This article will lay out the steps and materials you need to build your own misting system to propagate plants.
How to build your own misting system
Here is a list of materials and quantities needed to build a basic misting system. This system is designed to be used outdoors, but should also work fine inside a greenhouse. Your choice of misting nozzles will determine whether your PVC pipe will be suspended above the cuttings, or lay on the ground. This list assumes you are using a digital timer. WARNING: Use extreme caution if using mechanical timers instead of the digital one. The voltage can cause injury or death. If you are not qualified to perform the required wiring, seek the help of a qualified electrician. If using a digital controller, most convert the incoming voltage to a lower voltage, so there is less of a danger, but seek advice from an electrician if needed.
- Misting controller(s) (1) (2, if building the mechanically operated system)
- 110 volt AC to 24 volt AC transformer (1) (will not be needed if using the digital timer)
- 24 volt AC solenoid (1)
- Wire for solenoid (length determined by system builder)
- Wire for timers (only if using the mechanical timers)
- 3/4 PVC pipe (10' length)
- 3/4 socket x 3/4 male IPS adapter (1)
- 3/4 male IPS x female hose adapter (1)
- 3/4 PVC glue on cap (1)
- misting nozzles (4)
- Waterproof wire-nuts (2)
- 9 volt batteries (for digital timers only)
- PVC primer and cement
- Teflon tape
- Misc. electrical fittings (only if building the mechanical system)
Install the two 3/4 male adapters into the solenoid. Be sure to wrap Teflon tape around all pipe threads to reduce the likelihood of leaks. The 3/4 x female hose adapter should be installed on the inlet side, the 3/4 male IPS x 3/4 socket on the outlet side. Most solenoids have a direction of flow arrow to help you determine which end is the inlet, and which is the outlet. Be sure to not over tighten the fittings, or the solenoid may crack.
If building the digital timer system, wire the controller to the solenoid, using the wiring directions that came with the controller. Be absolutely sure the transformer and solenoid are the same voltage. Use the waterproof wire nuts to connect the solenoid to the wire. If building the mechanical system, the timers need to be wired together, then to a transformer. The transformer then gets wired to the solenoid using the wire nuts. Seek the help of a qualified electrician to be sure your mechanically operated system is wired correctly.
Prime and cement the 3/4 PVC cap on the end of the PVC pipe. Prime and cement the other end of the pipe into the fitting in the solenoid. Do not get any cement in the solenoid.