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Home Security => Problems and Troubleshooting => Topic started by: schmuttis on March 09, 2017, 12:57:52 PM

Title: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: schmuttis on March 09, 2017, 12:57:52 PM
I did a search on the internet for an X10 controlled spigot and found a SMARTHOME SELECT ELECTRONIC WATER SHUTOFF VALVE, 3/4-INCH, 12V DC. I'm not exactly sure how this is used and if it can be used with my automation system.

I would like to put this in my basement and attach a heated hose to go outside to my pond. If the temperature quickly drops and freezes some of the water, I need to add water to my pond to keep the pumps running. We thought we could hook up one of our cameras to watch the pond and if we see a need we could turn on the water remotely while away. (I'd also like to use it in the summer to schedule water fills.)

From the website on the Smarthome valve, I'm not exactly sure how it works and if it would work for my needs. Has anyone used this product or anything else that might work for what I am trying to accomplish?

I have a CM15A controller which I use with iHouse. I also use a lot of AHK external macros. I'm a retired programmer not much into electronics but understand basic wiring. I was hoping to be able to control the spigot from a compiled AHK macro. I do have a Z-wave controller and some modules but must admit I've never been able to get the thing working well so gave up.

Any suggestions/info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: Brian H on March 09, 2017, 03:47:38 PM
Is this the valve you are referring to?

One of the images on the sales page shows the basic wiring.

It uses an external 12 volt DC power supply. Applying 12 volts DC to the common wire and either Red or Green wire. Opens or Closes it. It must have limit switches in it. As either the Red or Green wire is powered all the time until its open or closed position is changed.

They use their 2450 IO Linc as it has both a Normally Open and Normally Closed relay output. So depending on if Red or Green are on the NC contacts. It will be open or closed when the module is in the off position.

I just got two of the 2450 IO Linc modules under the Retail Part Number and will double check they still can accept an X10 Primary Address programmed into them. One point. refurbished can be anything from field returns to new surplus. Mine where brand new. Warranty also is only thirty days exchange only on refurbished.

That would not prevent you from using your own SPDT relay with a 120 Volt AC coil of choice driven by maybe an X10 Appliance Module
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: Tuicemen on March 09, 2017, 03:57:18 PM
I'm not sure if you have fish in your pond if so adding warm water can harm them in the winter(actually any time of year if temperature is to far off the ponds current temperature)
I've had a Koi pond for several years and tried many ways to keep the pond open over the winter months. I used a water heater simular to those found for horse troughs for years but found I was going threw one every couple of years.
currently I use a 60 watt incandescent bulb supported over the water in a small enclose directly over where the pump moves the water. this keeps the pond open at least enough for harmful gasses to escape even on the coldest days.

It would have been helpful if you had supplied a link to the spigot in question.
Doing a search I found one which I assume is the same, (12volt shutoff  (http://www.smarthome.com/smarthome-select-electronic-water-shutoff-valve-3-4-inch-12v-dc.html))it uses insteon but I suppose you could adapt to X10.
You'd need a universal module (pum01 or simular) to supply the 12 volts to the unit when you send the x10 command on/off the value open/closes

Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: Brian H on March 09, 2017, 04:16:23 PM
I just verified my latest Hardware: V2.3, Date Code: 1430, 2450 I/O Linc still can have a Primary X10 Address programed into it for relay control.
I don't think the PUM01 would work as it has a SPST relay in it and the water valve needs a SPDT relay to provide 12 volts to either the Red or Green wire depending if you want it open or closed.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: Tuicemen on March 09, 2017, 04:33:46 PM
I don't think the PUM01 would work as it has a SPST relay in it and the water valve needs a SPDT relay to provide 12 volts to either the Red or Green wire depending if you want it open or closed.
Your most likely right Brian I only suggested that or something simular not fully researching the valve specs.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: Brian H on March 09, 2017, 05:25:21 PM
Well the PUM01 could turn a 12 DC relay On and Off. Switching the +12 volts into the Red valve wire to open it and into the Green wire to close it.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: schmuttis on March 09, 2017, 07:16:43 PM
Thank you all for your input. I'm sorry for not including the link to the valve. Yes you did find the correct item.

I have some additional questions. I don't know what SPST and SPDT relays mean. Would you mind providing some additional education about them. How do you program X10 addresses into the hardware, 2450  IO Linc? I was looking at the smarthome page on the 2450 and was wondering if you need special software to program it? One of the pictures on the 2450 page had a screen shot of some program. I'm only used to the two dials, A-P and 1-16, on my current X10 devices.

From what I get from you this should work if I purchase the valve and the IO Linc. I would have the valve set to normally closed and issue an X10 on command to the IO Linc to add water. Then issue an X10 off command to turn it off.

