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Modular Hydroponics System
Basic Description - Materials Quick-start guide FIRST USE Filling the system Button Settings Description of settings Test pumps Factory settings How HYDRO-SYS-1 works Float switches Top-feed option Maintaining the System Q&A 1-2 2-6 7 8-9 10 11 12 13 13 14 15 16 -17 1

Number and type of pumps Pump ratings (EU-UK-AU) Pump ratings (USA) Pump flow rating Flood timers range Drain timers range Inner Grow module dimensions Outer Grow module dimensions Grow module capacity Distribution reservoir Controller Input voltage Float switch cable length Controller dimensions Maximum number of modules (2) submersible 240vac, 50/60hz, 23 watts 120vac50/60hz, 23 watts 800 LPH / 210 GPH 1 second to 24 hours 1 second to 24 hours 24x24x26cm / 9.3x9.3x10.2 24x24x33cm / 9.3x9.3x13 7 liters / 1.85 gallons 12 L / 3.2 gal - 33x20x35cm / 13x8x13.8 48 modules (USA) 120vac (EU-UK-AU) 240vac 8 ft / 2.6 meters 5 lbs 9 x 7 x 3.75

6-pack Expansion kit

Basic description
Digital controller

Example shows a 4-module system layout, can be expanded up to 48 modules

Distribution reservoir and submersible pumps

The HYDRO-SYS1 is a modular hydroponic system that is designed to be easy to use and expandable. Each growing module can hold up to 7 liters of growing medium. Up to 48 separate growing modules can be connected to a single HYDRO-SYS1 controller. Each growing module is connected to a single central distribution module / reservoir. The distribution module (DM) contains two float switches which will control the flood and draining of the growing modules. The system works by repeatedly flooding and draining (ebb & flow) each growing module to provide fresh oxygen-rich nutrients to the plants. (*Top drip-feed / run-to-waste capable also) The duration of the flood and drain cycles are determined by the user as is the time of day the user wants the unit to operate.

Page 2 Materials Notes


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Growing module assembly


To ensure no harmful chemicals will leach from the system, ALL of the raw materials used to manufacture the components that are in contact with the water or the plants are 100%

FDA food-grade. Quick Start guide / Installation

System layout The first thing to do is to determine the best way to layout your system. The system will flood and drain quickest when each module is connected directly to the distribution module, however, that arraignments requires more tubing. Connecting 2 to 4 modules in-line to a single DR outlet will reduce tubing required and make for a cleaner installation. One you have determined the layout, you can start to assemble the growing modules. *Note: All of the growing modules and the distribution reservoir must be at relatively the same level in order for the float switches to control the depth of the water level. Distribution Reservoir

1) Insert the correct fitting (elbow or tee) into the silicone grommets in the side of each outer module. (Wet both pieces to make assembly easier)

2) Make sure the root guard on the bottom of the outer grow module secured into place correctly.

Growing Module

3) Place the inner grow module inside the outer one.

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Grow module tubing connections


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Flood and Drain pump tubing connections The final piece of tubing between the two pumps will be connected between the distribution reservoir and the main reservoir by using the vacuum break fitting supplied with the system. The vacuum break fitting is critical to ensuring that water does not continue to flow by siphon once the pumps are turned off. Vacuum break fitting *Note: If the vacuum break fitting is not installed properly or is allowed to become clogged with debris, the unit could overflow. Both pumps are connected to the vacuum break. When one pump is operating, it will be pushing water backwards through the other pump. This actually helps to keep both pump inlets clean. 1) The vacuum break fitting needs to be placed on the top edge of the main reservoir. The small water diverter must be positioned over the reservoir. When both tubing pieces from the pumps are installed onto the vacuum break fitting, the fitting will remain stable on the top edge of the reservoir. A couple holes in the fitting bracket allows it to be fastened to the reservoir. 2) Place the flood pump inside the main reservoir and the drain pump inside the distribution reservoir. *Note: The drain pump and cable must positioned so they will not affect the movement of the float switches. 3) Carefully cut a piece of tubing and connect the flood pump to the inside of the vacuum break fitting.

