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larbec

Senior Member

1

Friday, March 18th 2011, 10:04am

How do you find your control valves

My home was built in 1979 and I changed my old controller because I have
a zone that pop up no matter what. I do NOT have ANYTHING wired up
except the control voltage and common and when I go to a zone.....any
zone...I have 4 sprinkler heads that pop up which tells me I have a
control valve stuck or worn out.



My question is, How can I find these valves? I do not have a box in my
yard so my guess is they just buried the valves. I can see the PVC
conduit outside my home which goes in the ground. Is it as simple as
following that and start digging? Do I use a metal detector? I really
appreciate any help.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,878

Location: Metro NYC

2

Friday, March 18th 2011, 12:47pm

Use a shovel, and it's all straightforward. You can rent instruments to track wiring, but they have a learning curve.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,420

Location: USA

3

Friday, March 18th 2011, 12:52pm

What you said doesn't make any sense. You said the 4 heads aren't popped up unless you turn on a zone. You also said you don't have any hot wires connected to the controller. Double check to see that one wire that's hooked up is actually connected to the ground wire terminal and not the pump/master valve terminal. Do you have a master valve? Will the heads pop up if you disconnect that common wire?

larbec

Senior Member

4

Friday, March 18th 2011, 4:43pm

confusion

sorry for any confusion. I will try again

I have the common (white wire) on the common and the red (hot) on the master valve terminal. When I turn on the system no matter what zone I go to the same 4 sprinkler heads pop up. I do NOT have any wires hooked up to any zone. The wires that are NOT connected are blue and gray

BTW, I have a Rainbird 12 zone controller

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,420

Location: USA

5

Friday, March 18th 2011, 8:29pm

No problem. I shoulda known. Yep it's a bad valve.

larbec

Senior Member

6

Sunday, March 20th 2011, 10:05pm

I found my valves now what

Ok guys, I found my valves and there is one valve (black wire) that I will guess is the master valve because it turns on all the water when energized. The other valves look different and they have like a dip stick in them. Whet exactly is that??? Should I put oil in them.

The wires are all loose and NOT in conduit. I did find one that is either cut or apart and goes under my driveway to the other valves. I have 4 valves on one side (red wires) and so far I found 2 valves (red wires) and a master valve on the other side (black wires) I am only calling it a master valve but do not really know what it is.

Anyway, how do I determine which valve is bad?

If someone can tell me what the valve with the black wires is and the valves with the red wires are it would help me. The one with the black wires is the one that has water pressure on it and there is one on each side of my driveway.

How do you attach pictures? When I try the files are always too big

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "larbec" (Mar 20th 2011, 10:12pm)


Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

7

Monday, March 21st 2011, 1:42am

RE: I found my valves now what

The other valves look different and they have like a dip stick in them. Whet exactly is that??? Should I put oil in them.

Oh Man I just laughed so hard!

You have an old school Toro flo valve ( 6 months of not doing diagnosis , I can't remember if Hunter has a valve like this too, but i'm pretty sure it's the toro) , the 'dipstick ' is the bleed. If you loosened this bleed a little bit the valve will manually be turned on. However since you have a master valve it will not unless you had the master valve manually turned on, or turned on from controller.

Dont' worry about the wiring, or the wire color. You issue is a physical condition not an a electrical problem.

So your goal at this point is to find which valve is stuck on

I was going to suggest to use your zone guide if you had one ( Ie zone 4 South Side lawn which is where the 4 stuck heads are ) and feel the solenoid viberate but since you polled the wires from the controller I'm going to guess you didn't lable them. If you did and have a zone guide, do this.

If not

Go ahead and turn on your master valve from the controller and walk out to the 4 sprinkler heads that are on. Go to the NEAREST valve box and listen to these valves.. You should be hearing clear as day which valve it is that's stuck on. If not you can touch them and probably feel which one is viberating. If both of those don't work you can GENTLY turn the flow control down on each valve until the water stops. The flow control is the round portion on top of the valve

When you find your stuck valve.. I recommend to just replace the sucker.. But you may take it apart and see what is fauling up the valve

larbec

Senior Member

8

Monday, March 21st 2011, 5:29am

Mitchgo

I am sooooo glad I still have it and can make people laugh LOL, by now at least you can guess I have never worked on a sprinkler system before but do have a wee bit of technical expertise.....I will check this out this afternoon and report back, thanks for the help

Just a question, I should have a master valve "on" in addition to the stuck valve right? The reason I am asking is I can see and hear a smaller valve without the dip stick (black wires) on when I turn on the controller
larbec has attached the following file:

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "larbec" (Mar 21st 2011, 5:39am)


Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 3,878

Location: Metro NYC

9

Monday, March 21st 2011, 8:04am

If no one but yourself is going to service the system, you need a multimeter to check voltages and wiring resistance.

larbec

Senior Member

10

Monday, March 21st 2011, 10:21pm

I do have a fluke 87 so I am good to go. I think I found all my valves unless one is hidden. The one on the opposite side of the driveway that I can hear vibrate....I cut one of the wires and the heads still operated. I do have a blue wire that goes no where so I am sure it needs to be hooked up to something or maybe not because I have a cut wire on each side of the driveway. Either the last home owner cut them and they do nothing or they go some where.

Anyway, how do I ohm out the valves? I will assume I do this from the control box inside my garage....I actually enjoy troubleshooting

I should have a master valve "on" in addition to the stuck valve right?
The reason I am asking is I can see and hear a smaller valve without
the dip stick (black wires picture above) on when I turn on the controller.

If you look at the picture above the valve on top is the one that has full flow and I can hear. There is a valve on the other side of the drive about 30 feet that I can hear water running but that is the one I disconnected. I may be hearing water running through the PVC

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "larbec" (Mar 22nd 2011, 5:47am)


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