Water Playground Equipment Manifold, Controller and Activator

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Water Playground Equipment: Manifold

Manifold is the device where main water line comes into and from which water is divided
into smaller water lines to go to water features. As mentioned in a previous post that we need
25 psi operating pressure on manifold for proper operation of water playground. Most common water line connected to manifold is 1-1/2” from this size pipe one can move up to
40 gpm without any problem. Each water line going to your water features should have a mechanical shutoff valve and a solenoid valve, at 40 gpm pressure loss will be about 4psi from these two valves. Lest assume you have some water loops with misting nozzles, this water feature would require about 10 psi to operate properly. Therefore;

Pressure Left: 25psi -4psi -10psi= 11psi
This left over pressure will determine how far manifold should be located from water playground features. Let’s assume 1-1/2” Sch80 PVC pipe is connected between manifold and water features.
Pressure loss per 100 ft of pipe is about 7psi for 1-1/2” Sch80 PVC pipe.
Therefore 100 ft * 11psi/7 psi= 157ft

As always there are some assumptions made in this basic calculation, you should consult your water playground equipment designer or contact myself for detail analysis of your water playground design.

Water Playground Equipment

Water Playground Equipment: Controller

Controller is the device which sequences water playground features. We recommend controller to be right next to manifold and prewired. Nirbo controllers are located right on top of our manifolds and they are preassembled and wired and factory tested. Controller should also have following capabilities, daily Start and Stop time of the water playground and sequencing capabilities. Some manufactures add lots of extra programming features in order to make their controller different, but they also complicate user interface, virtually all users use controller only few times a year and don’t like to go to site with a complex user manual. Therefore controller user interface should be simple and intuitive.

Water Playground Equipment: Activator

Activator is the device that sends a signal to the controller that someone in the water playground wants to operate the water playground. It is a very important component of water playground equipment, this should be a low voltage device typically 24V AC or DC. One problem we often encounter is vandalism of switches, kids usually gets frustrated when they try to operate water playground off-season and off- hours and vandalize the activation switch. As an owner you should be aware cost of replacing activation switch, some manufacturer design custom switches in order to be different, and changing these switches will cost you several hundred dollars, whereas Nirbo uses standard vandal resistant switches and always gives you a spare switch and original manufacturer’s part number so they can be replaced at minimal cost without delay. Standard Nirbo switch costs about $50 to replace; it is made out of stainless steel and built by worlds leading switch manufacturer.

If you have any questions contact the author.

Posted by
Salih Sokmen, P.Eng.
Nirbo Aquatic Inc.

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