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Old 08-20-2009, 01:54 PM   #1
RHR
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Irrigation pump relay


I'm in the process of helping a friend rehab an abandoned irrigation system. The system has two stations. I have one of the stations with 18 zones up and running. It already had a single relay at the pump house which is in working order. The system has a second station with an additional set of wires running to, but not currently connected, to the same relay.

Can one relay actually support two separate stations? If not, is it possible to have more that one station connected to the same pump by separate relays?

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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Irrigation pump relay


just a thought...

Where is all this stuff? Do you have any names, model numbers, types, sizes, application data...

Someone will surely know what you doing but for others, more information will help!

_pete

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Old 08-20-2009, 07:37 PM   #3
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Irrigation pump relay


If these are typical irrigation controllers, then the pump relay is connected to the master control valve output in each controller. If so, you'll need two pump relays, the controller outputs cannot be connected in parallel to the same relay.

The pump relay contacts on both relays can be connected in parallel, so that either one will run the pump.

How far is each controller from the pump relay? And what size of wire is used from the controller to the pump relay?

Post back with more details, this isn't hard to do, but can burn up one or both of the controller transformers if not connected correctly.

Rob
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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Irrigation pump relay


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Originally Posted by RHR View Post
I'm in the process of helping a friend rehab an abandoned irrigation system. The system has two stations. I have one of the stations with 18 zones up and running. It already had a single relay at the pump house which is in working order. The system has a second station with an additional set of wires running to, but not currently connected, to the same relay.

Can one relay actually support two separate stations? If not, is it possible to have more that one station connected to the same pump by separate relays?
From what I understand here, you want to have one pump relay with the coil connected to two different controllers, in parallel? This has a 50/50 chance of functioning at first, but a 0% chance of being a good idea. The irrigation controllers have 24V transformers in them to supply the low-voltage power that operates the valves and relays. If the transformers in both controllers are phased the same (their output voltages cycle together) then it would work at first. If they are phased opposite, then it would produce a dead short every time both controllers turn on. That's the 50/50 chance. If it happens, you could swap wires on one controller to fix it. Here's the real catch: if the control transformers have slightly different output voltages, one of them will be constantly overloaded, feeding power into the other one. This could burn out one of the transformers, or blow the low-voltage fuse. Since they are not designed for this use, you can't predict whether this will be a problem.

The best solution is to install another relay in parallel with the first one. Operate one relay from each controller. That way either controller can call for water, but their low-voltage circuits are isolated from each other.
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Old 08-22-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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Irrigation pump relay


Thank you for your response. Looking back, I guess I could have been more clear with what I'm working with, but you basically understood what I'm trying to accomplish. The "controllers" that I referred to as "stations" are both "Orbit" brand and in fact are producing 24 volts. The single existing relay is a single unit contained in what appears to be an off the shelf "Rainbird" weather proof box, even though it is inside a decent sized enclosed pump house. I"m pretty familiar with basic wiring practices, but I'm not sure how to add an additional relay the the existing box. Any suggestions on where I can get additional info. for installation. I haven't had any luck with irrigation supply shops in my are since they're geared for basic residential systems with city supplied water sources and the few electricians I know aren't familiar with irrigation pump systems?
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:16 AM   #6
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Irrigation pump relay


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Originally Posted by RHR View Post
Thank you for your response. Looking back, I guess I could have been more clear with what I'm working with, but you basically understood what I'm trying to accomplish. The "controllers" that I referred to as "stations" are both "Orbit" brand and in fact are producing 24 volts. The single existing relay is a single unit contained in what appears to be an off the shelf "Rainbird" weather proof box, even though it is inside a decent sized enclosed pump house. I"m pretty familiar with basic wiring practices, but I'm not sure how to add an additional relay the the existing box. Any suggestions on where I can get additional info. for installation. I haven't had any luck with irrigation supply shops in my are since they're geared for basic residential systems with city supplied water sources and the few electricians I know aren't familiar with irrigation pump systems?
Adding another relay is simple. All you need is another relay. It needs to have a 24VAC coil, and a current rating sufficient for the pump. The pump will say on the motor what the current rating is, or you could just look at the existing relay and get one similar (or identical) to it. Irrigation supply places will probably have this, as would electric supply houses. Wire the second controller to the coil of the new relay, just like the old one is. Then, wire the contacts of the new relay in parallel with the contacts of the old relay so that activating either one will run the pump. In other words, wire the incoming power to both relays, and wire the pump to both relays.

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