Control Solenoid Water Valve

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ruko

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Hello

I want to control a solenoid water valve that will be activated when my clothes washer is turned on. I don't want to open the washer up and hard wire it because of warranty concerns. I thought maybe a current sensor in line with the 120 volt house hold source which would sense when the washer is on. This sensor would produce a voltage which could be used ultimately to control the solenoid valve. Will this work?

Thanks
 
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Steve K

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short answer: sure.

long answer: what problem are you trying to fix? The washer already has solenoids to control water flow. Don't you already have a manual valve to shut off the water when the washer isn't being used?

The technical aspects of the design will require a certain amount of electronics design. The current sensor will have an analog output. You'll need a circuit that can compare that output to a reference voltage. When the current exceeds the reference, it will have to provide a power output to drive the solenoid to open the valve. I don't think there is a solution where you just connect a current sensor to a solenoid.
 

ruko

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short answer: sure.

long answer: what problem are you trying to fix? The washer already has solenoids to control water flow. Don't you already have a manual valve to shut off the water when the washer isn't being used?

The technical aspects of the design will require a certain amount of electronics design. The current sensor will have an analog output. You'll need a circuit that can compare that output to a reference voltage. When the current exceeds the reference, it will have to provide a power output to drive the solenoid to open the valve. I don't think there is a solution where you just connect a current sensor to a solenoid.

Yes I have shut off valves for the washer. There are 11 people using this machine and they don't always remember to turn off the water. Last year a hose broke on an older washer and really messed things up. Don't want this to happen again so I'm taking steps to take the human factor out of the picture. There is a current sensor I found on the net that has a built in SPDT relay which I can use to control the solenoid. 20 bucks free shipping no tax. This sensor should work as it senses down to 0.1 amps and is adjustable to 7 amps so they say, and designed for 120 volts.
 

Steve K

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Good to know that someone is making a current sensor for this application. Does it come with a solenoid valve?
edit: there's at least one nice product that incorporates the sensor and valves in one package, and looks like it has a sensor to detect if water is leaking on the floor:
http://www.cleanmywater.com/dmdocuments/parts and fittings/Watts/es-a2c-m1-2.pdf
<end of edit>

You are probably already doing it, but let me remind the general audience that the consumer should have a schedule for replacing the hoses in order to prevent failures due to aging and known wear mechanisms.
 
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gabe.trout

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Hoses should be replaced every 5 years. I'm guessing the hose that broke was considerably older. My concern would be that the sensor might not work properly and not shut off, which would also cause a serious flood.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
 

Lynx_Arc

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Yes I have shut off valves for the washer. There are 11 people using this machine and they don't always remember to turn off the water. Last year a hose broke on an older washer and really messed things up. Don't want this to happen again so I'm taking steps to take the human factor out of the picture. There is a current sensor I found on the net that has a built in SPDT relay which I can use to control the solenoid. 20 bucks free shipping no tax. This sensor should work as it senses down to 0.1 amps and is adjustable to 7 amps so they say, and designed for 120 volts.
I agree with others.... just having scheduled maintenance of the hoses would be easier. If a hose would happen to burst while someone is doing laundry while they were away for a few hours what would stop the water from going everywhere during that time?
 

ruko

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Good to know that someone is making a current sensor for this application. Does it come with a solenoid valve?
edit: there's at least one nice product that incorporates the sensor and valves in one package, and looks like it has a sensor to detect if water is leaking on the floor:
http://www.cleanmywater.com/dmdocuments/parts and fittings/Watts/es-a2c-m1-2.pdf
<end of edit>

You are probably already doing it, but let me remind the general audience that the consumer should have a schedule for replacing the hoses in order to prevent failures due to aging and known wear mechanisms.

Thanks, looks like I don't have to build it. It's already made. I'm going this route totally with the leak detector. Regular scheduled maintenance right, but once again the human factor. I'd rather have one less thing to worry about. Especially after the expensive flood last year.
 
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Redhat703

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You could buy a normal office power surge center with "Power Control" function. Plug your washer to the PC outlet and the solenoid to one of peripherals outlets. The average washer uses 300-500W, so I think you'll be fine.

Do the Google search for "Just Power It Up 800W GreenPower Surge Protector"

Descriptions:
Save Energy, Save Money with GreenPower Automatic Switching Outlets
• Plug your computer into the GreenPower Control outlet.
• When it’s turned off or goes to sleep, the other GreenPower outlets switch off, automatically eliminating energy wasted by peripherals, like your monitor and scanner.
• When your computer turns back on, the GreenPower outlets automatically power up again.
 

BVH

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Be sure to replace the hoses with the metal braided type. They will go easily over 5 years. Install them and relax for 7-10 years. case closed.
 

ruko

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You could buy a normal office power surge center with "Power Control" function. Plug your washer to the PC outlet and the solenoid to one of peripherals outlets. The average washer uses 300-500W, so I think you'll be fine.

Do the Google search for "Just Power It Up 800W GreenPower Surge Protector"

Descriptions:
Save Energy, Save Money with GreenPower Automatic Switching Outlets
• Plug your computer into the GreenPower Control outlet.
• When it’s turned off or goes to sleep, the other GreenPower outlets switch off, automatically eliminating energy wasted by peripherals, like your monitor and scanner.
• When your computer turns back on, the GreenPower outlets automatically power up again.

Very interesting. I'm going to get a couple of these things for all the peripherals around the TVs in the house. These are the "instant on" devices that when you shut them off they really aren't off.
 

ruko

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I agree with others.... just having scheduled maintenance of the hoses would be easier. If a hose would happen to burst while someone is doing laundry while they were away for a few hours what would stop the water from going everywhere during that time?

The leak detector.
 

ruko

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I've never had a washer hose break on me, the washers tend to not last as long as the hoses around here.

That's mostly the case. I can't recall a hose breaking before last year and that's a period of 50 years plus.
 

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