Redhouse – System Test 1

I may have built up my own excitement, but the redhouse (geo-thermal “smart” greenhouse) is really coming together.  In theory, I can put my overgrown bathtub tomato plants tomorrow.  This makes me extremely excited.  On to the test.

This test will see if the pump, the piping in the beds and the irrigation system all work.  These are the questions this test was hopefully going to answer:

  • Will the pump have enough pressure to water both beds?
  • Will the holes drilled in the irrigation PVC spray acceptable water?
  • Are there water leaks?
  • How much can I water with a 7 gallon reservoir?

Most of the answers can be found in this video:

The short version of the test is:

  • Enough pressure? Yes
  • Holes? Acceptable
  • Leaks?  Yes.  Around the valves and in the pump box
  • 7 gallon enough?  Maybe not.

The reservoir is the biggest disappointment.  I quickly ran out of water in the 7 gallon barrel during this test.  Further, it fills up slower from the rain water store than I can put into the soil beds.  This will likely limit my watering to only a couple minutes at a time.  I will also have to be careful not to run out of rainwater.  If I need 14 gallons per day of water, I’ll only have 7 days in the store (two 55 gallon tanks).  It is possible to use my brothers two barrels.  That will give me a couple weeks and worse case I can fill up the tanks with house water.

Next test should be hooking up the controller.  We should be able to start getting some measurements to see the benefits of the geothermal system.

2 thoughts on “Redhouse – System Test 1”

  1. You may want to hook a water line up to your barrels and have it use a swamp cooler float valve to keep them filled to a certain minimum level, say at 10 or 15 gallons. That way they won’t run out of water, but the barrels will have plenty of capacity for more rain water. You would have to have it buried deep enough to avoid freezing in the winter, but your greenhouse will be above freezing all the time so it should be able to come up inside without danger.

    1. Excellent Idea. I ended up upgrading from my 7 gallon barrel to a 20 gallon. Fits in the same spot. It auto fills with a float valve that will turn off when full. I may have to do a video on the new rainwater system.

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