Valve Actuators - Further Reading

Valve Actuators

A valve actuator screws onto the top of a 2 way or 3 way valve and provides motorized control to move the valve from one position to another. The valve actuators are powered by 24V AC and plug into an automation panel.

The actuators can rotate the valve diverter up to 180 degrees. The actuator has adjustable limit switches to set the two stop positions.

The actuator has a toggle switch to manually rotate the valve and to synchronize the set positions with the automation panel.

The actuators operates all 2 way and 3 way Pentair, Jandy, Ortega, and Compool valves.


Jandy JVA 2444 Actuator.jpg

All of the above actuators work basically the same, are interchangeable, and work with all automation panels. If an automation panel supports one manufacture valve any of them should work.

Pentair IntelliValve

Pentair 521485 IntelliValve valve actuators.png

The Pentair IntelliValve is a recent product that has the potential to have more than 2 stop points when Pentair add those features to it's automation panels.

The IntelliValves 2 stop points can be set with the control panel on the valve.

The IntelliValve has green and yellow communication wires that are not used now and are reserved for future use with future automation systems.[1] The extra green and yellow wires are for RS-485 signal that eventually the IntelliCenter will use to control the valve so that it can stop at multiple positions.

Jandy Smart JVA Assembly

The SMART JVA controls a standard Jandy JVA valve and adjusts the amount of water flow to a water feature from a AUX button.

The SmartJVA add-on board will allow Aqualink owners to be able to real-time set the amount their automated valves (JVAs) are open from 0-100% in 5% increments.[2][3]

There are still only 2 programmed stop points, "off" which is 0%, and on which is the percent you last saved. But in addition, you can real-time set the percent up or down in 5% increments from whatever controller you are using. With the smartphone it is true real-time and with the OneTouch and PDA you have to go to the SmartJVA setup to set.

The requirements to set up SmartJVA are a OneTouch controller or iAqualink with Rev T or newer.[4]

Jandy SmartJVA Module **HOW TO GET IT WORKING**


Jandy Diverters Parts Breakdown


There is a small shaft O ring and a larger cover O ring that can leak. Check the parts catalog for your valve to determine the O ring size for the diverter size you have.

Use Pool Lube when replacing O rings or when opening and closing valve assemblies.

Micro Switches

The actuators have two limit micro switches that turn off the motor when the reach a position. These switches often fail.

Sometimes removing the microswitches from the actuator in question and examining them, as well as the other parts of the actuator, can get it working. Short the leads to each switch and confirm that the motor operats in both directions. Test the continuity of each switch and find if they both worked reliably (at least on the kitchen counter). Then reassemble everything and the actuator may work fine.[5]

The switch is an Omron Basic/Snap Action Switches SS-5T that can be bought at Mouser.[6]

It takes about 5 minutes per actuator to do the labor. You need two Phillips screwdrivers (one medium and one small) to do the work.[7]

Don't forget to cut off power to the actuators before you work on them. Putting the panel in SERVICE MODE still leaves 24V going to the actuator for the manual toggle switch to work. You need to disconnect the actuator plug at the panel or power down the panel.

Then install the switches in exactly the same orientation as the old ones. Try not to bend the connectors on the switches when you reinstall the wire clips.

Do NOT bend the Microswitch leads. You may cut off the center one if you like, but do not stress the other leads. Bending the lead stresses the internal connection of the leads and leads to pre-mature failure. Soldering ALL of the connections within the actuator will prevent other failures due to bad contact with the .110" slide on connectors to the micro-switches and the connections to the capacitor and motor leads.[8]

Periodic Maintenance

Once the top is off, remove the screws holding the frame to the bottom plastic shell and inspect the gears. Water may get into and rust the gears, which will need replacement. Be sure they are well lubricated with thick grease.[9]

Lubricate the handle shaft that sticks up through the top plastic shell with thick grease to avoid water seeping down the shaft.

The long gasket that seals the top and bottom shell pieces should be inspected and lubricated. Replace if cracked or degraded.



  • Apply silicon grease (plumber's grease) to the rubber gasket and a little to gears.[10]

Valve rotates to the wrong position

  • Change the switch on the back or bottom of the actuator between ON1 and ON2.

Manual Override, Power On (Jandy and should work for others)

  1. Move the toggle switch located on the bottom of the actuator to the opposite position (ON 1 switch to ON 2 or vice versa). This will rotate the motor to the opposite position.[11]
  2. Return the toggle switch to the original position after use.

Manual Override, Power Off (Jandy and should work for others)

  1. Move toggle switch located on the bottom of actuator to the OFF (center) position.[12]
  2. Unscrew (counterclockwise) the locking knob above the handle four (4) full turns.
  3. Push down on the locking knob (not the handle). This will disengage the gear train and allow the handle, and thus the valve diverter, to be moved to any position.
  4. To return the actuator to automatic position, pull up on the handle while turning it clockwise or counterclockwise until you feel the shaft slide up into the gear train. Turn the locking knob down (clockwise) until snug.
  5. Put toggle switch back to the original position.

Actuator Stops in Wrong Position

Follow the instructions on page 7 section 4.2 int he Actuator Manualto reset the cams for your desired stop points

It takes some patience and trial and error to get them set.

Or get the Jandy SMART JVA if you have Jandy Aqualink RS automation and make your JVAs adjustable in 5% increments from your Aqualink controllers.

JVA 2444 Wiring

  • Wire - 3-conductor[13]
  • Black - Common
  • Red - Switch Leg
  • White - Switch Leg

JVA 2444 Power Requirements

  • Each JVA requires .75 amps at 24V AC[14]


The connector used on actuators is the JST XH 2.54MM 3 Pin available on Amazon and electronic supply houses.