Winterizing FarmBot


I would like to have a discussion on winterizing the FarmBot.
We are in Northern California USA, so we will get maybe a few hard freezes a year - not too bad, but will require that we purge all H2O from the lines and feeds.

I am assuming the structure and electronics should be fine, but will most likely cover with a tarp or light cloth.

Does anyone else have thoughts?


As this will be the first year that I´ll leave the bot outside, I guess I´ll be dewatering the system by trying to push all water out of the pipes; the rest will stay as is, maybe I can make some nice snow pictures :smiley:


I can think of 4 things to winterize against.

I’m in Northern Alberta. I was hoping to make a snowman attachment. Have it make snowmen all winter or better yet, use the machine to print ice sculptures… oh wait… frozen water in pipes. Never mind! :wink:

  1. I’m not even sure how the motor’s parts and the rubberized tension belt used to move the robot around would react to freezing temperatures. I might find a way to release the tension before tucking the farmbot away for winter.

  2. Your idea of a tarp should work. I wouldn’t use cloth because of snow. Snow can really pile up where I live so I would be taking that into account. I’m talking about snow that can break tree limbs.

  3. As for winterizing I think clearing the water hoses would be important. The electronics should be fine. As long as the plastic parts aren’t moved during freezing weather they would be fine as well. I’m thinking of extremes though (-20 C or -4 F).

  4. Rodents? Or any critters that happily chew on things. With plants and seeds lying around they are bound to find the device attractive at some point.
    I might keep an eye to protect susceptible pieces. Its mostly metal so I don’t think they would really be all that interested. Animals don’t always tend to agree with the way I think… go figure! :slight_smile:


I was wondering if the water has to be “pushed” or of it could be just opened at both ends and left to drain out?


Sometimes its not that easy, I think it depends where and how much water is in there. I think the main problem is, that the water in the cable chains won’t get pushed and as they are parallel to the ground (maybe even hang down) its trapped in there.

I personally recommend to always check if there is water in the solenoid valve left! Last winter I didn’t check it properly so it cracked due to frozen water …


Middle of winter here. My XL farmbot is sitting out on the rails under a big white tarp. I don’t have the belts installed so its loose.

I woke up yesterday to high winds and thought “oh crap” as I envisioned the gantry flying off the rails or getting twisted or bent (or both).
I checked and no harm done. Phew.

I quickly attached the belt clips (see image). Now I shouldn’t have to worry. What do you think?


Hey @TroyD, although there are high winds hitting farmbot from time to time on my terrace, I did not take any special measures to secure FB for the winter. Up to now I did not encounter any problems, I´ll report in some month when there´s spring time coming :slight_smile: