Instructables
Picture of Toilet Powered Deodorant Zen Garden
I wanted to use the water pressure in a toilet basin to power a tiny waterfall effect in a zen garden that could grow plants with minimal effort. Since I love plants, but I hate maintenance, this project removes the need to regularly water your garden so long as you regularly flush the toilet. :) If you use plants with a natural perfume, you also eliminate the need for deodorant products for the bathroom, which come in all sorts of nasty formats like aerosol cans and disposable plastic diffusers. This project can be modified to suit your needs or your available materials.



If you enjoy this project, please remember to vote for me for the Epilog Challenge. Thank you!

Here are the materials you will need:

- rectangular planting pot
- rocks for drainage
- plastic tubing
- plants
- decorative rocks
- shallow plastic dish
- aquarium rocks (optional)
- drill
- glue gun
- waterproof (kitchen/bathroom) silicone

When selecting your tubing, you will want to chose a size that will fit snuggly over the tube that supplies the water in your toilet basin.

Step 1: Prepare the container

Picture of Prepare the container
IMG_2441.JPG
The concept of this self watering garden is simple. When you flush the toilet, water is added to the container. When a certain amount of water has filed the container, there is an overflow tube which redirects all further water back into the toilet basin. To create this overflow tube, simply drill a hole 1/2 way up the side of the planter with a drill, insert your tube, and seal around the tube with waterproof silicone. Allow 24 hours for the silicone to completely dry and cure. After the 24 hours, test that your overflow tube is properly sealed by running low-pressure tap water into your planter and watch the water overflow from your tube to the sink. If there are no leaks, move on to the next step.
 
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calikoala4 years ago
the water line that normally fills the bowl is redirected to water the plant, but mine has a very high rate of flow, how are you controlling it to get a trickle and not a blasting stream!
It looks like he connected directly to the hose that fills the toilet tank. He must not have high pressure going in. Those of us that have high pressure will probably have to find a way to divert only some of the water or this will fall apart. The pressure entering both of my toilet tanks would cause the tube to blast right out of the rocks of the water and spray the water all over the bathroom.

Some sort of diverter might work for us.

Great 'ible.
adamdhall2 years ago
AWESOME!!!! I modified this design and will post pictures... Thank you for the creativity and dedication to Instructables! Also, we have a cabinet above our toilet so I am installing a under cabinet grow light for a small flowerbed!
ramospk2 years ago
Oh, and make sure you leave enough extra plastic tubing tucked behind the basin.

Occasionally, we need to open up the basin to do some work, and when you do that, you don't want to have to pull apart the whole assembly!
ramospk2 years ago
The whole connection into the toilet mechanism is not clear. You missed a couple of pictures to better understand this part of the process. (Or did I miss them?)

Also, if the water comes to the waterfall and into the plastic container, how does it get to the plants roots? Is the plastic container supposed to overflow into the clay pot?
timntek3 years ago
What're the plants
I looked at your Instructable again , and it it such a beautiful creation-just wondering...do the plants end up getting over watered?
dlfynrdr5 years ago
I love this idea, I really do, so don't take this the wrong way. What about light? Most bathrooms, including mine, are usually the darkest room in the house. that's not a good environment for most plants, especially herbs
that was my thought too. How well do your plants do, or is there a large window in your bathroom. I love this idea, and would like to incorporate it into my low-light room. Also, what plants would be the best for this?
Ferns are the best to grow in low light areas. The humidity of bathroom is also gr8 for the growth. I have a fern in my bathroom and it grows fine. having a new shoot every week. I am planning to incorporate this project with my fernie! For more information see Here.
RelientOwl4 years ago
Forgive me,but how then does the water pump upwards toward the fountain "thing"
 
Qcks4 years ago
This is an awesome idea. As a side note, flowing water tends to cut unpleasant odors all by it's self, so allowing water to flow in the open would eliminate some of the need for deodorizing spray.

After that, the water flow would also enhance the smell of any herb in the planter... so this is a very effective design.
very nice.
Now this-is kooooooooooooo!
stormys5 years ago
This project is GRRRREAT!
This is GREAT.
roddur5 years ago
hi, i so much like ur project. i'm going to do it. i've a question though, is the overflow pipe connected to the plastic pot? if not then when overflow, isn't there a chance that the soil will wash away, into the basin through the pipe?
Great instructable! I think the overflow pipe is low in the planter, in the rock-filled area below the growing medium. It probably won't get anything but water in it. You could always put a layer of weed cloth between the potting mix and the rocks/hose, then use a wick down through it to bring moisture up to the plants.
This is such a brilliantly novel idea! Whatever made you think of this in the first place?
cwhelan745 years ago
Awesomer! You could make a water-mill version for the cottage... stick a hamster inside and call it Hammy.