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New Member

Posts: 3

Location: Toronto


Wednesday, August 17th 2011, 3:30pm

Trouble shooting 101

This post goes to all the pros or I guess anyone that wants to play.

Share a story of your hardest or most memorable trouble shooting problem. Was there a time when you couldn't figure out what was going on with a system. Something wouldn't work or something was acting weird and it took you a moment to realize what was going on. Maybe you worked on system and you tried everything you knew and it turned out the water was shut off. lol

You learn from mistakes, so share yours so you can teach others.

If you don't want to post something on that topic, then tell me who you think will win the super bowl? ;)

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 371

Location: Central Minnesota


Wednesday, August 17th 2011, 5:19pm

I worked on a large 24 zone apartment complex which had rotor zones in excess of 50 GPM. It was a Hunter system and the company that had installed it used the I-20's. We had serviced the site for going on 3 years without any major issues to speak of. At spring start-up I was working my way through the zones (which easily takes over an hour, even with a remote) to find that one of the rotor zones in the back of the building was missing a few heads. I took a closer look, to find that the heads were still there, they just wouldn't pop up. Step on the head next to it and wouldn't you know, a head would pop up and spray as it should. I manually popped up all the heads and watched how they worked until I came to the conclusion that the pressure was not as I had remembered it being. I searched up and down the zone line, lateral line, pressure tested the mainline, positive that there was a leak in that zone. Keep in mind that this is compacted clay soil that I'm trying to find a leak in. I had put my time in for the day and decided to let it run as it was in hopes that the leak would surface in the week that followed. I returned the following week to find that the lawn covered by the troubled zone had turned a nice shade of brown wherever there was a head that didn't want to pop up, but still no wet spot. I searched again for over an hour, and still nothing. Fairly confident that there was no leak at this point, I looked into option B. Could it be a design flaw? Why is there low pressure at these heads? It's not that low, but the heads seem a little sluggish. 37 psi at the head should be fine, shouldn't it? I decided to find the valve and check the flow control, because someone had to of messed with it! To my amazement, I find a 1" Rainbird DV100. Those idiots tried to run a zone of this size off of a 1" valve!!?? It had to go! I spent the next 1.5 hrs swapping that 1" for a 1.5" Irritrol 216B. Got it all put back together difference. I threw the shovel in the van and left in disgust. On the third visit, I decide to check the controller to see if something is goofy with the wiring or the controller itself. No luck, everything was good (short of the controller being crammed with remote pigtail wires and 3 sets of 13 strand wire). Everthing looked good for my bad zone. Time was up and had to go. On the fourth visit, while walking to the back of the building, I stepped on a valve box to which I decided to open it and check to see what was in it. There was another 1" Rainbird DV100. I couldn't believe these morons are running these huge zones off of 1" valves. I manually opened the valve and half of my bad zone fired up! I failed to see that they had a second wire hooked up in the controller for the second valve. Turns out, they actually installed a total of 30 1" valves and wired them together in the controller in order to use the 24 station controller. I completely missed it, and I looked right at it!

A 36 station controller and the site has never looked so green! A total of 21 billable hours put in on-site. I cut them a deal on the price of the new controller!

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