Arduino overkill?

I got my starter kit and I'm getting together the components for my irrigation valve project. My question is whether or not i need the Arduino for this. I am using two float switches to monitor the water level in a tank. When the bottom switch opens, I want a sprinkler valve (e.g., Rainbird, Orbit) to open (via a relay) and fill the tank until the top switch closes at which time the valve closes. Do I need to dedicate my Arduino to this project and get another one for the next project? Or, should I hard wire the circuit?


Do I need to dedicate my Arduino to this project and get another one for the next project?

Yes you can dedicate an arduino to this or you can build a stand alone system, cheaper but more work for you.

OK. I think I'll go the Arduino route for now and try to figure out the circuitry and build a "stand alone" circuit later.

Can I control the valve solenoid and two float switches with one relay or do I need a relay for each switch?

In theory, this whole system should be able to work using relays and switches alone...

Not sure how everything is setup, but toilets do this with no electronics. But hey, I have nothing against using Arduinos, you learn more about them every time you use one.

Yep, a float valve / toilet valve would do the trick but would have a much lower geek factor. I have a rain water distribution setup that uses a shallow well jet pump. I'm pumping out of one tank that has a one way valve connecting it to the other collecting tanks. I'm planning on hooking up irrigation lines to the rain water distribution and want to be able to water even after the collected rain water is gone. Do do this, I'm going to connect a water line from the house to the Arduino controlled valve. At a certain water level. the system switches over to city water by filling the pumping tank from the house supply. I want to know when this is happening (think LED or audible alarm) and also don't want to create a continuous top off situation since the rain water system is a bit leaky. Anyway, I think that gives some insight into why I haven't embraced the elegant toilet fill valve solution. I did buy a simple float valve for this project, misplaced it, and caught the Arduino bug.


If you want to build a standalone arduino board, you might want to check this tutorial out !

Thanks Rednex. This looks like a good project that would give me a more "expendable" board. Also doing this may help me establish more electro-cred with cr0sh :).