Aquaponic Gardening

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Hi everyone! I'm putting together a grow bed with a bell siphon in it. I am using 3/4" PVC piping, connected into a male adapter, connected into a 3/4" bulk head. I couldn't find just grommets at the hardware store so that's why I got the bulkhead. The grommet isn't the kind that fits onto both sides of the plastic. I drilled the hole using a spade bit that measured 1 1/4" and it fits snug. I had to screw the bulkhead parts through the hole so I figured there was a very slim to none chance of it leaking. The rubbery grommet part is in the inside pf the container and the white plastic part is outside. I tightened everything together as far as it would go. On the underside/outside I have an adapter from 3/4" (pvc piping side) to 1/2" hose teeth. I had everything set up and was feeling pretty good about it... until... I had a different aquarium with a leak in the silicon seal and needed to bail it right away so I used my grow bed bin to bail into. Right away the bulk head had a small but steady drip coming out of it, dripping about one drop every ~4 seconds. It seemed like the water was coming from the outside of the hole but I couldn't tell for sure.

Can someone please tell me what I might be doing wrong? TIA!


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Was it a uniseal or as you say that you used a bulkhead fitting.. Did you use a flat rubber gasket?

It's a flat rubber gasket.

From the way you describe it, sounds like the hole for the bulkhead fitting is very tight to the bulkhead fitting. It should be loose all the way around so the nipple fits through the hole without binding. If indeed you needed to thread it through then it is too tight and would effect how snug the gasket is on the inside when you tighten down the nut on the outside of the bulkhead fitting. Do what you can to widen the hole so the bulkhead just slips in with out resistance. Then tighten that nut down and your leak should be gone.

Good luck with it!

I've never had issues with bulkhead fittings leaking. I hate to ask a bunch of what may seem like dumb questions but are you sure that it is tight enough? Was the surface that the gasket seals against smooth and/or clean and /or flat?. Did you use the gasket on the inside or the outside? I'm trying to wrap my head around what may be the issue. Could it be leaking where you screwed the fittings together into the bulkhead fitting? Did you use Teflon tape on your threads? Could you have over tightened any of the fittings and cracked the female fitting?

Thanks all! Looks like the hole size in the container is the issue then, from what Jonathan said. I'm going to give that a try and see if it works.

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