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Irrigation Discussion Discussion of irrigation integration with HomeSeer systems.

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  #1  
Old October 22nd, 2016, 10:34 AM
Sheriff Sheriff is offline
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HS3 says its watering, but its not...

I have 2 HS3 systems with Rain8Net irrigation controllers and BLRain8Net plugins. For 3 years, one system has worked fine while the other is plagued with issues. The plagued system has had virtually every component replaced, including the cpu, but to no avail. However, that's not my question here. Many of these problems I could easily deal with except I dont know its a problem until my grass is dying (about 2 weeks in south Texas). And, inevitably, it happens when I'm out of town. I could more easily isolate the problem if I immediately knew the system wasn't really watering, but in real time all HS3 indicators, including the log, show that the event fired and valves were opened; Rain8Net apparently does not report back its actual status so all you know is that Rain8Net was instructed to open, not whether it actually did. Is there anyway to know definitively that a valve opened short of putting a water sensor on the sprinkler head?? Is there an inline water flo-sensor?? Is there an irrigation controller that reports its actual status??
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  #2  
Old October 22nd, 2016, 10:47 AM
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sparkman sparkman is offline
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I put flow sensors on our main water line and also the line used for irrigation. Then I've set up HS to alert when there's flow when there should be none, or when there's no flow when there should be some. I use the DLJ water meters coupled with a mimolite. Fortrezz now has an integrated option too: http://www.fortrezz.com/flow-meter.

Cheers
Al
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  #3  
Old October 22nd, 2016, 02:19 PM
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Uncle Michael Uncle Michael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheriff View Post
Rain8Net apparently does not report back its actual status so all you know is that Rain8Net was instructed to open, not whether it actually did. Is there anyway to know definitively that a valve opened short of putting a water sensor on the sprinkler head?? Is there an inline water flo-sensor?? Is there an irrigation controller that reports its actual status??
I believe the Rain8Net reports it's relay status, but if the valve doesn't open, the relay controller can't tell. If Blade's plug-in closes the loop with the Rain8 (mcsSprinklers does, for sure), then I would suspect the problem is in the wiring to the valve(s) (or the valve itself).
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Old October 22nd, 2016, 03:28 PM
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Here too used a DLJ water meter. Connected it to a dual 1-wire counter.

Went to the original Rain8Net serial devices (2).

Lines here are 1" copper to RPZ to plastic manifold to PVC zones. (plus an on demand Davey Flow pump).

Did have two Rain8net glitches over 10 years. One was relating to a thunderstorm / lighting thing trigger on solenoid on and not shutting off. Next one was a lightning strike taking out the two Rain8Nets.

I also originally went to using my Rain Tipping bucket then going to a digital water sensor (rain) for the irrigation stuff (along with just reading a csv file generated by the weather station).
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  #5  
Old October 22nd, 2016, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkman View Post
I put flow sensors on our main water line and also the line used for irrigation. Then I've set up HS to alert when there's flow when there should be none, or when there's no flow when there should be some. I use the DLJ water meters coupled with a mimolite. Fortrezz now has an integrated option too: http://www.fortrezz.com/flow-meter.

Cheers
Al
My understanding is that you would need to add the physical meter as well to the existing meter correct? This means I would need also a plumber. Does anyone know if there is a device that can be attached on the meter to read its values without additional hardware? Here I have two meters one for the water and the one for the sewer and still the bill comes around $600 without watering it too much, this year the grass was completely yellow since I can not afford $1000 for three months. This device will definitely help me to figure out how much water I can use or that I have been using in a month period instead of 3 months.

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  #6  
Old October 22nd, 2016, 04:36 PM
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sparkman sparkman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldo View Post
My understanding is that you would need to add the physical meter as well to the existing meter correct? This means I would need also a plumber. Does anyone know if there is a device that can be attached on the meter to read its values without additional hardware? Here I have two meters one for the water and the one for the sewer and still the bill comes around $600 without watering it too much, this year the grass was completely yellow since I can not afford $1000 for three months. This device will definitely help me to figure out how much water I can use or that I have been using in a month period instead of 3 months.
Yes, the DLJ meters are an addition. Should only be about an hour of labor to install. It may be possible to use our existing meter. Post a picture of it and do some googling as there may be info on the net on how to do that.

Cheers
Al
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  #7  
Old October 22nd, 2016, 10:51 PM
Sheriff Sheriff is offline
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No Mike, Rain8Net does not report its status. I can watch it: HS sends a command, but R8N does not light up the zone and relay to the valve. Nevertheless, HS device and log shows the instruction as successful. New question: what device will tell me if a 12 volt circuit is hot? Instead of screwing with the plumbing, I could put that device on the wiring for the first zone and see that it turned on.
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Old October 22nd, 2016, 10:56 PM
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Aren't your valves 24VAC? Simplest would be to hook up a relay meant for that voltage and then use something that can take a dry contact to signal HS. Mimolite is an option, X10 DS10, etc. I went with the flow meter because I had a valve once that got stuck in the open position which flooded part of the back yard and wasted a lot of water. Now I can detect it and also when the valves don't open when they should.
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  #9  
Old October 23rd, 2016, 09:27 AM
Sheriff Sheriff is offline
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Hey Al,

Yes to 24V, I wasn't thinking. And thanks for the mimolite suggestion; that's what I was looking for. I've seen references to be mimolite on the board, but never knew what it was; that will work great. Thank you.
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Old October 23rd, 2016, 09:57 AM
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aldo aldo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkman View Post
Yes, the DLJ meters are an addition. Should only be about an hour of labor to install. It may be possible to use our existing meter. Post a picture of it and do some googling as there may be info on the net on how to do that.

Cheers
Al


This is my meter

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  #11  
Old October 23rd, 2016, 10:04 AM
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aldo aldo is offline
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This is my meter

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Sorry, I decided to clean them and take a better picture. I have two meters

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  #12  
Old October 23rd, 2016, 10:08 AM
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sparkman sparkman is offline
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Looks like it should be possible. Hold a compass close to it when water is flowing and if the compass needle moves on occasion, then it will work. Take a look here for some ideas: http://www.instructables.com/id/Moni...-reading-muni/. You may be able to use a reed switch which would be simpler.

Cheers
Al

PS For your second meter, put a volt meter across the two terminals when water is flowing. You should see a periodic change.
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  #13  
Old October 23rd, 2016, 10:10 AM
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aldo aldo is offline
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Originally Posted by sparkman View Post
Looks like it should be possible. Hold a compass close to it when water is flowing and if the compass needle moves on occasion, then it will work. Take a look here for some ideas: http://www.instructables.com/id/Moni...-reading-muni/. You may be able to use a reed switch which would be simpler.

Cheers
Al
Thanks, I'm trying to figure out what technology they use to read it from outside, then would be perhaps easy to use the same technique?

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  #14  
Old October 23rd, 2016, 10:24 AM
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sparkman sparkman is offline
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Thanks, I'm trying to figure out what technology they use to read it from outside, then would be perhaps easy to use the same technique?
That likely will be much harder than just counting the pulses. There is some info on the web about the Sensus protocols, but it's not trivial.
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Old October 23rd, 2016, 10:49 AM
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Uncle Michael Uncle Michael is offline
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No Mike, Rain8Net does not report its status. I can watch it: HS sends a command, but R8N does not light up the zone and relay to the valve. Nevertheless, HS device and log shows the instruction as successful.
My guess is that Blade's plug-in does not check for confirmation. mcsSprinklers confirms that the Rain8Net responds.
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  #16  
Old October 24th, 2016, 02:23 PM
Sheriff Sheriff is offline
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Thanks all. Lots of good ideas.
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  #17  
Old October 24th, 2016, 07:38 PM
Sheriff Sheriff is offline
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Al, I ran into a hitch, mimolite will only accept a max of 16 V. You seem to have understood that and described some other components I'm not familiar with. Can you more precisely describe the components that would produce a Z wave signal when the 24 V circuit was energized?
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  #18  
Old October 24th, 2016, 07:47 PM
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Al, I ran into a hitch, mimolite will only accept a max of 16 V. You seem to have understood that and described some other components I'm not familiar with. Can you more precisely describe the components that would produce a Z wave signal when the 24 V circuit was energized?
I would get a relay with a 24VAC coil and hook it up to the wire to the first valve and the common wire. Something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/152166719784. Then hook the relay switch contacts to the inputs of the mimolite. Let me know if you need more details.

Cheers
Al
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  #19  
Old April 7th, 2017, 02:59 PM
SprinklerZ SprinklerZ is offline
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GoControl supports a flow sensor

The GoControl irrigation system supports most off-the-shelf flow sensors.

You need to cut the pipe going to your valves and put it inline. Then it is only a matter of connecting the 2 wire from the flow sensor to the GoControl inputs. Polarity on the wires doesn't matter.

There are numbers on the flow sensor for the rate and offset. Those need to be set in the controller so you can see the values (liters/hour).
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  #20  
Old June 28th, 2017, 05:05 PM
Mahera Mahera is offline
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hello sprinklerz,

it seems you know the gocontrol irrigation controller quite good.

perhaps you can help me out here.

most (if not all) flow meters that I find using a hall sensor and need a power supply. they have three wires, two for the power supply and one for the signal.
'on the controller there are two terminals to connect the flow sensor. it seems that one can only hook up a dry contact to it ( you mentioned that the polarity doesn't matter).

also, you mentioned that the impulses per gallon need to be set in the controller.
do you mind sharing on what parameter this is?

there seem to be quite a few parameters that set functions in the controller that seem to be nowhere to be found?
like the amperage for the valve malfunction.

do you have a more detailed information about this controller?


thank you for your help
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