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View Full Version : All Solorain valves ???


reb12
02-08-2007, 09:43 PM
I don't do much digging, especially in a root infested yard. My client has an old hydralic system and wants to upgrade to electric valves. He only has 4 zones and the present valves are located way out in various parts of his yard. I was thinking, what about just installing new valves and controlling each with a solorain? Any comments? This would save him money in labor and a timer, although the solorains are not cheap. I wold get him on a service contract and do checks monthly to catch any battery problems.

Rick

PurpHaze
02-08-2007, 09:51 PM
Which SoloRain model are you going to install? The 8014 model is quite tall. An alternative would be to install a Hunter SVC instead.

Remote Pigtails
02-08-2007, 11:28 PM
Is this a toro hydraulic and why does he want to switch to electric? Are the tubes cut or leaking? I have a better option but I need more details. If you decide on the battery operated route definitely follow Haze advice. I convert alot of hydaulic to electric but I use two way or three way solenoids.

Wet_Boots
02-09-2007, 08:28 AM
Hydraulic valves can be the most trouble-free of all. You can still buy new Toro hydraulic valves. You can also obtain electric-to-hydraulic converters to connect a new electric controller to an old hydraulic system. In an area with frequent lightning strikes, a hydraulic system is worth maintaining.

Repairs
02-09-2007, 10:26 PM
I would use the hunter before the solo-rains. We have had way too much trouble with the solo-rains that we do maintencance on. What kind of problems is the hydraulic system giving? I have done some retrofits to the hydro-electric convertor panels made by toro and they have worked well.

Remote Pigtails
02-10-2007, 08:37 AM
I'll swing by and take a picture of one of my retrofits but what I do is put the converters in a 10"box outside the wall below grade and then run wire from there into the garage.

PurpHaze
02-10-2007, 09:10 AM
I'd be real interested in seeing some pictures of a hydro-electric conversion. It's always fascinated me but most hydraulically controlled systems in this area were gone a long time ago.

reb12
02-10-2007, 09:57 AM
I'll swing by and take a picture of one of my retrofits but what I do is put the converters in a 10"box outside the wall below grade and then run wire from there into the garage.
Remote Pigtails,

Would love to see the pics. It will help me a lot. Also, I havre a service contract on a condo is SW FL with 2 timers, 25 zones total. The timers are in a cement enclosure and I would like to hook up my remote. I would need a pigtail (2) with about 15 feet length to get them outside. Can you do this and what would it cost?? Thanks, Rick

Repairs
02-10-2007, 10:17 AM
I will get some of mine as well. One of the golf-courses here locally that we do work on has 65+- controllers with that setup. Allthough not what I would consider ideal, it does work. JW

Remote Pigtails
02-10-2007, 02:12 PM
Remote Pigtails,

Would love to see the pics. It will help me a lot. Also, I havre a service contract on a condo is SW FL with 2 timers, 25 zones total. The timers are in a cement enclosure and I would like to hook up my remote. I would need a pigtail (2) with about 15 feet length to get them outside. Can you do this and what would it cost?? Thanks, Rick

I'm open to other suggestions on this but I think the most cost effective way would be to purchase a multi strand wire that is equal to the number of zones plus the common and a 24 volt power source. (I'm going to assume you are using a TRC or Rainmaster and need a 37 pin connector) Then hook my pigtail to that in a junction box. If you get a big enough junction box you can curl the pigtail up to keep out of sight. I have also hooked it up to the wires before they enter the building and with the use of an external transformer could activate the remote. I will check on the cost of special ordering two with 15 feet of wire. Since you said 25 zones / two timers I'm figuring one 24 station and one 12 station.

laylow1994
02-10-2007, 04:32 PM
i would use a hunter svc over a solorain..... svc is only a 9 volt battery...... solorains are to tall... just my opinion...

reb12
02-10-2007, 05:00 PM
One time has 25 zones and the other has 15. Rainbirds. Let me know as this could take too long to walk off at 5 minutes a zone. It will be a monthly service account. It's a condo in SW FL. Thanks, Rick

Remote Pigtails
02-10-2007, 07:54 PM
One time has 25 zones and the other has 15. Rainbirds. Let me know as this could take too long to walk off at 5 minutes a zone. It will be a monthly service account. It's a condo in SW FL. Thanks, Rick

What brand of remote are you using?

reb12
02-10-2007, 08:34 PM
A TRC Sidekick - up to 24 zones.

