Self Watering Bin




Introduction: Self Watering Bin


Everyone knows the problem. You come back from vacation but when you arrive at home you already see it.
All your plants are withered. The only solution you know is to call your neighbours for help before you leave on vacation but who has the time to do that when you're packing all your bags? With our solution you'll never have problems with withered plants. Our solution will help you to keep all your plants healthy all vacation long!

With this instructable we are going to show you how to make an easy self-watering bin for multiple plants.
It's fun to do and it does not take a lot of timeWe made this in approximately 12 hours. We will show you a self-watering bin with some extra features either you can chose if you want to use them or if you just want to have a quick solution for your withered plants!

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Step 1: Principle

This product makes use of the principle of wicking.
The plants that you prepare need to have a wick inside the pot.
This wick can be as simple as a nylon rope hanging out of the pot.
Via the principle of capillarity the wick will suck up water from the reservoir,
and transport it up into the soil in the pot. This way the soil will stay at the same
level of humidity, even though the plant is using up the water in the soil.
IMPORTANT: in order for this to work, you need to water your plants manually the first time!

Step 2: Buy All the Materials

Buy all the materials:

- 1 bin (you can choose the size, depends on how many plants you have)
- wooden planks (the number of planks also depends on how many plants you have, you'll need wood to make several shelves)
- 1 wooden plate (size also depends on the number of plants you have)
- 1 sealing ring
- 4 turnable wheels
- 1 male tube connector
- rope (nylon is the best material to conduct water)
- several screws
- sandpaper

Machines you'll need:

- a drill
- a saw
- a chisel
- a screwdriver

Step 3: Making the Bin

The bin:

First thing to do is to make the bin nice and clear of dirt.
After that you saw some plates into small wooden bars to make shelves.
Next you place the shelves by screwing some wooden planks to the wall of the bin.
When you've placed the shelves you can measure the size of the planks were the plants will come on.
Then you actually make the plank by sawing a nice square and scouring some nice edges on the sides to fit the plank in the bin.
To make the holes you draw a pattern on the plank and drill the holes.
After that you choose how many shelves you want and divide the plank in several pieces (example: 2 shelves)
If you want you can make handles by drilling some wholes and using a piece of rope.
In this example we made 2 stages, you can also choose how many stages you want to make so that the big plants don't interrupt the sunlight of the smaller ones

Step 4: How to Make the Signal of the Water Level

water level signalisation:

To make the signalisation for seeing how many water is still in the bin,
You start by drilling a whole at the bottom of the bin.
Next you take the male tube connector, put it in the whole and screw it tight with some joints so its waterproof.
To place the tube you take the sealing ring and put the tube nice and tight on the male tube connector.
You can fix the tube up by drilling an extra whole in the edge of the bin to put the tube in.

Step 5: Rolling Trolley

Rolling trolley:

An extra feature to move the bin easily.
You can make the trolley if your not strong enough to carry the bin, if you have a bad back or if you have a bigger bin then our example.

You start by measuring the bottom of the bin to saw the planks into the right pieces.
Next you place them on each other in a cross and screw them together.
Add the wheels and place some extra pieces of wood on the edge so the bin can't slide of the rolling trolley.

Step 6: Product in Use

This is the final prototype,
don't forget to water it before you leave for vacation and make sure the wicks are drenched in water.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    ok how does this work?

    Bert Peters
    Bert Peters

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I have added a new step, which is now step 1, that explains the principle in short. If you would like to know more you can look it up on the internet, it's a well known principle and has proven to work very good.