Today I automate my home drip irrigation system. Purchased Timer, Solenoid Valve and Contactor as main components. I am giving the details below so you can DIY the same for your home garden. Hope this will be helpful. I stays in Mumbai so details for material vendors are from Mumbai only. You need to check local sellers if you are from other cities.
1. Timer – Frontier TM-619H-2. Cost 600/- INR. I purchased it from Light Kiran, lohar chawl, Marine Lines. Cost very between 550-650 from different sellers. Available on Amazon india as well. Make sure to buy the one which comes with an internal memory battery. No Warranty on the product.
2. Solenoid Valve – 1/2″ pipe thread size. Cost 600/- INR. Purchased from Asha Enterprises, Nagdevi Street. Now there is a hugh different in cost for this one. 600/- INR to 1500/- INR. They all look same but have different company stamp on them. You could use washing machine solenoid valve as well however you need to do some experiment with these since thread size may not be 1/2 inch. Again no warranty on this item as well though these are reparable as seller told me.
3. Contactor – This I purchased out of fear so to save the Timer from any load. Search google about the “Contactor” and you will get all the details. 325/- INR. 9 AMP. Purchased from Dodia Electricals, lohar chawl. This item is also having high price difference starting from 350/- to 1000/- and above depends on what brand or capacity you buy. I luckily got the cheapest one from wholesale distributor with a year warranty. Seems these are available online as well.
4. General items – Pipe fittings, teflon tape, electric wires and other tools you need to work for plumbing/electrical.
1. I did not want to disturb my current manual setup for drip irrigation so created a parallel connection using pipe fittings. A parallel connection will be useful in case automated system not working or need repair.
2. Installed Timer and Contactor on the same piece of plywood. I wanted to buy a waterproof box to install it in open but found those to be too costly which would defeat the purpose of an affordable automated system. To safeguard it from rain water, I installed the entire unit under a shaded area. I realized you can even install it inside of your house if you want.
3. Connected all the wires. Make sure you do the correct connection from timer to contactor.
a. Connect 220 v ac to input of the Timer.
b. Connect Timer’s output to the input of the Contactor. See the image for clarity on this. Once timer will be ON, it will energize magnetic coil of the Contactor to close its switch. So in this case Timer is used to switch ON and OFF the contactor and not the solenoid valve. This is how there will be no load on the Timer to start the solenoid.
c. Connect 220 v ac to contractor’s input. See the image for more clarity. Here you will understand that power will be going to solenoid through the contractor when it will switched ON by the Timer. I gave power input to both Timer and contactor from the same plug. See image for more clarity.
d. Connect Contactor’s output to Solenoid.
4. Voila! you are done.
This Timer is programable for 17 ON/OFF cycle and have option to start it manually. If you press the Manual button on the timer, it will cycle through, ON, AUTO and OFF Mode. A black highlighted line in the LCD will show the current status. I tested it on manual mode and its working fine.
I changed the input electric wires from thick black one to the braided ones (red, black, yellow) during the end of the installation due to insufficient wire length. Disregard initial pics for any doubt.
Total Cost: 600+600+325 = 1525/- excluding other items and travel. If I include those as well, total cost would come around 2000/- INR which is great considering commercial options. Also there is a personal satisfaction because I did it myself 🙂
Let me know if you face any difficulty installing yours.
Solenoid Valve and Timer
Old setup. Manual only…
Timer Output to…
Contactor Power Input…
Complete assembly. Black wires were changed later.
Timer with current Day and Time
All Days (Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa, Su)
1st ON 6 AM
All Days (Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa, Su)
1st OFF 6:15 AM
Manual switch to cycle through ON, AUTO and OFF modes. Keep it Auto once you program.
Testing in manual ON mode.
Wire connection from main line.
Timer Input and Output
Timer Output to Contactor Input (A1, A2)
Contactor Input (L1, L2)