If you notice an accumulation of water in and around your tower and you have already checked that the tubes in the base are properly in place, chances are it a pot that is overflowing during a watering cycle. This can be hard to catch as it will only occur during feeding periods and it may not occur at each watering cycle.
The first thing to do if you notice a water leak is to determine where it is coming from. The easiest way to do this is to unplug the pump from the timer and plug it directly into the socket. Let the pump flow until you recreate the leak. It will generally be one of three things:
1) A tube is blocked by a coir pod or clay pellet
Once you have determined which pot is overflowing. first, check the water tube from the pot below to make sure it is flowing properly. It may just be resting against the coco coir pod or a hydroton pellet.
2) Roots are blocking a filter at the bottom of the pot
Pull out the netting pot and plant to check if roots have grown through the mesh filter and into the watering tube. This happens more frequently with larger plants like cucumbers and tomatoes but can also occur with more mature leafy greens like swiss chard and kale. If this is the case, remove excess roots and trim away up to 2/3 of the roots and replace the pot.
3) Debris is slowing down water flow either on the top of the pot or on the mesh filter
Check for dead leaves on the surface of the pot first. If nothing is appearing on the top of the pot, remove the netting pot and plant and look at the mesh filter at the bottom of the white outer pot. If you notice a film or debris here, remove the outer pot and wash it with hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and replace it with the plant.
In all cases, leave the pump running for at least 15 minutes to make sure that you have established proper flow before plugging the pump back into the timer.
Working with hydroponics is a cleaner, more efficient way of growing plants indoors, however, leaks are a possibility no matter what system you are working with. In the long run, following our recommended maintenance schedule will ensure a problem-free garden for the long haul.