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Old 08-01-2009, 01:17 AM   #1
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Everything is working fine as is. Here is what I have:

Nine station irrigation system.
12 station irrigation controller.
Low voltage wires from the controller to a relay switch.
Relay switch (220 volts) is next to a pump and tank.
The relay switch is hooked up to a switch marked “automatic” and “manual”.

When the irrigation controller clicks on, the pump clicks on. The switch next to the relay is in the “automatic” position. The irrigation system works fine. The pump provides the necessary pressure to water our lawn and plants.

If I move the switch to the “manual” position, the pump turns on until the internal pressure is attained.

The pump also increases the water pressure in the house. Right after the irrigation controller clicks off we have great water pressure in the house, especially in the recently remodeled shower – with three shower heads. Yes it is nice! When the pump is off, the shower pressure is good. Right after the pump clicks off, the shower pressure is great!

I am trying to figure out how to install another switch near the bathroom that allows me to turn on the pump manually. So I can increase the water pressure in the shower on my schedule and not be required to take my showers just after the irrigation controller turned off.

I could just move the existing “automatic”/”manual” switch into the bathroom area, but then I don’t have a switch near the pump. This does not seem smart for maintenance purposes. Can I change the existing “automatic”/”manual” switch to a three-way switch? One 3-way switch near the pump and one 3-way switch in the bathroom? Both 3-way switches will operate as “automatic” and “manual”. It is not a typical 3-way operation of off and on…it is automatic and manual.

Most of the time both switches will be in the “automatic” position.

When the irrigation controller clicks on, the pump will click on. When the irrigation controller clicks off, the pump will click off.

When the switch near the pump is moved to the “manual” position, the pump will immediately click on. This switch is for maintenance purposes. After maintenance, the switch would be moved back to the “automatic” position.

When the switch near the bathroom shower is moved to the “manual” position, the pump will immediately click on. I can take my shower, then move the switch back to the “automatic” position.

Yes, I can leave the exiting switch in the manual position all of the time, but then it is turning on and off when the house pressure drops below the minimum threshold. Rather not do that.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

DRBLKJK

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Old 08-01-2009, 01:47 AM   #2
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Hmmm... can't say as I've ever considered a system like this before. First, let me ask how the house gets water? Is there another pump, or just this one? Is there city water, and this pump is somehow tied in parallel? Just curious.

You could just wire a simple on/off low voltage switch to engage the pump from the bathroom. Leave the other switch in automatic, but wire this switch in a loop that bypasses everything else and energizes the relay. When you are done, flip the switch off.

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Old 08-01-2009, 09:21 PM   #3
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Post a schematic; I'm thinking a push button that starts a ~20 minute timer that gives you the manual mode for the interval and then reverts to auto mode.
You could use all 24vac wiring and relays for this setup.
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Old 08-01-2009, 11:51 PM   #4
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Modification to an existing pump switch


You should be able to add a "parallel" switch between the common and manual connections on the pump switch. And this would activate the relay. But if you forget to turn your second switch off, your other switch will not be able to work in the automatic mode.

Or better yet, add a timer switch in your bathroom in parallel. Then set it to 10 minutes or whatever and it will turn itself off!

Timer switch...

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Old 08-02-2009, 09:33 AM   #5
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Hmmm... can't say as I've ever considered a system like this before. First, let me ask how the house gets water? Is there another pump, or just this one? Is there city water, and this pump is somehow tied in parallel? Just curious.

You could just wire a simple on/off low voltage switch to engage the pump from the bathroom. Leave the other switch in automatic, but wire this switch in a loop that bypasses everything else and energizes the relay. When you are done, flip the switch off.
I am on city water. We are at the top of the system and the water pressure is not great. This is the only pump I have. All of my neighbors also use a pump for the irrigation systems. The water main is in the street. I have one meter and my main comes into the garage...directly into the pump. From there the water lines split. One into the house and one into the irrigation backflow.

The low voltage option is encouraging. Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #6
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Post a schematic; I'm thinking a push button that starts a ~20 minute timer that gives you the manual mode for the interval and then reverts to auto mode.
You could use all 24vac wiring and relays for this setup.
Here is a schematic of my set up.
Attached Thumbnails
Modification to an existing pump switch-scan0017.jpg  

Last edited by DRBLKJK; 08-02-2009 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:53 AM   #7
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by DRBLKJK View Post
Here is a schematic of my set up.
Do you have the schematic for what is inside the box you labelled "switch?"

I think a 3-way switch arrangement with no timer is possible with switches and possibly extra relays.

You know, with 3-way switches, the switch labels "manual" and "automatic" would lose their meaning. Do you want indicator lights at each switch to tell you what mode you're in?

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-03-2009 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Is your switch doing something like this? (3 wires?)



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Old 08-06-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Hi there. I opened up the boxes and took a few photos so you can see what I have.
Attached Thumbnails
Modification to an existing pump switch-100_5116.jpg   Modification to an existing pump switch-100_5111.jpg   Modification to an existing pump switch-100_5114.jpg   Modification to an existing pump switch-100_5115.jpg  
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:04 PM   #10
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Modification to an existing pump switch


Thanks everyone for your input so far. I posted some photographs of the boxes opened up. I like the timer switch idea. I am just not sure where to tie the timer switch in and if it will actually work. Any additional advice out there?

Thanks
DRBLKJK
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:06 PM   #11
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Modification to an existing pump switch


You'd need a two-pole timer, a single pole won't work. The timer would basically replace the switch. It'd need to be connected exactly correctly, or else if the timer and relay were on at the same time it'd short out the pump circuit.

It's an easy hook-up, but there are a couple of pitfalls.

Rob

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