The tubing has been designed to fit perfectly on our molded fittings without leaking, do not use other brands of tubing. Once you have determined the exact layout for your modules you can start to cut and install the tubing pieces. When cutting and fitting the tubing pieces be careful and remember to measure twice and cut once Make sure the pieces are long enough and to allow a little tubing flexing between the modules. If possible leave a small bend so the units can be moved slightly without tugging on the next module connected to it. This will help make servicing the system easier. 1) Using a pair of tubing cutters or a sharp knife, cut the tubing to length. 2) A small amount of soapy water will help to slide the tubing onto the barbed fittings. 3) Press the tubing onto each fitting until the end of the tubing is at least 5 -10mm (1/4) past the barb. Selecting the correct size main reservoir It is important to select a main water reservoir size that will provide enough water to flood ALL of the modules. 1.75 gal / 7L per grow module is a good estimate. Below is a table that shows the MINIMUM recommended size of main reservoirs.
NumberModules 2-4 5-12 13-20 Main Res size 7 gallon / 27 liter 21 gallon / 80 liter 35 gallon / 132 liter NumberModules 21-28 29-36 36-48 Main Res size 50 gallon / 185 liter 63 gallon / 238 liter 84 gallon / 320 liter

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FIRST USE - Filling the system


4) Once the distribution reservoir location is decided, measure and cut another piece of tubing to connect the drain pump inside the distribution reservoir to the outside connection on the vacuum break fitting. Connecting the controller *Note: Do not connect the pumps until installation of the system is complete. The controller can be mounted to a wall near the distribution and main reservoir. A quick-connect cable with unique end connections is provided which assures the two float switches on the DR are connected correctly. *Note: If either switch becomes disconnected, the system will stop working until the problem is resolved. 1) Secure the controller to a wall. Ensure the unit is located in a position that will not get wet or have water splashed on the unit. It is NOT WATER PROOF. 2) Plug the power cable into a standard wall outlet. 120vac (USA) and 240vac (EU-UK-AU) 3) Once the system installation is complete, the pumps can be connected. The pump that is inside the small distribution reservoir is the drain pump. Connect the cable to the Drain Pump power outlet on the controller. 4) The other pump that is inside the main reservoir is the flood pump. Connect the flood pump power cable to the outlet on the controller marked Flood Pump. 5) The next step is to fill the system with water and test for leaks. Double checking things now will save time later. * Note: Ensure both pumps are connected to the correct power outlets on the HYDRO-SYS1 controller.

Once all of the tubing connections have been made and the unit has been completely connected, the system should be checked for leaks. Checking for leaks now will allow easy repairs before the plants are installed. 1) Fill the main reservoir to full with water. 2) Turn on the switch on the bottom of the controller. After approximately 15 seconds the unit will be started up and the timeclock should display the time. 3) To manually bypass the timers and test the system, press the Test Flood button on the controller. 4) When the Test Flood function is activated the unit will manually activate the flood pump and fill the grow modules. 5) While the flood pump is running, verify a small steady stream of water is coming out of the vacuum break. It should be dumping a small amount of water back into the main reservoir. 6) As the water is being pumped from the main reservoir to the distribution reservoir, looks for any obvious leaks. If any leak is found the flood test can be stopped simply by pressing the Test Drain button. 7) Pressing the Test Drain button at anytime will activate the drain pump and remove all of the water from the grow modules. 8) If there are no leaks the unit can now be prepared for the plants. But first you may want to customize the timer settings on the controller. This will be explained in the next section.

Page 8 Button Functions


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Changing timer settings


There are (10) buttons located on the front face that control all of the functions. Pressing each button will display a function and / or current setting(s) in the green LED window. Some buttons perform more than one function.

The times on the HYDRO-SYS1 are set using hours, minutes and seconds. Two digits display each time division, a 7th digit on the far right of the display allows the user to select AM or PM when setting the timeclock.


AM or PM

* Press a time setting button, and the display shows the current setting. The first pair of digits will be flashing to indicate the hour setting. * To change the hour setting, use the UP and DOWN buttons. (Pressing Enter will move to the minutes setting) * Note: When certain buttons are pressed, several small green LED lights or status indicators located on the front panel will light up to show selected functions All settings can be easily changed. Use the Up / Down buttons to select the setting. The Enter button accepts the changes. Selecting your desired settings The individual push-buttons on the HYDRO-SYS1 makes changing settings EASY. * Press a button, and the display shows the current setting. * To change the setting, use the UP and DOWN buttons. * Then press ENTER to accept the new setting. * Press ENTER to accept the new setting. Pressing Enter will change the display to the minutes setting blinking on and off. * To change the minutes setting, use the UP and DOWN buttons. (Pressing Enter will move to the seconds setting) * Press ENTER to accept the new setting. The display will move to the seconds setting and be blinking on and off. * To change the seconds setting, use the UP and DOWN buttons. * Press ENTER to accept the new setting. *Note: YOU MUST PRESS Enter to accept the settings after the hours, minutes and seconds have been selected.

