In this guide and review, we’ll talk about what water chillers are, which types of chillers are there, how they are used, and how to select the best water chiller for hydroponics.
Since hydroponics have started being used for growing plants and making sure that they have everything for proper growth, gardening has never been easier.
However, sometimes a good watering system isn’t enough as there are several factors that can change the environmental needs crucial for growing plants properly.
For this reason, many components can be installed in your hydroponics system. That can ensure that your indoor plants thrive in a safe and healthy environment.
One of those components is a water chiller and that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about today.
There will also be a list of 21 water chillers we’ve selected and reviewed so you’ll be more than welcome to check them out.
So let’s not waste more time and jump straight in!
If you are short with time, jump right ahead:
What is a Water Chiller for Hydroponics?
Before we start explaining what water chillers are, let’s start by seeing what hydroponics are all about.
Hydroponics is an irrigation system that delivers water directly to the soil of your potted plants.
They also regulate the pH levels, the amount of light and water flow your plant receives, and also the flow of nutrients.
Also, hydroponics make sure that your plants are pests and disease free so you won’t have to worry about things such as wilting or insect bites on the foliage.
A water chiller for hydroponics doesn’t freeze the water temperature nor does it make the air circulation colder. Instead, it removes any heath from the whole hydroponics system.
In almost any water chiller unit there is a thermostat controller that you can set up to control the temperature of the water that seeps through the soil.
The key benefit of a water chiller is that it maintains the optimal temperature of the water mixed with nutrients you use for your plant as most of such mixtures need to be on a certain temperature level to do their job.
Also, because warm water makes it harder for oxygen to enter the root of the plants and insufficient amounts of oxygen won’t trigger the nutrient solution, it’s important to have a water chiller to make sure that there is a constant flow of fresh and cold air.
So a water chiller is basically a small refrigerator that is attached to a water pump and the reservoir. As the pump pumps out water, the chiller will cool it down in the reservoir.
There, the cold water mixed up with the nutrient solution is being cooled down before it goes up again through the water pump and back to the water reservoir.
Just so you know, water chillers are used not just for hydroponics but also for fish tanks. Don’t be confused if some chillers we talk about are aimed towards aquariums as they all have the same purpose – to chill the water.
The water chiller just needs to have enough power to eliminate the heat from the water, so it doesn’t matter if it is made for an aquarium.
So now that we know a bit about water chillers, let’s see how to use one.
How to Use a Water Chiller for Hydroponics?
Just so you know there are about 3 types of water chillers you can use for your hydroponic system but they don’t all require the same setup.
We’ll go through the process step by step so you know how to use set up your standard drop-in water chiller as this type is the most common on the market.
- Turn off your air and water pumps
- Close the valves on the return manifold to prevent the flow of water
- Disconnect the water return line from the pump
- Attach the chiller with the tubing on to the pump
- Attach the return line to the side of the epicenter on the water chiller
- Open the valves on the return manifold, turn on the air and water pumps and only then the chiller
- Set up the thermostat to the optimal temperature
Please note that you shouldn’t plug back either of the pumps if the water doesn’t start running through the vales on the return manifold.
This means that something is wrong with the setup and you should check twice if everything is nicely connected.
Also, you need to make sure that the tubing of the pump and chiller is compatible and that you have the right size gauge. Otherwise, the water will start to splash everywhere or, even if the fit seems right but there is a small gap, there can be leakage that you might not even see until it becomes a problem.
Sounds easy, right? Let’s talk a bit about the types of water chillers.
Water Chiller Types
As we already said, there are 3 basic types of water chillers.
They all pretty much do the same job, but to choose the right type you must take into consideration what type of system you’re using, what plant type you want to cultivate, and also things like space consumption, pricing, and ability to work for long periods.
Drop-In Water Chillers
You can easily find these chillers in most aquarium and gardening stores as they are the easiest to hook up, will work on most systems, and aren’t space-consuming.
They are most suitable for DWC hydroponics but are suitable for other systems as well.
You plug them into the water filter directly and from there the thermostat will regulate the water temperature.
Setting up this type of chillers doesn’t take long and doesn’t require any plumbing experience.
Also, price-wise, they are quite cheap but there are also more expensive models that are more powerful.
In-Line Water Chillers
These chillers work best on larger systems such as, for example, nutrient film technique or NFT. These are typically used for big plantations and water is always running through the channels.
In-line water chillers use special filters that are great for providing the optimal temperature while the water is circulating.
Most of them have lots of horsepowers and can generate a large amount of BTU/h. Therefore, they are generally used for large systems only.
However, these types of chillers are quite hard to set up if you don’t have any plumbing experience and they are quite large.
Also, they aren’t the cheapest on the market so you should get one only for an NFT system.
Thermoelectric Water Chillers
The third type of water chillers is the thermoelectric ones.
They can be used for small fish tanks and a smaller hydroponics system setup.
They work by attaching a probe into the reservoir that transfers heat between 2 electrical junctions, which cools down the water temperature.
These chillers are great because they don’t take up any space and aren’t noisy.
