Build An Ebb & Flow Type Hydroponics Control System

Click here for a pdf of the instructions from our Ebb & Flow Control Kit.

Our Ebb & Flow Control Kit provides the basic components required to guide you in assembling a control system that will move nutrient-enhanced water from a reservoir into a control unit and back.  New for 2011, our kit now includes a 24 hour timer that allows you to set as many 15 minute watering times as you like.  The 2011 kit has easier instructions, a large project box that is easy to assemble and pre-drilled for all required openings, all the connectors and wire you need, and even a GFCI cord for safety. 

You can purchase our complete kit or purchase the individual components of your choosing.  Either way, the instructions for our Ebb & Flow Control Kit will guide you in building the control system shown below:

How it works

The control system uses gravity and two pumps to move water/nutrient into and out of the planters via a control container. Unlike a drip-type system, water floods the plant roots from the bottom and then is actively pumped out.  It’s essentially two systems working together:

Fill-Up System: fills the pots with water

For a set series of watering times, three float switches (two active and one backup) control the reservoir pump and keep the control unit full as water disperses via gravity to the pots. 

Drain-Out System: drains the water back out. 

The drain-out system is on at all non-watering times.  Two float switches pump water from the control container back into the reservoir as  gravity moves water out of the pots and into the control unit.

Ebb & Flow System Options

We are not hydroponics experts, so you’ll need to do some research on the internet to determine certain things about how you want to manage your ebb and flow hydroponics set-up, like:

  • pot arrangement
  • attaching fittings and tubing to the pots
  • correct ph levels
  • growing media to use
  • watering levels
  • watering cycle times
  • reservoir and pot sizes
  • how to “nest” pots so that you can remove plants without disassembling pots

We  are experts at showing you inexpensive ways to control water levels using pumps and our economical liquid level sensors.  Using our components or one of our aquahub Ebb & Flow Control Kits, you can build your control system for a fraction of the cost of ready-made control units.

For more general information about ebb and flow hydroponics try Googling “hydroponics controller unit assembly” without quotation marks  and looking at the first few natural search results – you should see some additional illustrations of ebb & flow systems like the one discussed here that will help with figuring out the factors above.

Click here for a pdf assembly instruction guide.  

PLEASE NOTE: This do-it-yourself project involves household 110 volt electricity, which, if mishandled, can cause shock or death by electrocution.  Do not attempt this project if you are not comfortable working with electricity.  Proceed with this project at your own risk. 

No system is 100% reliable. Float switches, relays and DIY set-ups can sometimes fail. Use common sense when sizing, building and maintaining your system and think about the consequences of a system failure before building it.