I enjoy spending time in my garden, and regular watering is one of the chores that I must do so I can keep my plants healthy and thriving. Last year, I installed a drip irrigation system, but it was manually controlled so I now decided to upgrade it with an automated watering system that will be controlled through Home Assistant. This system is perfect for those who want a smarter, more automated solution than commercially available.
The first step in building your DIY drip irrigation system is to choose the right valve. One of the cheapest options is to use a valve designed for washing machines. This solenoid valve is operated from 220 volts, and we will use a relay to control it. You can also opt-in for a 12V operated valve if that is more suitable.
Next, you'll need a NodeMCU, which is a Wi-Fi enabled microcontroller board that is perfect for home automation projects. You'll also need an NTC thermistor to monitor the outside temperature and make better decisions about when to turn on the irrigation system. Additionally, you can connect a moisture sensor to test the moisture content of the soil being irrigated.
To control the valve, you'll need a 5-volt relay that is controlled by the NodeMCU. The relay will be powered by a power brick that connects to the NodeMCU. You'll also need an NPN transistor with two resistors to control the relay.
To enclose the entire system, I'm using an electrical box for which I designed a custom PCB to serve as a prototyping board. PCBWay is an excellent choice for manufacturing custom PCBs and I ordered mine through them. You can get $5 off your first order by following this link. With that welcome bonus, you can get 10 of these custom PCBs manufactured for your projects.
You can see the full process of the making of the irrigation controller in the video below.
Written instructions can be found on the project Instructable.
In conclusion, building a DIY drip irrigation system that can be controlled by Home Assistant is an excellent way to keep your garden healthy and thriving. By using custom components and integrating with Home Assistant, you can create a smarter, more automated solution than what's commercially available. With a little bit of time and effort, you can have a reliable and efficient irrigation system that will make gardening even more enjoyable.
Below is a list of everything that you'll need for the project:
- NodeMCU - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DCidiwV
- Relay Module - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DmQ7eGv
- NTC Thermistor - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DeucEI5
- 220V to 5V module - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DkbyFPj
- Low Voltage Solenoid valve - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DlHysWl
- Brass solenoid valve - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Ddk2tFj
- Solenoid valve with hose attachment - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DkoJV4z
- Soldering iron - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DlP3Fj3
- NPN Transistor - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DDOBNtX
- Resistors - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DCUjGtF
- Electrical box black - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Dl1bHVn
- Electrical box white - https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DlIegup