Also, they are easy to fix and are cheap, and if you know anything about electronics, you won’t have to send them to be repaired.
So now that you’re familiar with the types of chillers, let’s talk about how to choose the right one and what you need to know before you go out and buy it.
How to Choose the Right Water Chiller for Hydroponics?
Every system is different and it all depends on what type of plants you want to grow, the environment you want to set up, and how much space you have in your indoor/outdoor garden.
Similarly, water chillers follow the same pattern.
Some factors that you need to take into consideration include:
- Optimal water temperature
- Water chiller horsepower
- Hydroponics system size
- Water chiller size
- Plant type
- Indoor/outdoor growing
Our plan is to break down these factors into sections and explain what you need to know before buying a chiller.
The Type and Size of Your Hydroponics System
Not every water chiller will work on all hydroponic systems and yes, there are some which can be plugged in all types. However, some are ideal just for certain types of systems.
That’s why you need to know which water chiller is compatible with your system and try to get the one that fits the gallon range.
For example, for a DWC system, you should get thermoelectric and drop-in chillers. They are the most common on the market.
For an NFT system, it’s suggested that you use a thermoelectric chiller because of the optimal features this setup needs.
In-line chillers are used for heavy-duty systems and require some plumbing experience to function properly.
Now that we’ve cleared that up, it’s time to explain why the size of your hydroponics system also plays a key role in deciding which chiller to buy.
If you have a small hydroponics system, you can use a thermoelectric chiller as most of them are made for smaller gallon ranges.
Usually, these ranges go from 10 to 40 gallons. And if you have a larger system, let’s say 60 or 80 gallons one, then you’ll have to get at least 2 thermoelectric chillers.
The drop-in chillers are commonly used for small to medium-sized systems and the in-line ones are used for large systems.
The drop-in chillers are usually suitable for systems that can hold from 20 to up to 120 or more gallons. The in-line ones are best suitable for systems that are around 100 to 300 gallons.
Of course, there are also heavy-duty drop-in chillers that are used for large systems as well but they are quite expensive and drain a lot of energy.
So now that you know which system
Optimal Water Temperature
Because you can’t set a precisely optimal temperature for every plant you grow to reproduce its natural environment, by using a water chiller, you can at least get close enough for it to thrive.
For example, tropical plants need warmer water than cool-season plants, not only because the roots will start to freeze, but also because the nutrients that give these plants the food they need won’t be able to be released.
The most common temperatures for most easy-to-grow plants are somewhere in the range of 20-24 °C (68-75 °F) and if you’re planning to grow plants such as tomatoes, lettuce, green beans, and so on, you should stick with this range.
Don’t worry if you don’t set up the temperature to the optimal point, as a slight change in degrees won’t harm your plant. However, you still don’t want to have extreme temperature differences.
No matter what type of plant you grow, you never want to go below 16 °C (60 °F) and above 27 °C (80 °C).
Most chillers won’t exceed 27 °C (80 °F), but some can cool down the water much more than the optimal temperature, so be careful with your setup.
What’s more, the temperature of your grow room is also going to affect the temperature of your system.
That’s why you’ll sometimes see changes in temperature on the thermostat of the chiller unit. You shouldn’t be too much concerned as it’s usually a slight change in a degree or two.
Also, the amount of water needed for your system and the size of your chiller need to be complemented with each other. That will provide the optimal temperature to your plants.
So how do you know which size water chiller to buy?
Water Chiller Size
You need to get the right size chiller for your system so that everything can run as smoothly as possible.
If you go a size or a few over, you’ll spend a lot more electricity and water than necessary. On the other hand, if you go a few sizes under, you won’t be able to cool down the system enough.
The cooling ability of a water chiller is most often measured in BTU.
To put things into perspective 1 BTU = 1 pound of water goes up to 1° F.
So logically, the more BTU capacity the more heat it can remove from the water.
But, to get the size right, you must calculate how much BTU/h your system needs and this depends on how much water the system uses.
Calculating the formula isn’t that hard if you know how much your system takes up water.
If we know that 1 gallon is equal to 8.35 pounds (3.78 kilos) and you need the same amount of BTU/has GPH times the temperature difference, then we get the right number of BTU we need.
So let’s assume that a system has 50 gallons of water and we need to take the temperature off from 75 °F (24 °C) to 65 °F (18.3 °C).
The total BTU/h will be 50 gallons of water times 8.33 times 10 which adds up to 4165 BTU/h.
You might be asking what these numbers and how can they help you decide which water chiller to buy.
Well, this all has to do with horsepower and that’s exactly what we’ll cover next.
Water Chiller Horsepower
BTU isn’t the only thing you should look out for when buying a water chiller.
The power of the chiller comes from its HP and not all chillers who have the same horsepower have the same BTU.
For example, 1 horsepower is equal to 9000 BTU/h, but some chillers also have 12000 BTU/h because they have special technology which lets them have more BTU output.
Most standard water chillers, however, have 9000 BTU/h per horsepower and we’ll use that as a reference for our example.
If we take our 50-gallon system that needs 4165 BTU/h, then we will solve all of our problems with a 0.5 HP chiller as it can generate up to 5000 BTU/h.
