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Saturday, January 14th 2017, 11:11pm

Rainbird ESP-M Controller Product Support - 'MV ERR' Alert

My residential garden irrigation which was professionally installed in 2010 has stopped working. The Rainbird ESP-M Controller is indicating the 'MV ERR' alert. I have replaced the solenoid (new coil and diaphragm) and am still receiving the master valve error.

The coil is receiving power (checked with multimeter and can be heard humming). When the MV wire is disconnected from the controller the MV error does not trigger when a watering cycle starts (Alert doesn't trigger but gardens do not any receive water).

Controller Model: ESP-M
Datecode: 18FE10-1

The date code on the controller is pre the 04JUL2007 faulty controller recall.

Any assistance to troubleshoot what may be causing the problem would be greatly appreciated.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,277

Location: Metro NYC


Wednesday, January 18th 2017, 3:24pm

You should be checking resistance, in case there is a wiring short. You can also try swapping valve solenoids to see if that makes a difference.




Saturday, January 21st 2017, 12:30am

Issue Resolved

Fix - Summary
Master valve (MV) solenoid coil required replacing.

Fix - Detailed
I went back and conducted more thorough troubleshooting with a multi-meter. Whilst conducting this testing i realized that the solenoid that i believed was the MV was actually zone 2. I then started digging and followed the pvc piping and located the MV which was buried under under approx 7cm (2.5In) of buffalo grass.

My reticulation was installed when i purchased a house & land package. The landscapers who did the installation were very dodgy/shonky, eg laying pvc piping around a skip bin instead of moving the bin resulting in the piping running deep inside my neighbours property. I suspect burying the MV was another of their shortcuts.

Reticulation back to working condition. I previously had zero knowledge on the topic of electronic reticulation. Conducted quick costing for professional support and identified Perth Western Australia rates appeared to be around $55 AUD per hour. I suspect i would have spent four hours on what would have been a quick fix for a professional.

Select a reputable professional to conduct your initial install. Reticulation supply stores may charge 3x what parts but can be purchased for online but the face to face knowledge and advice is invaluable and well worth the money.

Websites that assisted:

Thanks for your help Wet Boots :thumbup:




Monday, March 20th 2017, 2:38pm

Error Codes

That video was great - wound up being that my lines coming into the box were loose. When I placed the multimeter prongs on the wiring, everything worked. Just tightened the wires.

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