Some might ask me how I manage to use an indexing valve on my big system CHIFT PIST set up when my pump runs constantly. Well this might not be the best layout for using an indexing valve but I’m managed to make it work.
I designed a low pressure aquaponics automated valve that can still work with only about 18 inches of water column. The indexing valve in question has a gravity modified stem and with a huge flow of water with that 18 inches of water column it has been working well for about a year and a half.
Many people might ask me why I don’t simply use a solenoid valve. Well the answer to that is most irrigation solenoid valves require quite a large differential pressure to operate (the pressure required if supplied by gravity would have me placing the fish tank on top of the roof in order to get enough pressure to work the valve.) And I don’t know if a regular solenoid valve would keep working well with the slime from an aquaponics system.
Building your own low pressure aquaponics automated valve is possible for the DIY person with experience in plumbing and electronics.
Essentially the valve is made up of three primary parts.
1-backwater valve installed backwards
2-car door actuator to pull the valve open and closed
3-electronic controller to trigger the opening, closing and timing of the valve.
This is the original timer circuit to control the automation that a friend helped me with I have since had a better circuit made that uses a chip to control the timing rather than an RC circuit but this original timing circuit did work just fine.
Finally, I never quite got rid of the bounce problem and even with a spring ball latch, I still need to have the rubber band in place and it needs to be replaced every few months. That is my low pressure aquaponics automated valve. I’m rather proud of it.