Never go under the required BTU/h because your chiller simply won’t have enough power to remove the heat and you won’t get the optimal temperature.
Also, if you need only 5000 BTU/h per se, don’t get a 1HP chiller as it will consume a lot more energy and won’t get the job done quicker.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to go 0.1 HP up from what you need just in case you need more power in the future.
If you think that this is all too much complicated, then I suggest you follow the gallon sizes recommended in the instructions.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Getting a Water Chiller
Before getting the right chiller, you should know that besides the benefits of having a chiller, there are also some downsides.
Don’t get us wrong, getting a water chiller will definitely help your plants have a nicer time thriving in your garden, but you need to consider that it’s another expense that you have to add to your monthly bills.
So what are the upsides and what are the downsides of owning a water chiller?
✅Helps Oxygen Dissolve in the Nutrient Mixture
As we already explained, if there is no oxygen in your hydroponics system because of the extra heat that needs to be eliminated, your nutrient mixture won’t get to the right temperature it needs to release the nutrients for the plant.
Because oxygen levels decrease as the temperature goes up, it’s crucial to have some way of extracting the extra heat and there is no better and faster way to do it than to get a water chiller.
Also, good airflow and air filters help any dust or tiny particles that might get trapped in the water get extracted from the water and not clog the water pump and other components.
✅Bigger System – More Heat
If you have a smaller hydroponics system for a few plants, then, of course, you can cool down the water manually by adding some ice cubes or cold water.
However, if you have a large hydroponics system, on the other hand, you won’t be able to cool down the water enough by yourself to reach the optimal temperature.
Also, when chilling down the water manually, you’ll never know at what temperature the water is as even with having a thermometer, the temperature can fluctuate throughout the day.
For this reason, it is a good idea to get a water chiller as not only will you save yourself the hassle of chilling the water by yourself, but you’ll also be able to set the right temperature of the water and it won’t change unless you set it up differently.
✅Optimal Temperature Adjustment
Not only is optimal temperature important for releasing the nutrients from the nutrient mixture, but also because you want to recreate the conditions your plants would have in the wild right there in your indoor garden.
So by having a water chiller, no matter what climate you live in, you’ll always have the right temperature needed for your plants to thrive.
And don’t get fooled into thinking that if your indoor garden is at room temperature that it’s enough to provide your plants the optimal temperature as in most cases even without sun exposure, growing plants indoors means that more heat will be trapped inside the grow room and make the water warmer.
✅Protection from Diseases
As you already know, pests, pathogens, and organisms that may cause diseases to your plants flourish in hot conditions.
By using a water chiller, you’re not only cooling down the water and the plant environment but you’re also giving the plants a constant flow of freshwater and air which won’t let any diseases and microorganisms attack your plants.
Because a water chiller is somewhat of a mini refrigeration device, it does produce heat from the back end of the unit.
Knowing this, you shouldn’t place your water chiller so close to your hydroponics system as it may just end up heating the water instead of cooling it down.
Of course, the heat emission all depends on the type of water chiller you have and there are a lot of water chillers on the market which produce less heat than others so you should definitely consider that when buying one.
Water chillers aren’t as cheap as you might think and a good one which would last you for years, costs around $500 – $1000 and the price just goes up.
Of course, there are always cheaper alternatives that won’t make such a hole in your wallet but do consider that they won’t last as long and might start to malfunction after a while.
Also, water chillers consume a lot of energy as they are always running, so do know that your electrical bill will be a bit higher than usual.
And we shouldn’t even mention that if something malfunctions, you’re going to have to get your water chiller fixed and that isn’t cheap.
So if we were to look at from a financial perspective it does pay off to get a water chiller, but you need to be ready for the extra cost so that your plants can enjoy their home.
Most water chillers are the size of a water pump but some of them do take up quite a lot of space in your indoor garden.
What’s more, you can’t place your water chiller anywhere you want as it radiates heat while working so you need to put it as far from the water reservoir as possible.
Thermoelectric chillers are great because most of them get attached to the reservoir and don’t emit any heat so they don’t even take up any space at all.
But if you get a heavy-duty drop-in chiller, on the other hand, you’ll need to make sure to place it somewhere that’s cold and dry and try to keep it far from the system.
Best Water Chillers for Hydroponics Review
So now let’s get to the point of this article – product reviews.
We’ll be reviewing the best 21 picks and explain what each water chiller has to offer as well as the pros and the cons.
So let’s jump straight in!
1. VIVOSUN 800GPH Submersible Pump
- 800 GPH water flow
- 24W power
- Max lift 10ft
- 5ft power cord
- Detachable parts
This submersible water pump by VIVOSUN is small weighing just 1.9 pounds but has a lot of power in its compact unit.
It has a max water flow of around 800 GPH which is ideal for larger tanks and systems and the good thing is that it doesn’t use up too much power because it runs on 24W.
The pump also has a maximum lift of 10ft, a 5ft power cord and it can be used for either wet or even dry installations.
