OpenSprinkler Forums Comments, Suggestions, Requests Operating a Splash Pad with Open Sprinkler

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    The following is a description of the System I designed for a splash pad. It has been working as desired for a number of weeks.

    Open Sprinkler DC Controllers are used to control the splash pad sequencing. We have 24 controlled valves and another 8 always on. There are two Controllers to operate two separate pumps and three DC extensions for a total of 64 controlled stations or zones. This way separate spray sequences are active for the children.

    One zone, called the Master Station on each controller operates a pump. The pumps are turned on by a 12V relay. The relay activates the VLT pump controller. The pumps are three phase motors allowing variable speed control.

    A number of Open Sprinkler spray zones are connected together to any one valve. The OS zones have FETs having high impedance in the off state. This way any valve may be operated a number of times in the sequence. All zones are programmed “Sequential” except the Master and virtual zones.

    The first feature has sixteen valves controlled by one OS controller. The first zone in a non physical extension is a virtual station or zone. The zone options are “Sequential” option not checked, Timer to run the pump for 30 minutes and “Use Master”. The first feature 16th valve has its solenoid turned to open to prevent any chance that no valve is open and the pump running.

    The second feature called the Tree Feature has 8 valves and 8 always open sprays. For that feature a virtual zone is used to control the pump time. The virtual zone options timer is set for Sunrise to Sunset, “Sequential” option not checked, and “Use Master”.

    Both features are restarted each time by a piezoelectric button on the bollard at the splash pad. Using a 120-to 24VDC power supply, two 24v relays are operated by the piezoelectric switch contacts. Each relay keeps the controller sensors independent of each other electrically. The relays turn on both controllers at the same time, whose rain sensor option is set to “Program Switch”.
    Program Start option on both controllers is set to turn on at Sunrise + 2 hours. The first feature runs for 30 minutes and stops. The second feature should run all day until Sunset.

    It is desired to turn off the Second feature two hours before Sunset to prevent mold. The sunset option doesn’t have an option to turn off early. We are in the Eastern Time Zone. To fool OS to think we are two hours early in longitude, such as Barbados, but that will not solve another problem. Should there be a power failure or Program Switch activation the controllers appear to restart on a 12 hour cycle until the next day.

    To solve this problem a Leviton VPT24-1PZ Astronomical Switch is installed, the same one you would use for a light switch. The switch turns off the 120v to 24vDC power supply dropping a 24v relay that is in series with the piezoelectric switch contacts that activate the VLT pump controller. The Astronomical Switch can be set to turn off at an offset of over 3 hours before sunset. This not only will turn off the Tree Feature pump 2 hours before sunset, and prevent activation of the first feature by the bollard button.

    At sunrise the Astronomical Switch turns on. At two hours after sunrise the controllers will turn on for a single cycle. The first feature will run one complete cycle. This primes the pump for the day and circulates the water thru the sprays. The Tree feature runs until 2 hours before sunset. Should the bollard switch be activated, both programs will start or restart a cycle of sprays.

    The controller cabinet door has two switches wired in series each relay activating a pump VLT controller. This allows turning off activation of either pump. Another switch is wired in parallel with the piezoelectric switch to start the controllers at the pump enclosure.

    The controllers have an Ethernet output wired to an Ethernet switch and a mini router. This is a Wi-Fi connection to an LOR router. This allows controlling the timing, options and functions of the controllers without having to remove them and physically connect them to a router. They are password and port forward protected.



    I am going to buy the OS 3.0 AC for my 12′ diameter pad with 4 valves (3 heads per valve, 2 heads for center valve). i have just installed the pad with 1″ lines from the city water source (80-90psi) & 1″ std sprinkler valves.
    Did you use the std OS 3.0 unit for your pad? I want 2 valves on at a time so it gives the bounce around look.
    I really like your idea of the pushbutton for the on off. where did you purchase this.
    I am not a programmer so can use any help available.
    Thank you or anyone for your help. GD



    Since I posted this, I found that that either mechanical switches or piezoelectric with ipx5,6 or 7 ratings failed when exposed to rain, sun and Florida’s high humidity. I therefore ended up using a garage door type sensor. It in turn operates a relay starting both OS devices. The sensor is mounted only 3 to 4 inches apart. I had to block almost all the transmitter output and receiver input with electrical tape. Only a very small slit of light is allowed. When one puts a hand between the sensor a relay activates starting the OS. In your case the second relay is not needed. They are “xin-sheng 1 pair Waterproof Single Infrared Beam sensor Photoelectric Infrared Barrier Detector” from Amazon. This is very inexpensive and will work with 24V AC.

    Using city water sounds expensive for a splash pad if it’s used a lot. Programming the OS was the easiest part. Don’t expect the standard sprinkler valves to create the pop effect of some commercial splash pads. We use the same sprinkler valves and the water comes up reasonably fast, but no pop.


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    Peg, I know that this thread is VERY old, but I was wondering if you have any additional findings in creating a home made splash pad?

    Hope all is going well for you. I was very impressed on all of things that you had to do in order to make this work.


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OpenSprinkler Forums Comments, Suggestions, Requests Operating a Splash Pad with Open Sprinkler