Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Built in obsolescence?

The very first hydroponic system we purchased was Emily's Garden. We were looking for something basic to get us started, and this system seemed ideal.

Over the years I have progressed to more active systems, however from time to time I would use the Emily's Garden, particularly for larger plants.

A few months ago my reservoir began leaking from a crack that developed at the drain grommet. It was not from any damage that I caused, it was a simple case of fatigue, as the plastic is thin and fairly brittle. Understandably, I was disappointed, as the system cost about eighty dollars when new, and it had not been in continuous use since I owned it.

After measuring the cover I headed off to a local department store to locate a suitable container to serve as a reservoir. Fortunately I found a storage container the exact size of the cover. After applying a coat of green paint to prevent algae I installed a top hat grommet and drain tube.

This replacement reservoir is made of thicker plastic, which is more pliable than the original, and I am willing to bet that it is going to last much much longer.

I paid less than five dollars for the storage container and it is more durable than the original. This incident makes me wonder if this was a case of planned obsolescence on the part of the manufacturer.

The rebuilt unit is pictured above growing six dwarf tomato plants.

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