The pump comes with 4 suction cups on the bottom of the unit which can be attached to any type of flat surface, 3 nozzles of different sizes for different water flows, and also a water control valve for adjusting the flow rate.
Almost every part can be detached and cleaned because it’s mostly made out of plastic but it isn’t a good idea to put it in the dishwasher so you’ll have to wash it by running it under warm water.
All in all, it’s a great energy-efficient water pump for almost any medium to large-sized systems.
- 3 nozzle sizes
- Water flow control valve
- Small, compact, and lightweight
- Power not adjustable
- Mostly made of plastic
2. Simple Deluxe 1056 GPH Submersible Pump
- 1056 GPH
- Max lift of 12ft
- 15ft power cord
- 276W power
- Anti-corrosive metal unit
Next in line is the Simple Deluxe water pump with a max flow of rate of 1056 GPH which is ideal for most large hydroponic systems.
The pump has a max lift of 12ft, a 15ft power cord, and is powered by 276W.
The pump comes with 3 different-size nozzles, the thicker ones being for inline and the thinner for outlet use.
It has a built-in filter that prevents any dust particles or debris from entering the unit so the pump works fine for years to come.
The unit inside is made from anti-corrosive metal which is covered with an epoxy-based resin case that will save you from any electrical output that might be dangerous around water.
To sum it up, this pump will get the job done for almost any heavy-duty system and because it’s so sturdy, it can take a lot of beatings before it needs to be replaced.
- Epoxy resin casting
- 3 different nozzle sizes for inline and outlet
- Anti-debris filter
- Consumes a lot of energy
3. KEDSUM Submersible Water Pump 800 GPH
- 800 GPH
- 60W power
- 10ft max lift
- Anti-corrosion aluminum oxide ceramic shaft
- Epoxy-resin casing
Up next we have a water pump by KEDSUM that is quite compact but packs a lot of punch because it has 60W of power and a water flow of 800 GPH.
Apart from its power, this pump also has a maximum lift of around 10ft and a 6.6ft water-resistant power cord.
The motor runs quietly and the pump doesn’t overheat after prolonged usage so you don’t need to worry about extra heat emission.
What’s great about this water pump is that the impeller shaft is made from a special ceramic which is anti-corrosive and also the casing of the pump is also made from anti-corrosive epoxy resin.
If you add 3 nozzle sizes into the mix then you get a solid water pump for medium to large hydroponic systems and fish tanks.
So overall, this water pump is in the mid-range as far as pricing and quality is concerned and will be a great asset to your system.
- Quiet operation
- Suitable for medium systems
- 3 different-sized nozzles
- Doesn’t have a warranty
- Brittle casing
4. KEDSUM Submersible Water Pump 550 GPH
- 550 GPH
- Max lift 5ft
- 40W motor
- 3 different nozzle sizes
- 6.5ft power cord
Next up we have another water pump by KEDSUM but this one is a bit smaller than the previous one as it only has a max flow of 550 GPH but it’s best suitable for smaller systems.
The pump has a max lift of about 5ft and is powered by a 40W motor which runs quietly throughout long periods.
The 3 different-sized nozzles offer control of the water flow and can be used for a variety of tubing sizes depending on your needs.
What’s great about this pump is that almost all of the parts are detachable and washable so cleaning the pump will be a breeze.
Also, if you need a bit more power, you can always get 2 of these pumps and they’ll be enough for medium and large systems as well.
All in all, this pump is cheap, easy to install, and reliable so if you’re looking for a water pump for your small system then you might want to consider getting this one.
- Runs quietly
- Detachable parts
- Easy to clean
- Anti-corrosive casing
- Not enough power for larger systems
- No warranty
5. North Slope 1/4 Ton Water Chiller
- 1/4 Ton power
- 3000 BTU/h
- Suitable for 80 to 120 gallon systems
- 10 degrees difference in 1 hour
- 3.5 GPM
This industrial water chiller is great for large hydroponic systems that need a lot of cooling in a short amount of time.
Because it has a power of 1/4 tons, it can generate around 3000 BTU/h great for 80 to 120 gallon systems.
It can bring the temperature down by 10 degrees in just an hour and even has a deep freeze option but you shouldn’t turn that on as the temperature will go well below the freezing point.
One thing we should point out is that this chiller is quite robust and takes a lot of space so you should be careful where you put it so it doesn’t interfere with your setup.
All in all, if you’re looking for a heavy-duty chiller to cool down large amounts of water in no time, then this chiller is for you.
- Fast cooling
- A lot of power
- Sturdy and anti-corrosive casing
- Great for most water pumps
- Heavy and robust
6. Active Aqua AACH25HP Hydroponic Water Chiller Cooling System
- 1/4 HP capacity
- Most suitable for 40 – 90 gallons systems
- 3010 BTU/h
- Anti-corrosive evaporator
- 260 – 660 GP
First on our list is a 1/4 HP water chiller by Active Aqua.
With its 1/4 HP, it is enough to generate roughly 3000 BTU per hour so it’s most suitable for a 40 to 90 gallons water system and can pump out around 260 – 660 GPH.
