Above: The aftermath of removing a drain plug assembly on a system that had been sitting on a shelf “dry” for 3 plus weeks. See the moisture on the rubber washers?
Whether growing indoors or outdoors, cleanliness and maintaining a sterile hydroponic or aeroponic cloner is one surefire way to obtain levels of success. When growing plants hydroponically, bacteria and pathogens can reek havoc on your entire system. Closely observe how your particular system works and identify areas in which cleaning could be considered difficult. Once you have discovered these potentially problematic areas, produce a plan for cleaning them adequately.
Above: Drain plug completely disassembled. Residual moisture from the previous cycle is clearly visible.
When using an EZ-CLONE to clone your plants aeroponically, there are two immediate areas that come to mind as being potentially harder to clean with out proper knowledge. The first is the manifold and “SMS”, which is fully tackled in a blog post found here. Today, we are going to focus on one other troublesome area: the drain plug assembly. This simple added convenience for draining your system is commonly overlooked during the cleaning process and can lead to cloning cycle failures.
To properly clean your drain plug assembly, simply disassemble it by removing the white guide nut located on the inside of your reservoir. Once you have removed the guide nut, fully disassemble the drain plug assembly. Your drain plug assembly should include a cap, 3/4″ to 1/2″ adaptor, two rubber washers and the white guide nut. Once you have your drain plug completely disassembled, scrub each individual part in a bleach water solution with a scotch pad. Once thoroughly cleaned, rinse until no bleach odor is present and reinstall. Remember, one rubber washer goes on the outside of the system and the other goes on the inside. Keep your plants and roots happy by maintaining a clean and happy system!
The pictures featured in this post are from a system that was not cleaned and sterilized once the cycle was completed. Instead, this system sat on a shelf in our warehouse for over 3 weeks. Even after 3 weeks, with no water, bacteria-filled moisture was still present. Thorough EZ-CLONE cleaning is very important, just like a successful cycle. Get rooted get growing!
Above: Even on the exterior of the reservoir, moisture can be observed.