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scmorts

Unregistered

1

Thursday, June 9th 2011, 6:56pm

1 zone not working

All, very interested to hear your response(s). Zone 1 in my system stopped turning on by itself in the fall. I could manually activate at the valve. I ordered a new valve and replaced all the guts making a bad assumption that the problem was solenoid or valve related. Checked voltage for that zone at the controller, I get 25ish. Voltage at valve, reads about 5, varying widely to 0. There was a spare wire in the box, so I tried the brown 1. Only have 5 total zones and 2-5 work fine. Where would the problem be? In the wiring between the sprinkler boxes? How can I fix that? They are about 5 feet apart.



thanks!

scmorts

Unregistered

2

Saturday, June 11th 2011, 5:11pm

Anyone?

All, any help would be appreciated. I'm guessing the wire from the prior sprinkler box must be damaged, but not enough to stop all power. The connections seemed tight enough but before I dig up the 5 feet or so between them, thought it would be best to ask. Thanks for any suggestions.

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

3

Saturday, June 11th 2011, 6:53pm

Basically you have a bad wire connection / nicked wire somewhere between your controller and valve .
Go ahead and get a ohm read for this valve at the controller

How far is the run from the controller and valve in question? Where is the location of the controller?

Depending on the situation. As a tech I would wire trace out the wire and listen for sudden changes in my ability to trace the line.. If need be I would then use a fault locator to detect the leaked voltage.

For you it may be easier to just replace the wire with a new one? The spare brown wire , did you change that at the controller too?

scmorts

Unregistered

4

Sunday, June 12th 2011, 7:57am

Thanks Mitchgo. The controller is located in my garage, about 75 feet from the bad zone valve. Yes, brown wire at valve and controller. I get the same volt readings as the original wire, @5 at the valve and 25 or so at controller. I'm fine with replacing the wire, but hopefully it's only necessary to go from the controller directly before it (zone 2 in my case). I don't have to replace the run from the controller do I? Since the rest of the zone's work fine and this is the last valve in line, the damaged wire would have to be somewhere before the zone just before it right? Thanks again. I can't get the ohm's reading just yet but will try that soon.

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

5

Sunday, June 12th 2011, 2:02pm

So are all the valves near eachother, within the 5 feet?

If the valve is the last in the line, go to the other valve box that is 5' away , strip the colored wire there and test by touching the common and the colored wire .. IF you still have 5V then you know the issue is prior to this point . If you are getting 25v then it may be easier for you to run new wire to that valve.. Or just start digging and looking for a nicked wire/ bad wire connection

scmorts

Unregistered

6

Monday, June 20th 2011, 9:54am

Wow, this has become quite the cluster unfortunately. Just to give you an update, I've tested voltage at the valve box prior the non-working zone (zone 1 not working, zone 2 is). I find approx. 25volts to work that zone. But, when I cut the wire to zone 1, and check that with the common at the valve 2, I find only 5 or so volts supplying zone 1. The crazy part is, I have an extra wire (it's 5 zones and 6 strand wire), so I tried the spare wire and get the same result. I believe that tells me that the problem with the wires, has to be before zone 2 and has to have affected both my red(zone 1) and brown(spare) wire, but only those 2 wires since all the other zones still work. Now, as a test, I ran some spare wire and un-hooked zone 1's controller in place of zone 2 (at the valve) and that still did not make this brand new valve turn on. So, in addition to the 2 bad wires(zone 1 and spare wire), the new valve I put in must also be bad. So I believe the right course of action is to continue working my way back towards the controller, by zone, cutting the brown and red wires' to validate where the breakage is. Once I find 25 volts on those supply wires, I can replace from that point to the non-working zone. Agreed? It's about 75 feet from controller to 1st zone with sidwalks and planting beds between so replacing the wire from controller to zone is last option I hope.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,021

Location: Metro NYC

7

Monday, June 20th 2011, 10:33am

Voltage readings tell you the least, compared to resistance and current measurements - step up your diagnostics to taking resistance measurements.

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

8

Sunday, June 26th 2011, 10:49pm

I can't do a 100 step by step walk through with you. At this point I recommend to get an irrigation company in for your.. My guess is they can diagnose the issue in 1-2 hours. Fixing it may be a different deal

You may want to go with a splitter instead of trying to dig up and fix things

Splitter

scmorts

Unregistered

9

Saturday, July 2nd 2011, 6:46pm

Thanks Mitchgo. I've called a couple irrigation company's. The hunt for a reputable one that will call me back and do an effective job is underway. I appreciate your insight.

servicetechMA

Advanced Member

10

Friday, July 8th 2011, 6:39pm

lol i read most of your post, a few things to try,you might have already. test the ohms of the solenoid,cut off the common and zone wire in the box,strip a bit off,most valves should be 20-46,every brand is a little different. you can do it at the clock and give that a try first,test the working zones and compare,if you have an autoranging multimeter,make sure there are no K or M symbol before the ohm symbol. if the ohms are good,try wiring the valve in question to another color thats wired into a working valve if there is one in the box,or run an above ground wire to test it from the clock to the valve or from one box to another. it could be a lighning strike as well,a lightning strike makes zones not turn on,it gives you bad readings at the clock on some zones,but when you test the solenoid in the field without wires hooked up its fine. voltage is fine at the clock but not in the field, lightning does crazy things,only affects 3 wires on a 13 strand or all but 1. with an above ground wire run,once you know the solenoid is ok,that will work,then its just a matter of finding the bad run of wire. have you had any bed edging,tent spikes,anything that could knick a wire

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