Author Topic: Unconventional irrigation  (Read 494 times)

Offline Alex Waverley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: +4/-0
Unconventional irrigation
« on: May 07, 2017, 04:06:44 pm »
I have installed this is simple 2-zone system in my home. I thought someone might find the information on the design useful.

My requirements were as follows:

Z-wave control via Vera Edge (UI7)

2 zones (expandable)

12V operation

Modular

Low water usage

Rain/temperature override

Code compliant when attached to public water supply

Centralized components mounted indoors

Non-proprietary

I started with the filter/check valve assembly and built a small manifold to supply two (soon to be three) 12 volt 3/4" ball valves (I use these valves in my emergency water shut-off system as well). Ball valves can be mounted indoors below the level of the sprinkler heads because they do not require pressure to activate. They also won't cause "hammering" when they open or close. Although I use robotic Ethernet relays for my emergency shutoff, I chose MimoLite units for irrigation because they gave me inputs as well as isolated contacts. I use one input for the rain/freeze sensor, which activates an override relay by simply turning on and off its power supply via a Z-wave controlled outlet. The second units input activates a scene dimming the lights in the media room using an IR operated relay as a trigger (may as well put it to use).

Outside, the zones can be disconnected at the manual valves and an an adapter attached to blow the water out of the system for the winter. In the garden their are MP Rotator sprinkler heads that are slightly elevated. In the lawn they are flush to the ground. Standard off-the-shelf drip irrigation will work just fine as well.

The system works like a charm and is as close to maintenance-free as one of these systems can be. I pretty much just activate the scenes in the spring, then deactivate them, close the valves, clean the filter, and purge the system with air in the fall. No part of the system is proprietary so parts and control application can be swapped out as times and tech changes.
Please hold your applause until I have concluded my remarks.

Offline Jamr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 580
  • Karma: +17/-8
    • 007 Systems
Re: Unconventional irrigation
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 04:34:42 pm »
Interesting. Nice install.
What freeze / rain sensor are you using?
How much would you say you have spent on the entire system? I am curious as it seems like you have lots of components in it.

Offline Alex Waverley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Unconventional irrigation
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2017, 05:25:44 pm »
Interesting. Nice install.
What freeze / rain sensor are you using?
How much would you say you have spent on the entire system? I am curious as it seems like you have lots of components in it.

Thanks.

I'm using a very simple wired sensor (Orbit, I think). It simply breaks a circuit when rain or low temp is detected.  I use it as a trigger so I can monitor the status through Vera, but it could probably just as easily be placed in series with the relay power supply if monitoring isn't a requirement. I chose one of these because they are simple and time-tested. It is mounted on a piece of PVC attached to a fence post so  I can easily adjust or replace it if needed.

I plan to install a weather station eventually so I can put the sprinklers "on hold" if rain is in the forecast. But for now the senor is doing what I want it to do.

I have less than $1K in the whole system including the sprinkler heads. I installed the pipe in a loop so I have even pressure over the entire system, but that added very little expense. The costliest part was the backflow valve which I think was between $150-$200.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 06:09:27 pm by Alex Waverley »
Please hold your applause until I have concluded my remarks.