You can use it for DWC, wick, and ebb and flow hydroponic systems as long as you have a water pump.
It’s a drop-in type water chillers so setting it up won’t take more than a few minutes and because it has an anti-corrosive evaporator for both fresh and saltwater, you don’t have to worry about it getting limestone problems.
It is most suitable for pumps in the size of – AAPW400, AAPW550, and AAPW800 which are all easy to find in most DIY stores.
Apart from being user-friendly, it’s also cost-efficient although it isn’t the cheapest water chiller on the list because it only uses up 460 W.
The Active Aqua water chiller is also Freon free, doesn’t make any noise while running, doesn’t take up much space, and it’s also quite easy to adjust the temperature by using the thermometer display on the front.
Overall, this is one of the top picks for most gardeners who are into hydroponics as it’s basically a one-time-buy product that does its job without any problems.
- Large refrigeration capacity
- Freon free
- Easy to set up
- Suitable for most hydroponics systems
- A bit pricey
- Heavy, even though it’s compact
7. Hamilton Technology Aqua Euro Max
- 1/4 HP capacity
- Suitable for systems of up to 120 gallons
- 300 GPH
- Anti-freeze system
- Heavy-duty condenser
Even though this water chiller is mostly used for fish tanks, it is ideal for most hydroponics systems as well as it has 1/4 HP which is enough to provide cooling for up to 120 gallons systems.
It is capable of pumping out 300 GPH and you can attach it directly to a water pump if you have a DWC system.
This water chiller has an anti-freezing system so the water won’t get too cold and it doesn’t allow the heat exchanger to freeze.
The system will also keep your desired temperature even if you change it on your water reservoir so you’ll always have a constant temperature setup.
Build-wise, it’s a compact and light-weight chiller with a simple LED thermometer display which is quite easy to set up.
Along with this chiller, you’ll get a condenser which will release any trapped heat that might’ve been lingering around your hydroponics system.
All in all, even though it’s not the cheapest chiller out there and despite it being used mostly for aquariums, it’s still a praised water chiller on the market that gets the job done without any problems.
- Easy to set up
- Anti-freezing system keeps the water from getting too cold
- User-friendly LED display
- A bit pricey
- Doesn’t come with instructions on cleaning the filter
8. Eco Plus Chiller
- 1/4 HP capacity
- Ideal for systems from 30 to 100 gallons
- 260 – 660 GPH
- 3000 – 4000 BTU/h
- Anti-freezing and anti-corrosive system
- LCD screen thermometer
Next in line is the Eco Plus water chiller with its 1/4 HP motor ideal for systems for up to 100 gallons and can generate around 3000 to 4000 BTU/h depending on your setup.
Not only that, but it can also change the temperature of the water by 30 degrees so you have to be careful not to over-chill your water using this bad boy.
Luckily, there is an anti-freezing system that won’t let the heat exchanger freeze and your water won’t get so cold that your plants start to wilt.
Eco Plus is ideal for pumps ranging between 260 and 660 GPH so most standard water pumps will work well with this water chiller.
The LCD screen is quite user friendly and the overall unit of the chiller is small and it doesn’t make too much noise.
Lastly, we have to mention that this water chiller is completely corrosion resistant so you won’t have to worry about water being accidentally trapped inside the unit.
- Small but a lot of power
- Will work on most hydroponic systems
- Sometimes noisy
- Can over-chill the water if not used correctly
9. Ice Probe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller
- 1/15 HP capacity
- Work best with systems with around 20 to 40 gallons capacity
- Ideal for a DWC hydroponics system
- The unit is only 4” x 7”
Yes, you’ve read that right, this is an aquarium water chiller but it’s ideal if you have a DWC system that doesn’t use too much water.
Even though it is small and has power around 1/15 HP, you can easily chill down a 40 gallons DWC system by approximately 3 to 4 degrees.
And, if you use 2 of these chillers, it will give you double the power.
The great thing about this chiller is that the heat emission is practically non-existent and it’s also quite easy to mount this type of chiller on almost any water pump.
The only downside of this chiller is that the temperature must be pre-determined before you plug it in so you can only cultivate plants with similar water temperature needs.
So if you happen to have a small DWC system and you want a quick and easy way to chill down your water without too much expense, you might want to consider this option.
- Small and compact
- Doesn’t emit any heat
- Doesn’t make any noise
- Easy to set up on most water pumps
- If you have a larger hydroponics system, you’ll need multiple units
- The temperature must be pre-determined
10. Coralife Water Chiller
- 1/10 HP capacity
- Can develop up to 2000 BTU/h
- Suitable for 200 to 300 GPH water pumps
- Has a reusable air filter
- Best for 50 gallons hydroponics systems
Next up is the Coralife water chiller powered by its 1/10 HP engine ideal for systems for up to 50 and up gallons.
Even though this is a fish tank chiller, you can still use it for most systems as you can attach it to a water pump that has from 200 to 300 GPH flow rate.
As this is one of the 1/10 HP water chillers, it can develop around 2000 BTU/h at max so you’ll definitely enjoy using it for medium to large systems.
