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rebuild_Nate

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Thursday, March 24th 2016, 7:21pm

Toro Custom Eleven

I am working on replacing my Toro Custom 11 controller with electric solenoids. One thing I can't figure out is what the 'supply' line is for. I have normally open valves. I thought the controller just vented pressure from each valve in turn to the drain line to allow the valve to open. Is it possible that the supply line is actually supplying pressure to keep the valves closed? If so, how do I get around that?

Wet_Boots

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Location: Metro NYC

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Friday, March 25th 2016, 11:50am

Normally-open valves require water pressure applied through the control tubing. By the time you replace a hydraulic controller for normally-open valves, you might as well replace the zone valves with electric valves. Even with the added expense of new valves and control wire, you can come out ahead, compared to using the task-specific interface assemblies.

rebuild_Nate

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Friday, March 25th 2016, 7:53pm

Toro Custom Eleven

If I knew where more than 2 of the 9 valves were, that would be great. I'm not quite up to digging up the yard looking for them yet. So you're saying that the control supply actually opens the valves in the yard and the drain line just drains off the excess pressure when it closes?

Wet_Boots

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Posts: 5,133

Location: Metro NYC

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Saturday, March 26th 2016, 9:35am

You have it backwards. Normally open valves are like it says. Normally open. Without the controller, every valve will be wide open. When the controller supplies pressure to the tubes connected between it and the valves, the valves are able to close. There is no actual connection between the water in the control lines and the water flowing to the sprinklers.

Strictly for the money, you have two choices. Dig, and find all the valves, or contact the Toro company and inquire about a controller repair. They long ago stopped selling repair parts for these controllers, but they might still be able to put old controllers back into working condition.

Two things you can do without a ton of effort. Take a photo of the zone valves you have located and share it here. (Tinypic.com is a recommended image host) Second, is to describe the problems you've been having with the old controller.

rebuild_Nate

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Sunday, March 27th 2016, 4:31pm

My controller has leaked from numerous places over the past couple of years. It is difficult to test and adjust watering times. I am just tired of keeping it barely functional. I originally thought a solution like the one posted at www.lukeup.com would work, but that is for normally closed control valves.

So to convert it to an electric hybrid system in order to use a traditional controller, I'd need a normally open solenoid to close, isolating pressure to my control valve AND a normally closed solenoid to open to bleed pressure off the line to get the control valve to open. I'd have to set this up for each zone on my system. I already have N/C valves, just looking for the N/O valves to accommodate.

This is an example of my valve (I know, I probably need to clean this box out):



Wet_Boots

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Posts: 5,133

Location: Metro NYC

6

Monday, March 28th 2016, 7:54am

The conversion assembly is showing you what the practical cost of electrical operation of your hydraulic valves will be. At least $40 per zone. You can buy the special individual solenoid operators from Toro, but they will each have a $50+ price tag. You will not be able to cheap out of the conversion interface. For the money, you find your valves and convert them to electrical operation.

rebuild_Nate

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7

Wednesday, March 30th 2016, 3:14pm

I talked to a sprinkler guy and he had some success modifying a system similar to mine. I'll post back here in a few weeks either with a successful solution or with my tail between my legs admitting defeat. Thanks for the info, you've been extremely helpful to me.

Wet_Boots

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Posts: 5,133

Location: Metro NYC

8

Wednesday, March 30th 2016, 7:12pm

It is no problem whatsoever replacing the controller with a conventional one and adding the interface. It is happening on a regular basis on golf courses across the country. It just happens to come with a price tag. Toro uses their own special solenoid to apply continuous pressure to the valves' supply tubing when un-powered, and to cut that pressure and allow drainage from an individual valve supply tubing when the solenoid is powered. They connect directly to Toro hydraulic tubing.

Compare the construction to a conventional solenoid. You'll understand why these don't come cheap.


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