As to the fish, we aren't really adding hot water. We were planning to use an RV heated hose. This only keeps the water from freezing in the hose. The valve would be in the house with the hose leading out to the pond. For example this is the type of hose we're talking about. https://www.amazon.com/PIRIT-PWL-03-12-Heated-Hose-12-Feet/dp/B00GN9N4A0/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1489104217&sr=8-7&keywords=heated+hose+for+rv (https://www.amazon.com/PIRIT-PWL-03-12-Heated-Hose-12-Feet/dp/B00GN9N4A0/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1489104217&sr=8-7&keywords=heated+hose+for+rv) My pond is 3500 gallons. I just need to keep the water level up in the pump vault when the pond starts to freeze. I also have a couple of solids handling pumps keeping the surface open near the pump vault. We've been adding water manually as needed this winter but would like to have something automated that we can control remotely if we are away from home during severe cold weather. The more that freezes in the pond, the less water dropping into the pump vault.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: Brian H on March 10, 2017, 06:42:07 AM
SPST SP Single Pole one set of switching contacts. ST Single Output Connection.
Switch can be {NC} On between Common and Output or {NO} Off Common and Output. When the coil is not activated.

SPDT SP Single Pole one set of switching contacts.  DT Two Output Connections.
Has one common and both a NO and NC connection.
When coil is activated NC opens NO closes.

No you do not need a special controller to do the basic X10 programming. Can be done with just the Set Button and an X10 controller.
Some of the special features may need it.

Basically you hold the Set Button until the LED starts Flashing and it beeps.
Then send the X10 Address {House Code, Unit Code} and an X10 On or Off. Threes times until the unit beeps and the LED stops flashing.

Example: Sending a B2 On, B2 On, B2 On for programming.
An X10 B2 On will activate the relay and a B2 Off will turn the relay off.
If you had programmed with a B2 Off. A B2 Off would activate the relay and a B2 On would turn the relay off.

Download the full users manual for the 2450.
See page 13 for added information on X10 programming.
Step 4 in the procedure maybe an error. I have never had to hold the Set Button again after programming.

Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: b0b99 on March 10, 2017, 08:31:23 AM
Although I am a big fan of X-10 automation, sometimes a simple solution is easier. If all you want to do is make sure the water temperature remains above freezing by adding hot water when necessary, monitoring it and using X-10 to remotely turn on/off the hot water might be more complicated than necessary. Have you looked at an Arduino solution? By using an Arduino with a waterproof temperature sensor in the pond (DS18B20), and an Arduino relay (which are SPDT), you can automate the entire process. There are many Arduino examples of how to wire and program the temperature sensor and relay. This would eliminate the need to remotely monitor the pond to see if the temperature needs to be adjusted and is an inexpensive solution to your problem. I can't post external links, but an example of how this could be done can be seen on   the instructables site. Search for "Arduino Temperature Controller - Instructables"
You would not need to implement the display if you did not want it and a single relay would suffice for controlling just one device (valve).
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: HA Dave on March 10, 2017, 10:05:10 AM
Many years ago..... I owned a small home without any garage. I parked on the old brick street, in front of the house. All the neighbors were very good about never parking in front of other peoples homes.

To keep the car warm for early morning starts and to be driving ready I installed an 120volt in-line block/water heater. I ran a outlet to front of the home and added a light-switch for in next to the front door. (I used the same outlet for Christmas lights.) In sub-freezing weather I would simply switch the light/block-heater ON to warm the cars engine while I showered and ate breakfast.

You could connect the same type of heater to your ponds pluming and connect it to a switch PLUS a Thermostatically-Controlled outlet/switch (https://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-TC-3-Thermostatically-Controlled/dp/B0006U2HD2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1489158073&sr=8-2&keywords=freeze+on+switch). That should keep your pond from freezing over.

To keep your pond from evaporating in summer I'd build an inlet box (maybe the same place where you keep the heater) and add a toilet tank refill mechanism. 
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: schmuttis on March 10, 2017, 01:17:31 PM
I've tried to post this twice and both times it failed so this time I'm posting without the pictures - will add them in a following post.

Brian H -thank you for the info. That really helped a lot but I still have a few questions if you don't mind answering them. I'll put them in a separate following post.

b0b99 & HA Dave - I don't think I expressed my problem correctly. At the lower end of our pond, we have a pump vault that the water drops down into. When we get a quick freeze there isn't enough available water to still drop down into the vault for the pumps. We've been manually topping off the pond at times like this. We'd like to have a way to add "cold" water to the pond if we aren't at home and the weather turns really cold.

I attached a few pictures to give you a better idea of what is happening. Above the waterfalls we have a bog. From there the water splits into a stream (that feeds an upper pond) and the waterfall. The upper pond and waterfall feed the lower pond. It would be a tremendous expense to try to heat all of this water - we have no desire to do that. We just want to top off the pond water automatically when ice forms and the water level drops enough so water is no longer dropping into the pump vault. The pump vault is located at the end of the lower pond under the river rock. I also attached a picture of this pit when it was dug to give a better picture of the pit looks like - it's the dirt picture. We use a pump that sprays water in the pit area to keep the ice open.

