Irrigation control - water valve?

Hi there,

I would like to see some solution to control water for my irrigation using OpenHAB. I have outside water source and power there.
Currently there are two solutions:

  • I take standard Gardena Computer and forget about OpenHAB. Quick and isolated.
  • I take Gardena Water Valve, which uses 24V. Then I need some power supply + Z-Wave relay to control Valve. I should put it into box somehow to protect from rain. Important in this situation is that relay should cut power automatically after maximum time, if connection to controller would be lost for some reason.

I wonder if there is something else cheap on the market already - like Wi-Fi or Z-wave-controlled water valve? Any recommendations? I know Gardena has something like “Smart Water Control”, but it requires Gardena Gateway and radio interface is unknown. It is also currently quite expensive.

look at opensprinkler software and this

on an raspberry pi.

then use opensprinkler binding

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although, just the opensprinkler gui is fine by itself, thats what i use.

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OpenSprinkler is the way to go. It’s way cheaper than canned products and has a ton more features. Been using it for more than a year after my “pro” grade sprinkler system started to act up. I also didn’t bother using the openhab binding because opensprinkler has enough intelligence built in to not require outside automation, and manual intervention is not necessary that often.

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i agree. when my irrigation controller went, this cost me no more than a new one. the opensprinker software checks the weather api for weather underground and adjusts watering based on real weather data, rather than relying on a sensor that says how much its rained. i agree there is no need to automate more, it just works, and works well.

and to be honest, you technically could run ospi and openhab on the same raspberry pi. i dont, as my ospi is outside. its only $35 for another dedicated pi.

Thanks for controller. But what about valves itself? What type are you using?

Also as I see, that you use such things in autonomous mode, I wonder if it really necessary to bind it to OH. The only benefits I see from it is Weather-controlled irrigation and Rain sensing over OH, when I get such sensor.

standard 24v valves, same as tou would use dor atandard installation. i see no need to bind it to oh, but you asked originally what controller. it works great all by it self. there is an app to download that can do all settings, and control either locally or anywhere in the world.

I checked the prices, looks like this Opensprikler is not the best solution for me. My irrigation system will be quite simple, probably no more than 4 channels, so 16 is total overkill. To get it working in addition I will need a 24V power supply, some weatherproof box and valves. And additional RPI, if I take this version. So totally I will not go below 100€.
So if I don’t need web or openhab control, this functionality also not required.
Finally I landed on Gardena 1866 computer for just 98€. It has solar+rechargable power, so it’s easier to install, build in valve and option to extend to 6 channels using controlled distribution box for 25 €.

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Rachio looks interesting

I’ve been using Rachio for 4 months, I have 3 acres and a 12 zone system at the moment. I couldn’t be happier, its freaking awesome!! They have an API but they also integrate with IFTT so you could always use the IFTT binding to control Rachio. I tried OpenSprinkler, while its more flexible it requires you to pretty much create your own logic, and Rachio has put a TON of their own engineering, research, and development in how it schedules your waterings based on historical watering data, etc. I don’t know but its already cut my bill by 50% and my grass is the greenest I have ever seen it. Will see how it fares in the summer as that’s the ultimate test…

@Eric_Malamisura thanks for the info. I was on the fence about getting one, but now I probably will. I also see it can be integrated in with my Netatmo.

About the water valve: you could use a valve from an old washing machine. It runs on 230V. no need for a power supply.

There is also

My own plan is to use an old Raspberry Pi I have lying around to control a couple of 12VDC N/C solenoid valves ($5 from China) using an eight channel (or less) 5VDC relay board ($6) which can be directly connected to the GPIO pins of the RPi.

I have not decided whether the system should run autonomously, but in either case I would like status information and statistics to be available in OpenHAB. For this the irrigation Pi must be connected to the network and make information available via some suitable protocol that OpenHAB has a binding for. The best choice is probably MQTT and having the irrigation Pi run OpenHAB itself. Then it can always be changed if responsibility should be local or central.

Hi @Artyom_Syomushkin

I am thinking about the same problem and just had problems with a Gardena Computer (just broke :frowning: Now would like to integrate this into OH as well.
So, how about a remote plug (e.g. z-wave) to switch the 24V AC power supply and connect it to a water valve like the Gardena 1278.
You just need a waterprotection like an IP-45 Box and you’re done.

At least that’s what I am thinking of - and I just need 2 valves.

how does ospi require you to create your own logic? use the ospi firmware, create a weather underground api, and you are set to go

This is something I was also thinking about. I thought to take some two channel wall relay module from Fibaro or Qubino. They have potential-free switch contacts, so that you could switch two 24V loads, while being supplied from 230V. Qubino is more interesting despite higher price - their modules work from -10 degrees C - this is in my opinion important for outside installation. Put everything in the box - done.
The only one concern to check - z-wave relay should have some kind of autonomous Limitation of maximum ON time. So that if communication or server is down, relay would safely switch off to avoid flooding. I saw Fibaro wall relay has such parameter, but not sure about others.

Sounds like a straightforward approach. Would be cheaper for 2 separate valves as well.
I didn’t know that fibaro two ways could provide 24V as well. Which model are you referring to?

I did not think about disconnected fibaro plug behavior.
Thanks for bringing it up.

I was talking about FGS-221 or similar relays. It’s not that they can supply 24V, but they can switch 24V, because contacts are isolated from mains. But you will need extra 24V PSU for valves anyway.

hate to say it, but after spending that kind of money, you should have gone the opensprinkler way! minus the valves, would spend 150ish usd