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Starting Member


Monday, September 3rd 2012, 1:12pm

Pressure off and Timer is acting Bizarre


Background- Deep Well in FLorida, 7 zones but 8 valves (not sure which two valves are connected) I have a Rainbird ESP modular contoller. I have checked all the sprinklers and replaced all that I thought were damaged and/or leaking (around 25 sprinkler heads). Checked the valves and they seem to be ok. I did walk the perimeter of the house where I would assume the pipes are running and checked for any soggy areas (looking for pipe leak) but no luck.


Pressure on all zones seems to be less than normal, I say this as I can tell by the dry spots in the lawn etc.
The first zone to activate now pops up and down (like gasping for air) and when does stop heads are only out half way and they are barely spraying.
The rainbird has three programs A B and C. I initially started on program a but i noticed a while ago that for that zone 1 the time changed to 0 hour and 3 minutes and zone 1 was not actually coming on. i tried to change the time for that zone but it kept holding onto the 0 hour and would go from 1 to 9 minutes then back to 1. So after getting frustrated I created program b which was identical to program a but at least I could set zone 1 for 15-20 minutes. Yesterday after testing all the valves i noticed prog b for zone 1 has the same 0 hour 3 mintues thing ( i do not know how this is happeninng) so i went to program c and started all over _now my issue is that today is our scheduled watering day and they came on correctly and cycled through but the cycle started over again- good thing today is a holiday as im positive that would be running all day ( and i would get a nice pricey ticket from the city due to water restrictions) . Oh by the way when i noticed program a was funky i believe is when i noticed the pressure was off.

can the two be related? can the timer have an effect on the pump?

not sure what the issue is or what to do here. i see that i can reset the timer back to original but honeslty im kind of scared to touch that thing.

any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 371

Location: Central Minnesota


Saturday, September 8th 2012, 9:55am

I would reset the controller first. Unplug, remove battery, and push reset. Simplify your programming for purposes of trouble shooting. Use only program A with one start time, etc.
The only way the controller could affect pressure is if you had multiple start times (programs trying to run simaltaneously). I don't know if the ESP stacks programs, or runs them simaltaneously.


New Member

Posts: 5

Location: Albuquerque, NM


Monday, September 10th 2012, 1:06am

Could be a master valve problem

Not sure what is up with the 0 hour 3 minutes on the timer...
The low pressure on all zones could be due to a faulty diaphragm in a master valve (especially since you have a valve that seems to be "extra"). It could also be due to a clogged filter on the line coming from your pump. Another possibility is that you have a leak in the pipe coming up from your pump. If you have a pressure activated system this problem would be fairly obvious since the pump would run all of the time. If you have a pump start on your timer, the pump will only turn on when the controller comes on, in this case you could have a leak and not be aware of it.
The cycle repeating itself after the first watering is usually due to a second start time being programmed (either on the same program or on a different program). Remember that a start time is used to start all zones sequentially. IE, if zones 1, 2, and 5 have run times set on program A, when you start program A it will run zones 1, 2 and 5 one after the other. START TIME 2 IS NOT MEANT TO START ZONE 2, IT WILL WATER THE ENTIRE PROGRAM AGAIN!


New Member

Posts: 5

Location: Albuquerque, NM


Monday, September 10th 2012, 1:08am


Just to clarify the "leak in the pipe coming up from your pump"-I mean inside the well casing. I actually had this happen on my system. The pipe split, when the system would run much of the water would just fall back down to the bottom of the well.

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