The great thing about this water chiller is that it has a reusable air filter which makes the oxygen cleaner and you can clean the filter by simply running it underwater or putting it in a washing machine.
Also, this water chiller has an integrated power outlet so you can maintain the optimal temperature by turning it on if the water gets way too cold.
It’s simple to set up, easy to use via the user-friendly thermometer, and also it doesn’t make any noise at all. What more could you ask for?
- Overall good quality
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to useEasy to install
- Has an air filter
- Has an integrated power outlet
- Doesn’t produce any noise
- Ideal for most hydroponics systems
- Takes up space
- A bit pricey
11. JBJ Arctica Aquarium Chiller 1/15 HP
- 1/15 HP unit
- Suitable for 200 to 300 GPH water pumps
- Can generate around 1000 BTU/h
- LCD thermostat screen
- Best for 40 gallons hydroponics systems
The JBJ water chiller is supposedly one of the quietest chillers on the market and many happy buyers can confirm it.
Apart from being noise-free, this 1/15 HP water chiller is great for small to medium hydroponics systems that have around 40 to 80 gallons capacity and can generate about 1000 BTU/h.
You can attach it to a pump that has around 200 to 300 GPH and it can be used with most types of water pumps, meaning that, in order to use it, you don’t need special tubing to install it.
The good thing is that most of the unit is made from titanium so you don’t need to worry about corrosion.
This product includes a thermostat that will turn off the unit when the water reaches the optimal temperature, it’s not only going to maintain the water temperature but also saves you a few extra bucks on your electrical bill.
The unit has an LCD thermostat screen which is quite easy to use and it has a temporary memory, which means that even if you run into a power outage, your plants will be safe.
Overall, if we include a 2-year warranty on any malfunction, you’re looking at one great water chiller that is probably a bit more expensive than other types of chillers on the market, but it’s also quite powerful.
- Reliable manufacturer
- Has a temporary memory for power outages
- Built-in thermostat for economic efficiency
- Simple to use on almost any water pump
- A bit pricey
- In case you have a bit different, and larger system, you might want to consider getting a bigger model
12. Active Aqua Water Chiller 1/10 HP
- 1/10 HP capacity
- Can generate around 1000 BTU/h
- Best for 40 gallons hydroponic systems
- 2 sets of water pump tubing
- LCD thermostat screen
Next, we’re going to take a look at another water chiller by Active Aqua but this one has 1/10 HP and although it’s a smaller unit, it still works great with smaller and medium hydroponics systems.
As is expected with Active Aqua products, this water chiller is built of the best materials, and it will last much longer. You don’t have to worry about being a bit rough with it.
As is mentioned, it has 1/10 HP and can generate roughly around 1000 BTU/h and works best for 40-gallon hydroponics systems.
It can be attached to most water pumps on the market which have a capacity of around 150 to 250 GPH and it doesn’t need any special tubing to be installed.
Despite being a 1/10 HP model, it only draws about 2.2 Amps so it’s quite economical and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
It comes with 2 sets of fittings for water pump tubing – one 1/2” and one 3/4” which are quite easy to find and set up.
If that wasn’t enough, it also comes with a temporary memory system that maintains the optimal temperature even if there is a power outage.
All in all, this small in size, but relatively powerful water chiller does the job quite well and is quality-built so you shouldn’t have any problems with it in the long run.
- Lightweight but powerful
- Great quality
- Ideal for smaller and medium systems
- Can get overheated if you use it for larger systems
- Not the fastest cooling
13. Eco Plus Water Chiller 1/10
- 1/10 HP power capacity
- Ideal for 50 gallons systems
- Works best with a 66 to 317 GPH water pump
- Can develop up to 2000 BTU/h
- Has an IC chip
The next chiller in line is another water chiller by Eco Plus but with a smaller capacity of 1/10 HP which is most suitable for medium hydroponic systems.
You can attach this chiller to any water pump which has a size of 66 to 317 GPH and the unit itself can develop around 2000 BTU/h running on maximum power.
Even though it’s a smaller unit, you can still use it on 50 gallon systems, so it’s definitely quite powerful for its size. But it’s not as powerful as the competitive chillers in this unit size.
But this smaller unit is not only compact but also built with a titanium heat exchanger that is corrosion free and provides high performance.
Apart from having a nice user-friendly LCD display that is easily adjusted, it also has an IC chip. It doesn’t allow the water to drop to a certain temperature so that you always have the optimal water temperature.
All in all, getting this water chiller from a trusted company is one of your best options for medium-sized systems. So, you might want to consider this as an option.
- Small but gets the job done
- Conserves optimal water temperature
- Easy setup
- 2-year warranty
- Can get a bit loud
- Not the most powerful of the unit size
14. JBJ Arctica Titanium Chiller 1/10 HP
- 1/10 HP motor
- Can generate 2000 BTU/h
- Best for 60 to 120 gallon systems
- Works on 200 to 400 GPH water pumps
- Smart memory chip
We have another water chiller by JBJ, but this one has a bit more power to it. It has a 1/10 HP motor compared to the 1/15 HP one from the previous model.
