I live in the Netherlands and I currently have an empty lot which should become the garden. So I’m fully flexible in my set up regarding watering, but looking for some advice/suggestions on how to do it correctly.
The starting point is a well in which I want to place a 3-inch submersible pump. From there, piping should go to several zones I want to eventually control using Rachio. The main question is, what should be between the pump and Rachio to make it work? Based on my research I would say I need some controller for the pump which then connects to Rachio. So pump → controller → Rachio → sprinklers. Is this correct? And what should I look for when selecting the pump and controller?
One controller that seems promising it this one from DAB. But no idea if does the job and works with Rachio.
Looking forward to some advice on my set-up to make Rachio work with my pump in the Netherlands.
Hi, I use a pedrollo pump with a pump contoller. Pump out goes to a distibutor with electronic rainbird valves. Calculation of circuits is easy
Everything except the rachio is purchased from dutch webshops.
Most irrigation controllers (including Rachio) have a separate connection for a master valve/switch which I am fairly sure you can use to control a pump e.g. whenever any one of the zones is calling for water, the master valve terminal will be live. You would need to connect the master terminal to a 24V contactor/relay which would then provide 230-240V to the pump. I use the master terminal to run a master valve so the water side of the system is only pressurised when actually running the irrigation. I have never used a pump so cannot advise best models but am fairly sure a €10-20 contactor will be all that you need to control the pump.
@svmunster - I believe there are two choices that are available:
Pressure tank and pressure valve - This solution is more expensive due to the tank. There is a tank that the pump fills with pressurized water and a pressure switch that depending on the water pressure turns the pump on (low pressure/empty) or off (high pressure/full). The advantage of this system is that the system is fully pressurized when the first zone runs, no need to build up pressure in the water pipe and the fact that there is no interface to Rachio. The disadvantage of this system, besides the cost, is that if there is a leak in the pipe the pump will keep running due to the falling pressure (whereas on the next option, the pump will only run when Rachio is saying that it is watering).
Pump Start Relay - as @Pedro mentioned it is basically a large double pole single throw relay that has a 24 VAC coil which Rachio controls. Here is a US version (they can switch 240V):
Wow, excellent explanation all. Thanks. In basic set-up a relay attached to a master valve should do the trick.
@Pedro is saying that he ‘use(s) the master terminal to run a master valve so the water side of the system is only pressurised when actually running the irrigation’. Perfect. In such a set up, would it also be possible to control the flow and make the pump stop when there is no water available?
The master valve contact will only be enabled when one of the zones is being watered so will stop the pump the second it stops watering the garden.
The one thing it won’t do is stop the pump if no water available in the well, although lots of submersible pumps come with float valves anyway.
So my suggestion doesn’t cover the possibility of the well being empty of water very well Is that a likely occurrence?
Just to clarify, I am suggesting you connect the pump to a contactor/relay connected to the master valve connection on the Rachio controller - you don’t need a master valve as well.
The contactor needs to be 230-240V NO (normally open), 20A or more (pumps draw quite a lot of current when they start) and have a 24V AC coil to trigger the closing of the contacts when the Rachio starts watering. I think a suitable DIN rail mounted one would be here.