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Thread: Actuator Cable Length limit

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    Actuator Cable Length limit

    New to TFP, so thanks in advance for any advice.
    We've had our home for about 2 years, and have always wanted to install an automation system - turning on my spa involves three separate valves spread over different places in the yard, as well as turning on the pump and heater.

    Is there a cable length limit for the actuators? Two of the valves are about 40' from the pump/filter/heater and sub panel. The longest included cable I've seen is 20'. Can I just run my own cables?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    You can use longer cables but you could have some voltage drop problems with longer cables. What valves are isolated from the pad? Can you give us some pictures.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    Thanks! I'll snap some pics this weekend if that's helpful. There are two valves in a ground box down by the pool - the valves that switch the drain and return to the spa from the pool. Everything else - the pump, heater, sub-panel - are up by the house, about 40' away. My pool tech says it's really poorly layed out, but nothing we can do to change it.

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    So the valve actuators run on 24 VAC. Reading some other Jandy troubleshooting guide it appears the operating range is 22 to 28 VAC. So you may need to replace the wire harness with a larger wire size to reduce the voltage drop so that at the actuators you have 24 VAC (or apparently at least 22 VAC). You need a multi meter to do this. I can't find anything in the installation manual regarding long runs. But other Jandy Tec information regarding iaqualink does discuss long runs and suggests increasing wire size to reduce voltage drop.

    If this is beyond your capacity you made need an electrician or a Jandy pool installer. You want one with experience who can do more than just open boxes and connect equipment.

    There are other more complex and expensive solutions if that does not work. But lets see what happens first before we start getting creative.

    I still would like pictures and how close are these valves to the inside wall of the pool?
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    I agree that with some up sized wire, they should work fine.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    The actuator cable has a molded connector which plugs into the actuator on one end and a 3 pin miniature molex connector on the other end. Either connector would be difficult to match, so do one splice near the actuator and the other splice near the controller. I would use 18 Ga 3 conductor outdoor rated cable and make good watertight splices (soldered connections with shrink tubing). The object being to replace most of your stock 22 Gage cable with 18 Gage cable to lessen the voltage drop.
    38000 Gal, IG, Plaster, 20' x 40' x 10', Attached Raised Spa, Intelliflo VS 3 HP (011018), Pentair Quad DE 60 Filter, Raypak (Rheem) 400,000 BTU (407a low Nox), Easy Touch 8 upgrade, Screenlogic 2 with wireless, IS-4 Spa Side Remote, Stenner 45MPHP10 w/15 gal tank, Intellibrite 5g (3), Dolphin Triton Plus robot with PRO remote, Water Tech Catfish handheld vacuum for spa, TF100 with SpeedStir.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    That is correct you need to reuse the plugs on each end.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    Thanks again for all the advice. Sounds like it's just a question of keeping the voltage up - I was concerned that it was actually a data connection.
    Here is the layout that I"m dealing with.... Google has an old sat image of my house - I don't use the solar rings.

    Layout.jpg

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    Wow the pool builder saved a whole $10 on pipe and fittings!

    You should be okay with the suggestions above on using larger wire.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    LOL.. thanks. Yup, and to make it extra annoying, the valves are in a redwood box directly under the fence line.

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    Although there really is no prohibition against soldering splices, not subject to vibration, I have really become accustom to these splices used in the marine environment. (Remember: best practices requires staggered splices.)

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    if they are Jandy JVA's then you can run up to 75 feet with the standard cable.
    16,000lts Fibreglass, Magna Mineral Pool Water
    Jandy CV340 Cartridge filter, Zodiac TRi SWC, Z4 iAqualink, Jandy Laminar Jets, Solar Heating, Spa Jets with Jandy 1.5hp Epump operating everything.

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    Re: Actuator Cable Length limit

    I didn't realize that the cable plugged into the valve - never really inspected that part, and thought it was molded in.

    I had the opposite issue - my valves are all at the pad, thank goodness, but I had a LOT of excess valve actuator cable wadded up inside my load center enclosure, which was causing problems. I was neatening things up at the pad, and decided to shorten these. The wires to the Molex connector on the control board side used punch-down type connections that pierce the insulation, so I was able to carefully remove the wires from those, shorten my cable, and punch the wires back down into the connector.

    Given this, if the connector at the actuator side is of a replaceable type, you could conceivably replace the run with a single cable without splicing. Anyone know what that connection/plug is, or do you have to open the actuator housing to get at the connections?

    I don't know if you can get exact replacement cable in spool lengths, or not, but I'd pay attention to the rating with whatever you end up using to make sure it's good for outdoor/direct burial use, regardless of whether you splice in, or replace the entire run. Last thing you want is the wire insulation or outer cover breaking down in a few years.

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