Putting Together a DWC System

I’m thinking about going with a DWC system for my 3rd generation grow. I looked for 4-station kits on Amazon but the reviews on them are absolutely awful.

How do I ensure that I’m going about getting top-notch components when I’m putting my components together? Are kits okay from other online suppliers/hydroponics stores? Do folks have preferred suppliers where stuff can be purchased without running into the issues people complain about on Amazon.


I would piece it together myself.


The one thing I would strongly advise you is to NOT use 5 gallon buckets in DWC. You will be watering every single day.

I use as large a tote as I can fit and use that. Currently an 18 gallon $10 tote from HD allows me to add water every 3 days and go a full 2 weeks between rez changes.

If you can’t naturally keep your nutes temps below 70 (and you won’t), buy a chiller. That’s the second most important bit of advice.


I assume that RDWC would be the best way to go.

Where do you find the fittings for I/O for your HD totes? I need to develop a parts list.

Do people usually go with rigid PVC, or will 1" vinyl lines get the job done?


There are a huge number of ways to do it. Let’s tag a couple of hydro guys for more info:

@peachfuzz @TDubWilly @Bogleg

You can do DWC with multiple different strains (different nutrient loads) or RDWC with similar nutrient requirements. The standing reservoir is typically left outside of the grow space to avoid heat. I bought my fittings at the local garden supply store. Best to use large diameter when you do; like 1 1/2 or 2".


I’m curious as well

I try to use ABS instead of PVC for sustainability and health reasons. I run PEX wherever possible, and a mixture of clear poly and black vinyl for water distribution.

I’ve alway cobbled kits together from locally purchased stuff and amazon items. The local hydro store has mostly DIY supplies, but offers a few newbie-friendly kits for people looking to get their roots wet.

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13 gal ez store totes

1-1/2” bulkhead fittings
1-1/2” adapters
1-1/2” 90 degree couplings
10-15’ 1/2” tube
1/2” tee fittings
6” mesh baskets
Small pond pump

Between Home Depot, supplyhouse.com and amazon you’ll be able to get everything you need for about 130$ or less

For an rdwc atleast, undercurrent will be 300$ for price of pump

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I used plumbing pvc from Home Depot it works perfect

What size area are you looking to build in?

I have a 5x5, but I’m only looking to grow 3 plants at a time or 4 at most.

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Do 4 I got a plan you can use

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Don’t worry about the pump I have run thru the middle cancel that piece out, but connect all the tanks together like this and have a back pipe just connecting the two rear tanks

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Oh and use black instead of white, that was a rookie mistake in my build

It looks clean as fk but promotes algae growth

ive been growing with dwc for 4 years now and i love it. i have 100 5gallon buckets.its a awsome way to grow.

If you use totes be sure they are the taller ones. As tall as 5 gal pail. As the shorter ones wont have enough depth for proper amount of water.

@PharmerBob where did you get those white pails ? Look like perfect size for my next setup. I’ll be going full lazy mode with 100% auto from nutes to ph I’ll have controllers.

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Usplastic or supplyhouse

More then likely usplastics tho

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As far as I’m aware, ABS plumbing pipe and fittings are always black.


I used plumbing pvc. I thought the black stuff was meant for furniture and isn’t rated for the glue to bond it (issues with the chemicals deteriorated the plastic)

Also shouldn’t you scuff the fine finish off the outside of that to get the glue to adhere better?

I could be wrong but I was told to use properly rated pvc and not the furniture grade material

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