Drainage collection and removal.

I have been working on a way to solve my drainage issues. I hate shufling buckets around and spilling and forgetting... and having overflows.... and it can be a mess. :mad:

So I came up with a few ideas and have been working on this for a while.

I started out wanting to have the water go into one bucket that I would dump. So I came up with a way to catch the water. I am using Coroplast. It is easy to cut and resembles cardboard, but made of plastic. I get it from work in 4'x8' sheets. I use hot glue to secure the pieces together.

Gussets, with slots for water to pass.

The table that catches the water is tilted forward but also on end is lower than the other... the rear side of the 'table' is level and the front two corners are offset. The right is about 2-3" lower than the rear and the left front corner is 1" lower than the right side. This causes the water to collect in one spot.

This is a 1" elbow with a 1/2" FIP fitting. I fit a 1/2" MIP to 1/3" tube adaptor onto the elbow fitting. The tubing then runs to my catch 'tub'.

I inject hot glue into the flutes of the Coroplast so water doesn't find it's way to the floor. I will be placing a screen over the opening to avoid clogging. In the racks with cages I should only be worried about dirt finding it's way down the tube... not a big deal. But with the free range I have to worry about bits of leaves, poop, urates, and larger bits or clumps of dirt.

I used 1/2" angled aluminum as the front support of the drainage table. The end fits nicely into the notches on the shelving up-right. With the zipties it doesn't take much to keep the piece from sliding down. It also makes it easier to determine the position the angled aluminum should be in. Since the up-right is marked, I just set the aluminum in one notch and then one notch lower on the other side :D.

After attaching the hoses.... they will feed to my catch tub. The tub is fitting with float switches that will turn on and off a pump that empties the tub. When drilling my holes into the tub I made the 'empty' switch sit just above the drain fitting. While sitting on the throne it accered to me that I can set it lower because I can fit a tube onto the bulkhead fitting and place the end of the tube in the lowest spot on the tub to maximize the amount of water being removed. I was going to make a 'sump' inside of the tub so force the water to one side..... but now I don't have to. So in these photos of the switches the lower switch is no longer positioned as high, it is much lower.

This is a shot with the 'filler' that I was going to use. I was planning to inject 'great stuff' (that foam filler you inject in a hole through a wall along side of pipes) into the underside of the frame work for that piece I made. then trim the bits of foam that find their way out of the holes. Now, I don't have to worry about that and will be able to hold more water in the tub plus I don't have to go to HD and spend more money.

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New Member
While sitting on the throne it accered to me that I can set it lower because I can fit a tub onto the bulkhead fitting and place the end of the tub in the lowest spot on the tub to maximize the amount of water being removed.
Isn't this where all strokes of brilliance happens? LOL

Great job Kev, you've out done yourself again.

So the point of all this is to not need buckets all over, to not have overflow issues and to be a bit more tidy... AND to play with electronics.

I wanted this to wire up to my control card and have the control card turn on the pump. But I got to thinking... even as reliable as the controller has been........... do I trust it to turn on my drainage pump? So I started looking at just having a simple relay setup. The key is a latching relay.

This works by having a switch and a relay wired in such a way that when power feeds the relay coil (the part of the relay that pulls the contact tips together to turn on the device) it also get power from the contact side. So when you power the relay and release the button the relay then powers itself and will not shut off until you cut the power between the relay tips and the coil.

In my situation I do want the relay to turn off at some point... when the tub is empty. So the lower float switch will enable the relay coil to be grounded when the tips are 'closed' (water is above the empty switch). Once water reaches the 'full' switch the tips in that switch will 'close' allowing power to energize the relay coil, causing the relay tips to close, powering the pump and also providing power to the coil, sustaining it's own power via the relay tips and not the 'full' switch.

Once the water level drops below the 'empty' switch the float switch tips will open, breaking the ground circuit of the relay (turning off the relay), turning off the coil and then releasing the relay contact tips and shutting off the pump.

I made a couple of diagrams that show how I can wire up the control relay. The above discription, discribes this diagram.

The other two ways I could shut down the circuit is to have the 'empty' switch placed in other parts of the circuit. For instance I could have it open the crcuit between the relay contact tips and the coil.

Once I have this operating I will make a video... :eek:
I am still waiting on some bits that are on their way in the mail as we speak. I should have it running as designed by next Friday. But... since I wanna get this going I might hook it up with my control card :D

Miss Lily

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cool! And there I was thinking that my drainage idea of a plastic saucer with holes in placed on a large pot was a stroke of genius, lol!:rolleyes: :D


Established Member
hmmm those diagrams look familiar!! youll ahve to let me know when this is all up and running, i wanna come see your collection and this contraption you are making :)

oh and if you need help with it, i think i can stumble my way around and be productive haha
OK... So i went with this setup:

I found that as I suspected, I needed a diode there to protect the off or 'empty' switch. The pump was able to latch on... not really a bad thing. Much better than not turning on at all.

So here is the change:

The diode won't allow electricity to flow back over the switch. Current can only go one way.

Edit: I drew the Diode 'logo' backwards. the line and arrow should be reverse of how I have it above...

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an update....

the white drainage colector shown in the above photos has been removed and replaced. I now use two collection pans. One is bigger than the other and is the main collection pan.... but is smaller than the one shown in the posts before this. I still use the same float switches to engage the pumps. The second collection pan is in place to collect water from the main free range and two female cages on the oposite side of the cham room. the second pan collects and then pumps, when full, into the main pan. the main pan has a higher flow rated pump than the smaller pan and can keep up with the water flowing into it. I have operated several tests trying to flood the pans and can't seem the overcome the flow of the drainage pumps.

I do bleach the run off pans and collection pans about once a week. I helps keep things from growing in the pans. It also helps with the smells.

I will post some pictures soon.
I wanted to give a bit of an update to this thread. I was looking for this thread for a friend who is interested in how to make my pans so I am updating some of the photos.

This is the dining room...

The bedroom free range:



New Member
those are quite the set up, but what type of lamps are those!!!!!!!? its blinding my eyes!!!!!!!! does it even heat?????? any ways i just want to say change those lamps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :eek:


Avid Member
so when the timers turn on in this room in the morning....does the rest of your apt lights flicker and go dim? do your neighbors come out to wonder wtf is going on with the electricity?

very nice man.

Aminah Undone

New Member
I have been eyeballing 2 leftover sheets of coroplast for the last week, wondering how I could make them work for Babu's free range. I'm so glad this thread popped back up, Kevin!

I still need to get the pic of under my bathroom sink. I haven't forgot. I'm just a scatter brain when I'm busy.

I'm thinking that since I built more onto his free range area, opposite side of the wall where that sink is... maybe I can get away with making a hole there and running it directly to that sink. (I'll just have to do a drywall patch, if and when we move. :eek: )


Established Member
Yup. Need you to set this up when I buy my house. lol. Maybe you could make the run off empty outside instead of a bucket???
Yup. Need you to set this up when I buy my house. lol. Maybe you could make the run off empty outside instead of a bucket???
the 'bucket' has a pump to send the water wherever you like. I have my drainage pans plumbed to a connection under the kitchen sink.
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