnt seem to mind. But i cringe at that design and him wanting to spend 90 minutes telling me how to repeat it. All he had to do was come out the other bucket with a long radius 90 and then complete your loop. Change uour isolation valve position. I can see downsides. Esp for me in hot temps. I think the lack of thru flow would cause a hot spot in roots there in left bucket. Where i live thats huge.

Not to sound hoity toity. Just wanting to point out something. Id gladly help someone design something more efficient than that, im looking through a lot of videos taking a piece or two from each and oddly enough one of the bigger better rdwc systems i saw, the guy came back later and said if he had to do it all over again he would run coco. He said it would allow him to have more of a life. But i dont know if hes always overadjusting and reacting kinda deal or what. When i think about it, rdwc seems the best for indoor growing. Dwc is out for me bc lifting big plants in flower sounds like a fools errand. What do yall think?

Another thing ive read in several journals is rhe uniseals leak. So ill definitely be gluing in a bulkhead fitting.


@Vexer nice setup buddy im thinking of dojng something very similar in my 4.5x4.5 tent, rdwc inside and a pump bringing it to a big res outside the tent. For ease, like u saidz and also to help with temps, its hot hot. Hopefully avoid a chiller and drop in frozen tso liters in the res as needed.

Question - how do you like it, besides havinf square buckets is there anythinf else you would recommend? Why did you do 3 and not 4 buckets?


I thought 4 buckets would need too much space and would give me 4 square feet per plant and would make it hard for me to reach the back plants for daily maintenance and viewing. Plus the triangle positioning allows for me to grow a single plant if desired that is centered for a 1 plant scrog. I will definitely make other setups that can easily be switched out as long as I keep all the unions lined up. Being in California I have found not to grow in summer because it’s a pain for temp control without a chiller. Now that it isn’t getting above 70° anymore I barely have to add ice bottles anymore. I won’t use uniseals again, I’ll pay the price for a more reliable pipe to bucket connection. Rain drip filter is a must and I have added valves and unions since I made that video to help with taking it all apart and cleaning in between grows. And yes, having the ability to remove the water pump with a full reservoir is very important.


I didn’t have any problem with uniseals


I went a much simpler route. The pump is in the reservoir and the return lines are 2 inch pvc. Makes a positive flow with a passive return. And I have no issues with uni seals on square stuff. I used totes instead of buckets. Gives a larger volume of space and more options. I can run 2,4, or if I wanted I could do six plants all in the same setup. And the larger volume of water is very stable on ph and temperature.


@Vexer after running itdo you think there would have been room for the four?

Im really wanting to go rdwc next grow, when i buikd a sweet setup, and im a fan of big plants but im also a fan of getting a perpetual grow going, clone some mothers and keep the cycle going. For a little while at least, after that i think id prefer to slow down to three or four large plants at a time (all about variety right?)

So i can understand that. I also am thinking about totes like @DoobieNoobie bc i could cut several holes and choose my plant spacing and run a higher plamt count of smaller clones i would think… maybe even just build in large square totes, but have interchangable lids - some with multiole small holes for plant count, others with just one large hole per tote for behemoths. Right?


Of course there is room for 4. They say you need 4 square feet per plant so in a 16 square foot tent, 4 would be the max to run. Remember that you can still run 1 plant in the same space and do a scrog that will also fill the tent like @Grandaddy013 just did with his last 2 plants in a 4x4 scrog for each plant and he was very successful even with a small problem towards the end. Uniseals will work great on square buckets because the sides are flat, but don’t drill the holes too low or you could have issues. All of these guys have their own method and they all work out well so just take bits of pieces from all of us to find your own personal preference. My preference changes all the time as I see new methods and styles. I like having 3 plants because it is easier for me to maintain, but 2 plants can easily fill a 4x4 grow space. Just remember that more plants doesn’t always mean more bud. It’s all in how you work and train them.


Mine has 2 holes in each right now. Later I plan to add another hole in the center to do 2 larger plants. But I could also do six smaller plants using those same 3 holes in each.

There’s no right or wrong way to do it. I’ve seen dozens of setups between here and YouTube. And they all work. It’s just a matter of finding the one that works in your space.


Yeah im not looking for the perfect way just trying to envision the rotation and @DoobieNoobie posted a video rhat tackled it goood.

I like the idea of clones because it saves the seed cost - which as cool as it is havinf somethinf like this show up today

(im beyond excited!!) It gets mighty expensive.

I basically always want at least 3 plants nust for the variety, considering how long it is seed to harvest. Running a lot of little clones or a few big clones or a few big from seed, i just wanna grow. And as efficiently as i can.

Im so excited! Its an addiction, im trying to fight the urge to drop a few seeds, initially i said no, not until thr move but it may be three months before im moving in somewhere new with showing the house and closing. Plus im still a month from finishing. Thats a lot of veg time… im obviously addicted!


are you gonna join Jan 1 grow off @potandpans?


I don’t know why grower relate big tote reservoirs with BIG PLANTS. Less is more, you can fill a 4x8 with a plant in a 5gal bucket running 2.5 nutes and feed it exactly what it wants and needs “Would need to water every day” but that’s no problem for someone who looks in on their plant 10 times a day. :wink:
Having three or four plants sucking off the same nutes(PPM.mix) isn’t doing any or them a favor.
One plant with a 5-6 gals in res with zero PH problems and perfect PPM .
KISS Keep it simple smartguy


I don’t see where having a bigger reservoir would change anything, but I do see the size of the container the plant is in making a difference. My plant containers and my reservoir are the same size