Remote Pigtails
02-10-2007, 08:55 PM
Okay my connectors will work for you. I'll find out next week what an extra long connector will cost. I'm going to price (2) 24 stations at 15 feet unless you tell me otherwise. I guess on the controller with 25 zones you may have a zone that requires little maintenance and you can check that one with a short run time or opening a valve bleed. A lot of times if I have a controller with 13 or 25 zones I'll use the master valve wire on one zone but you can't do that with the sidekick because it does not have a separate on/off for the master.

reb12
02-11-2007, 08:20 AM
I'm walking the property to give them a bid for monthly service on Mon or Tues. I will get the job if I want it. If I can use my remote this will make things a lot easier for me, so let me know when you get a price.

Remote Pigtails
02-11-2007, 02:45 PM
I'd be real interested in seeing some pictures of a hydro-electric conversion. It's always fascinated me but most hydraulically controlled systems in this area were gone a long time ago.

While I was out doing Sunday stuff I remembered to bring my camera. Now these are actuators for a normally open system which means it has a supply tube. Pin type which are cheaper to retrofit have just a zone tube and a dump tube. I thought I had taken better pics but if you have any questions fire away.

The second pic is much better but this is right outside the garage wall and then I ran wire into the garage and set a new timer. If you study closely you can tell which is the supply tube, drain tube, and zone tube. Their are six actuators in this box. The reason we did this is because Dallas require r/f sensors on all systems.

PurpHaze
02-12-2007, 09:02 AM
Thanks for the pics. Now that I see them up close and personal I realize I've run into them many years ago. :)

Without A Drought
02-12-2007, 12:10 PM
i have to say, it seems like a waste of time to modify a hydraulic system in that fashion. you still have to run wire, and replace the controller (i think). but worst of all, the most delicate component, the supply and drain tubes, are still a vital part of the system.

now let me preface my next statement by saying i rarely see lightning damage (1 or 2 times a year), but all of the hydraulic systems i maintain, they're all on their last legs, i'm pretty much just waiting for it to go completely down to upgrade it to electric.

pg

Wet_Boots
02-12-2007, 01:44 PM
Warm-weather hydraulic systems will probably way outlast the cold-weather ones. Especially when you consider how many of them have water in the control tubing on a year-round basis. How the old 'bullet-style' hydraulic valves endured a freezing winter, I do not know.

Florida and lightning go together. Lots of ground strikes. Eliminating field wiring is a real plus down there.

PurpHaze
02-12-2007, 02:20 PM
Florida and lightning go together. Lots of ground strikes. Eliminating field wiring is a real plus down there.

I forget where I read it now but was stated that one of the reasons for coiling extra wiring (around a 1" piece of pipe and then removing pipe) in the valve box was to act as a damper for lightning. Don't know if it's true or not as we aren't in a lightning prone area.

Repairs
02-12-2007, 03:26 PM
I forget where I read it now but was stated that one of the reasons for coiling extra wiring (around a 1" piece of pipe and then removing pipe) in the valve box was to act as a damper for lightning. Don't know if it's true or not as we aren't in a lightning prone area.

Seems like it would need to be a huge amount of wire to make a difference.

