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Dosatron help please

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by T. migratoris, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    I'm the proud owner of a new Dosatron proportioner. Installation appears straight-forward enough & I'm ready to install, however I don't have a clear vision of what form the concentrate solution vessel should take. I have a couple of preliminary ideas but I'd like to see what others have done. Marni - I know you use Dosatrons - could you post a photo of your setup? Thanks!
     
  2. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    I want to set up a dosatron as well and although I don't have one I have worked with one the nursery I used to work at. All they use for their concentration vessel is a 50 gal plastic drum. I've seen other smaller setups with a 5 gal bucket. They're not the most attractive options but they work.
     
  3. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First, please disregard all of my algae and weeds. I don't really notice them when I'm in the gh but it sure looks bad in the photos.
    I have attached a photo of my plumbing for the Dosatron as well as the 2.5 gallon drinking water container. I was originally going to use a larger concentrate container too and was using this small one as a temporary measure until I decided what to get. As it turns out, the 2.5 gallons is plenty for my needs. I have the Dosatron set to the 1:128 setting and the concentrate lasts several weeks. Dosatron-800.jpg fertilizer-800.jpg
     
  4. ZWUM

    ZWUM Bulbophiliac Staff Member

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    Looks good!
     
  5. msaar

    msaar Member

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    This is a bit more complex than it needs to be, but I left the bypass loop out the first time, and added it when my original Dosmatic died (15 years old, and no parts available). I mix concentrate in a 1 gallon jug of distilled water and inject at 1:200. I think it may mix more completely in DW.
    gh waterworks.jpg
     
  6. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    Thanks guys. I think I get it now.
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sorry I didn't respond when you posted but I've been really occupied. Did you figure out what you needed to or would you still like me to post images. I have 2 injectors that draw from 2 different 10 gallon containers. At one point I had trouble with incompatibility with ingredients and that solved the problem. I have one set to 128::1 for my fertilizer and wetting agent and the other is set to 40::1 for other ingredients. 40::1 sucks up the concentrate very quickly, but for pesticides I find it is easier to get a concentrate such as SlugFest dilute enough that it isn't full strength.

    I've found it helpful to have a small (inexpensive) fountain pump in the bottom of the concentrate tank so that I don't get settling during use.
     
  8. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    FWIW, for those of you needing concentrate tanks, I have a number of white polyethylene 2.5-gallon jugs with caps available for the cost of shipping. I have them listed for $5, but if you use the coupon code "OIDRUM", I'll knock $5 off.

    CLICK HERE
     
  9. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    Thanks very much Marni. No need for photos - I think I have a plan now.
     
  10. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    This is an old thread, but I'm trying to get dosatron. I asked questions about injector in Kelly's Mg thread, but maybe this thread is more appropriate.

    I'm considering 11gpm model: D25RE2 (variable mixing rate) or D25F1 (fixed mixing rate of 1:100, but cheaper). Any opinion about the necessity of variable rate? Marni mentioned one advantage of the low ratio.

    From reading their manuals, they mention that 200 mesh filter is required upstream of dosatron for the warranty to be honored. I see Kelly and msaar don't seem to have it. I'm guessing that a filter could be an overkill if you have clean water. But I wonder if other people have installed the filter. I'm thinking that maybe I can use Rusco spin-down sediment filter which is frequently used for well water. Does it work?
     
  11. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Definitely get one with a variable mixing rate. I don't have a prefilter, but I am using RO water.
     
  12. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I will have to go out and check on my model number. It is a variable mixing rate model but I have never changed it from the setting I initially set it up with @ 1:128. I have a replaceable cylinder filter installed upstream of mine. I couldn't tell you what the mesh equivalency is of it. It can be seen at the far left of the injector photo. I use city water with that cheap filter and have never had an issue with the Dosatron.

    One thing you should know about these is that they are noisy. The "water motor" that meters the concentrate has a sound that is like a car gaining speed preparing to shift into second gear ... then it clicks and starts over. It isn't terribly loud but is very noticeable. rrrrrrrrRRRRRR click rrrrrrrrRRRRRR click ..........
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  13. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you very much for the quick answer! I just placed the order of the variable model (D25RE2).

    I see the filter now, Kelly. It is good to know that it could be noise. Since it will be indoor, and close to a bedroom, I'll make some enclosure to reduce the noise if it is too noisy.

    One more question, do I need to install check valve (to prevent back flow)? It will be connected to a submersible pump in a rain barrel, so I don't care too much of back flow, I think.
     
  14. Rvorchids

    Rvorchids Eric Sauer, Dayton Ohio

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    Make sure to install the ball valves with a bypass so you can run plain water as required. It is also nice to be able to shut it off to work with the filter. Interesting on the noise....mine only clicks but otherwise quiet.
     
  15. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I never had noise with either brand when working properly, just the clicking. If something gets in side the cylinder there will be noise.
     
  16. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    OK, now you have me worried. It is working fine but I probably need to take it apart and clean it.:eek: At high flow the sound is minimal but if I am just letting it trickle to water an individual plant then the sound volume increases.
     
  17. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't want to make you more nervous, but how do you know it is working right? The Dosmatic that I have stopped using doesn't pull up the right amount of concentrate so my hose end concentration is too low. You can try running hot water through the injector and that will sometimes dissolve crystals that have formed inside.
     
  18. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good question and it got me thinking. It is pulling the concentrate up but I haven't measured the ratio. After the above discussion I took mine out of the gh and brought it in the house for a cleaning and inspection. I took it completely apart and it was spotlessly clean. There was a very thin film of brown algae on the inside top of the canister but all moving parts were spotless. I haven't purchased new seals but I took out the seals, inspected them, cleaned and reseated them. I put it all back together and reinstalled in the gh. It makes the same noise :D.

    I do not have a water pressure regulator or gauge on the gh plumbing so I will get one of those and see if I need to adjust the pressure. Another possibility ... perhaps it is just this model that growls. I have the D128R model. Regardless, it is a minor issue. I am used to it and really don't notice it any more. I am going to get some calibrated containers and do the ratio measurement mostly out of curiosity.
     
  19. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Eric, for the advise about the bypass with ball valves. I'll definitely do that.

    Mine arrived today from QC Supply (I also got Rusco 250 mesh filter from them)! I'm excited, but I'll see if I can find some time to install it... It is much bigger than expected. Hmmm, I wish I had known the existence of D128R model. Their web site is a bit difficult to navigate, so I mistakenly thought D25RE2 was the cheapest adjustable model. I could have saved a bit if I have gone with D128R (the lowest flow rate is enough for my application since I use 0.5-1 gpm Dramm watering head).

    I was reading the manuals, and it mentions about counting the number of clicks to make sure it is within the limit of the model. Kelly, did you make sure that you are not exceeding 7gpm? Some irrigation head is around 11gpm, I believe.

    To check the accuracy, I thought that you just need a EC (or TDS) meter. You measure the EC of fertilizer concentrate (z), the water supply (y), and the outcome after mixing (x) at the hose end. Then x = z/129 + y if it is working well at 1:128. Do you really need the calibrated containers (I think you mean graduated cylinder or something to measure volume)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  20. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Naoki, yes the D128R has adjustable flow but not as easy to change as the model you purchased. On mine the stem has to be removed and a pin moved to one of 3 holes relating to one of the 3 available ratios. Then the stem replaced.

    Thanks for the TDS method of checking the ratio accuracy. I had just read the volumetric method on the Dosatron site but since I have a TDS meter I like your method better.