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5. Garage and Yard > 65. Safely Water the Garden

Safely Water the Garden

A simple circuit helps prevent sprinklers from turning on accidentally.

In-ground sprinklers are controlled with electric water valves (24V AC), so it seems like a sprinkler system would be a good candidate for home automation. However, because X10 is not 100% reliable, I was very leery of using it for this purpose. An accidental signal could turn on the sprinklers unexpectedly, and without a signal to turn them back off, serious property damage (and water waste) could occur.

Tip

Another way to mitigate the risks of mixing X10 with sprinkler control is to use a dedicated sprinkler controller [Hack #66] .

To address these safety problems, I devised a method that notifies my home automation system whenever a water valve turns on, so it can check to see if it occurred due to a scheduled event. If not, all water valves shut off immediately, stopping the spurious sprinkling in its tracks.


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