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First home, brand new irrigation system, basics please?

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  • First home, brand new irrigation system, basics please?

    Hi All,

    My wife and I have just purchased our first home and I've got the home automation bug already. One of the parts of this project is the irrigation system. I have a HomeSeer Pro server with a bunch of Z-wave stuff inside sensors, switches, etc and now looking to keep the garden watered.

    Main concerns at the moment are the vegetables, and rose garden everything else is pretty hardy and can be incorporated at a later stage (funds / time permitting).

    I've read a fair few of the threads in this forum and I think I'll be heading down the mcssprinklers / rain8net route. But I'm no really sure where to start with the actual irrigation system (controller, sprinkler heads etc). I'm a computer systems engineer so programming of the software shouldn't be an issue but just wondering if some people could point me in the right direction for which system etc to go with?

    I'm in Australia so preferably something that is available over here would be awesome, quick google found this page: http://www.irrigationwarehouse.com.au/category125_1.htm not sure if there is something more appropriate?

    Do the units just plug into a wall power outlet or need to be wired by an electrician?
    Do these units also have the moisture monitoring devices or is this something that would be bought seperately and talk directly back to mcssprinklers / homeseer?
    Is there somewhere you could point me for basics of designing the system (how many heads, drippers etc etc?
    Can I use multiple water sources (I have a small water tank and would want to use this and then fallback on tap water if it is empty)?

    Thanks so much for your help in advance,

    Scott

  • #2
    Scott,
    Welcome to Homeseer.

    If you have mcsSprinklers and Rain8Net relay boxes, those will act as your controller. You will not need anything more for control. You will need a valve for each zone and "heads" which dispense the water to the plants. The valves will be wired with 12V to the Rain8Net relays.

    Heads can be pop-up devices that spray in various patterns or drip devices, for example, depending on the specifics of the plant needs and how they are distributed. Unless you have a compact area, I'd recommend that you at least consult with an installation contractor to see what they would recommend and charge to do the work before embarking on the project yourself. At the very least, you will need to do some basic computations for water flow rates needed and the capacity of your water supply and pipe diameters to be sure you size and space the heads and zones properly. Depending on the source of your water and local regulations you may also need a certified installer to add a back-flow preventer and periodic testing to assure that it is working properly.

    PS. If you want to use multiple water sources, then the design begins to get complicated.
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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    • #3
      Here are a couple of links that I found useful.

      http://www.irrigationtutorials.com/sprinkler00.htm

      http://www.cityofprescott.net/_d/irrigation.pdf

      Also, the mcsSprinklers documentation has some useful info.
      Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
      HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548

      HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF, Rain8Net+ | RFXCOM | QSE100D | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | X10: XTB-232, -IIR | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3

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      • #4
        MCS Sprinklers will probably do you fine. As a fall-back, you can look at Snevl Sprinklers. Since it is free, you can try it out and if it doesn't do what you want you can still go with MCS or others.

        Steve

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