Dwc empty and refill

Hey hey hey ILGM,

Need some expert advice on DWC buckets, I have made my own from 20l (5 Gallon) black food grade buckets.

My issue was once scrogged and the buckets in place how do a I empty the thing?

I tried to install a tap at the bottom then raise it so i can let in sink into a reservoir then just refill through the trop of the hydro clay pellets?

ANY OTHER idea’s lol on how I fill and empty my buckets?

Thanks Growmie’s!

Which is why a better option would be to do an rdwc grow.
There are a lot of folks that may can help. I’m doing rdwc because I had to think about all the different issues of what all is gonna have to be done to make it till the end. Both my girls are now drinking 3.5 gal. a day Not sure what I would have done had I stuck to my original plan to do an dwc grow.
Maybe @ItsPat or @BobbyDigital can shed some light on your situation.

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Awesome, thanks for the response and the tag’s. I think the frequent watering with coco beforei set up automatic halo’s might drain me as well as self draining saucers!

I will post shortly (go to my shed) the basic bucket I had created to give a better grasp of what I was going for.

I may have wasted a bucket or two lol, but if a RDWC is the easier option, just a lil guidance on how it works and how to build would be great. I know I can look online but I find the information in this forum less contradicting lol and you can always dig deeper if you don’t understand.

This has served me very well…



You’ll see a lot of people with pipes linking the whole area together. Then a reservoir would be the largest and you can fill and check water levels from there without lifting plants.

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So this is what I have got so far, two buckets with net pots fitted (20L with 5" net pots) and I put in a small vinyl pipe in each with a nice fat airstone and decent air pump (apparently).

I thought a tap would be a good idea, I am not too sure of this anymore…

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It’s not a wrong idea, just different.

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I assume by siphoning the reservoir is how you empty the buckets for a fresh top up of nutrients?

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Correct. That’s one way to do it.

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Definitely was off the top of my head thinking, maybe i can replace these taps with pipes that join into a T and straight into the reservoir?

Hmm ok, I might have to rethink this then… I really just don’t want to be watering and emptying run off several times a day when I can make this a vweekly/ fortnightly job.

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Ok cool, I am gonna give this a watch through and maybe salvage my buckets!

Thanks man, if this has worked for you then lets give her a rip!

I use a small water pump to drain my buckets. I prefer the dwc to the rdwc system I have. Its easy to setup and tear down as needed no water dripping here or there. I had some issues when I first started in those 5 gallon buckets. I got expensive food grade clear and sprayed them down flat black, but the ph would swing so much in flower. Saw tons of people switch to the HDX yellow top totes and went that way after my first grow. I find the 12 gallon box with a 3" net pot produces a great result, this holds between 6-7 gallons of water before it gets to touching the net pot. This gives me 2-4 days to get to watering in mid flower. I might try an 18 gallon bucket soon, which should make things more stable for my girls.

I dont usually change the water till I’m flushing at the end, just if I have a girl in trouble.


I was actually JUST about to pose the question… If I just pop a water pump in the two buckets, they can just pump out the water when its refill time right? Saves taps, or any hassle…

i wanted to have my two buckets with different nutes for different plants so I can really learn what each plant likes over time.

Well I may try with the two buckets I have create a RWDC and get a tub for the resevoir, then just do what you said and use a water pump to pump out the buckets when its change time.

Awsome @ItsPat @Covertgrower you hve given my some ideas to think of! Awesome legends!

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Personally I switch the buckets out now. These totes are great. And when I’m not growing I use them to store everything but the big light.

But I usually start a new girl in now of these old ice cream pails. Even unpainted for the first couple weeks these aren’t bad starting buckets. This girl will actually flower in this one as im off schedule right now. Im curious as to how much and of what quality I can pull off in a small bucket. With covid on not like I got much else to do right now lol


So apparently in Melbourne Aus, during the pandemic finding the right size totes with a workable lid has been amazingly silly and hard… I was going to use a tote I have lying around for my collection bucket so to speak…
Below is a child paint drawing of what i hope may work? Opinions please if this will work (if you an understand it lol a 6 year old could do better) I wil be using a 20L (5 Gallon) bucket for mine so considerably larger.

My next grow, I will be attaching my scrog to my lid so I can raise and lower my lid while raising and lowering the scrog at the same time. That way, it all stays together.


Definitely interested to see this one up and running,make sure to post!

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Will do but for now, I have to make it through this.


Ya sometimes we have to use whats on hand, but if you find something similar down there I would look into it.

I would adjust to the more common rdwc setup

There are hundreds of photos online and in the site of similar setups. I would also have a couple of air stones in my res just to try and keep anything from building up there. Have a little valve on the output of the pump so you can send it to drain when you want to flush.


Over 50% of the time I don’t even open the tent when servicing the reservoirs, I normally do it during their night
DWC use a tote for the plant, RDWC use the tote as a res.

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