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Saturday, May 21st 2016, 12:23pm

No water- I've done some troubleshooting

HI everyone. I have been using my sprinkler system fine and now I get nothing. I don't use a program. I just Manually Start and step through the zones a couple of times a week. Controller is Rainbird Esp-6Si with 6 active zones. I have checked transformer wiring and it is fine at 28 volts. Stepped through each zone and got 28 volts on the associated zone post. I can only fine the box for zone 5 and 6, but manually opened the valves( or solenoid..not sure which is correct) and there is water. What I don't know is whether or the wiring runs anywhere else after the controller before it is routed to each zone. I don't know what else it could be. I find it unlikely all 6 zone valves died at the same time.



Posts: 2,365

Location: USA


Saturday, May 21st 2016, 3:11pm

Was there any digging done recently that may have cut the wires?

It sounds like the common wire is cut in half.

I'd check the wire at the controller first. Pull that bottom panel off and see.

Then follow the wire where it exits the building if it does or where any exposeds wired are.

It's possibly a bad splice.

I'd say the problem is somewhere between the controll an the nearest valve.




Saturday, May 21st 2016, 3:31pm


I did do some digging a couple of weeks ago to fix a line and replace two heads, but it has worked since then. A bad common actually makes sense. The wiring from the controller goes into my crawlspace I think. I will have to get under there and see if I can figure out where they are going.I'm assuming I can check all the valves by reading from the common to the zone wire at the controller.




Saturday, May 21st 2016, 3:57pm

I went back out and they are magically working again. I will investigate a possible faulty ground. I have also noticed something attached to my rain gutters that looks like a rain sensor, but i don't see it at the controller. I would think manual start would override a rain sensor shutoff anyway.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,325

Location: Metro NYC


Sunday, May 22nd 2016, 8:37am

A rain sensor cut into the field wiring will override the controller.




Monday, May 23rd 2016, 11:39am

Yes. I meant to come back and update. I traced the wiring back from the rain sensor and it was overriding the controller. The common from the zones ran through the rain sensor and to the controller. I guess I just never tried running them after getting a good bit of rain so I never had the issue. I don't really feel the need for the rain sensor since I don't run an automatic program, but doesn't seem worth the trouble of taking it out.

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