Do-it-yourself watering timer: tips for a wizard to make a device
One of the conditions for the full growth and development of plants is timely watering. But not always, due to the employment of the owners and the remoteness of the site from the city, it is possible to provide it. Setting a timer will help to solve the problem of creating optimal conditions in compliance with the humidity regime. This device will not only simplify the care of green "pets", but also will have a beneficial effect on the quality of the crop. The device you need in the household can be purchased at a gardening shop, or you can make a watering timer with your own hands. About how to choose the best version of the model or make a simple device yourself, we will consider in the article.
The watering timer is a single or multi-channel shut-off mechanism that controls the water pump. It opens with a certain periodicity, allowing water to enter the irrigation system.
Drip irrigation systems provide the opportunity for several days and even weeks not to appear on the site, without worrying at the same time for their seedlings
The automatic watering timer in one fell swoop solves a lot of tasks:
- Provides irrigation with a given intensity and frequency;
- Prevents waterlogging of the soil and rotting of the roots due to the measured and slow water supply;
- By supplying water under the roots of garden crops, it solves the issue of sunburn of leaves and minimizes the risk of their disease;
- Providing local irrigation, helps to solve the problem with weeds.
For ease of maintenance, water supply timers are placed together with other equipment in plastic boxes installed underground.
To be able to quickly access devices, such boxes are equipped with a removable hatch or a tight-fitting lid
The main types of such devices
According to the principle of counting, timers are divided into single-acting devices (with one-time operation) and multiple (when it works several times with pre-set shutter speeds).
Depending on the type of mechanism used, a timer can be:
- Electronic - the control unit of the device includes electronic equipment, which determines the response time and the opening of the electromagnetic valve. The indisputable advantage of this type of device is a wide range of response times, which can vary from 30 seconds to one week. Watering mode can be adjusted both locally and remotely.
- Mechanical - is a control unit equipped with a coil spring and a mechanical valve. It works on the principle of a mechanical watch. One cycle of the spring block plant is able to provide continuous operation of the mechanism up to 24 hours, opening the valve according to the user-defined period of operation. Watering mode is only adjusted manually.
Both devices are multi-channel designs. The mechanical watering timer is distinguished by its simplicity of design and the absence of supply wires in it. This significantly reduces the cost of the device.
The mechanical timer in comparison with the electronic analogue has a more limited duration of the given cycle
In the mechanical timer, it is enough to set the irrigation cycle by selecting the interval. With an electronic model, it’s a bit more complicated: first you need to set the date and time, and after that choose the optimal program for the crop.
Many noticed that in the water systems of suburban villages in the daytime due to the intensive intake of water, the pressure decreases. By setting an automatic watering timer, you can schedule irrigation for the evening hours and night time.
Depending on the modification of the device, timers can have internal or external “normal” pipe threads, and are also equipped with quick-clamping hose connectors or quick-connect connectors with an irrigation system.
The most expensive models have additional functions, for example, determining moisture, depending on the rate of which watering is automatically reduced or extended
Water timer manufacturing options
When planning to equip an automatic irrigation system on a site, it is convenient to use water timers to control cranes. With their help, the water supply system can be made completely non-volatile, avoiding the use of any electronics.
Construction # 1 - timer with dropper wick
Wick fibers, saturated with moisture, lift it up to a certain height, not allowing water to evaporate quickly. If the wick is thrown overboard, the absorbed water will simply begin to drip from the free end.
The basis of this method are physical laws that create a capillary effect. It occurs when the fabric wick is lowered into a container of water
The moisture capacity can be adjusted by adjusting the thickness of the wick, the density of twisting of the threads and pinching them with a wire loop.
To equip the timer in a container with low sides, the height of which does not exceed 5-8 cm, install a five or ten-liter plastic bottle. One of the key operating conditions of the system is to maintain the liquid level in the tank at a constant height. The optimal ratio of capacities is easiest to determine experimentally.
