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Sprinkler wire question



 
 
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  #1  
Old May 4th 12, 09:40 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default Sprinkler wire question

Hey all,
I am trying to move my sprinkler controller (an Orbit digital job
about 4 years old) to a more convenient spot in the garage. It has
very thick, I would guess 12 gauge, wire going from the valves to the
controller box. Is that the required thickness? I was thinking if I
used cat5e, there's 4 twisted pair so I can get a unique colored wire
to each of my 8 zones That would make reconnecting the wires after I
extended
in 25' or so of cat5e, to the timer quite simple since I know which
wire would be which zone. I googled all over and it looks like
minimum 14 gauge for underground use. Since I am above ground and in
a garage, can I use the cat5e even though it's 24 gauge?
TIA
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  #2  
Old May 4th 12, 11:47 PM posted to alt.home.repair
EXT
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Posts: 1,642
Default Sprinkler wire question


"genius" wrote in message
...
Hey all,
I am trying to move my sprinkler controller (an Orbit digital job
about 4 years old) to a more convenient spot in the garage. It has
very thick, I would guess 12 gauge, wire going from the valves to the
controller box. Is that the required thickness? I was thinking if I
used cat5e, there's 4 twisted pair so I can get a unique colored wire
to each of my 8 zones That would make reconnecting the wires after I
extended
in 25' or so of cat5e, to the timer quite simple since I know which
wire would be which zone. I googled all over and it looks like
minimum 14 gauge for underground use. Since I am above ground and in
a garage, can I use the cat5e even though it's 24 gauge?
TIA


I would say it depends on how much power in watts the valves draw and the
voltage. 50 watts at 120 volts is .416 amps but at 12 volts it will draw
4.16 amps, cat5 cable is probably only 22 gauge and cannot carry many amps.
Also cat5 may not last long in the ground and exposed to water and other
elements.

  #3  
Old May 5th 12, 12:19 AM posted to alt.home.repair
dpb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10,417
Default Sprinkler wire question

On 5/4/2012 3:40 PM, genius wrote:
Hey all,
I am trying to move my sprinkler controller (an Orbit digital job
about 4 years old) to a more convenient spot in the garage. It has
very thick, I would guess 12 gauge, wire going from the valves to the
controller box. Is that the required thickness? I was thinking if I
used cat5e, there's 4 twisted pair so I can get a unique colored wire
to each of my 8 zones...


As another poster says, it'll depend on what the actual current draw is
and that'll depend on what the number of valves/zone is and the power to
control each and the operating voltage level. My guess is that the
answer is 'no'; there's not enough ampacity in signal cable or the
spec's wouldn't go to anything as heavy as what you've quoted.

Cat 5 is, afaik, not specified specifically by conductor diameter but by
digital transmission performance spec's but I believe it generally is in
the 22-24 AWG range. From the following table for power transmission
you see you're going to be very limited in how much current you can
draw. 22 AWG is as little under 1 A; 24 AWG is under 0.6 A.

I _think_ I've seen typical lawn valve spec's at 24 VAC/200 mA holding
current but inrush is probably 2-3X that.

If there's only a single valve of that size on each conductor pair you
_might_ get away with it for such a short run, but the answer is you
really probably need a minimum of 18 AWG and probably out to think more
like 16 or so. Of course, if your valves are higher draw or more/zone,
needs will go up, too.

Your surest bet is to match wire size to what is already there; one
would assume the installer didn't waste materials for no good reason.

--
  #4  
Old May 5th 12, 12:29 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 631
Default Sprinkler wire question

On 5/4/2012 4:19 PM, dpb wrote:
On 5/4/2012 3:40 PM, genius wrote:
Hey all,
I am trying to move my sprinkler controller (an Orbit digital job
about 4 years old) to a more convenient spot in the garage. It has
very thick, I would guess 12 gauge, wire going from the valves to the
controller box. Is that the required thickness? I was thinking if I
used cat5e, there's 4 twisted pair so I can get a unique colored wire
to each of my 8 zones...


As another poster says, it'll depend on what the actual current draw is
and that'll depend on what the number of valves/zone is and the power to
control each and the operating voltage level. My guess is that the
answer is 'no'; there's not enough ampacity in signal cable or the
spec's wouldn't go to anything as heavy as what you've quoted.

Cat 5 is, afaik, not specified specifically by conductor diameter but by
digital transmission performance spec's but I believe it generally is in
the 22-24 AWG range. From the following table for power transmission you
see you're going to be very limited in how much current you can draw. 22
AWG is as little under 1 A; 24 AWG is under 0.6 A.

I _think_ I've seen typical lawn valve spec's at 24 VAC/200 mA holding
current but inrush is probably 2-3X that.

If there's only a single valve of that size on each conductor pair you
_might_ get away with it for such a short run, but the answer is you
really probably need a minimum of 18 AWG and probably out to think more
like 16 or so. Of course, if your valves are higher draw or more/zone,
needs will go up, too.

Your surest bet is to match wire size to what is already there; one
would assume the installer didn't waste materials for no good reason.