Page 10 Description of settings


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Once each of the settings on the controller are fully understood, it is much easier to get the most from the system. A small amount of fine-tuning of each unique system is required. The next section describes each of the button functions. Set Day Flood Time Press this button to set the amount of time the flood pump will be activated during the day. If a large number of grow modules is used, a higher setting of this timer will be required to completely fill the grow modules. When this timer is functioning the unit will display the remaining time (counting down) and an F will be displayed. Set Day Drain Time Press this button to set the amount of time the grow modules will remain drained of water during the day. The Drain Time setting can vary depending on many factors including type of growing medium and the size of the plants in the modules. In general it is always best to set this timer as low as possible without over-watering the plants. When this timer is functioning the unit will display the remaining time (counting down) and a d will be displayed. Set Night Flood Time The night Flood and Drain timers work exactly like the day Flood and Drain timers, and they are also set the same way. *Note: To eliminate the flood pump cycling at night, simply change the Night Flood Timer to zero (00.00.00). When the timer is set to zero, the drain pump will drain the grow modules at night until the start of the next Day. Set Night Drain Time The night Flood and Drain timers work exactly like the day Flood and Drain timers, and they are also set the same way.

Day / Night Settings Since there are two separate sets of flood and drain timers (Day and Night) the Day Night clock settings determine which set of timers will be operating. When the user presses the Day Night Settings button, they will first be able to set the start of the Daytime. After selecting the start of the day, the user will then select the time that their night will begin. Most users will select a more frequent flood & drain cycle during the day and a LESS frequent cycling during the night. The separate day / night flood & drain timers and the 24hour timeclocks day / night settings allows you to do this. Set Clock Time The unit features a built-in 24-hour timeclock that will keep track of the actual time of day. The Day and Night timeclock settings will enable the correct flood & drain timers depending on the users Day & Night settings.

Test flood and drain pump

We have designed an easy to use test function to quickly test the systems pumps are functioning properly. Test Flood Pump The user can choose to test the function of the unit anytime they choose by using the Test Flood and Test drain functions. When the Test Flood Pump button is pressed, the display will read t Flood. The unit will activate the flood pump normally and the flood timer will also be working normally. If the user wants to stop the flood test at any time, they can press the test Drain Pump button to drain the unit and return the unit to normal operation. If the user does not end the Flood test, the flood timer will count down and the unit will continue with normal operation.

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Page 13 How the HYDRO-SYS-1 works


Test Drain Pump When the Test Drain Pump button is pressed, , the display will read t drain, the unit will activate the drain pump normally. If the unit is already drained, the drain float switch will not allow the drain pump to operate dry. If the user does not end the Drain test, the drain timer will count down and the unit will continue with normal operation.

When operating, the controller will automatically fill (flood) all of the attached grow modules. It does this using the Flood Timer. When the flood timer is working the display will switch between showing the current time of day, and the remaining time left for the flood timer as seen below.

Factory Settings
The HYDRO-SYS1 controller comes pre-programmed with factory settings. These settings may be adjusted by the user. For best results, verify changes after adjusting any settings. The controller can also be easily reset to factory settings. Day Flood time setting Day Drain time setting Night Flood time setting Night Drain time setting Day time setting Night time setting 10 minutes 1 hours 8 minutes 2 hours 6:00:00 AM 6:00:00 PM

After the flood timer counts down to zero, the Drain Timer will start to count down while the drain pump drains the water from the grow modules back to the main reservoir. During the drain cycle, the display will show the time of day alternating with the remaining drain time counting down as seen below.

Each time the flood and drain cycle occurs, fresh nutrients are pumped into each grow module which pushes stale air from around the roots and replenishes the root area and grow medium with fresh nutrients. When the water is drained out of the grow modules, fresh oxygen is pulled down into the root zone as the water is replaced by fresh air around the roots.

To Reset Factory Settings - Press and hold the Enter / Reset and down buttons for 3 seconds. The display will read f.Set. Press the Enter/reset button again to restore the factory default settings. When the factory reset is complete the unit will say doNE.

Float Switches
Two float switches are used to control the flood and drain pumps. To ensure the float switches are connected properly, they are connected to the controller using two unique quick-connects. If the float switches are not connected, the pumps will not operate.

