How to Prepare for Growing Emergencies

by Nebula Haze

There are lots of common cannabis grow room emergencies that you can prepare for!

4 Most Common Growing Emergencies

  1. Equipment Breaks
  2. Power Outage
  3. Safety Emergency
  4. Plants Are Dying

Learn what to do for each marijuana growing emergency!


1.) Equipment Breaks

These are the most common types of equipment to break, so be prepared!

All Growers Should….

  • Know where the Circuit Breaker is in your home! If something trips a circuit, you want to know how to turn it back on! It’s also a good idea to figure out why your circuit breaker flipped so it doesn’t do it again and you’re not putting yourself in danger!

 Learn more about electrical safety!

  • Have Extra PH Drops or a PH Pen – It’s nice to have a backup in case you start getting weird readings or want to double-check the pH

Get a backup pH kit on Amazon Get a backup PH pen on Amazon

  • Have Spare Bulb(s) – If you can get spare bulbs for your grow light, do it! Don’t wait until the bulb stops working!

Learn more about different cannabis grow lights

  • Keep a Few Backup CFLs & Light Sockets – If your regular grow light stops working, and you don’t have a spare, the most important thing is to provide some amount of light to your plant during the regular “day” period. Even a CFL or two hanging near your plants is enough to help them regulate their inner time clock until you can get a real replacement!

Get spare CFL bulbs on Amazon Get a light socket on Amazon

  • Have a Wet Vacuum – If you have a water spill you’ll want a way to easily pick up all the water. If you live near a Home Depot, buy a 5-gallon bucket for $5 and then get their Bucket Head attachment for $20 in the store (or $35 online). It works as a cheap wet vac. A wet vac can also be used to quickly collect runoff water with a hand-watered grow (instead of picking up saucers and emptying them by hand). And it’s also helpful to have one in case there’s a spill!

 Get a Wet Vacuum on Amazon

Hydro Growers Should Always Have the Following….

  • Spare Air Pump – In case yours breaks
  • Spare Tubing – It’s surprising how often you use this
  • Battery-Powered Air Pump – In case power goes out
  • Spare Water Transfer Pump – If your pump breaks, it’ll be a pain to pump water in or out until you get a replacement!
  • Spare D Batteries – Works for both battery-powered air pump & water pump
  • Hydroguard – Prevents and gets rid of root rot (I use it with every reservoir change)



2.) Power Outage

Pay attention to three things during a power outage or other type of electricity loss:

  • Light – Make sure your plants are getting light during their regular “day” period, even if you’re just flashing them with a flashlight for a few minutes on a regular schedule.
  • Temperature – As soon as the power goes out, if you know it’s going to start getting cold try to conserve heat in the grow space. Throw a blanket over the tent, close up the room, close windows, and avoid peeking in the tent. You want to trap as much heat from the light as you can.
  • Hydroponics / DWC – When the power goes out the main thing to worry about is getting oxygen to the roots. It helps roots get more oxygen if you lower the water level to about half what it would be normally. If plants start drooping you can periodically drain all the water out, then pour it back in, to give roots a boost of oxygen.

Read the full article on dealing with blackouts

Learn what to do if the electricity goes out

3.) Safety Emergency

There are some things that you need to look out for to prevent an emergency that puts your safety at risk. There are also some easy steps you can take to protect yourself ahead of time!

  • If for some reason your electrical equipment is in contact with water, don’t touch it! You could get zapped!
  • Keep your grow area dry and quickly clean up any spills
  • Keep everything neat as possible. Try to put away anything that you don’t actually need in the grow room.
  • Keep all electronics off the floor and make sure any wires are untangled and it’s a great idea to tie them in place. A good rule of thumb is “electricity above the waist, water below the waist.”
  • Use a surge protector. Many surge protectors are built with holes in the back so they can be mounted directly to a wall. Note: a surge protector offers protection for devices plugged into it; it doesn’t protect humans (although a GFCI does)!


Get a stellar surge protector for your cannabis garden on!

  • Always have a smoke detector in your grow room. They’re way too cheap to skip this step!

  • Get a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter(GFCI) – Many indoor grows involve having water somewhere near electrical outlets and a GFCI will protect you. A GFCI outlet stops power from flowing to the plug in the event of current-leakage (current-leakage equates to severe danger…electrocution!). You can also get outlets with GFCIs built-in for those who have experience in changing outlets.

Get an extension cord with a built-in GFCI on

  • Check your circuit breaker to make sure it can handle the amount of electricity you plan to use.

If you’re getting set up with a new grow room, or just getting started growing in this space for the first time, there’s a few things you need to do before you ever plug anything in! In addition to standard electrical safety precautions inside the grow room, you want to make sure your grow space can actually support the amount of power you need.

Once you know which plugs you’re going to use for your grow, you need to calculate how much energy your grow lights and fans will need (as explained in today’s article). Armed with that knowledge, you can make sure your outlets can support that much energy usage.

All electrical outlets in your house are on a circuit, and each electrical outlet in your grow room belongs to a circuit. Often the circuit breaker box has labels for which outlets in the house are on each circuit, but sometimes you need to figure it out yourself.

Once you know which circuits your plugs are on, the next step is to open your circuit breaker box and see what number is listed next to the circuit(s) you plan to use.

Check your circuit breaker box to see what Amps it can support, so you can figure out how many watts are safe to put on each circuit

Let’s say you’re using 120V outlets like most standard American outlets. If the circuit on your circuit breaker is labeled for 15 Amps that means that circuit can handle 1800W worth of appliances (15A x 120V = 1800W). If it’s labeled with a 20 it means that the circuit can handle 2400 watts (20A x 120V = 2400W). For 30 Amps it’s 3600W.

If your appliances on a circuit combined equals more than those total watt numbers, you’re going to trip the circuit breaker at some point and everything on that circuit will shut off as a safety precaution.

I have examples of different wattages listed in the main article, but consider that a 1000W light + 10,000 BTU air conditioner is already enough to go over the 1800W limit if you have a 15A circuit breaker.

Because of this we once had to power an AC with an extension cord that went to another room so it wasn’t using the same circuit as the lights and fans!

Take a look at this 30 Amps Circuit Breaker box on - why not get as good an electrical circuit as possible for your cannabis plants?

  • Use your common sense, if something just doesn’t seem right, or if you have any second thoughts about safety you should listen to your conscience. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

When it comes to electrical safety in the cannabis grow room, use your common sense! If something doesn't look safe it probably isn't!

4.) Plants Are Dying

The first thing to do when plants are dying is try not to panic. You need to figure out what went wrong so you can fix it.

First, ask yourself: Have I done anything new or different to the plants recently? Did anything unusual happen right before I started seeing symptoms?

Second, is it bugs? Do you see any sign of bites, spots, eggs or bugs?

Third, check against pictures: If you still have no idea what’s causing your problem, look at this picture gallery to diagnose your plant or check out our full How to Fix Any Problem Guide.

Diagnose Your Sick Plant!

Look at pictures of sick plants and diagnose your deficiency or illness!

Broke a stem? All that’s needed is enough tape to keep the stem in its natural position until it can heal. Tape is basically a temporary splint or cast you can use to support the stem while it heals.

Use tape as a splint or cast for injured stems

It will form a “knuckle” at the injury site, and you’ll be able to remove the tape

Knuckle where stem was injured


Jump to….

Simplest Cannabis Growing Guide Ever!

Can You Smoke Sugar Leaves?

How to Grow Sweet Smelling Buds

What to Do If Taproot Grows Above Soil


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