Permanent Watering Tool on the Cross Slide

I, as apparently many others, was concerned about the strength of the Genesis watering tool stream - especially with seeds or young sprouts. As I have never messed about with modifying 3D parts, I decided to look for an easier (for me) solution.

I mounted an adjustable stream nozzle (originally purchased as a watering wand with a handle at Home Depot) using one of the wheel screws on the Cross Slide and a simple, single hole pipe clamp (pipe clamp is not the cleanest looking mount and forces the head a couple of inches lower that I would like – I am still on the search for something more aesthetically pleasing). The brass fittings are there to convert from the metal tubing of the nozzle’s wand (shortened) to the vinyl tubing, as the threads on the nozzles coupler was not a standard thread/size. I ran a new short piece of tubing through the same hole on the slide that the motor wires enter, and zip-tied them together (this actually solved my problem of those wires trying to move around and contacting the belt). Finally, I used the original L connector to connect the Y water tube to my new tubing. (I left the now disconnected Z tube in the carrier, and may get a t fitting with 2 valves so I can switch back and forth - but since using this I doubt if I will ever bother)

This adjustable head setup not only waters the plants much more gently when on the SHOWER setting, but also lets me select a JET stream for water seeding, a FAN setting which does a great job of rinsing the X tracks and belts when run at the Y limits, and I plan to use the MIST setting to apply foliar feedings with a fertilizer injector in the system.

I did remove the 15 psi pressure regulator that shipped with the kit, and replaced with an adjustable pressure regulator at the hose bib. Easy to make the change, as there was enough water tubing to raise the solenoid the couple of inches required after taking out the regulator on the gantry. As we run about 70-80 psi from our well system, I actually feel better knowing I am not putting that much pressure through the solenoid. I am running about 25 psi to get a really nice shower and mist effect.

Probably the best part of having this permanently mounted on the cross slide is the tool can be called on no matter what else you are doing. You can leave the soil sensor on, test each plant, and immediately water the plant while you are there. You can also administer a high pressure shot of water to a weed to soften the ground if need be and then bury it with the weeder tool. No more failed watering runs because the pogo pins suddenly decided to report that there was not a tool mounted. Conversely, if you were not checking to make sure the tool was still on at every plant, there is no danger of losing the watering tool and “pressure washing” your plants with an empty UTM.

SHOWER setting

The spray on the MIST setting is so fine the camera really did not pick it up well.