It can generate around 2000 BTU/h so you can already tell that it’s meant for medium-sized systems that are about the 60 to 120 gallons range.
You can attach it to a 200 to 400 GPH water pump and everything will run smoothly.
Not only is it faster and more powerful than the 1/15 HP one, but it also has a titanium heat exchanger that isn’t susceptible to corrosion or rust.
Also, it has a smart memory chip that will maintain the optimal water temperature for some time even if there is a power outage.
All in all, the JBJ is quiet, compact, runs without problems, and will finish the job for most hydroponics systems.
- Compact and lightweight
- Trusted manufacturer
- 2-year warranty
- Can’t be attached to PVC tubing
15. Teco Tank TK-500 1/6 HP Water Chiller
- 1/6 HP motor power
- Can develop around 2000 BTU/h
- Works best with 100 to 400 GPH water pumps
- Has a built-in heater
- Rotatable exhaust for air and heat flow
This is one unique water chiller we have on our list as it the Teco Tank TK-500 has 1/6 HP. You can rarely find water chillers with the motor powers this high.
Due to the motor capacity which is 1/6 HP, it can develop around 3000 BTU/h depending on the type of water pump you’re using.
And since we’ve already mentioned water pumps, the Teco Tank water chiller works best on pumps that have a flow of water between 100 and 400 GPH.
You can easily set this bad boy on to a 70 to 130-gallon hydroponics system. It will cool down the water quite fast.
What’s quite unique about this chiller is that it also has a built-in heater if the water gets too cold. So, you can turn it on at any time and get the optimal temperature in a matter of minutes.
It also has a rotatable exhaust on the top of the unit, so you can easily control the flow of the air and heat.
One thing that should be mentioned is that on the LCD screen you’re actually viewing the temperature of the flowing water and not the temperature setup.
This means that you’re actually getting the water temperature shown in real-time. Therefore, don’t worry if the numbers start to change as the built-in thermostat will always try to keep the optimal temperature.
All in all, apart from being unique, this water chiller might be the most bang for your buck chiller we have on our list.
- Good for larger hydroponics systems
- Built-in thermostat with a controller
- Magnetic filter screen
- 2-year warranty
- A bit noisy
- Large and robust
16. All Pond Solutions Aquarium Water Cooler
- Has a 1/2 HP motor
- Can develop around 6000 BTU/h
- Suitable for 400 gallon systems
- Works best with 200 to 600 GPH water pumps
- Has a built-in memory chip
This water chiller by All Ponds is powered by a 1/2 HP motor capable of developing around 6000 BTU/h.
It is used for large 400-gallon aquariums but it can easily be used for hydroponic systems with the same gallon range.
You can attach it to a 200 to 600 GPH water pump but you’ll need special tubing that isn’t included in the package.
It has a protection system inside the unit which helps deal with overheating and doesn’t let the current exist the unit so there’s shock risk.
The unit has a built-in chip that acts as a thermostat memory. This basically means your optimal temperature will remain the same even if the power is turned off.
It uses eco-friendly refrigeration so you don’t have to worry about it releasing Freon into the environment.
Overall, this is a solid water chiller in the mid-price range that goes well with large hydroponic systems.
- No current and heat emission
- Price matches quality
- A bit loud
- Needs special tubing
17. BAOSHISHAN 1/3 HP Water Chiller
- 1/3 HP power capacity
- 4000 BTU/h
- Suitable for 200 to 400 GPH water pumps
- Runs on 110 V
- LED display – shows real-time water temp in Celsius
Next in line is a great water chiller made by the Chinese manufacturer BAOSHISHAN.
And before you get skeptical, we can assure you that this company makes great quality water chillers and other aquarium and hydroponics supplies.
Now, this 1/3 HP chiller is capable of generating about 4000 BTU/h and is best suited for 75 gallon systems. It’s a great choice if you have a medium system.
This chiller works best with water pumps that have a flow of water between 200 and 400 GPH.
It has double fans which offer faster heat dissipation and higher performance. You don’t have to worry about it overheating if you leave it working for long periods.
The LED display shows the water temperature in real-time but it also has a built-in thermometer. Once you set the digits, the unit will maintain the optimal temperature, even though some fluctuations might occur due to environmental changes.
One thing we should add is that the temperature is displayed in Celsius rather than Fahrenheit, so don’t be confused by the low digits.
What’s great about this chiller is that it’s eco-friendly as it doesn’t have any refrigeration emissions. Also, it preserves a lot of energy as it only runs on 110 V.
All in all, if you’re looking for a bit cheaper alternative to known brands and want to get a great chiller which gets the job done in no time, then this one is for you.
- Double fans for heat dissipation
- Built-in thermostat
- Great for medium-sized hydroponics systems
- Large and heavy
- Doesn’t have a warranty
18. Aqua Logic Delta Star In-Line Water Chiller 1/4 HP
- In-line chiller
- 1/4 HP motor
- 3000 BTU/h
- Suitable for 480 to 1200 GPH water pumps
- 40 to 80 °F temp range
This Aqua Logic water chiller is one of the best chillers of this type on the market. As we already mentioned, in-line water chillers are mostly used for NFT systems but can be used for other types of hydroponics as well.
