Food grade paint, alum gutter

sciotoFebruary 16, 2009

Hello all. I have been using Aluminum gutters for an ebb and flow set up for years. I line it with black plastic. It has worked well for lettuce and herbs suspended in Dixie cups. It has always been kinda of a pain to get the liner in place with out pokeing holes in it. I am working on a larger outside set up for this spring. I am in the gutter business, so I have a bunch of Alum gutter. Does anyone know of a suitible paint that I could cover the inside of my gutters with? Do you think it should be food grade or something just to keep the nuts from reacting with the metal? Thanks for any help

Here is a link that might be useful: pic of setup

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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

You might try a light coating of spray-on adhesive, the kind used to stick tee shirts to the printing platform of a screen-printing rig.

I've applied aluminum foil to the outside of buckets and grow tubes (NST) this way. It takes only a little bit; you could spray the gutter before applying your sheet of plastic using your fingers so as not to puncture the stuff.

Seems to me you could also pre-cut the plastic sheet and hospital-corner fold the ends so they would hold water, then just use double-backed tape to secure it in several places similar to using the spray-on adhesive.

Just a suggestion.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:24AM
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Thanks for the reply. I have used the spray glue and it does help secure the plastic. After I get it in place I will fill it with water and that will sit it all in place. My main problem is were I put the input line and the overfill lines, both lines are in the bottom of the gutter and plastic. I have tried silicone seal, glue, rubber gromets to seal these lines but eventually they begin to leak.(nothen seems to stick long to the plastic) Seems hard to get a good long term seal on the plastic film. Water will leak under the film and react with the aluminum. Then its a reall hasel to take it all apart, clean it, and let it dry to seal it up again. With a painted surface I would only have to shut the system down for a few hours to let it dry and fix the leak.
The system I will be putting up soon is likley to total over 100 running ft (5 20 ft runs) Trying to avoid headaches down the road. I plan on growing alot of snap peas (vines) and that would be a mess to take apart to fix a leak under the plastic. Thanks again

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:59AM
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I'm building my system this year with vinyl downspout. Have you considered doing something like that?
What I use to waterproof holes is a male and female PVC connection with round rubber washers. I have had no leakage since switching to this technique. to get the water to completely drain, you'll need to drill a hole in the side of the connection piece 'inside' your gutter.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Hi Grizz. I have thought about swithching over to a plastic gutter or Downspout, but the reason for staying with the alum is because I have so much of it. And I am cheap. I do have a 25 ft system on the south side of my house made out of 4 inch pvc drain pipe,with petroleum jelly has the seal on the conections. Works good, but only put it up last Oct. Maybe I should just take my scrap in and buy plastic. The alum gutter looks good tho,,, matches the house and does not look like a sewer pipe on the side of the house.(wifes input here) Picture needed I think. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 4:14PM
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freemangreens(Zone 10 CA)

Easy solution to the leaky connections:

I went to a local brewery called "Hydro Brew"(here's a link: and bought a "bulkhead fitting". In my case, it was a valve, which I wanted to install on a plastic bucket. I'm sure you could also install a coupling or some other fitting, depending on your needs.

They sold me a rubber "grommet" that fits into a 5/16" hole drilled into the side or bottom of the bucket. Next, the valve stem (which has a "barb" on one end and a "shoulder" on the other -- nearer the actual valve) fits rather tightly into the grommet. I used a little "KY" to make it slip easier.

Now, I have a tightly-fitted, professional valve on my plastic bucket. I use it to contain nutrient for a drip-irrigation system.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2009 at 11:03PM
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