Can I use two controllers in one system

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by Beary, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Beary

    Beary New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Hi All

    I installed a pipe from my sprinkler system to add water to the pool. My problem is I have to turn on the main sprinkler valve by hand to get water to the pool because I don't have any zones left on the present 10 zone controller. I'm thinking of just adding a second controller by the pool to turn on the main valve, but wondered it the controllers could damage each other when one is turned on.

    Thanks for any help and ideas.

    Beary
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Yes you can use two controllers. Just make sure you do not cross the phases. As long as you don't cross the phases either or both controllers will turn on the pump and open the master valve. You could also set it up with a pressure tank and pressure switch to start the pump, then your controller only needs to open the sprinkler valves and the pump comes on automatically when the tank is empty.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,487
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    controllers

    You can use as many as you wish to, since each will be its own little system without any connection to the others, as long as you run separate wires to the added valve and don't try to connect it into the existing wiring.
  4. Beary

    Beary New Member

    Messages:
    48
    This is the problem. I'm not adding a valve, I just want to activate the main valve on the old system so I can get water to my faucet. As it is right now, the faucet is 200 feet away from the main valve. The only way I can use the faucet right now is walk 200 ft. and open it manually.

    In a sense, I am adding zone with an addition controller. But how can I wire the new controller into the main valve without connecting to the existing wiring already at the main valve? I am sure there is a way to do it because I've heard of several controllers being used in some complexes.

    I would even be open to the idea of a switch at the faucet that all I have to do it turn on and off to open the main valve.

    Thanks again for your replies.

    Beary
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    OK I am a little confused. If all you have to do is open the master valve then you do not have a pump? In that case all you need is a 24 volt transformer (if that is the correct voltage for the solenoid on the master valve), run a wire close to the faucet and through a light switch, then back to the master valve. This will power up the master valve from the little transformer any time you turn on the light switch.
  6. Beary

    Beary New Member

    Messages:
    48
    Thank you Valveman, :D that was the imformation I needed. I am not good with low voltage electronics and I wasn't sure if I could do that with another controller in the system, and I wasn't sure is most valves use the same voltage. Now I'm kind of excited to try your suggestion out.

    First I just want to get the switch to work so I can get water to the faucet, but I eventally want to build an automatic filler device that adds water when a when the pool water gets to low. My thinking is use a float connected to the switch. When the float falls to a level I want the water to come on, it triggers the switch to on.

    I also want to add a sprinkler controller so that I can water the new flower bed my wife put in near this faucet. I want to say this was the hard part, but actually digging the 100 foot trench in the hard rocky Oklahoma red clay in the 105 degree weather to lay the water line was the hard part.

    Thanks again.

    Beary
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,487
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    switch

    Just put a wire from the 24 volt HOT, (not white common), terminal where the transformer is connected to the circuit board. Then mount a toggle switch in the case or elsewhere. Run the wire from the above terminal through the switch and then to the main valve's terminal. You will not have to worry about polarity or backfeeding it doing it this way.
  8. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    I'll have to check my controllers, but I think that from the 24 volt transformer (AC) that both wires are black.

    Rancher
  9. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I'm confused. If you put this pipe in without another valve, and it is obviously after the main solonoid, what keeps it from trying to fill the pool when the sprinklers are on?

    bob...
  10. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Going to need a hose bibb or faucet.
  11. Beary

    Beary New Member

    Messages:
    48
    I have a faucet with one of those garden valve timers on it. Presently what I do is turn of the faucet, set the timer to one hour, then walk about 200 ft to turn on the main valve by hand. The timer prevents the pool from over filling incase I get caught up in a game or something. Sometime after an hour, I walk out and turn off the main valve by hand, walk 200 ft. to the faucet to turn it off.

    When I installed the faucet, I stubbed out another pipe that I plan to use for the pool when I get electricity to the equipment. Then I can add a sprinkler valve and not have to go to the equipment to set the timer.

    Beary
  12. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I'm still confused. It seems like this could be done in a much easier way. Can you draw a diagram of this, so we can see what your doing?

    It would seem you have a tank and pressure switch, but I'm not sure. If this is the case, you can tee off in front of the main valve and make the pool circuit totally independent of the sprinkler system.

    bob...
  13. Beary

    Beary New Member

    Messages:
    48
    No tank or pressure switch. All my water pressure comes from the city.
  14. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    OK then, tap into the water line before the main sprinkler valve and use whatever means of turning it on you like. It will be independant of the sprinkler system.

    bob...
  15. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    "OK then, tap into the water line before the main sprinkler valve and use whatever means of turning it on you like."

    Duh!!! That makes it easy. As usual, we have been thinking too hard.
  16. Beary

    Beary New Member

    Messages:
    48

    I guess. But that means I have to dig a 150 ft more trench.

    OK, I don't know how to draw a diagram on a forum, but I will try it in words. My main sprinkler valve was installed about three feet after the city water meter in the front yard. From there, walk about 120 ft into my back yard where you find four valves installed on a manifold for the backyard sprinkle system. I spliced a 1 inch Sch 80 PVC pipe just before the manifold and ran it another 100 feet farther back to my pool equipment.

    I stemmed out two pipes at my pool equipment; One is a steel pipe with a ball valve faucet to for garden hoses, The other is a one inch PVC pipe that I capped thinking in the future I would plumb it directly into my pool equipment, which I will do when I develop a method to actuate the main valve from the equipment.

    For right now, I just use the hose from the faucet to add water to the pool. But to do that now, I walk to my front yard to manually turn on the main valve, then walk a little over 200 ft to the back yard to turn on the faucet. Once I'mfinished using the faucet, I turn off the faucet and walk 200 ft to the front yard to turn off the main valve. It works, but I'd rather just figure out a way to open the main valve from the pool equipment when I need water.

    It seems that if I can bury the low voltage wire from the equipment to the main valve, that would accomplish the task. In fact, I was wondering if only really need to get the wire to the wires on the four valve manifold. I don't know whether one of those wires is charged when the timer triggers the main valve. It would be easy to check with a meter.

    Beary
  17. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Whats the purpose of the main sprinkler valve? It sounds like you have valves on all your sprinkler zones also... correct? Remove the main sprinkler valve (I'm assuming it is an electric valve) and replace it with a ball valve, or gate valve, just for shut off maintence issues.

    Rancher
  18. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Ok, we're not doomed yet.

    I've heard a lot about these main or master valves on sprinkler systems. I have yet to understand their usefulness. If there is a use for them that I have just not yet considered, forget what your about to read.

    Remove the main sprinkler valve. Your pipe that is t'eed in before the four valves is now hot all the time. (Hot meaning under pressure)

    Now decide what kind of valve you would like to turn it on/off with and your done. You can even consider a radio controlled valve to operate it. There have been many links on the Forum to that sort of equipment.

    bob...
  19. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Rancher, you out drew me!!! Great minds think alike.
  20. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    OK, lets not have a hug fest. Perhaps we should open a separate window on the thread we are answering to make sure it hasn't already been answered before pressing submit. BTW I sent you a private message.
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