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Wednesday, September 6th 2017, 12:43pm

Irritrol 12 zone acting strange.. help, pls!

Hello to All-

I inherited this controller at a property that I bought last year. Everything worked fine until last week.

I have newly planted plants that need water about every 1-3 days, so I need to get this issue fixed and my irrigation guy has new install projects going so that he is booked for the next two weeks.

I understand fully how to use the controller because it is identical to the controller from my previous house of five years.

Here is the problem:

Zones 1-11 do not emit ANY water. Zone 12 will emit water and if I manually turn on zone 1 along with zone 12 then both of them will work simultaneously. Otherwise, the controller is broken.

I've checked all of my zones and none of them is stuck open. Also, I do not have a master valve.

Any recommendations?

mrfixit

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Posts: 1,994

Location: USA

2

Wednesday, September 6th 2017, 2:01pm

I recommend you call another guy. I've never made one of my customers wait 2 weeks if they're system wont come on. Not even 1 week. I make them a priority. It's probably something simple. It's impossible to tell from here what's happening. Especially during the summer when it doesn't get dark til after 7. There's always an extra hour somewhere.

What you're describing isn't a usual complaint about one valve not working unless you turn another one on manually. Usually when a whole batch of sprinklers stop working it's the common wire or someone's turned off the water to that section. Since you can turn it on manually the water is on.

You said you have an Irritrol controller. If it's a Raindial I've seen those things do all kinds of whacky things.
Check all the wire connections. If you have a multimeter you can check for continuity to see if the common wire is open.

3

Wednesday, September 6th 2017, 4:17pm

RE: Irritrol 12 zone acting strange.. help, pls!

Hello to All-

I inherited this controller at a property that I bought last year. Everything worked fine until last week.

I have newly planted plants that need water about every 1-3 days, so I need to get this issue fixed and my irrigation guy has new install projects going so that he is booked for the next two weeks.

I understand fully how to use the controller because it is identical to the controller from my previous house of five years.

Here is the problem:

Zones 1-11 do not emit ANY water. Zone 12 will emit water and if I manually turn on zone 1 along with zone 12 then both of them will work simultaneously. Otherwise, the controller is broken.

I've checked all of my zones and none of them is stuck open. Also, I do not have a master valve.

Any recommendations?


Update:
I see now that the other zones will turn on (although in a diminished capacity) as long as zone 12 is running simultaneously.

Does this mean anything to you?

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,994

Location: USA

4

Wednesday, September 6th 2017, 8:08pm

Are you sure zone 12 isn't a master valve?

5

Friday, September 8th 2017, 12:58pm

Are you sure zone 12 isn't a master valve?


I'm certain. We recently added zone 12.

Starting to think that zone 12 is stuck open.

6

Wednesday, September 13th 2017, 12:47pm

Are you sure zone 12 isn't a master valve?


I'm certain. We recently added zone 12.

Starting to think that zone 12 is stuck open.


Absolutely certain that I have no master valve.

Update: Checked the diaphragm for zone 12 and found nothing.

Now zone 12 will not put out water, but the solenoid does turn and water dribbles out of the emitters (not enough pressure to pop up the heads).

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,994

Location: USA

7

Wednesday, September 13th 2017, 1:25pm

Maybe the valve was installed backwards.

8

Monday, September 18th 2017, 9:48am

Maybe the valve was installed backwards.


Which valve do you think might have been installed backwards?

Update on 9-18: I am able to get water to emit from all of my zones, but the pressure is so low that most sprinkler heads will not pop up and the water just dribbles out the top of the heads.

This means that my system is non-functional because I need the water to spray the grass. However, it is another piece to this puzzle.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,994

Location: USA

9

Monday, September 18th 2017, 12:15pm

Ok, I've found over the years that whatever the homeowner tells me is almost always not correct.
So I'm running with the idea that zone 12 has nothing to do with it.
Look to see if the guy didn't turn the shut off valve back on all the way after he installed zone 12. Is the shut off very old? Maybe it broke. Also check the water meter to make sure it's on all the way.
Also look for a pressure regulator that may have broke causing low pressure in all the valves.

10

Monday, September 18th 2017, 1:46pm

Ok, I've found over the years that whatever the homeowner tells me is almost always not correct.
So I'm running with the idea that zone 12 has nothing to do with it.
Look to see if the guy didn't turn the shut off valve back on all the way after he installed zone 12. Is the shut off very old? Maybe it broke. Also check the water meter to make sure it's on all the way.
Also look for a pressure regulator that may have broke causing low pressure in all the valves.


You were right about some things... and I'm still looking for the solution...

Here's what I found out today (with the help of a licensed irrigation professional):

Zone 12 WAS wired as a separate zone. That wire was the master valve wire. That is because my house has the ability to switch from city water to well water for the irrigation system.

When we use well water, then the pressure is lower and we do not need the master valve because the line is constantly charged with water.

When we use city water, then we have to have the master valve, which means that when we are on city water that zone 12 cannot be separated and it must be tied to zone 1 (zone 1 and zone 12 are right next to each other).

We switched back to city water and found that we have water and the correct pressure in all zones (the well water will have to be fixed another day).

HOWEVER, zone 1 still lacks (even on city water) enough pressure to spray water more than about 5 feet.

The strange thing is that zone 1 has the correct pressure when the master valve is turned on and we turn on zone 1 manually using the bleeder valve.

Thanks for your patience!

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