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Thread: Easy to Build DIY Carbon Filter

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Easy to Build DIY Carbon Filter

    I can't take credit for this it has been ripped from another site but it is worthy of posting.

    Security is important to marijuana growers, and odors can lead the police straight to your grow room. There are a number of 'odor solutions' out there, but they can be quite costly. Here is a simple method you can use to build your own carbon filter. It will take you about half an hour to construct it, and it will cost $20 to $30 dollars.

    Aside from its main advantage of being ultra cheap, this method is also very versatile. It utilizes the exact same activated carbon filters that are used in professional air cleaners, without paying the huge prices. It can be adapted to practically any ventilation system. You do not need any crazy tools to build this - anyone can do it.

    For supplies, everything is easily available at a store like Home Depot. You will need the following:

    1 activated carbon filter - ( found near humidifiers, air, and hepa filters )
    1 small roll of aluminum screen
    1 four inch ventilation end-cap
    1 four inch duct connector piece
    1 roll of duct tape

    No tools are required. A pair of scissors and a measuring tape are all you need.

    The carbon filter I purchased is a 'universal' replacement filter for HoneyWell air purifiers. Since I didn't pay the hefty price for a professional unit, I will cut this to size. It was originally 16" high and about 48" long, so I cut it right down the middle. When the first filter is expired, I will have a replacement ready to go.

    The next step is to cut your aluminum screen to size. I chose aluminum because it will be strong, and will still allow good air-flow. You could substitute chicken mesh or something similar. Since my (cut) carbon filter is 8" high, the aluminum will be cut to 12". The carbon filter will go in the middle 8" of this screen, with 2" coming out of each end to connect to the duct pieces.

    Now we will attach the aluminum screen to the duct pieces, with duct tape. (This might be the first time you have actually used duct tape on ducts!) Do your best to keep it straight as possible.

    It will seem a bit flimsy at the beginning. Continue to wrap the aluminum screen around and around, taping it every few inches. You want it to hold firm.

    After a few wraps it will be fairly sturdy, and able to hold its own weight. However, don't drive your truck over it! Treat her nice and gentle like a Christian schoolgirl.

    The ends of your screen may have little strands of metal poking out, threatening to impale you. Add some more duct tape to cover this up and to finalize the DIY carbon filter. Soon it will be done.

    Now it is time to wrap the activated carbon filter onto our device. Conveniently, the filter I bought came with a couple of velcro straps, so I used them to hold it on. This will be convenient to replace when the activated carbon is expired.

    After she's all sealed up, throw on a bit more duct tape around the edges of the carbon filter, to seal up any gaps. Only tape over the edges, because you want the air to flow as easily as possible. Air does not flow through duct tape. Here is the finished product.

    Time to hook her up to the grow room exhaust! In this case, it is being hooked to a 4" square duct. (That is why I used a 4" round to 4" square connector piece. You may need a different piece to suit your ventilation setup, but a million sizes are available.) Just slide her onto the vent, and tape it down nice and sturdy. Duct tape is your reliable grey friend.

    After she is attached and fire up, things are looking good. It is working nice, hooked to a 60 CFM fan, and you can feel the air flowing out of it lightly. The fan was not slowed down too much, but obviously a carbon filter will add some back-pressure to your vents. I haven't tried this with a slower blower (under 60 CFM), but 60 CFM is not a lot.

    I just hooked this up today, so I don't know how often I will have to replace the carbon filter. The box the filter came in says to replace every two or three months. It does seem to make a difference though. Outside the grow room does not stink like a skunk anymore. There is almost no smell at all, except the faint odor of duct tape adhesive. I'm sure that will go away after a few hours.

    Using this method, everyone can now build their own activated carbon filter. Its quite easy, and you can build it any size you need, to fit any grow room and any type of duct. Could it get any better than that?

  2. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Ultima For This Useful Post:

    Adambomb (26-02-11), Bubbles LM (12-08-10), budbud007 (08-09-10), Crixus (05-04-10), IMTALKINGTHC (08-09-10), Mr_Floyd (18-04-10), needsmust (15-04-12), RHINO_RECOVERY (07-09-10), stoner01 (04-05-11), Tabbatha (08-09-10), yoko2009 (08-09-10)

  3. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts


    This, sir is pure genius...

    How much did it cost you in total for all the parts ? And do you mind if ask where you purchased the parts ?

    Thanks for posting this up though, have a feeling it'll save me a bit of coin !!

    (sorry) : Just re-read the post and seen you posted the cost... the first time i opened i just scrolled straight to the pics.
    Last edited by Crixus; 05-04-10 at 10:20 AM.

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Thanked 12 Times in 2 Posts


    Crixus - im not sure because this is a repost off another website i thought it would just be nice for thctalk to have this so i posted it. but anyway im sure you can find all this stuff at like a Lowes or Home Depot or something of that sort

  5. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts


    Well thanks anyways, good of you to post this up. I'm in the middle of planning my first ever grow, and decided hydro is best bang for my buck but it's pricey to set up as i'm sure your aware so idiot proof and reliable solutions like this are always welcome. I'm new here and my words carry little weight but i vote this to be stickied.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Crixus For This Useful Post:

    marcus (03-10-10)

  7. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Thanked 89,791 Times in 29,636 Posts


    Nice & simple

    Any idea how long it'll last before changing the carbon screen?
    Without failure there is no achievement.(John C Maxwell)

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  8. #6
    sir-smokes-alot Guest


    I've been using active carbon filter for ages in my salt water fish tanks.
    so after reading threads saying you need one, I finding this thread which was great!!!
    I made my own ghetto extraction fan for 17 pounds :P

    1 drainpipe ( back yard)
    1 pair of tights ( 1 pound)
    1 bathroom extractor( 10 pound)
    1 small plastic plant pot
    1 bag of active carbon for fish tanks( 6 pound)

    - connect the extractor to the pipe using duck tape
    - place some of the tight over the over end (like a mesh filter)
    - place some of the active carbon into the stocking and tie in a not (like a potato head)
    - now place the carbon in the plant pot
    -take the plant pot with the carbon inside and place it on top of the pipe with the stocking on the end(the stocking will stop the tight filled with carbon falling down the hole) now tape up.

    try not to use to much tale on the last bit cause you can always put a fresh stocking full of carbon if that one expires!!!!

    finally connect to your cabinet

    CONGRATULATION you did it
    Last edited by sir-smokes-alot; 06-09-10 at 09:12 PM.

  9. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    just what i was looking for
    top marks!
    i fink a sticky is needed

  10. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Thanked 2,522 Times in 1,489 Posts


    I seen them do that on Blue Peter but with a cornflake box and used toilet rolls, i wouldnt stand a chance of making that! my diy skills have a lot to be desired
    The Sweet Zone: Pruning & Topping Indoor Plants For Larger Yields

    "I gave up weed because i thought it was turning me into a lazy turns out im just a lazy bastard" - yoko2009

    ´´wert is god and i am his bitch´´

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