I am looking for a water chiller, small, like for 10 gallons or so, so even smaller than 1/10HP.
Is there any possibility I could get it for less than $200, or is that just unrealistic? Any recommendations are appreciated.
Are you handy?
I think @TDubWilly talked about this (I’m high so maybe not) about buying one of those cheapatron apartment 'fridges you see on Craigslist for $50. Run a coil of PET tubing in a container full of water and make that a chiller. It would take a little MacGuyvering but think it would work.
I ended up just buying a 1/4 Horse chiller and calling it good. But they are pricey.
So, instead of the chiller, run tubing through basically a mini fridge? Interesting idea! Would for sure be cheaper, I think some kind of small reservoir in the fridge would probable best? Would probably need two pumps to run it. One in the bin and one in the fridge for return. Thanks for the idea! @myfriendis410
If a 5 gallon bucket fits in it you can just fill with water and stuff 100 feet of tubing in. You want a fairly slow rate of flow as plastic is not the best heat exchanger. Ideally stainless. But that would cost a lot more than plastic. A small submersible pump in your rez to push through nutrient solution and return to rez.
I am making 2 systems for my next grow, one 55 gallon large tote, and a separate system with 2x 17 gallon grow totes and 1- 27 gallon reservoir. I think I would need a chiller for each, so I think I should make one like you were explaining, and buy one. Compare the two and see if one works better. I appreciate the info and idea! @myfriendis410
I use a probe style aquarium chiller paired with an ink bird controller for my reservoir, it holds 8 gallons and hold my temps at 15.5 -16.2C. It may not fit your set up, but it does chill well below ambient.
I have been using a cheap eBay chiller I got for $80 and so far it has worked great! I would still like to try and build one, but have not had the time yet.