If you have a functioning outside tap, then an automatic watering system may be an easy solution to reduce the burden of watering your pots and containers, and is especially useful to take care of watering whilst you are away on holiday.
In this video we take a look at the Hozelock Pro 20 Pot Automatic Watering Kit, so called because the box contains enough kit to water up to 20 pots. However, the system can easily be extended by purchasing more pipe, connectors, and drippers, and even extended to water your beds and borders.
You may also like to see our review of the solar powered Irrigatia Sol K12 and Irrigatia Sol C12 – compatible with water butts.
Automatic Watering System – How It Works
An automatic watering system works in a simple way. The outside tap is left on all day, but the flow of water is controlled by a water computer. The computer allows water to flow through the system at the time and frequency you set. When working, the water travels through a network of pipes before being released through drippers placed in plant pots.
The Hozelock 20 pot automatic watering system contains everything you need to get going. It includes the water computer, 15m of thick 13mm pipe which forms the backbone of the watering system, and 10m of 4mm micro pipe which is used to create off shoots in the network to reach your plant pots.
Also in the box are all the accessories needed to create the network of drippers. These include one ‘T’ junction and two elbows for the thick pipe, and a variety of accessories for the small pipe, including two different types of drippers.
The type above can be used at the end of the network. The type below enables the network to be carried on.
Also included are stakes to hold the drippers in place, t-juctions for the small irrigation pipe, and connection tees that are used to draw water from the main pipe into the micro pipeline.
For our home setup, the thick pipe was used to run water down from the tap and across the whole front of the house using the t-junction. From this backbone, we then created a series of tributaries using the micro pipe to water the actual plant pots and hanging baskets.
The network of pipes is easy to put together. There is a special key provider, with a hole punch, that can be used to insert a tee into the main irrigation pipe.
The tee itself is then screwed in.
A length of micro irrigation pipe is then pushed onto this tee, and finally a dripper is pushed onto the end of the micro irrigation pipe.
The ends of the main pipe are easily sealed by using an end stop. All that is required is to push the pipe through the end stop, and then fold it back into itself. The crease in the pipe prevents water flowing through.
Setting the water computer is easy. First step is to fit the C size batteries into the back of the computer. Our box didn’t come with these, so we needed to buy them.
The computer is set by first selecting the time by turning the dial – correct to the nearest hour, and pressing the clock button. Next is the time of day you would like the watering to start (I chose 5am), and the interval between watering (I chose every six hours), and finally how long the watering will last for (I chose seven minutes).
In summary, the computer was set to water four times each day for a duration of seven minutes each time. We attached the water computer to our tap using a two way brass manifold, which we needed to purchase separately. This allows us to continue to use the outside tap without needing to remove the timer.
The computer itself is very easy to attach to the tap, and there are two sizes of white connectors provided to fit most taps. Underneath the water computer, it is advisable to fit the included water pressure reducer, that optimises the water pressure to the correct level for the drippers to work at their best.
After turning on the system, for the first couple of days I checked that everything was working as it should. When the system is working, it’s good to check every dripper to ensure that water is flowing as expected.
The evenness and regularity of the automatic irrigation system should mean that the system not only saves you time (and allows you to go on holiday), but is also preferred by the plants – meaning bigger flowers! Only time will tell if this works for us!
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