Automatic Plant Watering Device

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by general_sy, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. general_sy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 25, 2017
    2
    0
    Hello! I'm going on a vacation for a week and no one will be watering my plants. Rain is scarce in my area and the plants (10 plants) are on a pot placed beside the window.

    Since my plants have to be watered everyday, I plan to make a time-triggered watering can. Below is the probable set-up with the required materials.

    Materials:
    1. A pail filled with water
    2. Pump
    3. Hose
    4. Clock
    5. Batteries
    6. Microcontroller

    Set-Up:
    1. Microcontroller will be attached to the batteries, pump, and clock.
    2. Pump will be attached to the edge of the pail.
    3. Hose attached to the output edge of the pump will split into smaller arteries which will lead to each of the plants.
    4. Clock will act as a trigger. When a certain time is reached (e.g. 6AM), the microcontroller would send a signal to the pump to start pumping water.

    P.S.:
    Sorry for sounding a bit vague about the materials since I'm new to electronics and this is my first ever project. I desperately need a solution that would water my plants when I'm away. Any help on what materials and set-up I should specifically use will definitely be appreciated. Thank you very much!!!
     
  2. AnalogKid

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 1, 2013
    7,940
    2,242
    There are two approaches, water for a fixed amount of time on a fixed schedule, or water to maintain a certain soil moisture content on a fixed or variable schedule. Since it's only one week, the first approach should be adequate and is far easier. Also, gravity feed is much less complex than using a pump. Consider this:

    Lamp timer from Walmart
    Bucket in elevated location.
    Tubing
    Solenoid valve
    Manifold with 10 output tubes
    Each tube has an end cap with a small hole in it.

    The hole is sized so the correct amount of water come out over 1 hour. The Walmart timer controls an AC solenoid valve, like what is in a washing machine or dishwasher. No computers, no software. The valve opens for 1 hour in every 24 hours.

    ak
     
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  3. philba

    Active Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    959
    303
    Maybe a simpler way is to get a battery operated faucet timer.
    [​IMG]
    Hardware stores have lots of choices and they are pretty cheap. I don't know if it will work without pressure but I wouldn't be surprised if it does as it uses a gate valve that doesn't rely on pressure to keep it open.

    Though, it's not a fun as your original plan!
     
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  4. BR-549

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 22, 2013
    4,936
    1,346
    How about a clear plastic bubble around plant? Arranged to drain droplets to pot saucer. Should be alright for a week.
     
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  5. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    22,553
    6,623
    Buy the water timer in post #3.
    Buy a drip irrigation water pressure regulator, drip tubing, and drippers rated for the gallons/hour you want.
    Connect them together.
     
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  6. general_sy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 25, 2017
    2
    0
    Thanks for the reply guys! Unfortunately, I live in a high rise residence and I am at the 4th floor. I don't find it feasible to elevate my bucket. So what I plan to do now is to either use a pump with a timer connected to a manifold or to directly connect my faucet to a solenoid valve thru a hose that leads to the manifold - depending on the availability of the materials. I'll update you guys regarding the status. Thank you so much!!
     
  7. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    18,455
    5,677
    Irrigation timers with real time clock schedule and sprinkler valves are cheap, can be ran on a gravity system if needed.
    Max.
     
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  8. philba

    Active Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    959
    303
    Regular sprinkler valves have a fail safe spring that requires some pressure to keep open. Typically, they need 10-15 lbs of pressure to operate. Use the battery operated timers that have gate valves. The reason is that they only need to power the motor when opening or closing - a lot less draw than solenoids.
     
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  9. philba

    Active Member

    Aug 17, 2017
    959
    303
    Well, you should do it the way you want but you won't need much head for a gravity system - a couple of feet will be ok. A 6' ladder may be all you need.
     
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