Month: February 2022

High Pressure Aeroponics – Proper Plumbing

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Laying Proper Pipe Will Provide Success!

High Pressure Aeroponics needs reliable piping that can handle its needs OR you are risking disaster! If a system leaks it can create a massive mess, not work properly, and WORSE your plants will suffer or even DIE! This is why you must properly choose all the pipelines AND proper fittings. This should be done in the design phase of your DIY project. Also check out our post on Nutrient Solution’s Worse Enemy! LIGHT.  

Pipe / Tube

The pipe you select will have the purpose of transporting your nutrient solution throughout your system. It will start by up-taking it from the nutrient reservoir to transport it to the misting nozzles for your plant roots. 

Design Concerns

Most important thing to think about is design of your system. Like a car, the plumbing of your system needs to be selected based on your design. You can always “overbuild” the plumbing but that can quickly get costly and serve no purpose.

  • What pressure are you running your system at? Different pipe will be “rated” for different pressure ranges. I ALWAYS say it is best to be at least 30% or more UNDER the maximum pressure range of your piping. This is in case there are any weak spots or just like anything, the pipe can slightly weaken over time. 
  • Budget as money is KING! Everyone would love just to overbuild or make the “best” system possible. But blowing a budget on elements like piping you will never receive any benefit from is just a Waste of funds!
  • Ease of use and/or installation: Different types of piping we discuss below will have advantages and disadvantages. One of the big ones are ease of installation. A pipe that bends easily or has simple fittings can be a huge benefit of simplication. 

Types of Pipe For HPA

There are many different options, but you will see many of the “major” families of pipe. I go over the different major types below where they all have different advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes using multiple different types maybe the best solution for your hydroponic system. Many times systems will use one type of pipe for simplicity but sometimes other systems will be designed to use 2 or more types to take advantage of their strengths in different parts of the hydroponic system. Example of this commonly seen is Poly tubing for most of the hydroponic system with Stainless Steel being used for the mist nozzle manifolds inside the root chamber only.  

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Pipe

Stainless steel is going to be your most expensive option. It has many advantages including cleanliness, strength for high pressure, and more. But it does have the disadvantages of being harder to work with due to being rigid and biggest being high cost. You will see it mainly used in commercial High Pressure Aeroponic systems especially as mist nozzle manifolds inside the root chambers. It is not popular for smaller residential systems. For most I would discourage its use mainly due to high cost.

Poly Types:

Black Food Grade Poly Tube

Different polymer “Poly” tubes are very popular in all hydroponic systems. They are easy to work with, lower cost, and come in many different varieties. Honestly this is my tubing of choose as it has very few disadvantages.

  • Ease of Use: This tubing is easy to cut and has a massive amounts of “push to connect” fittings to choose from. It also easy bends instead of being rigid, so it does not require nearly as many fittings as rigid types. Finally it can be cut with both special cutters for nice clean cuts or as simple as a box cutter. No need for special grinders, saws, or etc. 
  • Low Cost: This option is low cost comparative to stainless steel as it generally only costs couple cents per foot. 
  • Varieties: It comes in “endless” varieties as it is used in so many different applications from soda machines, engines, water systems, and so much more. You can easily find the needed dark color, different sizes, and pressure ratings to match your design.



Black PVC Pipe

Let’s just get this one out of the way. Even though you will see it used for Low Pressure Aeroponics and in some DIY projects. PVC pipe is a HORRIBLE idea and should NEVER be used. Let me say that again! DO NOT USE PVC piping for High Pressure Aeroponics. 

The reasons PVC is a “No Go” for High Pressure Aeroponics:

  • Many types do not hold high pressure and will burst. Only Schedule 40 or higher have decent pressure ratings. 
  • It has the disadvantage of being rigid which is more difficult for installation requiring more fittings.
  • Fittings generally are glued so unchangeable once installed. 

Copper Pipe

Copper Pipe

Copper pipe is many times the “pipe of choose” you will see plumbing many houses and/or buildings. It is rigid and holds pressure very well like Stainless Steel we talked about earlier. But let’s say it together! DO NOT USE COPPER PIPE IN A HYDROPONIC SYSTEM!!


  • Copper pipe is very expensive and why it is targeted by thieves in abandoned homes, construction sites, and etc. 
  • Copper pipe LEECHES heavy metals when it is regularly exposed to nutrient solution! This is NOT safe!!!
  • It will also degrade overtime in acidity of nutrient solution. This is a common known issue for copper pipe plumbing systems in buildings.
  • It is very difficult to install as it requires very expensive fittings and/or fittings that require “sweating” them in place. This is basically melting them in place for people that are do not know plumbing terms.

So Let me make it has clear as possible. DO NOT USE COPPER PIPE!!  

What to Avoid in General:

  •  Coloration: You should use black or dark colored tubing. White or clear tubing will allow light to reach your nutrient solution which creates issues. See our article on Nutrient Solution’s Worst Enemy: Light for more information.
  • Overspending: WATCH YOUR BUDGET as purchasing high-end tubing that holds 10X the pressure rating is a waste when other upgrades such as additional filters, better timers, and etc would provide an actual benefit to your system. 
  • Food Grade ONLY: Ensure ALL your tubing and plumbing is food grade. You do not want bad chemicals being picked up by your plants that may be passed to you on consumption. This includes heavy metals!

In Conclusion:

Yes! Lighting system or fancy nutrient dosing systems are important and always a “fun” subject to learn about. But you CANNOT forget the importance of the basic infrastructure of your hydroponic system. I always recommend everyone doing very good research on what they are using as a broken pipe, leeching heavy metals, and more issues can all be caused by a simple poor selection of piping. These issues with plumbing are very easy to avoid.

NEXT we will discuss FITTINGS which are the unions of all the plumbing. Fittings also are very important and definitely overlooked many times. They are part of the “backbone” of all hydroponic systems.