Capacitor start submersible pump relay for irrigation

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by Nathan Gant, May 21, 2020 at 6:45 PM.

  1. Nathan Gant

    Nathan Gant New Member

    Joined:
    Thursday
    Location:
    Oviedo, Florida
    I am working with a customer who has the mechanical indexing valves and controllers. I recently had to replace his capacitor-start (Franklin Electric) pump relay to keep the water going. This is wired into his indexing controller inside garage. His irrigation water supply is from a 240vac submersible pump outside next to indexing valves.

    I would like to consider installing a 24vac irrigation controller which can run his 3 zones without removing indexing valves. I am aware of several types of irrigation controllers which allow settings for changing pump delay times in software, which would be required to continue to use indexing valves. That, as you may know, is needed for indexing valves to work, as they are sequentially operated from pump ON/ pump OFF operation, when the sudden drop in water pressure "indexes" on to the next zone. So pump is started again for each zone to operate, and a lag time is needed for indexing to work.

    At some point the indexing valves and timer may need servicing and it may be cost effective to go with a 24vac controller and possible change over to electric valves in the future. So I would like to at least have a 24vac irrigation controller and working pump relay ready to work with indexing valves when that happens. Electric valves can be replaced later.

    The problem is that most irrigation pump relays I've seen are not capacitor-start and only are switched on by 24vac coming from controller. They don't provide enough boost to run a 240vac submersible pump. Can such 24vac pump relays be "piggy-backed" to work with the capacitor-start pump relay that use its own separate pump relay inside the indexing timer in garage? Would that mean timer has to be toggled OFF or toggled to AUTO to work properly? Also are there 24vac capacitor-start irrigation pump relays out there? No one at local irrigation supply store has an answer for me yet. I'm sure these types of pump relays are out there, but it's not a common one and I'm sure it's more expensive than the standard pump relays.
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Your 24V relay just sends power to the pump control box with the capacitor which starts the pump.
     
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  4. Nathan Gant

    Nathan Gant New Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oviedo, Florida
    Yes but the indexing timer has a primary pump relay and secondary relay (24vac) is what you are referring to. I need to keep indexing system operational but want to have the secondary relay work independently from primary relay. Should I be asking an electrician for advice? Are there capacitor start relays that have 24vac wires for that purpose? Probably more money, for sure.
     
  5. Nathan Gant

    Nathan Gant New Member

    Joined:
    Thursday
    Location:
    Oviedo, Florida
    Also the Hunter 24vac pump relay is magnetic pull/solenoid only, no capacitor start in these models. Capacitor start is in OEM Franklin Electric relay , which is connected to indexing timer. No 24vac wires here.
     
  6. fitter30

    fitter30 Active Member

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    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
    Three 24v relays with contacts all wired parallel to the start contacts of pump
     
  7. Nathan Gant

    Nathan Gant New Member

    Joined:
    Thursday
    Location:
    Oviedo, Florida
    There are only two mechanical relays, one is the Hunter pump relay (solenoid) which connects from the 24vac supplied by Rainbird controller's 24vac relay outputs. The Hunter pump relay will work as designed for electric valves but it doesn't have the capacitor start to run a submersible pump.

    The indexing system timer has its own relay inside. Indexing timer has a toggle switch: AUTO, OFF, and ON. AUTO will run submersible pump based on clips in the timer, which allows a short delay before pump automatically starts onto next zone, the indexing valve mechanically advancing in sequence to the 3 zones once a brief drop in water pressure (pump OFF) allows it move to next position, i.e., after a short delay, the submersible pump is energized and back ON.

    Capacitor start is what I'm assuming is your third relay.

    I think that parallel connections for all relays as you suggest is part of the answer, but wouldn't L1/L2 inputs need to be re-routed to begin inside Hunter pump relay first? Unless I misunderstood the electrician on site, I was told that toggling indexing timer from AUTO and leaving in ON position will bypass the automatic OFF/ON cycles, overrides its internal pump relay, leaving the 240vac wires permanently hot, these are the 240vac wires that terminate inside Franklin Electric capacitor pump start relay. Is that what the indexing timer should be doing? I won't be able to be there onsite until next week to verify that.

    If that's the case, I'm guessing that I need to disconnect these two 240vac wires from the Franklin Electric relay (L1/L2 input) and instead run these 240vac L1/L2 hot wires into Hunter L1/L2 inputs first, and then run the Hunter L1/L2 output wires back into L1/L2 inputs inside Franklin Electric. So by my logic that allows for pump ON/OFF operation to be controlled from the Rainbird irrigation unit, as long as it is pre-programmed for pump delay in MENU settings. I really need to submit photos for clarification before I do this, I have a funny feeling that I might end up frying the Hunter and Franklin relays at the same time with this re-route of main wiring.
     
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