DIY Hydroponics Primer: 9 Authentic Tips To Know Before you Start

Glue PVC pipes


Before you begin any  Hydroponic Building project you should first review this DIY Hydroponics Building Primer to get a grasp of the techniques you will need to know. Some eager hydroponic system builders jump in too quickly before scanning this DIY Hydroponics Building Primer and find that they are not comfortable or capable of doing some parts of the build. You should feel comfortable doing all the types of construction techniques below before beginning your build. Those that are not can just Buy a premade system and go straight to the setup and Grow sections of the site.

DIY Hydroponics Prime, PVC Pipe Cutter
DIY Hydroponics Primer, PVC Pipe Cutter, Source



1. You need to Build a Table, Countertop, or Ledger

For most installations, you will need a table, counter, or ledger board to place your trays or buckets on so that they are higher than the reservoir. One of the easiest and most accessible ways of doing this is with concrete blocks and wood planks. 

Tables with block and wood planks
Make Shelves, Bleachers, and Tables with block and wood planks,


  • 4 – 8″ x 8″ x16″ concrete blocks
  • 2 – 2″ x 10″ x 8″ wood planks


  • Circular or hand saw to cut the planks to the proper length for your location.


  • Place the concrete blocks in your hydroponic system location.
  • Place another layer of block on top of each starter block.
  • Place the planks on top of the stacked blocks.
  • You can use Hardscaping or concrete Liquid nails to secure everything in place if you have children or pets or feel it necessary.
  • Add blocks or planks as needed to create the layout you need for your location and type of system.


Still not sure? Check this out 




2. Learn How To Measuring PVC Pipe

DIY Hydroponics montra. “Measure twice cut once!”


3. Review Options For Cutting PVC Pipe


Cutting PVC pipe with a PVC cutter or hand saw (Best)

If you have a little extra cash in the budget using a PVC cutter makes it easy peasy!




Cutting PVC pipe with a Chop or miter saw (Better)

Clamping down the pipe with either the ones provided on the saw or hand clamps makes cutting even safer either a Chop saw. 



More ways to Cut PVC pipe,

There are even more ways to cut PVC pipe 




4. Best DIY Hydroponics Practices for Clueing PVC Pipe

Pay close attention to the sanding of the fresh-cut edges. Sanding will allow the pipes and fittings to slip together a little easier and seat deeper and properly into fittings. It will also give the glue some extra grip!



Using a one-step glue/primer helps speed things up!

Fusion-single-step-glue, Source



5. The Details of Setting Directional PVC Pipe Fittings

Pay careful attention to the way the pipes were marked with a marker during the dry set phase. You don’t want your 90-degree fitting facing the wrong way!






7. Best DIY HydroponicsTips for Drilling Plastic PVC Pipe

Unless you have experience or an amazing grip, make sure you clamp down your PVC Pipe in a vise so it doesn’t move or roll.





8. How to Use a Hole Saw

This sample shows a hole saw cutting wood, but the principles with plastic are the same. If you feel you don’t have the wrist strength to drill straight away. Try running the drill backward after starting the pilot hole. It cuts slower with more control, especially if your hole saw has an aggressive or rough-cut set of teeth!




9. Best Reservoir DIY Hydroponics Tips

Measuring the drainpipe to go into a reservoir

Always allow for an air gap between the bottom of your nutrient water return drain pipe and the highest level of your nutrient water in the reservoir.

Return Drain Air gap
Return Drain Air gap,


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Picture of Bobby


HI! I'm Bobby, an entrepreneur, inventor, green builder and urban farmer. I've been a custom home builder since a kid and an avid gardener. The critters, bugs and climate outside our new home forced me to check out some new ideas in gardening. I found out about Hydroponics and have spent years learning the best techniques to build the best, most efficient, home hydroponics systems. I built one of the first ever, small scale, mobile hydroponic systems. Would you like to know how I did it?