--


also take into account voltage drop. smaller wire will have a larger
voltage drop than larger wire.
  #5  
Old May 5th 12, 01:20 AM posted to alt.home.repair
dpb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 10,417
Default Sprinkler wire question

On 5/4/2012 6:29 PM, chaniarts wrote:
...

also take into account voltage drop. smaller wire will have a larger
voltage drop than larger wire.


Yes, but he's only got a 25-ft or less run so that's negligible factor
in this case. For the overall installation it's significant, yes.

--

  #6  
Old May 5th 12, 01:56 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,738
Default Sprinkler wire question

On 5/4/2012 3:40 PM, genius wrote:
Hey all,
I am trying to move my sprinkler controller (an Orbit digital job
about 4 years old) to a more convenient spot in the garage. It has
very thick, I would guess 12 gauge, wire going from the valves to the
controller box. Is that the required thickness? I was thinking if I
used cat5e, there's 4 twisted pair so I can get a unique colored wire
to each of my 8 zones That would make reconnecting the wires after I
extended
in 25' or so of cat5e, to the timer quite simple since I know which
wire would be which zone. I googled all over and it looks like
minimum 14 gauge for underground use. Since I am above ground and in
a garage, can I use the cat5e even though it's 24 gauge?
TIA


it all boils down to how much current do the remote valves require or
pull? You should be able to find the specs on the mfgr website. 24ga
won't carry much current. But i can't imagine it needing to be 14.
Most the rainbird installations i've seen have used 18ga or so. Some
18/8 thermostat cable may do the trick.

--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
  #7  
Old May 5th 12, 03:14 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,230
Default Sprinkler wire question

On May 4, 5:56*pm, Steve Barker wrote:
On 5/4/2012 3:40 PM, genius wrote:

SNIP

it all boils down to how much current do the remote valves require or
pull? *You should be able to find the specs on the mfgr website. *24ga
won't carry much current. *But i can't imagine it needing to be 14.
Most the rainbird installations i've seen have used 18ga or so. *Some
18/8 thermostat cable may do the trick.

--
Steve Barker


+1


I originally wired up my front & back yard sprinker valves using a 14
gage wire.
I had a bunch of nearly used up 500' rolls and wanted to make sure
there was no voltage drop.

The each run was about 35' to controller location......basement, which
was a really dumb idea I had back in 1980.
Some time later I moved the controller to a more sensible location
(back yard patio).

In 2008 I redid some of the sprinkler system and was doing some
crawlspace work as part of the job.
I decided to run the properly sized wire, in the proper way and
settled on 18-8 thermostat cable.

I didn't find 18-8 thermostat cable at Home Depot so I bought it
online.
After the fact I discovered that Home Depot sells burial-able
sprinkler wire in all sorts of flavors.......
but they stock it in the plumbing dept (sprinklers) not in
electrical.....doh!

I installed a run of a cable to each valve manifold (35', 40' &
55').
The valve actuators are Champion CL-100-B's
The solenoid current:
In rush .59 amp
Hold .33 amp

I think I calc'd voltage drop at in-rush for the 55' run at about .5
volt (2%)

Everything has been working fine since 2008.

cheers
Bob



  #8  
Old May 5th 12, 01:41 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,405
Default Sprinkler wire question

On May 4, 10:14*pm, DD_BobK wrote:
On May 4, 5:56*pm, Steve Barker wrote:

On 5/4/2012 3:40 PM, genius wrote:

SNIP

it all boils down to how much current do the remote valves require or
pull? *You should be able to find the specs on the mfgr website. *24ga
won't carry much current. *But i can't imagine it needing to be 14.
Most the rainbird installations i've seen have used 18ga or so. *Some
18/8 thermostat cable may do the trick.


--
Steve Barker


+1

I originally wired up my front & back yard sprinker valves using a 14
gage wire.
I had a bunch of nearly used up 500' rolls and wanted to make sure
there was no voltage drop.

The each run was about 35' to controller location......basement, which
was a really dumb idea I had back in 1980.
Some time later I moved the controller to a more sensible location
(back yard patio).

In 2008 I redid some of the sprinkler system and was doing some
crawlspace work as part of the job.
I decided to run the properly sized wire, in the proper way and
settled on 18-8 thermostat cable.

I didn't find 18-8 thermostat cable at Home Depot so I bought it
online.
After the fact I discovered that Home Depot sells burial-able
sprinkler wire in all sorts of flavors.......
but they stock it in the plumbing dept (sprinklers) not in
electrical.....doh!

