Finally after a long planning (and digging) phase the lawn sprinkler irrigation system is installed and running. I have 4 valves controlled by 2 Fibaro FGS-222 ZWave devices.
Everything (except for some slight zwave range issues) seem to work fine so far and i can control valves using both physical push-buttons in the garden and also via the Homey App. Now time for some automation
Any ideas , tips or tricks for a flow? In my head i am thinking a scheduled start running each valve for X minutes. But it would be great maybe to get some weather data in. I have no weather station (yet) but maybe i can get rain from some online service supported in Homey? Or should i connect a moisture sensor to the flow somehow?
Anybody who could share their irrigation flows that i could steal inspiration from?
In my case reliable solution linked to integrated Homey weather service:
1st flow is for rain monitoring in my location. It runs every 10minutes and in case there is a rain, it change “rain delay” variable to Yes and starts timer (24hours). In 95% of cases it detects rain correctly. This way, if its raining several days in a row, timer restarts every 10 minutes and 24hr delay will count from the last moment rain stop.
2nd flow changes variable to No, once timer ends (24 hours after raining finished)
3rd flow is simple Irrigation flow, in which I use “rain delay” variable in And condition.
Very nice! Thanks for sharing.
I do have same setup just only 3 valves. And no pump, I get the water from the town supply. Same Fibaro double relays and 24VAC valves.
Just a tip, thought. Especially that you mentioned some z-wave range issues. Before the antenna mod Homey antenna mod, I also had some range issues with the irrigation double relays. One day the garden irrigation did not stop. Neighbour came to my door as the water started to flood onto the the street. Since then I implemented a couple of things 1/ a second “turn off” in the same flow delayed by 10sec in case first is missed, at least another chance to pick up the second one, and 2/ push up notifications when irrigation starts and then when it stops, this last one can trigger me when I check my phone and see a start but no stop.
Wished I would have a soil humidity sensor. However, I do have an industrial flow meter (very compact and free from the company I work with which gives me a pulse output for each litre of water, and wired into a Fibaro Smart Implant. Then I just feed the amount of water I need depending of the area (garden, lawn, etc). The downside, I had to fit in the enclosure another power transformer as these run on 24VDC.
Are those 22mm push buttons on your enclosure for manual control?
There is better and more safe solution for this. Fibaro relay has built in auto off option. Set it to longer time then regular watering time and in case something goes wrong, relay will shut down by its own, no matter the Homey is alive.
Yes, that antenna mod are on the top of my spare-time-tech-todo list and i actually printed your excellent step-by-step guide yesterday to help with the planning
You are right, the shutoff must work! What i would not give for 100% reliable zwave… But maybe the AutoOff feature Igy mentioned below combined with notifications will do the trick.
Yes that seem like a really nice way of doing it. I have a spare Smart Implant that might be perfect for the soil sensor.
Ok - that is really cool! I was hoping to have the pump FGS-213 give me the power consumption and (very) roughly translate to amount of water. But that will be more of an indication than anything.
Did you implement any way to use compressed air to clean the pipes at the end of the season? Any lessons learnt there?
Yes, i put in 5 Eaton M22 push buttons where the one for the pump also has a light module. I might add a button to trigger a flow later on. The lesson learnt from indoor lighting is that my wife want physical buttons and not mobile apps…
Unfortunately the Smart Implant humidity is not implemented into Homey. There is here on the forum a thread about it.
Fortunately I have no such need for few reasons 1/ I live in Australia and in winter never drops sub zero so no problem with frozen pipes and 2/ even in winter I water the grass and grow some cold resistant vegetables in the garden hence, there is never end of season for my irrigation
This is a good idea with manual control the irrigation.
Same, my house except one ceiling fan, everything can be controlled from buttons.
Since I have no humidity sensor, kind of get around by using my Netatmo rain gauge to figure out if it has or it has not rain and dose my irrigation accordingly, but nothing would beat a humidity sensor.
I bought a compressor and pushed the water out of the pipes before winter. Works pretty well. Unfortunately we have tempratues under zero in winter and I have to water my bamboo manually. Maybe a heating system for the pipes would be a good idea in winter
I must say that for me it worked very well even if the full automation will have to wait until next season. This is what i did:
I created a flow structure consisting of: Flow #1 which turns on the pump, turns on valve1+2 and start a countdown timer for 1h. Flow #2 which triggers when the countdown timer finishes and that turn off valve 1+2 and start valve 3+4. In addition the same flow stop valve 1+2 again as a backup after 1 minute if the first one missed for some reason. Start an countdown timer again for 1h. Flow #3 that listens for that countdown timer and turn of valve 3+4 and again after 1minute as a backup if the first one failed. Turn of pump.
Flow #4 time-scheduled flow that triggers flow #1. In the beginning i had it set for two days a week but i actually ended up enabling the flow manually the day before depending on heat/rain etc.
This actually worked great during the whole summer.
I never got the auto-off behavior of the Fibaros to work reliably.
I now have a weather-station installed so the plan for the spring is to include rain sensor values to push schedule forward (as tip from Igy further up in the thread) a day and get it fully automated. Also i will send a command to the automatic lawn-mower to park before starting the sprinklers.