It’s powered by a 1/4 HP motor capable of developing about 3000 BTU/h, but it can be used for large NFT systems too. It is most suitable for water pumps that are in the 480 to 1200 GPH range.
It’s important to know that this chiller has a water control valve inside the condenser. This means you can adjust the flow of water at any time.
Just be careful not to cool down the water too much with this chiller, as it can bring the temperature down by up to 40 °F.
The unit has a titanium coil heat exchanger which is anti-corrosive so you don’t have to worry about rust and limestone.
The downside of in-line water chillers is that most of them don’t have a temperature controller. Luckily the Delta Star chiller comes with one, so you don’t have to buy it separately.
To summarize, if you want a powerful in-line water chiller for your large NFT system, then look no further as the Delta Star will fulfill most of your needs.
- Works best for NFT systems
- Large capacity of water flow
- Water control valve controller
- Comes with a temperature controller
- Hard to set up
19. Aqua Euro USA Apex 1/2 HP Chiller
- 1/2 HP motor
- Can develop up to 5000 BTU/h
- Ideal for 120 gallon systems
- 5 set up modes
- Memory recall thermostat
This is one of the strongest water chillers on our list as this chiller by Aqua Euro USA has a 1/2 HP motor capable of developing even 5000 BTU/h.
With so much power, you’ll be able to fit this chiller to any hydroponics system which is in the 80 to the 120-gallon range.
As far as water pumps are concerned, you can attach this water chiller to most water pumps which have a range of water flow between 200 and 800 GPH.
It has a memory recall thermostat that still works even if the power is cut. It also has a titanium heat exchanger so you don’t have to worry about it getting wet.
The LCD screen is quite easy to use and besides only setting up the temperature, you can also select one of 5 desires modes depending on what you want to use the chiller for.
What’s more, you can even set up your own mode so you always have the perfect settings when you turn on the unit.
All in all, if you want a heavy-duty chiller for your heavy-duty hydroponics system, then you might want to consider this option.
- Easy to set up
- Great for large systems
- Anti-corrosion heat exchanger
- A bit noisy
- Large and robust
20. Poafamx Thermoelectric Water Chiller
- 110 V motor
- Great for 32 gallon systems
- Suitable for 20 to 120 GPH water pumps
- Large heat emission fan
- Energy-saving compressor
This is another thermoelectric water chiller on our list and it’s a bit stronger than the Ice Probe. Even though it’s marketed for a 16-gallon fish tank, it can easily provide cool water for 32 gallon systems.
This thermoelectric chiller is powered by a 110 V motor which can bring down the temperature between 50 and 90 degrees F. It is definitely a lot more energy-saving than other chillers in the same power range.
What’s more, because there is a big fan in front of the unit, it allows for quick heat dissipation. So, it won’t get over-heated if it runs for long periods.
What’s great about it is that it makes no noise at all and it’s quite compact because it is smaller than the average water pump.
Speaking of water pumps, you can attach this chiller to any water pump that has a range of water flow between 20 and 120 GPH.
The LCD screen is quite easy to operate but just so you know, the digits are displayed in Celsius and not Fahrenheit so it may take some time to get used to it.
Overall, this is a great energy-efficient thermoelectric chiller that will work great on smaller hydroponics systems such as DWC.
- Silent operation
- Doesn’t take u too much space
- Easy to set up
- You’ll need 2 or more chillers for larger systems
21. BOYU iPettie Cooling System Fan Chiller
- The unit has triple fans
- Easily attachable by clips
- Has a 5W battery
- Can chill the water to 2 – 3 degrees
- Suitable for 32 gallon systems
Since we’re already showing you thermoelectric chillers, this chiller isn’t made specifically for hydroponics. However, it can help you to cool-down the water a bit during the summer months.
This is a water chiller that can be attached to the reservoirs of some hydroponics systems by a clamp and has 3 fans which will blow the hot air out and reduce the temperature for a couple of degrees.
The chiller is powered by a 5W battery and can be plugged into a 12 V AC adapter that comes in the package, so you don’t have to buy additional equipment.
Surprisingly, even though it’s small, the chiller can bring down the temperature to up to 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit. It also doesn’t radiate any heat while working.
It is suitable for systems for up to 32 gallons and if you have a larger system, you can buy 2 or 3 of these chillers and they’ll certainly help the water remain cold during the hotter months.
All in all, if you just need to cool down the water a little bit and you don’t want to spend money on expensive water chillers, then you should consider this option.
- Preserves energy
- No heat emission
- A cheap solution for water chilling
- Comes with an AC adaptor
- You’ll need multiple units for larger systems
- Not a lot of power
That’s about it, folks!
Now you know everything about water chillers, how to use them, and how to choose the right one.
We hope that this review was helpful and informative so that you know what to look for when it’s time to buy a water chiller for your hydroponics system.
Also, you can select one of the 20 water chillers we’ve reviewed as they are the best ones on the market.
If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us in the comment section below.