The determining factor in his work is the water column. Therefore, the height of the bottle and the depth of the wide capacity are interconnected things
A small hole is made in the bottom of the bottle for water to flow out. The bottle is filled with water, temporarily covering the drain hole, and tightly closed with a lid. A filled bottle is placed in a trough. Water seeping through the bottom will gradually flow out, stopping at a level when the hole does not hide under the thickness. As the water flows, the water flowing from the bottle will make up for the loss.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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The wick itself is easiest to make from a rope of suitable thickness or a bundle twisted from a piece of fabric. It is placed in a container, properly distributed ends
The main advantage of this timer is that due to the same water level in a wide tank in the event of rain, the replenishment of moisture loss from the bottle will be suspended.
Craftsmen, who have already tested such a device in practice, claim that a five-liter bottle with a flow rate of 1 drop / 2 seconds is enough for 20 hours of uninterrupted operation. By choosing the optimal size of the bottle that acts as a water column, and adjusting the intensity of the drop, you can achieve the effect of many-day delays.
Construction # 2 - ball valve control device
In the water timer, the response time is carried out under the influence of a drop. Water flowing out of a container that performs the function of ballast reduces the weight of the structure. At a certain moment, the weight of the tank is not enough to hold the handle of the stopcock, and the water supply starts.
To equip a water timer, you will need:
- Barrel for water;
- Ball valve;
- Two plywood or metal circles;
- Canisters or 5 liter plastic bottles;
- Building glue;
- Spool of sewing thread.
For the smooth functioning of the system, it is advisable to modify the ball valve by attaching to the handle fixed by means of a screw a small pulley - a beam. This will allow to bring the crane from closed to open by changing the angle of the handle.
The pulley is constructed from two identical plywood circles, gluing them together with planes together with building glue, or metal, connecting them by means of bolts. A strong cord is wound around the pulley, making several revolutions around it for reliability. By constructing the lever, the segments of the cord are firmly fixed at its edges. A ballast cargo and a container with water compensating its weight are tied to the free ends of the cord from opposite sides. The weight of the load must be such that under its weight the crane comes into a lever state.
It is convenient to use five-liter plastic bottles as the cargo ballast and the weight-compensating container with water
It is easiest to regulate the weight of containers by pouring sand into one of them and adding water to the other. The role of the weighting agent can also perform metal crumb or lead shot.
Capacity with water and will serve as a timer. To do this, a tiny hole is made in her bottom with a thin needle, through which water will leak through drop by drop. Leaking time will depend on the volume of the bottle itself and the size of the hole. It can range from several hours to three to four days.
To power the device, the irrigation tank is installed on a flat surface and filled with water. The bottles suspended by the ends of the cord to the pulley also fill: one with sand, the other with water. With the equivalent weight of the filled bottles, the tap is closed.
As you dig up water, the tank loses weight. At a certain point, the ballast load, outweighing the partially empty bottle, turns the tap to the “open” position, thereby starting watering
There are situations when it is necessary to obtain a full opening of the crane, bypassing intermediate positions - the so-called toggle switch effect. In these cases, a little trick will help: in the closed position of the crane, the edge of the thread is wound to the weight, which will act as a fuse, and its free end is fixed to the crane. When the mechanism is closed, the thread will not experience any load. As the water tank is empty, the load will begin to outweigh, but the safety thread will take on extra weight, not allowing the ballast to put the crane in the "open" position. The thread will break only with a significant excess of cargo, instantly switching the tap and ensuring free passage of water.
To bring the system to its original state, it is enough to simply remove the load or fix it in a suspended state, eliminating the cord tension.
The system is ready for operation, it remains only before departure to fill the watering barrel and timer with water and hang up the ballast, insuring it with a thin thread. Such a device is easy to manufacture and convenient to maintain. Its only drawback can be considered a one-time operation.
Other ideas for creating mechanical timers can be gleaned on thematic forms. For example, some craftsmen use a cylindrical plunger with polyethylene granules in oil as a working body of a timer. The device is adjusted so that when the temperature drops at night, the displacer retracts, and the weakened spring opens the valve. To limit the flow of water, use a diaphragm. In the daytime, the polyethylene granules heated by the sun's rays increase in size, pushing the plunger to its original position and thereby shutting off the water supply.
Design # 3 - Electronic Timer
Craftsmen with basic electronic knowledge can build a simple model of an electronic timer. The device manufacturing guide is presented in the video clip: