Pool Valve Actuator Controlling


(Doug Mayo) #1

I’m working on building up a system to control my pool water flow valves. Here’s a rough schematic of the idea:

I need help sourcing the best arduino & zwave shiled, the best relays, and the best 110 VAC to 24 VAC transformer.
The PE24VA by intermatic (http://amzn.to/2iv1vac) calls for a 24 VAC, 100VA! line. I found some doorbell transformers that I thought would work, but it turns out they’re only 20VA. For the relays, I think I need 4 SPDT relays, obviously rated to 24VAC 100VA. Here’s what I was thinking: http://amzn.to/2j0uMqA for the relays. Okay… Your thoughts?!?

(Ray) #2

What kind of valves do you have right now? Are you replacing them with new actuator valves? I would look up the manufacturer of those valves first. Sometime they do carry add on actuator for the valve and it would be easier and cheaper to deal with. Also they will probably have the correct power supply as well.

(Robin) #3

My parents used to sell swimming pools and I used to go out and plumb the pool houses.

These actuators have 3 input wires:

  • position / live 1 (red)
  • position / live 2 (white)
  • Neutral (black)

You have correctly selected SPDT relays but in your schematic you are only using them as SPST?

Assuming the orange wires going to the actuators in your schematic are the live wires, you have not shown any neutral connection and therefore the actuators will not complete a circuit (won’t work).

You should have the live wire from the 24v supply going to the common terminal on each of the SPDT relays. Neutral (black) from the 24v supply should go straight to each actuator.

Red and white wires from the actuators should go to the NO and NC terminals of each relay. (Doesn’t matter which way around, can be reversed later using the toggle switch on the actuator itself)

If I was doing this project I would use standard 110v zwave relays and wire them to toggle 110v coil (dumb) SPDT relays. I would then wire the dry contact side of each relay to the actuators, as noted above.

By using zwave relays you can also rig push buttons into a control panel rather than having to use your phone and / or toggle switch on the sides of the actuators (only intended for maintenance).

Use of Arduino and the relay board you linked to above would also work, but IMHO it just adds too much complication and makes it harder to have the manual switching.

Something very important that you need to watch out for is that you don’t want to be pulling water from the spa and dumping it into the pool… as the spa will quickly drain, pipes would run dry and the water cooled pump would burn out (the heater will protect itself via flow sensors, the pump won’t)

I suggest you use 1nr DPDT relay to control both the out actuator (after the heater) and the actuator that switches suction between pool and spa (before the pump) together. That way you can only pull and return to the same location (pool or spa), these two valves will therefore be hard wired to turn together and won’t be independently controllable, which is what you want.

Summary, you need:

  • 2nr SPDT dumb relays
  • 1nr DPDT dumb relay
  • 3nr zwave dry contact relays
  • 3nr push to make momentary switches (optional manual control)
  • A large watertight junction box for all electrics (if mounting in the pool house?). Manual switches can be mounted through this junction box to create a control panel if you select the correct type of switches (ones that poke through a hole with gaskets)

You also need a good (working) schematic!

Hope this helps?

(Chris) #4

(Doug Mayo) #5

Thanks! This was a better response than I could have even hoped for. In my crude drawing, there was a black, yellow, and orange wire going to each relay. I’m updating it now to have better colors. I’m still trying to see if there’s a cheaper way than buying 4 110v z-wave switches and 4 relays. Also, as to using a DPDT relay for controlling in/out of spa/pool together… Most of the time I want water drawn from the pool and circulated to the spa, as it has a water feature between the two. Only during heating do I want the water drawn from and delivered to the spa.
Edit to add: Still looking for a good source for 120v to 24v AC transformer if anybody has a good idea.

(Robin) #6

Is it a omni-directional water feature? (Is the spa level higher)

If you pump from the spa and return to the pool, would spa run dry?

If yes, I still suggest a hard wired fix. Consider an extra dumb relay link, to force return to spa when drawing from the spa, but allow either when drawing from pool.

Basically you need to design out the risk of being able to break your pump by pressing a remote button / or by Smartthings missing / sending erroneous events.

You could always buy 2 dual relays instead of 4 single ones to half the cost. I have a couple of Fibaro double relays that generally work well. ST is not too fond of multi-channel devices, I won’t go into details now but you’ll end up using virtual switches and a sync app to mirror each channel, this help apps like CoRE see and change the independent states… Works fine for me

I’ll look at transformers but I’m in the UK so Google avoids showing me US results.

(Doug Mayo) #7

I’m so sorry for the delay, I’ve been concentrating on other projects since I started dreaming up this one. The water is uni-directional (spa sits higher than pool, water only flows down from spa-pool). If I pump from the spa and return to the pool, the spa would run dry and it would break the pump. I’m still interested in eventually building this, but I think it may be a later project as I’m more focused right now on integrating my new 2gig GC3 alarm panel…

(Jerad Jacob) #8

Check out what I did here: Particle Photon Pool Pump and Solar Heating control

This should be almost directly modifiable to do exactly what you’re wanting to accomplish. I am using a Particle Photon, which is super flexible and very easy to use compared to the offline nature of a direct Arduino device.

(Kurt Jones) #9

Ever find a transformer?

(Jerad Jacob) #10

I am using a transformer for a doorbell. It was $10 or something.