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New Member

Posts: 2

Location: Athens GA


Wednesday, June 22nd 2011, 5:20pm

problem with wiring/ valve

I have an odd problem. I have 7 zones in a new system. 4 are in the front yard and are on one buried bundle of 16 gauge wire, attached to a basement rainbird controller. The 3 zones in the back yard are on a separate bundled cable of wires. Only one of the zones in back has sprinklers, other 2 are drip. All are attached to a rainbired 9 zone STPi , easiest controller I have ever seen to set up.

Front zones function flawlessly, identical function with manual or electronic turn on. Sprinkler zone in back works fine manual (1/4 turn on the solenoid) but works @ about 40-50% when turned on electronically.
I tried changing solenoid-No change. Electrician and local watering supply suggested voltage drop due to the length of wire to the box (>200 ft) Before I tried to bury a second wire in a better position, I took the controller off the wall in the basement and put it in the back, connected the valve to the controller with <50 ft of wire, NO CHANGE in the function of the valve.




Supreme Member

Posts: 493

Location: Seattle


Wednesday, June 22nd 2011, 5:37pm

Grab a multimeter and ohm out the wires. Touch the common wire and the particular zones ( one by one) and post your readings. You should be getting 20-60 ohms depending on the valve. If it's much higher then this then you probably have a bad wire splice . If lower then the solenoids ( even the new ones?) are possible shot and or nicked wire
Some idea's come to mind

( Voltage drop from the ' long ' wire run is NOT one of them )

* Bad wire splice/ nicked wire that's grounding out the zones.-- Check all the connections at the controller, re-splice the connections at the valve box. If you know of any other splices- check them too.

*Could be a possible bad controller. Try swapping these zone wires to the zone ports that irrigate the front and see if it's doing the same thing.

* The system could be running completely fine and your not paying attention that it is.. How do you know it's only working 40-50% of the time. Are you out there Every Time when it's supposed to come on and it doesn't?

*Programming error.. Are you on a single program or do you have multiple programs setup?

Best thing to do right now is to grab your mutlimeter- check for ohms, check proper voltage output at the controller ( When turned on the zones) and then at the valve box. . Check ohmage at the valve box too.

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