I stumbled across this while looking for various, readily available planters for hydroponics and immediately saw applications for potted plants and pets as well.

The Power Ade bottle has a valve in the cap which forms a water tight, low pressure seal around the tubing. This allows for very quick change applications with no additional modifications. Appears very durable under reasonable conditions..

I hung it upside down, indoors and out of the sun, and although it looked like nothing was going on, it emptied itself, in and around the 24 to 36 hr range. This time could easily be varied through various means.

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1 ea Power Ade bottle with cap
1 ea length of 3/8 inch OD Vinyl tubing as req'd


1. Cut desired length of tubing at the desired angle and shape of the tip.
2. Insert tubing into hole in cap and through valve.
3. Pull back slightly on the tubing to "seat" the valve.
4. Fill bottle with liquid of choice, screw cap on tightly and turn upside down. Watch out for initial spill as pressures equalize.
5. Find an application for a drip feeder or use it as a hydroponic planter, either drip or "flood and drain".

You may want to do step 5 first, or at least before step 4.

Note: Flow rates can be adjusted by adjusting the tube length, the angle of the cut, the shape of the tip, the diameter of the opening, or whether it is touching something or feeding a "wick". Aside from, or in conjunction with the previous mentioned methods, an adjustable air leak can be introduced into the bottle to add a different "level" of flow rate control and would probably be useful in conjunction with a wick system.

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    7 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    So... The water leaking out doesn't create a vacuum in the bottle? I have had this problem before, and the bottle smashed itself (well... It was a weak water bottle. Perhaps I need a stronger bottle?)

    2 replies
    wiley coyoteKaiven

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    For each drop, a small air bubble ran up the tube to replace the water.  If I didn't place the end of the tube, or shape it correctly, the exchange would not occur and the water stayed in the bottle held up by the vacuum.  This bottle did not crush because of the small volume of water and the shape of the bottle.  A 2L bottle wouldn't work as well because of the weak sides.

    Kaivenwiley coyote

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Cool! I may try this for an indoor garden project, because I want tomake sure the soil is moist but I am usually at school. This should behelpful :D


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I believe with this type of dripper, if you submerge the end in a pool of liquid it will stop dripping. Therefore if you place the end at the level you wish the liquid to be it will drip when the liquid goes down below this level until the liquid reaches this level once again and then stop. I have seen cat water bowls which use a 2L bottle on this principle. When the water clears the mouth of the bottle, enough water comes out to cover the mouth again then stops.

    1 reply
    wiley coyotestrmrnnr

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent idea. The liquid would only be used up as required, rather than by a constant drip rate, while potentially isolating the tip from direct contact with anything.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    wow cool! Can you detail how and why changing the length of tube affect the drip rate and also for the cut angle? how doe air leak into the bottle?

    1 reply
    wiley coyotecfishy

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I found that differing the length of the tube, but more so and possibly only, the shape at the end of the tube contributed to faster or slower drip rates. I did not vent the bottle, so air could only enter at the tip. The drip rate was a direct result of how quickly the air could replace the escaping drop of water, at the tip. Different shapes or angles will encourage or discourage this exchange using gravity and water's own attractive forces. You could experiment with tube diameters as well, but if you go too small, the exchange won't occur at all without coaxing.