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EZ_C

New Member

1

Saturday, May 20th 2017, 8:39am

System will not turn on

My system was installed by a previous owner and has worked fine in my 3 years here.

However, this spring I have been unable to get it to turn on from the control panel.

I have done the following:
- Verified the main is turned on
- Gone to a zone valve and manually turned on the system by turning the solenoid - that zone came on.
- Replaced the solenoid on the same valve.
- Replaced the control panel.

I am guessing this has something to do with the low voltage wiring?
I did have a mole in my yard in the late winter/early spring. I'm wondering if lines could have been severed.

Since this system was installed prior to my ownership, I do not know where all 4 zone valves are. I've only been able to locate 2 of them, one of which is a zone I do not use.

So a few questions:

1) What further diagnostics can I do? I am mechanically inclined but not so strong with electric/low voltage. I have a volt meter and can probably figure out how to use it properly! (hah).

2) If the lines are indeed severed from animal or digging, etc, would that likely effect ALL ZONES? Is it typical for wiring to be run in series or is wiring run separately to each zone? (ie: if my zone 1 wires were cut, would that effect the other 3?)

3) How can I trace out these lines if they are indeed cut? Additionally, this should hopefully help me find the other zone valves. Is there something I can do as a home owner to locate or is it better left to professionals?
I have found those devices that will make the solenoid chatter, but that wont do me any good no signal is getting there.

Any other thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated.

BackflowInspector

Supreme Member

Posts: 480

Location: Houston, Texas

2

Saturday, May 20th 2017, 9:55am

I will not cover all the questions as I pop in and out.
But if the backflow preventer is in the open position, the water source is open, and you have water at the irrigation zone, valve, station, the most vulnerable part of the electrical system in my humble opinion is the rain sensor connection. Lets think about the function of the rain sensor. Stop the system from coming on. Kill the system. NO water.
If the wire gets cut to the rain sensor, the system is dead.

I would Check for a rain sensor close to the timer. It may be wired into the timer or the contractor/homeowner may have connected to the rain sensor just outside the timer.

This is a good place to start.
:thumbup: :thumbsup:
LI0006121, BPAT0011021, CI0009500

EZ_C

New Member

3

Saturday, May 20th 2017, 10:18am

I will not cover all the questions as I pop in and out.
But if the backflow preventer is in the open position, the water source is open, and you have water at the irrigation zone, valve, station, the most vulnerable part of the electrical system in my humble opinion is the rain sensor connection. Lets think about the function of the rain sensor. Stop the system from coming on. Kill the system. NO water.
If the wire gets cut to the rain sensor, the system is dead.

I would Check for a rain sensor close to the timer. It may be wired into the timer or the contractor/homeowner may have connected to the rain sensor just outside the timer.

This is a good place to start.




So the short reply is that I tinkered (again) with the sensor and I've gotten it to turn on. Thanks for making re-look at this!

I failed to mention in my initial post that I also suspected the sensor to be an issue and investigated. I removed the adjustable portion of the sensor before to see if it would help and it did not.
Then I just disconnected the wiring altogether thinking that would just remove it as a variable in how the system operates - perhaps that was incorrect thinking.

Regardless, looked at the connections from the sensor and the control wiring and noted a little corrosion. I cut an inch off each end and reconnected. Still nothing. Then I again removed the adjustable portion of the sensor itself and then it turned on. So something must be wrong with the sensor itself.


Here is where I am going to get really confused.

My old control panel did not have any landing spot for a rain sensor, yet the sensor still operated correctly. I found this out when I replaced the control panel. There were only 4 wires leaving the panel, one for each zone. The new panel has a dedicated spot for a rain sensor but I did not have a wire for it, so none is connected.
Yet somehow the sensor is still effecting the system and I have no idea how.

Any thoughts??

BackflowInspector

Supreme Member

Posts: 480

Location: Houston, Texas

4

Saturday, May 20th 2017, 4:11pm

Glad you got it working for now.
I have a couple of thoughts on it.
One, Sometimes there is a dedicated jumper wire that is in place when you buy a timer. When you install a rain sensor to the timer, you are supposed to discard or disconnect the jumper wire for the sensor to become an active part of the system.
If this is the on a dedicated sensor location at the timer and you disconnect the rain sensor, you would need to re connect or reinsert a form of a jumper wire to connect to each of the rain sensor posts at the timer. If not the sprinklers will not function. This is probably the case with most of the timers over the last 10 years or so. The new ones may not have this type of activation.

I would either look at all of the connections to the rain sensor and make sure the wire is good all the way through. Also the sensor may be wet and need some time to dry out.

If you still have issues you can always buy a new sensor and put one in. They are pretty cheap. Depending on the age of the timer you may need to use the same brand of the sensor as the timer.

Happy to Help with out getting too technical unless needed. There are much better guys on the forum at explaining that stuff than I am.

:thumbsup:
:thumbup: :thumbsup:
LI0006121, BPAT0011021, CI0009500

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