Remote Pigtails
02-12-2007, 05:36 PM
i have to say, it seems like a waste of time to modify a hydraulic system in that fashion. you still have to run wire, and replace the controller (i think). but worst of all, the most delicate component, the supply and drain tubes, are still a vital part of the system.

now let me preface my next statement by saying i rarely see lightning damage (1 or 2 times a year), but all of the hydraulic systems i maintain, they're all on their last legs, i'm pretty much just waiting for it to go completely down to upgrade it to electric.

pg

In most cases I suggest they get a bid on a new system unless it is pretty well designed to begin with. The contractor that installed most of the hydraulic systems in Dallas buried every single valve he ever put in. Compared to the cost of finding all the valves, cutting them out, running new wire, and installing a clock this is considerably less expensive. Also Dallas has a City code that requires rain freeze sensors and unless you put it on the power supply to the clock you cannot use them on a hydraulic system. This is one of those grey area jobs in which the customer wants to try and get by for a few more years without buying a whole new system.

Remote Pigtails
02-14-2007, 07:30 AM
I'm walking the property to give them a bid for monthly service on Mon or Tues. I will get the job if I want it. If I can use my remote this will make things a lot easier for me, so let me know when you get a price.

REB 12-I don't see a private contact for you. I'd prefer to communicate with you that way so everybody doesn't get hit with emails while we are going back and forth. Send me a private email from my profile.
Thanks

reb12
02-19-2007, 02:24 PM
Hydraulic valves can be the most trouble-free of all. You can still buy new Toro hydraulic valves. You can also obtain electric-to-hydraulic converters to connect a new electric controller to an old hydraulic system. In an area with frequent lightning strikes, a hydraulic system is worth maintaining.
Wet Boots, About 10 days ago you advised that you can still buy electric to hydraulic timers. I gave up on trying to find the under ground valves for a 4 zone hydralic system in Florida. The system works great, good pressure and the present hydraulic timer is the problem. Can I convert without getting to the valves?? If so, where can I get the necessaary timer? The one that's there now is a Toro. Thanks, Rick

Wet_Boots
02-19-2007, 04:38 PM
If the system is a four-zone with Toro "pin-type" hydraulic valves, then you can buy another timer (http://www.affordablesprinklers.com/shop3/enter.html?target=ControllersToro.html) (pin-type valves are normally closed, and when a valve is open, some water will be dripping constantly from the controller's drain line)

If this were a larger system using normally-open hydraulic valves, then you would be using converter units (also known as 3-way pilot valves) like a Toro 9-8482, which can operate a single normally-open valve. Toro made ganged assemblies of converters, four per panel, to neaten up a grouping of converters. Another Toro converter is 286-66-01, which includes a strainer for the supply water.

If a Freetime Four replacement timer can't be had, then a standard 2-way pilot valve can actuate a pin-type valve. Toro made those, too, but I don't have a part number for them.

This is probably a Toro 9-8482 (http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=72881&stc=1&d=1171222818)

reb12
02-19-2007, 05:40 PM
Thanks Wet Boots. That's the baby I need!

Rick

reb12
02-20-2007, 03:33 PM
Wet Boots,

I went to the web site you linked me to, Affordable Irrigation, and they have changed to Sprinkler Warehouse. I called them and they no longer carry the Toro 150 Hydraulic. Do you have any, ANY other ideas?????

Thanks, Rick

Wet_Boots
02-20-2007, 04:46 PM
I thought that might be the case. It has been some years since the clock was discontinued. I would guess that even repair parts might be impossible to obtain. For pin-type valves, you only need to connect an ordinary electric controller to a set of 2-way pilot valves. Try Toro part number 284-60-00 for those. One for each zone.

reb12
02-23-2007, 05:00 PM
Thanks Wet Boots, here's a few pics of what I did. It works great. Now let's hope the diaphrams hold up and no one digs and cuts a bleeder line!!

Thanks again, Rick

Remote Pigtails
02-23-2007, 05:36 PM
Beautiful job. That was similar to what i did in a previous posting but i put the converters in a box below ground to avoid freeze damage. your in FL so I guess that's not an issue.

Wet_Boots
02-23-2007, 08:57 PM
Nice work. 2-way pilots are easier to deal with than 3-way pilots, since you don't need a supply line to each pilot valve. It's easy to see why they came out with modular multi-zone converter assemblies for large retrofits.

PurpHaze
02-23-2007, 10:00 PM
Very clean work. When you see work like this you know some thought and professionalism went into it. :clapping: