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DeadImperial

Unregistered

1

Sunday, May 22nd 2016, 8:17pm

My Imperial Valet No Longer Automatically Goes On

Hello

I'm sad to say my Imperial Valet is no longer working without manual intervention. I bought a Rachio Gen1 and soon learned it's not compatible with the Imperial brass valves. I'm now trying to determine my options. From what I gather I can pretty much replace it with a Hunter or Rainbird or just manually operate it. Manually operation in my opinion defeats the purpose of a controller so that's out of the question. Are there particular models I need to focus on in the Hunter or Rainbird? I'd ideally like something similar to the Rachio in that it connects to wifi and checks the weather.

Thanks
Sam

DeadImperial

New Member

Posts: 11

Location: NJ

2

Sunday, May 22nd 2016, 8:35pm

registered now so just replying to subscribe to the thread...

DeadImperial

New Member

Posts: 11

Location: NJ

3

Sunday, May 22nd 2016, 8:39pm

I took a picture of main valve. It actually says "MELNOR" on it. Maybe these aren't Imperial?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,269

Location: Metro NYC

4

Monday, May 23rd 2016, 6:42am

We would love to see that Melnor valve. You can take your photo(s) to Tinypic and upload them there, and bring back the forum code to post here.

The old Imperial valves have a very high current draw, and nearly any modern solid-state controller will 'see' them as a short circuit.

The one certain way to power those (or any) valves with any controller whatsoever is to build your own interface, so that the solenoids never have electrical contact with the controller. That requires one small relay for each zone, with a 24 VAC coil, and a separate 24 VAC plug-in transformer, with a power rating of at least 40 VA, which is double what most 24 VAC "wall-warts" can supply. By contrast, the transformer in the Imperial Valet is a 50 VA unit.

These interface components are going to be most economically purchased on the auction sites, and the cheapest of them will get shipped from China. Use search terms like "24 VAC relay" and "24 VAC class 2" (with quotes) and you can find what you need. Total material cost for an 11 zone interface won't be much more than fifty bucks at this present moment, for items you only need a screwdriver and wire stripper to assemble.

The Imperial Valet might be repaired, if you have the patience to troubleshoot it, but all its operating circuitry runs on line voltage, so that makes it more a job for a pro.

DeadImperial

New Member

Posts: 11

Location: NJ

5

Monday, May 23rd 2016, 9:44pm


DeadImperial

New Member

Posts: 11

Location: NJ

6

Monday, May 23rd 2016, 9:45pm

Picture posted. Can you tell me some more about these interfaces please?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 2,274

Location: USA

7

Tuesday, May 24th 2016, 3:50am

I wonder what the thread pattern is on that solenoid. If a modern day solenoid fits on there couldn't he just swap them out? It would only be econimical if the less expensive solenoids fit. Like 5-6 bucks each.

Like Boots said the old controller is repairable. What's it doing? Or not doing.

I also want to hear more about this interface.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,269

Location: Metro NYC

8

Tuesday, May 24th 2016, 7:57am

Unfortunately for the solenoid-swap idea, the Imperial solenoid had a unique long plunger that projected beyond its housing. I tried an R-Co universal solenoid on one of those valves, and it was no go. Any remedy for this incompatibility will involve some part(s) fabrication.

DeadImperial

New Member

Posts: 11

Location: NJ

9

Tuesday, May 24th 2016, 8:02am

I'm wondering if at the cost of the relays I'm better off building the a system myself with a raspberry pi.

DeadImperial

New Member

Posts: 11

Location: NJ

10

Tuesday, May 24th 2016, 11:56am

Oh by the way, since the question was asked, I believe I asked my sprinkler guy in the past if he knew anything about these Imperial Valets and he didn't seem to know how to repair them. So as of now it's just sitting in my garage.

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