You are not logged in.

brenande

Unregistered

1

Wednesday, July 9th 2014, 12:45pm

multiple zones get voltage, but don't turn on

I have an 8 zone system with a Toro controller. Zones 1 and 2 are in one valve box, 3,4,5 in another, and 6,7,8 in a third box (at least I'm 90% sure that is how it's setup). I haven't had to use the system much for the season due to the unending rain. But, now it's not working, at least not all of it. I've done some troubleshooting. Here is the situation.

At first nothing would come on. Using my voltmeter I could see voltages going to the zone I would turn on (at the control panel). Did some reason online, did some more checking with the ohm meter and such. Along the way, I noticed that if I turn on zone 1, zones 6,7,8 would also have voltage (~24v). Didn't have anymore time to work on it.

Today, I was reading some more and came across someone saying to manually turn on the master solenoid (even though it was getting voltage at the control panel). So, I did that manually at the valve, and then turned on zone 1 at the panel. Water came out of the heads! But, I tried 6,7,8 and no water came out. If I turn on zone 6, zones 6,7,8 would have voltage, but no water. If I turn on zone 1 or 2, then zones 6,7,8 have voltage (didn't try 3,4,5). If I turn off all the zones, then zones 1-5 read 0 volts, but 6,7,8 and master show 1.7 volts. Weird.

I find it strange that zones 6,7,8 don't turn on when there is voltage to all three of them, but I also don't understand how all of this works..

The system worked earlier in the spring when I turned it on, but haven't used it much since due to the steady rain. I haven't done any digging or anything near where there would be wires.

The weather is starting to dry up and so is my lawn! Any tips?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,064

Location: Metro NYC

2

Wednesday, July 9th 2014, 1:03pm

Verify that the valves work mechanically by manually operating them. You might even take the controller out of the picture by disconnecting the common wire(s)

Take resistance measurements for every zone, looking for 20-60 ohms resistance, indicating a good solenoid coil.

You can try temporarily swapping zone wires at the controller, too.

brenande

New Member

3

Wednesday, July 9th 2014, 9:14pm

Latest update..

On the panel, if I use the ohm meter setting and touch common and a zone, zones 1-5 get about 26 ohms, and zones 6-8 and master get a "1" (probably same as infinity).

I dug up the box for zones 6-8 (it is buried under sod, *sigh*) and did some testing there as well. I took off the wire nuts for all of the connections. I touched the ohm meter from the common (they were still all connected) to each of the other wires and got about 26 ohms. But no voltage was to be read, even though I had zone 6 on. I can manually turn on the solenoid and the water flows out of the heads.

More strange behavior.. If on the panel I remove the wires for zones 6,7,8 and master and turn on zone 6, zone 6 will get 24volts (on the terminal), but 7,8 and master get about 10 volts (on the terminal). The wires themselves have no voltage. Zones 1-5 are 0 volts.

To recap:


Turning on zone 1 gives voltage to zones 1,6,7,8, but only zone 1 actually sprays water.
Zones 1-5 give readings of 26 ohms
Zones 6-8 and master give readings of infinity ohms at panel
Zones 6-8 (didn't try master) give 26 ohms at solenoid.
Voltage (24 volts) at panel (all zones), but no voltage at the solenoid on zones 6-8.


Does this mean I have a broken common? Ugh.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "brenande" (Jul 9th 2014, 9:23pm)


irrigirl

Unregistered

4

Thursday, July 10th 2014, 12:54pm

troubleshooting

Checking for 24 volts AC (power supplied by transformer):
1) Set meter to AC
2) Set range 25-150
3) Measure the volts at the two 24vac screws
4) Activate station (if possible) and put black probe to common, put red to each station, one at a time. (Checking for distribution of power)
**Voltage should be over 22 volts
These numbers are kind of wacky. I suppose you could have a broken common... Somehow your power isnt getting to the valves... Sounds like bad solenoids or bad solenoid wires?? Try the tests again... These are ohms/voltage steps from my company:

CHECKING VOLTAGE/OHMS
Checking for 24 volts AC (power supplied by transformer):
1) Set meter to AC
2) Set range 25-150
3) Measure the volts at the two 24vac screws
4) Activate station (if possible) and put black probe to common, put red to each station, one at a time. (Checking for distribution of power)
**Voltage should be over 22 volts

Checking solenoids and field wires
1) Set meter to OHMs
2) Set range to 200
3) Remove common wire
4) Hold tip of black probe to common wire
5) Touch red probe to each station screw
**Short circuit/Bad solenoid/Wire=0-12 ohms
**12-60 ohms Good solenoid
**High numbers=corroded wire
**200+ common broken

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 364

Location: Central Minnesota

5

Monday, July 14th 2014, 7:48pm

Yes, You have a broken common between zone 5 valve and zone 6 valve. Chances are your wiring feeding zones 6-8 have what we call a ground fault, contributing to the stray voltage. Find and repair the bad wiring, and your problems should disappear.

brenande

New Member

6

Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 7:20am

Figured it out... in another valve box there are a bunch of splices for zones 6-8 and the master. There was a loose connection there with the common.

Rate this thread