Filters For Drip Irrigation and Backyard Hydroponics

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Filters for hydroponics and drip irrigation are a top priority. Two such models that will be discussed here are inline filters and micron bag filters.

Although hydroponic and drip irrigation can be performed without filters, they will prevent dripper clogs and drastically lower maintenance. In addition, this allows for soluble powder fertilizer usage, which will lower plant food costs.

In addition to plant food particles, small amounts of dirt, peat moss and algae are all items that contribute to clogs.

As far as ongoing years are concerned, these filters make it much easier to irrigate in the following season after a winter because deposits build up the most during this time.

Inline Filters

In most cases, one is plenty and it can be inserted inline after the pump before any of the liquid reaches the drippers. One such type of filter which is very easy to use is a Y-filter. These cost around $20.

The Y-filter has male threads on both sides for which it can be used for most situations. One such method is to connect both bides to a PVC female to female thread for which male threaded PVC inserts can be added on both ends.

At this point the polybutylene can be attached from the pump to the fitting and on the other side, it is attached to the header line which will feed all the plants via drippers inserted into the header line(s).

Inline Y-filter located after the pump and before the drippers
Inline filter at bottom left of pic that is located after the pump and before the drippers

Cleaning the filter

Depending on usage, these filters can be cleaned once after each growing season, or the odd time during the season. To clean a filter, we can remove the bottom screw on cap, then pull out the filter for soaking and rinsing under running water.

Micron Mesh Bags

The mesh bags can be placed around the pump. The idea here is that the pump sucks in water that travels through the bag, leaving the smaller particles behind. These products are excellent for smaller pumps and come sized accordingly.

Micron mesh hydroponic and drip filter bag
Mesh filter is wrapped around the pump

Clogged Drippers

In the event that a dripper does clog, two options are to suck out debris and replacement. The former is easy as it is very obvious when the debris get sucks out.

Powder Fertilizers

As far as irrigation and hydroponics are concerned, powdered fertilizers are the most effective means of hydroponic food production.

Powdered fertilizer which does not clog drippers

When using powdered fertilizers, we can make stock liquid solutions and add them at the ideal rate to the feeding tank.

Alternatively, we can mix them a half hour or a night before in a small bucket, then, add them to our empty nutrient tank and top it up with plain water.

One example of mixing the powdered nutrient is to mix 500g of powder in a gallon bucket. We can use a small pump to agitate the solution and mix it well.

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