Author Topic: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20  (Read 30516 times)

Offline curiousB

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Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« on: May 05, 2013, 10:29:43 pm »
I have just installed a low cost scheme to modify an existing irrigation system to make it controllable under Vera using Z-Wave. Info contained in attached PDF. $20 to do the whole thing.
 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 08:25:11 am by curiousB »
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Offline teonebello

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2013, 01:12:32 am »
Hi,

I m trying to do the same. Questions: can you manage 24v valve with 12v dc? Are the valve monostable?

Thank you
Matteo

Offline curiousB

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2013, 07:58:54 am »
The transformer/power supply plugged into the Z-Wave switch voltage needs to match the relay coil voltage. I used 12 VDC so I could use a cheap automotive relay. The contacts side of the relay can switch a different volatage (within voltage and current spec of the relay you use).

You could use a 24 VAC tarnsformer and a 24 VAC coil relay as well but I just had the 12VDC handy.

The valves are active (water flows) when they are powered with 24VAC. Remove power and water stops. They are not latching if that is what you meant by monostable.
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Offline teonebello

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 09:39:56 am »
Thank you guys for your answer.

My last issue is that I have:

- Valve 24 AC
- Fibaro switch manage only input 110/220 V AC or 24 - 60 V DC
http://www.fibaro.com/files/instrukcje/eng/relay%20switch%20FGS221%20v19-%20v110%20ENG.pdf

what can I do?

Thank you for your support
Matteo

Offline curiousB

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 12:26:45 pm »
Not sure of your options. My post was for those who have an existing irrigation system with existing 24VAC valves and and existing controller. I was merely adding a way to redeploy that equipment to get Z-Wave/Vera control without getting a new controller and spending a lot of $$$.

It is not clear to me what you have and what you don't have. Anyway probably better to start a new thread.
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Offline nullx8

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2013, 11:36:07 am »
dont you have 220/110 volts arround there for the fibaro switch ?

the current switched can be different (its potential free)  so you can operate the fibaro with 230 volts but switch 24 volts with no trouble at all.

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Offline carracc

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2013, 09:01:23 am »
This is exactly what I was looking for!  Great job.  I was sitting down to put something very similar together and you have saved me the time of working through it on my own.  Thank you very much!!

Offline Minnies

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2013, 09:59:29 pm »
I did something similar. Installed a Remotec ZFM-80 Dry Contact Switch Module with the switched circuit controlling the common 24v feed to the group of valves. I placed the ZFM-80 in the 110 ac box below the irrigation controller and routed the 24v lines up to the controller. Thus no exposed high voltage wiring, and everything located at the irrigation controller (which is mounted outside).

Works slick though I only use it to determine not to water based on previous days rainfall. In Florida that can mean weeks on end in the summer with no watering. Pays for the control module in half a month! Note one advantage of the ZFM-80 is if it ever gets stuck in the "off" mode I can have the property manager stop by, remove the 110v ac cover plate and press the manual control switch.

I guess I could have installed one switch for each zone and installed on the 24v hot side of each circuit. But just being able to disable it entirely was what I was looking for.

Offline SOlivas

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2013, 06:50:42 pm »
I'm tempted to try this with mine sprinkler system, but the modification probably won't be so intrusive. 

I have a Hunter Pro-C, and it supports a rain sensor.  Reading through the material on the manufacturers site, it looks like you could just hookup one of the Z wave relays to the rain sensor terminals.  Then, when you don't want it to run, you trigger the relay to close and it will prevent the system from watering.

Then all you would need to do is make sure the rain bypass is off, and you would be set.

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Offline curiousB

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 02:16:15 pm »
I'm tempted to try this with mine sprinkler system, but the modification probably won't be so intrusive

I have a Hunter Pro-C, and it supports a rain sensor.  Reading through the material on the manufacturers site, it looks like you could just hookup one of the Z wave relays to the rain sensor terminals.  Then, when you don't want it to run, you trigger the relay to close and it will prevent the system from watering.

Then all you would need to do is make sure the rain bypass is off, and you would be set.

Its basically the same idea. One interrupts the common wire from all the values to the power source, your way uses the rain feature to interrupt the timer. You way is probably very low current so the relay contacts will never wear out so that is a plus. I think your scheme will only allow you to abort the entire watering cycle for that day. The concept I proposed would allow you to fine tune each zone run  time if you felt the need.

We've had so much rain in IL that I haven't run my irrigation once yet this year. Had I not had the ZWave mod I would have probably been blindly watered every second day needed or not. So I've probably saved $100 already. I do have a rain sensor but I don't think they work very well. 



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Offline SOlivas

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2013, 06:51:36 pm »
Actually, looking at the unit, if the rain sensor is tripped, the unit won't water at all unless you flip a switch into bypass mode.

Reading the information on the rain sensors you can get, it looks like it is 24v running through it to power the sensor that you hookup to it.  Other models have extra wires for power, this one just hooks directly to the two terminals marked sensor.

Since I only have the sprinkler system in the front yard (came that way with the house), I really only have to worry about one area -- they did split it into three separate zones, one for next to the house, one in the grass in front (small area), and one on the side -- so the rain bypass would work well for me.

I do like the idea of individual zones being triggered though. 

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Offline Pseudomizer

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2014, 03:46:20 am »
I have just installed a low cost scheme to modify an existing irrigation system to make it controllable under Vera using Z-Wave. Info contained in attached PDF. $20 to do the whole thing.

This is exactly what I was looking for instead of buying Etherrain or IrrigationCaddy.

If I understand this correctly you don't touch the Toro timers at all via Vera. You control the valves via Power on or off from Z-wave. So if Power is off the valve doesn't water but Toro will say please water and it is completely unaware of the valve not functioning as it is powered off unless you tell it otherwise.

Do I get this right?
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Offline Brianmyers2

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 10:26:03 am »
Probably a stupid question but what would happen if the valve was open, the sprinklers were running and then the internet went out but the power stayed on? Wouldn't the sprinklers run forever?

Offline garrettwp

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2014, 11:54:00 am »
Vera does not require the Internet to keep functioning. As long as Vera is still running, you should be OK.

- Garrett


Offline nullx8

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Re: Add Vera Z Wave Control to Existing irrigation for $20
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 09:25:23 pm »
Probably a stupid question but what would happen if the valve was open, the sprinklers were running and then the internet went out but the power stayed on? Wouldn't the sprinklers run forever?

first .. for a application like this its better to use Springloaded Magnetic "solenoid valves" instead of motorized ball-valves.
power out = valve closed.

i made a watering system last week myself .. with 12 Volt solenoid valves, driven via Rasperry (the vera calls them via http request's)
lots of room for errors (works well so far, but if not .. at least i dont have a flooded Yard ;) )
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