Basic Automation Question

atnet360

New member
Mar 29, 2016
2
Mesa, AZ
So I'm looking for suggestions on some very basic automation.

I have a simple set-up: Pump, Filter and a three way diverter valve that sends water to either an in-floor cleaning system or a water feature (or both). The issue is, my wife likes to have the water feature on in the evenings, but often forgets to close the valve to the water feature, which causes the in-floor cleaning system not to work. What I would like to do is put an actuator on the diverter valve and set up a simple automation routine that will turn the water feature on and off a specific times.

I don't want to spend a fortune on a full automation system like those from Hayward, Pentair etc. because they seem to go way beyond what I need and I can't justify the price.

So my question is, is there any reasonably affordable (say, less than $500) controller/timer that can control a valve actuator on a pre-set time schedule?
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,093
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Check out the low budget automation link in my signature. It's kind of an "Automation for Dummies" system. I ended up using Wifi relay/switches powered by a 24 VAC transformer. If you're the DIY type, you can probably install a simple automation system using cheap relays.

Prior to using the switches, I tested out irrigation controllers for control of valves and pump speeds. Valve actuators operate on 24 VAC power and draw up to .75 amps, which is compatible with most irrigation controllers. Each direction of travel would take up one "zone" on the controller. Zone 1 could be named "Waterfall On" and Zone 2 "Waterfall Off." The timer and valve will cost less than $200. Intermatic valve actuators (about $100 each) are less expensive than models from Jandy, Pentair and Hayward.

If you plan to use Alexa or Google Home for smart control, be aware that not all irrigation controllers work well for setting up routines. The Orbit B-Hyve zones did not show up on the device lists while Rachio's did.
 
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atnet360

New member
Mar 29, 2016
2
Mesa, AZ
So I'm looking at the Intermatic PE140, I think this will do what I need, but the installation instructions are a little hazy. I think that for this to work I would also need a timer switch of some kind (like maybe the Intermatic T104). If I understand how this would all fit together, then when the switch was "on", the actuator would be in one position, and when the switch was "off" the actuator would be in the opposite position.

Does that sound right?

I'm not totally clear how the wiring would work either...I'm thinking...(I only have 220v available at the equipment pad so...), 220v in to the power input of the PE140, 220v also in to the line side of the timer switch, then 220v from the load side of the timer switch into the trigger voltage side of the PT140, finally, plug the valve actuator into the low voltage compartment on the PE140.

Anybody ever used one of these (Intermatic PE140) before?
 
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