I installed a run of a cable to each valve manifold (35', 40' &
55').
The valve actuators are Champion CL-100-B's
The solenoid current:
In rush .59 amp
Hold * * .33 amp

I think I calc'd voltage drop at in-rush for the 55' run at about .5
volt (2%)

Everything has been working fine since 2008.

cheers
Bob


Thermostat wire does not have insulation rated for
burial. Sprinkler wire which is readily available at HD,
hardware stores, online, etc does. It's 18 gauge
which is all that's needed for that Orbit sprinkler
system. Whoever put 12 gauge, which could handle
12 amps, in a sprinkler system is a real chowder
head. The thing is powered off a wall wart for God's
sake.
  #9  
Old May 5th 12, 04:19 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,738
Default Sprinkler wire question

On 5/5/2012 7:41 AM, wrote:
On May 4, 10:14 pm, wrote:
On May 4, 5:56 pm, Steve wrote:

On 5/4/2012 3:40 PM, genius wrote:

SNIP

it all boils down to how much current do the remote valves require or
pull? You should be able to find the specs on the mfgr website. 24ga
won't carry much current. But i can't imagine it needing to be 14.
Most the rainbird installations i've seen have used 18ga or so. Some
18/8 thermostat cable may do the trick.


--
Steve Barker


+1

I originally wired up my front& back yard sprinker valves using a 14
gage wire.
I had a bunch of nearly used up 500' rolls and wanted to make sure
there was no voltage drop.

The each run was about 35' to controller location......basement, which
was a really dumb idea I had back in 1980.
Some time later I moved the controller to a more sensible location
(back yard patio).

In 2008 I redid some of the sprinkler system and was doing some
crawlspace work as part of the job.
I decided to run the properly sized wire, in the proper way and
settled on 18-8 thermostat cable.

I didn't find 18-8 thermostat cable at Home Depot so I bought it
online.
After the fact I discovered that Home Depot sells burial-able
sprinkler wire in all sorts of flavors.......
but they stock it in the plumbing dept (sprinklers) not in
electrical.....doh!

I installed a run of a cable to each valve manifold (35', 40'&
55').
The valve actuators are Champion CL-100-B's
The solenoid current:
In rush .59 amp
Hold .33 amp

I think I calc'd voltage drop at in-rush for the 55' run at about .5
volt (2%)

Everything has been working fine since 2008.

cheers
Bob


Thermostat wire does not have insulation rated for
burial. Sprinkler wire which is readily available at HD,
hardware stores, online, etc does. It's 18 gauge
which is all that's needed for that Orbit sprinkler
system. Whoever put 12 gauge, which could handle
12 amps, in a sprinkler system is a real chowder
head. The thing is powered off a wall wart for God's
sake.


i hear ya and agree. But the OP wasn't talking about burying the cable.
only extending them in a basement. thanks for playing.

--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email
  #10  
Old May 5th 12, 07:22 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,405
Default Sprinkler wire question

On May 5, 11:19*am, Steve Barker wrote:
On 5/5/2012 7:41 AM, wrote:





On May 4, 10:14 pm, *wrote:
On May 4, 5:56 pm, Steve *wrote:


On 5/4/2012 3:40 PM, genius wrote:
SNIP


it all boils down to how much current do the remote valves require or
pull? *You should be able to find the specs on the mfgr website. *24ga
won't carry much current. *But i can't imagine it needing to be 14.
Most the rainbird installations i've seen have used 18ga or so. *Some
18/8 thermostat cable may do the trick.


--
Steve Barker


+1


I originally wired up my front& *back yard sprinker valves using a 14
gage wire.
I had a bunch of nearly used up 500' rolls and wanted to make sure
there was no voltage drop.


The each run was about 35' to controller location......basement, which
was a really dumb idea I had back in 1980.
Some time later I moved the controller to a more sensible location
(back yard patio).


In 2008 I redid some of the sprinkler system and was doing some
crawlspace work as part of the job.
I decided to run the properly sized wire, in the proper way and
settled on 18-8 thermostat cable.


I didn't find 18-8 thermostat cable at Home Depot so I bought it
online.
After the fact I discovered that Home Depot sells burial-able
sprinkler wire in all sorts of flavors.......
but they stock it in the plumbing dept (sprinklers) not in
electrical.....doh!


I installed a run of a cable to each valve manifold (35', 40'&
55').
The valve actuators are Champion CL-100-B's
The solenoid current:
In rush .59 amp
Hold * * .33 amp


I think I calc'd voltage drop at in-rush for the 55' run at about .5
volt (2%)


Everything has been working fine since 2008.


cheers
Bob


Thermostat wire does not have insulation rated for
burial. *Sprinkler wire which is readily available at HD,
hardware stores, online, etc does. *It's 18 gauge
which is all that's needed for that Orbit sprinkler
system. *Whoever put 12 gauge, which could handle
12 amps, in a sprinkler system is a real chowder
head. *The thing is powered off a wall wart for God's
sake.


i hear ya and agree. *But the OP wasn't talking about burying the cable..
* only extending them in a basement. *thanks for playing.

--
Steve Barker
remove the "not" from my address to email- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


So, your first and apparently only choice for extending sprinkler
wiring inside a house would be thermostat cable instead of sprinkler
cable?
They are both readily available and about the same price.
The guy apparently already has some kind of 12 gauge wire
in the system.
Why add to the confusion for a future home inspector to start
looking into orfor a future homeowner by using thermostat wire?
 




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