5gal, dwc bucket insulation

Drop That Sound

Well-Known Member
Ya that's what was up! The secret was to just spiral long strips of foam (or great stuff spray) around the bucket and save material.

Reflectix literally has no r-value without at least a 1 inch air gap. Having a solid layer of foam in between it and the bucket completely negates the reflectix's thermal value (besides the mylar reflextion which is still very beneficial), but at the same time is\was way better anyway than just bubble wrap. It sure looks nice though, and fun to work with.

I went crazy with the whole bubble wrap at one point. My entire grow lair is still insulated with it (and 1 inch foam + the gap), and I remember spending untold amounts on those rolls.

I figured it would help with flir cameras seeing HPSs most of all, but I've still never tested with one.

I could have probably 2 part spray foamed instead, but I can't even seem to handle cans of great stuff.. without it being stuck to my fingers for 4 weeks+.
 

rkymtnman

Well-Known Member
Ya that's what was up! The secret was to just spiral long strips of foam (or great stuff spray) around the bucket and save material.

Reflectix literally has no r-value without at least a 1 inch air gap. Having a solid layer of foam in between it and the bucket completely negates the reflectix's thermal value (besides the mylar reflextion which is still very beneficial), but at the same time is\was way better anyway than just bubble wrap. It sure looks nice though, and fun to work with.

I went crazy with the whole bubble wrap at one point. My entire grow lair is still insulated with it (and 1 inch foam + the gap), and I remember spending untold amounts on those rolls.

I figured it would help with flir cameras seeing HPSs most of all, but I've still never tested with one.

I could have probably 2 part spray foamed instead, but I can't even seem to handle cans of great stuff.. without it being stuck to my fingers for 4 weeks+.
i think i still have little yellow bits all over my garage from that! lol.
 

calvin.m16

Well-Known Member
Just get a chiller if you plan to stick with hydroponic growing. Anything else is just not going to be as good or consistent.
 

GBAUTO

Well-Known Member
My 1/4 hp chiller that runs my 4-17 gal tote rdwc system works with about 40 gallons total volume and I barely notice a difference on my power bill.
Well worth the investment if you want to run hydro.
 

calvin.m16

Well-Known Member
I keep hearing of high power bills, any truth to that?
Sometimes doing it right costs ya in more ways than one. If you can't afford it you shouldn't be growing Hydro and look into Coco. Much more budget friendly and economical.. If you want to shock your roots with ice packs and constantly have to fiddle with your system multiple times a day go for it.

Fine example
My 1/4 hp chiller that runs my 4-17 gal tote rdwc system works with about 40 gallons total volume and I barely notice a difference on my power bill.
Well worth the investment if you want to run hydro.
Looking up the Active Aqua 1/4 HP chiller it's around $500 shipped. It pulls 460 watts while in use, where this now would be an interesting time to talk about insulating containers because it'd increase your efficiency of your chiller!

Lets say your chiller runs 12 hours per/day that's $20/month or 60 cents a day. I would pay 60 cents a day to insure that my water is at a perfectly consistent cool temperature vs screwing with it constantly and having swings in temperature.
1642195343623.png

If you place the chiller outside of the grow space (ideally) then plumb it into the room they sometimes will barely even cycle.. Then insulating the chilled containers themselves would be even more progress towards true efficiency and performance.

p.s Always slightly oversize your chiller to prevent them from constantly running. If they recommend 1/10th horsepower get a 1/4 horsepower so on..
 
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GBAUTO

Well-Known Member
If you place the chiller outside of the grow space (ideally) then plumb it into the room they sometimes will barely even cycle.. Then insulating the chilled containers themselves would be even more progress towards true efficiency and performance.

p.s Always slightly oversize your chiller to prevent them from constantly running. If they recommend 1/10th horsepower get a 1/4 horsepower so on..
I insulated the totes with bubble film. That prevents sweating on the outside of the totes.
After the system reaches its set-point(66 in my case) and the system stabilizes, the chiller will operate about every 15 minutes for about 3 minutes.
The chiller just monitors temps until it exceeds my preset offset(2 deg, in my case) and then the compressor will come on.
The only other constant power draw associated with the chiller is the recirc pump(65w).
 

Vasdef

Member
Sometimes doing it right costs ya in more ways than one. If you can't afford it you shouldn't be growing Hydro and look into Coco. Much more budget friendly and economical.. If you want to shock your roots with ice packs and constantly have to fiddle with your system multiple times a day go for it.

Fine example


Looking up the Active Aqua 1/4 HP chiller it's around $500 shipped. It pulls 460 watts while in use, where this now would be an interesting time to talk about insulating containers because it'd increase your efficiency of your chiller!

Lets say your chiller runs 12 hours per/day that's $20/month or 60 cents a day. I would pay 60 cents a day to insure that my water is at a perfectly consistent cool temperature vs screwing with it constantly and having swings in temperature.
View attachment 5067081

If you place the chiller outside of the grow space (ideally) then plumb it into the room they sometimes will barely even cycle.. Then insulating the chilled containers themselves would be even more progress towards true efficiency and performance.

p.s Always slightly oversize your chiller to prevent them from constantly running. If they recommend 1/10th horsepower get a 1/4 horsepower so on..
Would this chiller be too much for 1 DWC bucket?
 

Lenin1917

Well-Known Member
For a single bucket you can use a small thermoelectric aquarium chiller. I remember just starting and trying to do hydro. Had all the same problems. It’s really not worth the trouble unless you have the money to do it right.
 

GBAUTO

Well-Known Member
For a single bucket you can use a small thermoelectric aquarium chiller. I remember just starting and trying to do hydro. Had all the same problems. It’s really not worth the trouble unless you have the money to do it right.
Agreed.
My odyssey with hydro has shown me that simple fact. Having pretty tight controls on the system is critical.
Another option I have used that gave me almost the same yield as my hydro runs was a simple drain-to-waste with 3 gal. coco/perlite.
That was as idiot-proof a system that I've ever encountered.
 

Lenin1917

Well-Known Member
I’ve been in soil the past few runs now. It’s great, might give hempy buckets with coco/perlite a shot in the near future though. Good soils expensive on Amazon and only getting higher with the increasing gas prices.
 

Kdoggy

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know if, and where they sell styrofoam insulation sleeves that a 5gal bucket would fit into. I have looked and I can't find it. Do they even make these? And if not, WHY? seems like such a cheap simple, easy idea. Kinda like those cheap coolers you can get for 1.99 at any gas station. I'm thinking one designed specifically for dwc buckets. If they somehow don't make them, and anyone has the financial backing to produce them, you can put me on the list for about 30 of them.
You can also do this or a 40qt cooler. When you want to change water just shop vac it out and add new water.
 

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