Projects - GONZALES

Julie and Joe Gonzales
Julie and Joe Gonzales
Julie and Joe Gonzales
Julie and Joe Gonzales
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This page shows some of our more interesting home projects. Please enjoy.
Gutter Vac
Perhaps one of our most successful projects was GutterVac! We had a terrible problem every year with leaves clogging up the gutters. One year Joe fell off a ladder cleaning the gutters and broke two ribs. With his ladder licence now cancelled he had to come up with another solution. Having them cleaned professionally was very expensive. Gutter guards were found to be expensive as well and meant that cleaning the gutters in the future would be a problem.

One day we were thinking what we should put out for hard rubbish collection. We had an in-home vacuum system unit in the garage, which we never used. Chucking it out would certainly save some space. In fact it sat outside for a while, ready to go, then an awesome idea came to us - maybe we could use it to clean the gutters!

We added a bracket to the main unit to attach a flexible hose. We made a rigid snorkel pipe and a shaped snout piece. We made a new plastic bucket for the hopper and replaced the filter. When finished, we turned it on, stuck the nozzel into the gutter and were totally amazed at what a great job it did: Despite the fact it had been raining a few days before and the composted leaf-litter in the gutters was wet, we had all the gutters perfectly cleaned in an afternoon.


GutterVac Main Unit

GutterVac Snorkel

GutterVac in operation
Hydroponics system
We built our own hydroponics system, mainly to grow basil plants. It consists of:
  1. Two 6m long grow channels each with 40 grow positions
  2. Two 60 litre nutrient tanks
  3. 24VDC submersible pumps
  4. 24VDC power supply
  5. Aerator air tubing and air rocks
  6. Equipment enclosure
The nutrients are a two-part mix supplying all the nutrients that the plants need. A continuous flow is required to keep the plan roots healthy. The seeds are sprouted in an incubator inside. The seedlings are transfered to paper tubes in the centre of rock wool blocks. Each block is placed in a grow cup. Each grow cup is placed in a plastic drink cup to protect the plant from wind. The cups are then slotted into a circular hole in the top of the channel.

Our first single-channel hydroponic system

Vibrant geen basil plants grow quickly in continuously flowing nutrient solution

Our first dual-channel hydroponic system

Various plants including basil, chillies and tomatoes

The equipment box, nutrient tanks and feed pipes

The power supply for the pumps and the aerator

The submerged pumps, aerator tube and float valve
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