Drip Irrigation.. need a sanity check

Hello all.. trying to figure out a way to manage this. What I'd like to do is a drip irrigation system that will take soil moisture readings using something like a Spruce sensor to trigger an electric solenoid valve, using a cheap zigbee switch, with a 24v transformer. Does this sound feasible? Trying to keep it at least somewhat cheap.

If this would work, what would be the recommended solution for extending zigbee? HE is in middle of home, and shed where electronics would be stored is about 15 feet behind home.

From what I can tell, the solenoid and 24v transformer that you've picked out are for DC voltage, while the zigbee switch you picked is for AC voltage (input and output). Don't you need a zigbee switch that outputs DC voltage for the solenoid?

I do this but with a couple of minor differences. I use an AC solonoid control on the faucet that feeds my watering system and simply turn the whole thing on and off with an outlet. The watering system does not use drip nozzles but it easily could. I did not have great luck with the Spruce sensors and recently changed to Ecowitt. If you have a solid zigbee mesh you should be OK with those distances and the ecowitt sensors are in the 400mhz range anyway. The one limitation to mine is the solonoid, when open, gets fairly hot and cannot be open for long periods. The solution would be to use an electric valve that is motor controlled rather than solonoid but my system seems to work just fine for my needs.

That transformer takes AC in. Thats after the switch to turn 110AC to 24V DC for the relay.

Thanks for the note about the Spruce sensors brad5, just saw the Ecowitts last night. Didn't even think about there being AC solenoids, so I'll look into that. By motor controlled, do you mean those that slip over the valve handle to turn it? It appears that any that may function at a level that won't flood my backyard are extremely expensive.

I've had my HE for a few months now, but haven't even had a chance to plug it in yet, so no mesh of any sort at the moment. Just moved into a new home and have had other priorities.

I meant it in the more generic sense - a valve where a motor opens and closes it, not using a solonoid.

So this...

rather than this, which is what I actually use...

I made the mistake of hopping right in and sticking devices all over the place before reading these two really helpful documents. Would have saved me a lot of grief had I RTFM first!


Thanks for the info. Unless theres a major reason to go with a motorized valve over a solenoid, I'll at least give the solenoid a try first since my brother-in-law has a few on hand I can play with, and will save me some money.

Btw, the Ecowitt sensor.. do you mean the WH51? Is the HE able to communicate directly with them, or dies it require the GW1100 gateway?

That's the one. And yes, you do need the gateway. THere's a community integration that @sburke781 has sort of adopted from the author. The good part is the automation is all local - no cloud. And I also use the Ecowitt thermal sensor in my hot tub!

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