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veidtmeister

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: Austin Tx.

1

Wednesday, July 27th 2011, 2:02pm

Bad Solenoids?

quick but probably stupid question.

Trying to rehab an old system, 3 stations not responding. Checked for voltage at all 3 valves, and all 3 are getting 26V.

Thought the timer might be an issue, even tho its new, so tried different terminals for all 3, no go.

Valve 3- was full of water, turned off water, and it hasnt returned? Anyway, it has voltage, but no buzz, no sound of water...Nada.



Valve-6- Has voltage, same as 3, no buzz, no sound, no nada.



Valve 9- Had water in the valve, again, I turned off the water for a day or so, and it hasn't returned. When I first tested it by manually opening the valve, I almost had to take the solenoid completely off before it let water flow to the heads, and so it leaked a lot, but at least it was allowing water to flow...anyway... Let it dry out, and checked it today, and noticed that there is a small white collar of some kind lyin in the bottom of the valve housing...as well as a small screen w/ a cutout hole in it, and a metallic thing which I assume is a plunger. I dont have a schematic for the solenoid, so Im not sure how it all fits together? I was just going to replace all three solenoids to save trouble, but I want to make sure that these peices, (screen, white plastic thing, and plunger) dont have anything to do w/ the valve. Im a newb w/ irrigation systems (but im not a total idiot), but Im flying blind here.... Worth asking the question, if for no other reason than Im too lazy to think it through...haha... :D

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,053

Location: Metro NYC

2

Wednesday, July 27th 2011, 2:42pm

we like photos

veidtmeister

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: Austin Tx.

3

Wednesday, July 27th 2011, 3:58pm

8|



lol...ok...I'll do that after I replace the solenoids, if they still dont work, I guess... ;)

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,053

Location: Metro NYC

4

Wednesday, July 27th 2011, 5:11pm

If you are not going to identify the make and model of the valves you are working on, photos become important, if not necessary.

veidtmeister

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: Austin Tx.

5

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 12:28pm

I get ya, but I cant find my digital camera, and the wife (w/ the Iphone) is at work.

Hopefully you'll take pity on me, and try to help me w/o a photo, until I can get one up.



Current Problems...

I thought I'd just replace the solenoids, and see if that solved the problem. Went to Home Depot, and their "Rainbird Replacement" solenoid wasnt the same as my Rainbird Solenoid. The base was MUCH wider, and threads were different....I looked at the toro and some other "replacement" solenoids, and they too were all much wider.

My system was installed in 1995, so I guess I have a much older, and probably harder to get Rainbird Solenoid...sigh...

So, I thought Id get cute and take one off a station thats actually working and see if that worked on the nonworking valve.



The Non-working valve is getting 24V, (per voltmeter), and its picking up the magnet in the current solenoid...I took it off, and it does pickup the magnet, and buzzs like crazy....but Im not getting any water flow? I have to almost completely twist off the manual "open" thing on the valve, before any water comes out of the heads, (and of course then, water is spraying out the bottom of the solenoid into the valve housing...??



I pulled off a solenoid from another valve, and tried it as well...but no go...



Is there a problem the valve could be causing that wouldnt allow water to flow to the heads, even if the solenoid is engaging, unless you almost completely remove the soldenoid??? weird...



The valves look like rainbird 1" inline valves...I'll try to find a pic on the web, and post it.



Im having another problem, I think, with the Controller. I purchased a refurbished Total Control Controller from Irritrol after my old James Hardie got zapped. I picked up a power suppy at Home Depot, but its only a 650MA transformer, and the old James Hardie was a 1250MA transformer. Im not sure if this even matters, unless youre controlling numerous valves, Im just putting it out there.....

Anyway....Im getting some weird readings, when I check the voltage at each station terminal...2 of my terminals always are hot, at about 20-22 V even when the controller isnt supposed to be energizing those terminals/ stations..

But the really bizarre thing is, when I thought to move the wire from the non-working valves terminal, to another terminal, to see if that would work, THAT terminal suddenly was showing that it was getting power, even though, again, the controller wasnt supposed to be sending power to that terminal... I thought what the hell? So I removed the wire that Id attached to it, and it put it back to where it was originally, and the terminal remained hot. But wow...I checked it like 10 minutes later, and it wasnt getting power.

I dont have a clue whats going on w/ the controller, but I probably need to call irritrol, and ask them why there are terminals that are always hot.



Anyway...this whole controller issue doesnt really relate to this specific valve, as its gettig power, buzzing, and is pulling the magnet up into the solenoid housing....crap...I really dont want to replace the entire valve...but I may have to....as even if its just the solenoid, I dont know where I can get them..

Guess if anyone knows where to get some, Ill buy like 20 of them, so I dont have to replace every valve in the system, when their solenoids die.



Ok....rambling...any thoughts of where to start?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,053

Location: Metro NYC

6

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 12:36pm

Valves fail because of worn/broken diaphragm assemblies. When you share the info as to the make and model of valves you have, some useful help can be given.

veidtmeister

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: Austin Tx.

7

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 12:48pm

yeah, I suck....Ill take pics and post when the wife gets home....



I dug through the file cabinet, and found the quote from the contractor...all it says is...



8- 1" PGA Electric Valves

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,053

Location: Metro NYC

8

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 12:56pm

PGA is a model of Rainbird's - replacement parts can be had from this site.

veidtmeister

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: Austin Tx.

9

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 1:10pm

Thanks for that.

veidtmeister

Active Member

Posts: 25

Location: Austin Tx.

10

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 2:30pm

Ok..I know youre totally exasperated w/ me, but....
3 valves not working. (#3,#6,#9)
all 3 valves getting 24V. All 3 open manually but not electrically.
No buzz, or click at 2 of the valves. (Valve 3, Valve 6)
One valve does fire plunger in solenoid, but no water flow(valve#9). Thinking this one has a bad/misaligned diaphragm?

Took the solenoid that does "buzz" (picks up plunger)(from Valve #9) and tried it on another valve (#3) thats not making any noise. Hear a "chugging" sound in the bonnet, like waters trying to flow but is being restricted. Thinking that the diaphragm is blocked, but the solenoid may also be bad.


I guess my question is, am I assuming that the solenoids are bad because I dont hear a buzz, or physical "click" when heyre energized? Do they always hum/buzz, or click.


And...since all three open manually, when you crank back the solenoids, does this bypass the diaphragm? (as they all open manually...but not electrically)

sorry Im a pain.[attach]62[/attach]

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