Best way to run valves with no AC power.

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, May 13, 2005.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    I have been asked for a quote to install electric valves and timer. After looking it over, it is almost impossible to get wires to the valves. A lot of carpentry would be necessary. Tear out several ceilings, walls, etc..

    What is the best remote way to power them up by using electric valves and starting them without a conventional controller. Rainbird makes EasyRain but is quite costly. Hunter uses a similar setup but much less expensive. Each company also has multi-station setups as well.

    Need to makeover 21 stations. There are now 2-3 in one area but I could bury wire to combine them if necessary to use multistation.

    Any ideas or experience with any of these or something completely different?

    Does anyone make a complete wireless transmitter/controller to wireless valve system?

    John ;) ;)
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,402

    because this question doesn't make much sense, unless the situation is extreme. If the valves are outdoors, one could always employ an outdoors controller. If there is no outdoor AC near the valves, you have it installed. There are situations where carpentry considerations affect a sprinkler system design, but I have yet to see one where it forced a system to run without AC power. If the homeowner wants a controller in a specific problem location, talk him out of it, and maybe sell a remote operator as an extra.
  3. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    This is an extreme situation! No AC power so outdoor controller won't work. We will have to check on electrician installed options. Tear down of interior is not going to fly either.

    I was hoping for feedback of the use of individual valve controllers of some type or brand in the event that no other option is available.

    Thanks for your help!

    John :waving:
  4. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Ok, best? or least expensive? 21 stations of existing valves? or new install. Depending on the brand of valves already installed (assuming existing) then I say IBOC. Irritrol Battery Operated Controller. Uses two 6v dry cells and you can get a full season out of them. When I worked in the DFW area, we had several projects where AC wasn't an option. The IBOC works. Of late, I have seen a few guys operate ICC's with tandem 12v auto batteries. Not my prefered solution, but I am told it works. I am told the ICC will actually open and close the appropriate circuits from the 9v backup battery, but that isn't enough power to fire a solenoid. With the IBOC, you have to switch to DC latching solenoids (retrofits for most brands are available). With the ICC setup, I understand they are rotating the batteries on a monthly schedule. (Guy I knew who was doing this had 3 or 4 controllers set up this way. He used one "spare" set and rotated them one day apart) Good luck. DC applications are always fun. FYI, I would recomend the wiring be 14ga if at all possible. 18ga is going to be a stretch with DC
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    You must mean 21 heads not 21 stations,each station can run more than one head.I'm not sure what the heck you are talking about,Dig makes a controller that sets on top of the valve and runs on batteries that will run a station, or you can put a multistaton controller outside if it is in outside approved metal box mounted on a post with AC running to it from the house or garage thru conduit and brought up to a GFI that has a plastic weatherproof cover over it and plug into that
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Could you be a little more specific? Why is the no way to get power to the location? Is the area completely isolated? As for getting electrical power to the area, contact an electrician that you could sub-contract. They can usually pull power wires long distances in tight spaces without a lot of damage.

    You are looking at a pocketful of coin using individual battery operated controllers on 21 stations.

    Another option is a solar powered controller. It is (or was) called LEIT-8000. You have to use their valves, and their wire. Not cheap, but functional.

    Also that IBOC that mudpuppy mentioned with latching solenoids and even a solar power option, is a good choice also. They have been around for a long time.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Jerry R
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    an electrician can certinally run power from under the house, of somewhere....

    I don't buy this " getting power is impossible"

    the hunter setup is really nice, but at $50.00/ controller you're looking at a thousand bucks, plus batteries, plus programing each one..... sounds like a shceduling nightmare......

    GET AC............
  8. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    You are all correct! Nothing is impossible if price is no object. :rolleyes:

    We are looking into electrician pricing for AC for 4 different controllers outside. Five separate buildings and yes, 21 stations. It has been installed with manual valves at the present and I am putting together an estimate to upgrade to electrics. Customer first wanted timers indoors and a carpenter would be necessary to allow wires to stations.

    Using individual valve mount controllers , the cost is close to $3500! Controller, valve, and dc latching solenoid for each one. And I mean my cost. Not counting installation, plumbing and so on.

    Using the battery controllers, the cost is somewhat less but the valves, and also the latching solenoid are still required.

    I will get some estimates from electrician and go from there.

    Thanks for all your info.

    John :waving:
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,402

    Five separate buildings, none of which has any electrical power? Hoo-Boy. How many acres is this complex? Is there a single water source?
  10. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Complex covers about 5 acres total. Five separate water sources. Concrete parking lots all over. I could pull wire to combine two areas with one timer and the others would have to be stand alone.

    At present there is no external AC except to plug in poles which are wired to individual apt. meters. Irrigation has to be powered by common areas which are paid by the owner.

    I expect my time will be for free on this one as I don't think any of the options are going to be accepted.

    John :waving:

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