Learn to make your own homemade hydroponics system to grow virtually any plant, vegetable and fruit without soil.
Let's take a look at some of the facts that make hydroponics and PVC pipe tubes have a happy marriage.
Back in the day, when hydroponics were still rather new and something only experts handled, they used all sorts of tough materials for the piping part, ranging from alloys to heavy titanium fittings and containers. Not only were those types of materials extremely hard to manage due to their lack of flexibility and their weight, they were also very expensive to produce.
When PVC hydroponics emerged on the market, it started rolling a snowball that is still growing today. Let's take a look at some of the facts that make hydroponics and PVC pipe tubes have a happy marriage.
PVC is easier to produce and is basically the new standard in piping today. Everything, from sanitation pipes to ducts is going towards being made in PVC and it is estimated that today, 70% of all pipework in the United States is based on PVC. So it's only natural that PVC hydroponics have become increasingly popular, due to the fact that their retail price has lowered at the same rate at the piping material's cost.
For a plastic, PVC is extremely durable and sturdy, which makes it a perfect material to use in the greenhouse jungle. PVC pipes in a hydroponic system take through hundreds of gallons of water but there's little harm done to the pipes themselves, even after long years of usage. Last but not least, PVC, despite being a thermoplastic, is resistant to heat. So if you have plants that require a lot of heat or if your HID lights are cranking up the thermometer, PVC should hold out better than many other materials. Time-resistance, heat-resistance and corrosion-resistance…what else could you possible need?
You can basically do whatever you want with a PVC pipe in terms of flexibility. Bend it at an angle, adjust it however you want or even go as far as making a circular PVC pipe hydroponic garden. This might not be important for all systems, but if you want to save up some space, then you'll definitely need some carefully set up PVC piping. This becomes even more important with multi-flow systems that use a lot of tubes and pipes.
Despite the fact that PVC is a high-mass material, it's still light weight in comparison to most of the other stuff that's used as an alternative in piping. This has two benefits for you, as the user: first of all, you get the components at a cheaper price, because having a light weight also allows PVC to be transported cheaper. Secondly, hydroponics and PVC pipe tubes can be moved around and handled a lot easier, so if you're building your own system or setting it up from a kit, you'll always prefer PVC to anything else.
Admittedly, there are still some problems regarding PVC. If melted PVC can be toxic and many gardeners fear that the heat from their greenhouses could melt the plastic and kill their plants or even cause harm to them. This is virtually impossible, because it takes a lot of heat to melt PVC, but it's still an issue that concerns people. Even with the environmental and toxicity problems surrounding it, PVC is probably the most widely used material in hydroponics and there's no reason to believe this will stop in the near future.