Page 14 *Top Feed drip option


Page 15 Maintaining the system


Another option is to use the unit as a top-feed, drip system. The main difference between top-feed and flood and drain is that much less water is required for top-feed. Instead of completely flooding all of the grow modules, the user can create a simple drip irrigation system and top-feed nutrient rich water from the top of the grow module. Water will drip down from their drip irrigation header through the grow modules and into the bottom of the grow modules. The draining feature of the grow modules and distribution reservoir will function perfectly to collect all of the nutrient that has run through the growing medium and into the bottom of the growing modules. If used as a top-feed system, the user simply connects their drip-irrigation main line to the flood pump. When the flood pump is turned on, water drips onto the plants from above. The flood pump timer will control the amount of time the user wants water to be fed to the top of the plants. The drain timer is still used to control how long the drain pump functions. So when used as a top feed system, the user will set their drain timer to remove the water that was fed to the plants through the drip irrigation system and collected in the outer grow module. The drain pump located inside the distribution reservoir can be connected one of 2 ways. First it could be connected to return the water from the grow modules back to the main water reservoir in a recycling method. The other option is to only use the water that has run though the plants only a single time (run-to-waste). To operate the system as a drip-feed, run-towaste system simply connect the drain pump to a drain instead of returning the water back to the main reservoir.

A few things will help keep your system running troublefree for many years. Weekly - Verify the vacuum break outlet is flowing water freely. Clean any debris if necessary. - Test and maintain pH levels between 5.7 and 6.2 pH. - Test and maintain EC levels between 1.8 and 2.8 ms/cm Every two weeks - Replace the nutrient being used with fresh nutrients. *Note: The flood pump can be used to pump the old nutrients out of the main reservoir. (Connect a drain tubing to the flood pump and connect the pump to power until the main reservoir is nearly empty) Every two months - Look closely at each plant to make sure it is getting enough water. Clogged inlets at the bottom of the grow module can prevent certain modules from completely filling. Carefully lift the inner module up and out of the outer module to inspect. Start of each new crop - Completely clean all components with plant-safe soap such as Dawn Detergent and a small amount of bleach to sterilize. Rinse all components completely before returning to service.

Page 16 Q&A


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One or both of the pumps are not operating even when I use the Test Pump button? The two float switches must be connected and working correctly for the pumps to operate. Each float switch has a small green LED to confirm it is working. Confirm the float switch connections are secure and then lift and lower the float switches to make sure they are turning on and off. The unit seems to be working backwards, or just not working correctly? The DRAIN pump is located in the distribution reservoir. Make sure the drain and flood pumps are plugged into the correct power outlet on the controller. If the float switches are not working correctly or are not connected properly, one or more of the pumps may not turn on. Verify the float switches are connected and also verify the float switches are turning On and Off. (Visually watch the two small green LEDs that indicate the float switch positions) I do not want the flood and drain to occur during the night? The unit has separate day and night timers for the flood and drain times. To eliminate the flood pump cycling at night, enter 00.00.00 time for the Set Night Flood Time. The growing modules do not flood all the way before the drain cycle starts? It is usually best to determine the flood time based on direct observation. The user can increase the flood timer settings in order to pump more water into the grow modules, or, if they prefer they can lower the flood time settings to only partially fill the grow modules. The grow modules do not seem to be filling very quickly? In order to fill the growing modules the fastest possible, each grow module should be connected directly to the distribution reservoir instead of daisy-chained or connected in series.

The unit is displaying the error Err.FLood? If the flood float switch does not activate after the flood pump has been operating for 2 hours, this error will be displayed and the unit will shut down. There is something wrong with either the flood pump, or the flood float switch. Verify they are operating correctly and then reset power to the controller to reset the error. The unit is displaying the error err.drAIn? If the drain float switch does not activate after the drain pump has been operating for 2 hours, this error will be displayed and the unit will shut down. There is something wrong with either the drain pump, or the drain float switch. Verify they are operating correctly and then reset power to the controller to reset the error. How do I know what function or setting is activated? Some settings are identified by a green LED light will light up or flash next to the function(s) that is currently activated. What if the timer is not keeping correct time? The battery may need to be replaced. The lithium battery has an average life of 5 years. Battery required is a lithium CR1220 3 volt. The flood pump will not turn off, or the distribution reservoir overflowed. If the float switch is disconnected or fails, the flood pump should not operate. Also, verify that the vacuum break fitting is not clogged with debris. When the pumps operate, a small amount of water should be coming out of the small hole in the vacuum break assembly. The unit is displaying the error Err.EEP or Err.rtc? There is a problem with the main processor board or the board has detected and error. Try resetting the power for 10 seconds. If the problem continues, there is a problem that requires repairs. Contact the service center.

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This product conforms to USA and Canada standards as listed below.

made in china

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