9 Replies Latest reply on Nov 29, 2017 8:41 AM by joed

    Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling

    farmerbobbo

      Just getting my "yardsale" 28 cup TG set up awaiting the new cups/rockwool plugs from TG.

      Having some difficulty getting the TG properly level so that the flow is the same to all the cups, around the tower.

      Presently using 12" concrete squares but now going to build a small wood deck that should be more level.

      However, I noticed that if I had more water flow at the top I'd probably get better drips to all the cups.  The pump I'm now using is the DuraPump 396 GPH which spurts a water fountain at about 1" above the top tube, and then the water finds its lowest drip hole and drips to the cups. 

      It would seem that if I had more GPH water flow, the water would not run out of the top compartment as fast and there would be enough water accumulated up there so that each drip hole would have water to drip down.  Now, due to a very slight slant of the TG, the water flows to the lowest hole and there is not enough for the slightly higher holes.I've opened up the intake vent on the pump fully and even removed the filter to see if the water flow would increase.  Not enough.

      So, would a larger pump increase the top water accumulation to help with the slightly off-level problem?

      Thanks, Bob/Bradenton, FL

       

      PS:  For now, just going to grow a variety of Lettuce's, some Marigolds to protect them (?) from fruit rats and some flowers. 

        • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
          farmerbobbo

          Just one more on this, my TG system is the tall, 28 cup unit with the extension.  Overall, about 6' high with the wheeled stand.  This pump might have been fine for the lower head standard system but it might not be able to pump enough water up to the extended height.  The former owner did just fine with this existing set up.  My question was about trying to not be so picky about the exact leveling needed so that the drip covers all the cups, equally...Thanks, Bob

            • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
              joed

              Hi farmerbobbo, The height of a 28 port "extended" TG is close to max head (vertical pumping height) rating of your model pump. Keep your flow rate expectations low. :-/  As long as water is making it to all of the outermost drip holes in the bottom of the shower cap, you are OK. It has been my experience that the new model pump provided with the TG fair a bit better with extended towers (only because it has a slightly greater max head rating).

               

              -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

            • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
              joed

              Hi farmerbobbo, For starters, don't mess with the nutrient pump GPH. ;-) The very first thing I would do with a used TG nutrient pump is COMPLETELY disassemble and clean it. Complete disassembly includes removing the impeller assembly and removing any/all debris and film from all components. Also, I would check to ensure the flow rate knob on the front of the filter housing is set to the MAX position - and keep it there. The following TGTip may be helpful:

               

              JoeD's TGTip 0006

              NUTRIENT SOLUTION PUMP – MAINTENANCE & STORAGE

               

              Nutrient Solution Pump Maintenance

              (perform these steps every 30-60 days)

               

              Regularly clean the pump filter and impeller assembly to maintain optimal performance:

               

              Follow the directions that came with your pump, carefully disassemble it. Here are some generic instructions that should work for the majority of pumps supplied with the TG:

               

              •    Pull off the front cover of the unit.

              •    Clean the filter vents on the front of the unit.

              •    Clean the foam filter located behind the front cover.

              •    Twist the impeller cover counterclockwise to remove.

              •    Carefully remove the impeller assembly (Figure A: Example Impeller Assembly).

              •    Remove & rinse debris from the impeller cavity (use a small tube brush or 4 Q-Tips bunched together).

              •    Use your fingernail and/or an abrasive cleaning pad to carefully remove anything stuck to the impeller magnet.

               

              Figure A

               

              Important: Even the slightest amount of material (yes, even a thin film of algae) in the impeller cavity or on the surface of the impeller magnet can adversely affect flow rate.

               

              •    Reassemble the pump.

               

              A word of caution: The pump’s impeller shaft is made of ceramic (not metal) and will break if not handled carefully.

               

              Nutrient Solution Pump Storage

               

              •    Clean pump following steps above.

              •    Remove all water from inside the unit and allow it to dry before storing it.

              •    Store in a cool, dry place.

               

              FYI: In case you didn't get it with your used system, here is the Owner's Guide for your pump:

               

               

              -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
                  dniezby

                  joed Damn you. I don't know how to keep up with all the stuff I'm learning from you. 

                  • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
                    farmerbobbo

                    Thanks for the great input on the pump. 

                    1-I removed the filter and it had a lot of goo in it.  Cleaned it.  The impeller was fine.

                    2-Built a new wood deck for the TG to sit on.  Checked it back, forth and in 3D to make sure it was level from the beams up to the boards.  Perfect.

                    3-Started the TG back up and all the cups are now dripping perfectly. 

                     

                    Thanks, Bob/Bradenton, FL

                     

                    PS:  Are the net pots supposed to have their outer lip (the closest section of the lip to the tower, not the flanged part) jammed into the tower or is it sort of scrunched and not inside the tower.  Some of mine flipped into the tower and some didn't have enough space to do so but I could shove the lip in, if that's the way it is supposed to go. 

                     

                    PPS:  I do have the rolling cart.  Where I have the TG it will get morning sun but will be somewhat shaded later on in the day. (Bright but not direct).  I'll turn the cart every couple days to make sure all the plants are getting sun...

                      • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
                        joed

                        Hi farmerbobbo,

                         

                        "Are the net pots supposed to have their outer lip (the closest section of the lip to the tower, not the flanged part) jammed into the tower or is it sort of scrunched and not inside the tower."

                         

                        The net pot should "snap" into the TG growing port. Sometimes it requires a very firm push with both thumbs to get it seated properly. The "un-flanged" edge of the net pot should wind-up inside the growing port, just under the tower section above.

                         

                        -- [please mark this post as "Correct Answer" (under Actions menu) and/or "Helpful" when appropriate] -- Happy Growing! -JoeD towergarden level2concepts tgtech TG Tech

                    • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
                      dniezby

                      I'm guessing you're like me and don't have the dolly? In my case, I'm indoors and what I did to level my tower was, use standard wood shims.

                       


                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Pump vs Flow Rate vs TG Leveling
                        farmerbobbo

                        Just one further update.  As noted, the pump is working fine in all the net pots (extended TG) now.  I built the new "level" wood deck for it to sit on and the pump seems to be doing great.

                        I noticed that the shower cap where the rods go though, have some cracks where it looks like the wing nuts were tightened down too far.  My fault on that.  So there is probably some water leaking through the cracks, thereby cutting down on the water going to the drip holes.  So some 3M 5200 should repair them and it should be fine.

                        I received the new net pots (not needed but for spares) and the rock wool pods from TG.  Planted a couple different types of Lettuce for two rows and the rest with flowers.  Just some first time experiments with the "new to me" TG. Thanks again, Bob/Bradenton, FL