Tag: Aeroponics

High Pressure Aeroponics – Proper Plumbing

No Comments

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.  

Blog Update: YouTube Channel Creation

No Comments

NEW Launch!

We are happy to announce have opened a YouTube Channel to Vlog. Hydro-Unlimited.Com Youtube Channel (Click here) We hope to offer our blogs with videos for better content but also post summaries for people that are more “visual” learners. You shall be seeing many “updates” to existing blog posts to include videos. But also videos being used from now on for many new blog posts!

CLICK HERE for New Hydro-Unlimited.Com Youtube Channel

Give our new channel “subscription” to keep up to date with new video releases! We hope it will be another AMAZING way for us to bring quality Hydroponic information to all our followers!

Different Types of Hydroponic System

No Comments


Hydroponics is the agricultural method of growing plants in the none traditional medium of water/air instead of soil. Against popular belief, hydroponics is an extremely old agricultural method but only became a household name in the last 20 or so years. There are many different types of systems that all have their advantages and disadvantages. Below I will be giving a short overview of each of the most common types.

Deepwater Culture Hydroponics

Deepwater Culture Hydroponic System Diagram

What is Deepwater Culture Hydroponics?

DWC Hydroponics is a method of growing where the roots of the plants are suspended in a well aerated nutrient solution. It is one of the simplest and most common type of hydroponics. It only has few parts including the root chamber, air pump, airline, airstone, and net pots. The pH and nutrient concentration has to be monitored regularly to ensure plant health. 


  • One of simplest especially for DYI
  • Cheap cost to get started
  • Very little can go wrong during grow


  • One of least efficient hydroponic system
  • One of the most high water usage of hydroponics

Drain & Flood Hydroponics

Drain & Flood Hydroponic System Diagram

What is Drain & Flood Hydroponics?

Drain & Flood Hydroponics does not have all the roots of the plants constantly suspended in nutrient solution. Instead there is a separate reservoir and root chamber where the aerated nutrient solution is pumped from the reservoir to “flood” the root chamber. Than the extra solution drains slowly back to the reservoir. This is all done on a set interval controlled by a timer.  


  • Less change of algae growth or diseases
  • Not many moving parts to break
  • Still very simple and cost effective for DIY system


  • Not much more efficient than DWC
  • Still high water usage
  • Pump has to be monitored to ensure it is operating or plants will die.

NFT Hydroponics

Nutrient Film Hydroponic System Diagram

NFT hydroponics is what I would call a mix of DWC and Drain & Flood. The nutrient solution is pumped into the root chamber on one side and drains out the other side circulating. The root system are exposed to more air than DWC but also has nutrient solution circulation like Drain & Flood. It is very popular for large scale operations of herbs and leafy greens.  


  • Great for large scale production
  • Allows for easier nutrient solution management 
  • Inexpensive initial costs to setup


  • If pump goes out, nutrient solution flow stops and crop failure if not noticed quickly enough
  • High water use

Low Pressure Aeroponics (LPA)

Low Pressure Aeroponic System Diagram

In general, Aeroponics is much different than other types of hydroponics. In aeroponics, the roots are suspended in air and misted with nutrient solution on a regular basis. Low pressure aeroponics the roots are heavily misted and many times reach down into the nutrient solution reservoir. In LPA, pumps are selected more for higher water volume than pressure. The mist is course and larger in size.  


  • Way more efficient than other types of hydroponics 
  • Still lower initial costs 
  • Way less complicated than High Pressure Aeroponics


  • Pump failures can lead to crop failure if not monitored regularly.
  • Higher water usable than High Pressure Aeroponics

High Pressure Aeroponics (HPA)

High Pressure Aeroponic System Diagram

High Pressure Aeroponics (HPA) has the roots completely suspended in the air. A very fine mist many times 100PSI in smaller system only discharges in the root chamber for few second very few minutes. It is by far the most efficient, complicated, and effective form of hydroponics. But systems are by far more complicated than other types of hydroponics. They include high pressure pumps, electric valves, accumulator tanks, pressure valves, and much more.


  • Most efficient with extremely low water and nutrient use
  • Best plant growth speed and crop yields of any form of Hydroponics. 
  • Many systems can continue to run without power or backup power for periods of time


  • Most costly system
  • Most complicated to setup and run
  • Pump failures can lead to crop failures within hours if not address quickly

Check out our new blog post Overview of High Pressure Aeroponics (Click here). We are creating a section dedicated to HPA due to it is our specialty. 


Aquaponics Hydroponic System Diagram

Aquaponics is many times similar to NFT where the nutrient solution circulates between reservoir and root chamber. But the big difference is the nutrient source. In Aquaponics, it is a balanced mini-ecosystem with fish instead of adding nutrients. The fish create waste that dissolves in the water for the plants to feed off. Many larger scale Aquaponics operations are farming both the plants grown and the fish being used. 


  • Extremely environmental form of agriculture.
  • Low need for additional chemical products to maintain nutrient solution.
  • Can grow plants and fish at the same time.


  • Complicated system and higher costs with similar yield results as other systems
  • Balancing the system to be most efficient takes a lot of knowledge of both plants, aquaponics, and fish care. 

Partner Blogs

New way we want to benefit our readers is going to be adding links to other QUALITY blogs with additional information on our subjects. Check them out below as we add them to articles. 


No Comments

Welcome to my new/old blog about hydroponics Hydro-Unlimited. I am, Chris, a hydroponics expert through both experience and education. I will be writing many different types of articles that have to do with hydroponics, green houses, and particularly high pressure aeroponics. I started this website in 2007 which bloomed into a success Hydroponics blog and online store. I scaled back to follow my career in landscape design but recently wanted to branch back out. I hope everyone will enjoy and learn truly the best growing method available for feeding our starving world.

Hydroponics is basically the method of growing plants in a water or mist media instead of traditional soil medium. Hydroponics has proven grow plants more efficiently and quickly than traditional agriculture. There are many different types of hydroponics including Deepwater Culture (DWC), Drain & Flood, Aeroponics (Low & High Pressure), and few others. They all have their “Pro’s” and “Con’s.”

I hope you will come back to start reading my articles I will be writing on the many different subjects. Also if you are an expert yourself, please Contact Us if you are interested in writing a guest article for the blog!