Our idea is to monitor the temperatures and view the pond with a camera while we are away. If we see the water level needs to be topped off, we would remotely turn on the spigot (located inside the basement) that has a hose attached that runs out to the pond. I would probably have a macro with a timer so after set amount of time the valve would then be shut off.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: schmuttis on March 10, 2017, 01:25:54 PM
Adding  pictures isn't working for some reason. Try these links:

http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-02-05_3385_PondWinter.jpg (http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-02-05_3385_PondWinter.jpg)

http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-02-05_3384_PondWinter.JPG (http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-02-05_3384_PondWinter.JPG)

http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-01-09_3378_PondWinter.JPG (http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-01-09_3378_PondWinter.JPG)

http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2016-05-23_1449_PondInstall.JPG (http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2016-05-23_1449_PondInstall.JPG)

http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-03-10_3402_PondSnow.JPG (http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/pond/ice/2017-03-10_3402_PondSnow.JPG)

Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: schmuttis on March 10, 2017, 01:41:06 PM
Brian H,

Sorry for seeming thick, but after reading through the instructions pdf I'm still confused.

Where does the 24 VDC power to activate the valve come from? I only see a 5 VDC terminal on the Linc IO. Do I need a separate transformer like on page 8? I don't see anywhere that the valve itself nor the Linc IO have a 24vdc output.

Could I accomplish this with using a basic X10 appliance module to power a 24VDC transformer connected to the valve?

I also don't know how to send an X10 address from the CM15A. What I'm used to doing is setting the physical dials on a module, defining that device to the ihouse program with its address, and then let ihouse tell the CM15A to turn the device on or off.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: Brian H on March 10, 2017, 03:51:07 PM
I am sorry if the full users manual may have confused the issue.
I was trying to show you how to add an X10 address to control the internal relay.
The other examples on connections in the manual where typical use and did not refer to the water valve.

I agree the information on the water valves sales page is not too clear.
They use to sell a I/O Linc kit with the water valve and better instructions.
The right most image on the water valves sales site shows their kits connections. It is not too clear as I believe the wall wart in their kit also had black wires.

You need an external 12 volt DC supply. Water valve specifications indicate about a 551 mA current when changing state and 351 mA holding current when fully off or on
For an I/O Linc to control it:
Power Supply -12 VDC to the Black wire of the water valve.
Power Supply +12 VDC to the Relay Common on the I/O Linc
Red wire from valve to the NO Relay Contact on the I/O Linc.
Green wire from valve to the NC Relay Contact on the I/O Linc.

A 12 volt DC power supply controlled by an Appliance module will not work alone.
You have to put +12 volts on the Red valve wire and - 12 volt on the Black wire of the valve to open it.
You have to put +12 volts on the Green valve wire and - 12 volt on the Black wire  of the valve to close it.
You could use the Appliance Module to turn a 120 VAC relay On and off and
then wire the 12 volts thought the 120 VAC relays contacts. To the water valve.

You maybe able to use this to program the I/O Linc if you choose to use one.
Pick the X10 address you want in the I/O Linc
Add a module to your ihouse setup on the address you want to use.
Hold the Set button on the I/O Linc until it beeps and the LED starts flashing.
In ihouse turn the X10 module On a few times in a row. To send the needed X10 address and an ON to
program the the I/O Linc.
If your program keeps track of a module being On already and will not send more On commands in a row.
Choose a Chime Module as it only uses X10 On commands.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: the other steve on March 10, 2017, 03:54:21 PM
FWIW, my pond has a float valve, (like http://amzn.to/2lLMpjG).  Feed it with your heated hose and forget it.

Not as much fun, perhaps.  It is about the only thing I haven't added to my X10/AHP stuff, although I do turn the pump on and off with x10.

My $0.02 worth.

The Other Steve
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: schmuttis on March 12, 2017, 10:29:55 PM
Brian H,

Thanks so much for the detailed explanation. This seems to be getting too involved and too complicated for me. Now I'm leaning to putting a battery powered water timer in the basement and just let it add water for a half hour or so each day.

I do appreciate all the information you have provided to me.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: schmuttis on March 12, 2017, 10:32:50 PM
the other Steve,

Thanks for the suggestion. I think this would work in the summer but I'm afraid it wouldn't work when the pond freezes. We get a lot of freezing around the perimeter and I think the float might get frozen and be stuck in either the on or off position.
Title: Re: x10 controlled water spigot?
Post by: the other steve on March 12, 2017, 11:37:33 PM
Now I am seriously OT:   >*<

It could, but if you put it just under the surface a bit, say - beneath the spray (or the waterfall), it would likely fail in the off position if you got a lot of ice.  As long as the pump kept working, it should still fill to that level.  But, again, as long as the pump was still working, it might again thaw the ice under the water flow.  If the pump was not working, the problem is some less serious, I would guess.

If you want major ice protection, you could put it deep enough (6"?) to prevent freezing, but that, too, could conceivably re-freeze at the lower level...

(Credit posted for the previous $0.02)

The Other Steve