I live out here in the San Francisco bay area where it doesn't rain in the summer. So I want to make an automated plant watering device.

I already have a water pump intended for solar water heating that pumps from a 2 gallon jug to 3 pots on the railing. I also split the flow from 1 tube into 3, but this isn't working well because the flow becomes uneven between the 3.

I could build 2 more independent pumps, but that would get too complicated if I wanted to water > 3 plants.

So, is there a commodity valve that can switch the flow between 3 or more destinations and can be controlled electronically?

The seal doesn't have to withstand high pressures since the pump I use can barely push water up 3 feet.

  • A Zone Valve might be overkill :) – RedGrittyBrick Mar 16 '15 at 14:33
  • Zone valve, starting at $16 on ebay, me, idle time, and home automation. Simply Genius! My wife is going to kill you :))) – Some Guy Mar 16 '15 at 21:55

I use a multi-port automatic sprinkler valve coupled to an 8-way drip irrigation manifold, and use city water pressure.


Since the question is 'can', and the situation is not a major threat to safety or welfare of people and property, in similar circumstances, a 'friend' of mine used solenoid lawn sprinkler valves.

$10 what is not to like. http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Signature-Sprinkler-Valve-Solenoid-p/7962.htm

My friend got his at Home Depot - but I could not find them on their web site.

As a note - do not use this as an air valve release for a potato cannon. (I am not saying it can not do the job - but I am saying do not do it.)

  • OK, that would work, but it's almost as bulky/redundant as having multiple pumps (the pump I'm using might be smaller than that solenoid valve). I was hoping for something that's more compact like a 6-shooter with a tube connected to each of the chambers and rotated by a servo. – Yale Zhang Mar 16 '15 at 21:12
  • I would love a small servo thing too, not sure what I would do with it, but I love the idea :) OK, what about something like this a 3 way hose manifold, they come in sizes from fish tank air hose, to garden hose, each outlet has a valve, and then adjust the flow for each plant pot. " Orbit 3-Way Plastic Hose Faucet Valve Manifold 62009 " still not what you are looking for, but maybe to hold you over until you find something else – Some Guy Mar 16 '15 at 21:43
  • A really small pump for each plant - 5W, 12VDC and submersible ASIN number B00JWJIC0K – Some Guy Mar 16 '15 at 22:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.