Valve Options

Yev

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2014
547
Independence, KY
I have a simple setup, no automation system. I would like to automate some pool valves.

My house is very much an intelligent house, with a bunch of ZWave/Zigbee/Lutron smart devices to do things such as motion sensing, alarms, intelligent home HVAC, security, etc.

Are there any valves that can be used in my pool plumbing that can be controlled via a Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Hubitat, Google Home, Alexa, etc.?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,484
Bedford, TX
Yev,

The direct answer is no...

But, you can make something that will work... depending on what you have now..

If you have any Jandy Style valves, they can all be fitted with an Actuator.. If you have ball valves.. then you are just sucking air..

The following circuit will allow you to control a standard Jandy valve actuator.. If any of the smart things that you listed have a single-pole double-throw relay, you can use it in place of the relay in the diagram.



Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,620
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
This is an idea I've been considering for the last year...using a WiFi irrigation controller to operate the valves. Each valve would require the use of two circuits on the controller; one to open and one to close.
 
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Yev

Well-known member
Jul 29, 2014
547
Independence, KY
Yev,

The direct answer is no...

But, you can make something that will work... depending on what you have now..
Jim, thanks, quite a helpful diagram. I will need to go to work now.

I have ball valves, never noticed any issues with them since it was installed in 2014. Maybe this has caused issues I'm not aware of.

Anyway, as I have not used the Jandy Valve, are they binary in that they can be 100% open and 100% closed when used with the actuator? Or are there partial settings, such as 50% open?
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,201
Central California
Jim, thanks, quite a helpful diagram. I will need to go to work now.

I have ball valves, never noticed any issues with them since it was installed in 2014. Maybe this has caused issues I'm not aware of.

Anyway, as I have not used the Jandy Valve, are they binary in that they can be 100% open and 100% closed when used with the actuator? Or are there partial settings, such as 50% open?
The problem with the ball valves: they generally poop out in short order and start leaking, or they freeze or the handle breaks. They're just not reliable long-term. And they are not repairable like a Jandy is. But more to your issue, there are no actuators you can bolt to them.

The Jandy valves (and actuators) can be set to open and close 100% or anywhere in between (like 0-50 or 40-60), but not on the fly. You take apart the actuator and set it up to do what you need in terms of flow, then reassemble and that's what you get, the action is then binary: one way or the other. You can't remote control them to go: 0% and 50% and 100% (you only get two), or change the flow settings without taking them apart again. They is no remote control for variable flow. Hopefully I described that well enough.

I suppose you could use two, though, in series. The first valve goes zero flow to 100% flow, then a valve downstream does 50% to 100%. Then two sets of Jim's circuits and two HA devices to control the two circuits. The right combo of HA commands would give you 0 or 50 or 100 percent flow.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,484
Bedford, TX
I have ball valves, never noticed any issues with them since it was installed in 2014. Maybe this has caused issues I'm not aware of.
Yev,

In your case, the main problem with ball valves is they can't be automated..

As Dirk has pointed out, the problem with ball valves in general, is that after about 10 years the handle will stick and break off. This of course depends on a lot of factors, like how often the valve is used, the amount of sun the valve is exposed to, the local weather, etc..

Thanks,

Jim R.