I'm going to automate the bottom watering process (reservoir and wick method). This design should uses a water float valve instead of a timer. What is the best way to do this? Here are two methods:

Use a full-pressure water float value and use one of those steel covered hoses made for the washer/dryer. Connect that to a float value in an enclosure. The water will be siphoned off to all the plant sitting at the same water level as the float valve. The washer dryer hoses can come with a safety cut-off if the water flows too quickly. A small defect however could cause the system to loose a lot of water.

Another method might use a pressure regulator that will sit under constant pressure and work when the water is not flowing. In other words, it will be hooked up to the outdoor faucet and be connected to a small low pressure tube. So, the pressure can't build up when the water is off (some models say they only work when the water is flowing). This should probably go down 10 PSI or lower. The slower the better, a slow constant flow could feed many plants. If the float valved jammed, water loss would be at a minimum. This is a 10PSI preset unit for the dipper irrigation (less than 10 dollars). The problem was it had to be hooked up after the timer. I'm not using a timer, I'm using a water float value.

Any other suggestions?

1 Answer 1


A hose overflowing all day at 10psi is going to still be thousands of gallons, if you have concerns about you setup use a timer too... Give it 4 15 minute chances a day to flood instead of all day.

  • Agreed. My 275 gallon rain barrel only gets between 1-2 psi at the base, but it will drain out completely through a garden hose in several hours.
    – Doresoom
    Mar 4, 2013 at 19:28

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