Poll on autopot failures

  • The Holiday Recipe winner is Lilly_of_the_Zoo.

  • The Holiday Recipe 2nd place winner is the green bandit.

  • The Holiday Recipe 3rd place winner is Bigg Al.

Has an autopot (e.g. valve stuck) every failed on you?

  • Yes, a part failed and caused major issues like tray overflows and flooding

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • No, never had one issue

    Votes: 18 50.0%
  • Had an issue but I think it was operator error (like bad mix of coco medium results in poor wicking)

    Votes: 9 25.0%
  • Had an issue with the overall system (like out of control roots and ever used pot socks/discs)

    Votes: 3 8.3%

  • Total voters
    36

pop22

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Every issue I've seen others have has been user error or lack of maintenance. And there are only 3 moving parts, that even then, move very little and very slowly, not much to break or fail. Nutrient caused clogs are the most likely issue. I keep a spare tubing assembly that I swap out monthly, then I clean the one removed by flushing it using a 30ml syringe. I've been using my pots 2 years now and have had no issues at all. Chances of mechanical failure are very low. 99% op error IMO.
 

KonopCh

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Jul 8, 2016
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Every issue I've seen others have has been user error or lack of maintenance. And there are only 3 moving parts, that even then, move very little and very slowly, not much to break or fail. Nutrient caused clogs are the most likely issue. I keep a spare tubing assembly that I swap out monthly, then I clean the one removed by flushing it using a 30ml syringe. I've been using my pots 2 years now and have had no issues at all. Chances of mechanical failure are very low. 99% op error IMO.
Agree on that!!
I just flush lines after each grow with warm water and clean everything with brush. Keep those yellow silicones at hand.
Really easy system.
 

lunarman

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Mar 13, 2017
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I just now harvested the Green Crack plant that blew roots out of the bottom of the autopot.
I've had it in a makeshift DWC but by the odors, I suspected root rot and I indeed had some rot.
After dissecting the pot, there was a properly placed RCD in the bottom of the pot. It was copper side up facing the coco/medium.
I realize some place them copper side up in the tray, the autopot walkthrough recommends the tray and the pot if you watch all demos.
In the pot copper side up worked a treat for my scrog with photo plants that grew for 60 days longer than this auto.
I suspect this occurred because of my plan to re-use the RCD's vs wait two weeks for new to be delivered.
Live/learn.
I read people reuse the the copper RCD. And this is what Jason from Autopots wrote me in an email when I was asking about the socks: the root control socks should be used in conjunction with the RCD discs, these should be placed in the pot gold face down. I have been using the same discs for years, I simply wash them in warm soapy water and rinse out or if there are many we put them in the washing machine. The RDC socks have only been out for a year but they look OK and I suspect it will be the stitching that will erode much before the actual matting. The copper does oxidise but the copper is still there.
 

lunarman

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Mar 13, 2017
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Every issue I've seen others have has been user error or lack of maintenance. And there are only 3 moving parts, that even then, move very little and very slowly, not much to break or fail. Nutrient caused clogs are the most likely issue. I keep a spare tubing assembly that I swap out monthly, then I clean the one removed by flushing it using a 30ml syringe. I've been using my pots 2 years now and have had no issues at all. Chances of mechanical failure are very low. 99% op error IMO.
I plan to follow your lead and have a spare set of black tube waterlines all more or less cut and ready to go. I might have enough extra fittings so the spare line is setup with the 4 pot configuration I use in my tent.

Do you use just water to clean the lines Pop?
 
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Screwauger

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I have four pot socks and use them on all pots. So in the end, I am not sure why this happened other than user error but I have a second plant, a blueberry auto, that is doing the same thing. No wicking and roots are pushing the pot/medium right out of the top of the pot.

I really do not want to put this one in the bucket, top up twice daily and have root rot.

I guess I just keep feeding it and if/when it dies it dies or if it survives, bonus.

Right next to it is another BBA that has done just fine in the autopot.

Not having a good run but still harvesting some great smoke

27808316449_1e5914c81b_o.jpg


38876374504_172eeb2cb9_o.jpg
 

pop22

Frankensteins Lab Leader
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I use just clean water to flush the lines. Tubing and fittings are cheap at dripworks.com

I plan to follow your lead and have a spare set of black tube waterlines all more or less cut and ready to go. I might have enough extra fittings so the spare line is setup with the 4 pot configuration I use in my tent.

Do you use just water to clean the lines Pop?
 

lunarman

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I have four pot socks and use them on all pots. So in the end, I am not sure why this happened other than user error but I have a second plant, a blueberry auto, that is doing the same thing. No wicking and roots are pushing the pot/medium right out of the top of the pot.

I really do not want to put this one in the bucket, top up twice daily and have root rot.

I guess I just keep feeding it and if/when it dies it dies or if it survives, bonus.

Right next to it is another BBA that has done just fine in the autopot.

Not having a good run but still harvesting some great smoke

View attachment 849000

View attachment 849001
Yikes another one? You should contact autopot and explain what is going on. They might know why this is happening. Might be related to the substrate around the airdomes? Or maybe it's not controllable and its random that you have to live with. But if you can get a tip from the company so it doesn't happen again that would be good.

Here is an email contact. Dan just emailed me 10 minutes ago actually. [email protected]
 

pop22

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Did you use pebbles in the bottom of the pot? They are very often a problem. Fill your pots with only your planting medium. contrary to what auto pots says, using any kind of interface material at the bottom of the pot PREVENTS wicking. The law of hydraulics says that the interface of 2 mediums will resist the flow of liquids until over come by gravity. As we are wicking from bottom to top..... wicking is poor with anything other than your planting medium in the pot. Too much perlite added to the mix can cause the same problem. I believe we should use no more than 30% perlite. I've been running soil with no added perlite with good results.

I have four pot socks and use them on all pots. So in the end, I am not sure why this happened other than user error but I have a second plant, a blueberry auto, that is doing the same thing. No wicking and roots are pushing the pot/medium right out of the top of the pot.

I really do not want to put this one in the bucket, top up twice daily and have root rot.

I guess I just keep feeding it and if/when it dies it dies or if it survives, bonus.

Right next to it is another BBA that has done just fine in the autopot.

Not having a good run but still harvesting some great smoke

View attachment 849000

View attachment 849001
 

Screwauger

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I may do that. It's embarrassing to admit that I opted to reuse the RCD vs purchase new ones.
I do also wonder if it could be because of too much air directed at the airdome. I did purchase a larger four outlet pump this grow.
Based on your email from the company, I placed the RCD's in the pot upside down, with copper side facing the medium.
That to me explains it as roots that wormed their way around the disc found nothing stopping their proliferation whereas, had the copper been facing dowen they would have met a deterrent.
Thanks @lunarman
 

Screwauger

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Did you use pebbles in the bottom of the pot? They are very often a problem. Fill your pots with only your planting medium. contrary to what auto pots says, using any kind of interface material at the bottom of the pot PREVENTS wicking. The law of hydraulics says that the interface of 2 mediums will resist the flow of liquids until over come by gravity. As we are wicking from bottom to top..... wicking is poor with anything other than your planting medium in the pot. Too much perlite added to the mix can cause the same problem. I believe we should use no more than 30% perlite. I've been running soil with no added perlite with good results.
I have used expanded clay hydroton in the bottom of the pots in each plant. I had also read that you and hans and others had had good results without them and I had read your interface theory/practice. Since I had no issues with my first two plants, I figured I would use up the bag of hydroton then stop using them. I am all out now lol.
 
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