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Tuesday, September 13th 2016, 11:06am

No zones are working manually or at control box!

I recently replaced a solenoid as the wire snapped when I was turning on manually. Since the replacement, I have been unable to get any of the zones to work either manually or at the controller. I went around and tried to turn on other valves manually and none are working. I've still got power at the controller and the fuse is fine (did continuity test). I read about 'master valves' and wondered if I turned it off accidentally when I was trying to test the others manually.
Does the master valve look like the other valves, with a solenoid and valve etc or are you talking about the main valve at the road???
I have the cut off valve at the road and then I have a valve/solenoid a few feet after it, is that the master valve??? It appears none of the other valves are getting water when this one is turned off manually (I recently was checking the connection on all of them and don't remember if it was originally manually turned on or not, but it's off now). Also, when I turn on this very first (master?) valve from the road manually I can hear water going through, but it doesn't seem to be giving enough pressure to the other areas to allow the sprinklers to work. With this first valve turned on manually, I can get a little water to the other valves but not enough to get the sprinklers to spray.

Sorry if that is super lengthy and confusing, but any help is GREATLY appreciated!




Tuesday, September 13th 2016, 11:50am

Did you turn off the water supply when you replaced the solenoid?


Tuesday, September 13th 2016, 12:14pm

I turned off the main water supply to the sprinklers close to the road and then turned it back on once I finished with the solenoid. The one I turned off is the big valve and it has a faucet type gate valve, just like the faucet that you connect the garden hose to.



Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Tuesday, September 13th 2016, 1:16pm

It could be that the gate valve broke in the off position. Older valves will do this.
It's happened to me a few times.
I've been able to unscrew the top half of the gate valve and see what's up. Either the stem came off so the gate is stuck in the off position or it broke off.
I've been able to get the water back on without replacing the gate valve but it would need replacing if you plan on using it again because the same thing will happen next time you use it.
It's either that or the master valve need attention. Maybe you turned the flow control off.


Tuesday, September 13th 2016, 1:33pm

Thanks for the great input Mr. Fixit. I'll definitely check the gate on the faucet. I actually replaced the same one about 8 years ago and should have used a ball valve, but didn't think about it at the time.
Is the master valve one that also looks like a regular valve and has a solenoid on it?
The flow control issue sounds very likely, but I'm a bit unfamiliar with the what exactly the master valve is.
Thanks again!



Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Tuesday, September 13th 2016, 4:23pm

I'm a little bit confused about the faucet being a gate valve.

Yes tha mater valve has a solenoid and wires.


Wednesday, September 14th 2016, 9:31am

Sorry for the confusion. The main water line that goes to the sprinklers has a gate valve that is used to turn the water off and on to the sprinklers.
Last night I went and turned the water on at the master valve (the first one past the gate valve), and while I did get SOME water to the other zones, I did not get nearly enough to make the sprinklers work properly... just a trickle at the other zones.

The master valve was definitely pushing water through to the rest of the system, but clearly not enough.

I'm wondering if the main gate valve isn't fully opening or if the master valve is not functioning properly. Any way to test them without just replacing?
For the gate valve, I can definitely turn if off, but can't tell if it is opening just a bit or fully.

Any recommendations? And I really appreciate your help, it helps a LOT!



Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Wednesday, September 14th 2016, 3:29pm

You could try taking the solenoid all the way off and taking out the bleeder screw. That might or might not turn on a malfunctioning valve.
It depends on what's wrong with it. What model valve is it?

You could take the valve apart. Remove the bonnet. Take the diaphragm and spring out. Put the bonnet back on and turn the water back on. It would make a watery mess but you'd know if you had flow. Make sure you have a downstream valve on so you can see if it's working when you do this. You should be able to hear the flow.


Saturday, September 17th 2016, 2:50pm


Ok. I have confirmed that I have 4 zones and a master valve. I took my meter and checked all 5 solenoid outside for continuity and all were ok. I also ran all the zones manually at the controller and got proper voltage on all. The only thing that didn't work was trying to do continuity on the master valve and common where I got no voltage. All others had good continuity.
I still can't get any of the zones to work manually at the solenoid or at the controller.
Also, I've turned zones on at the controller and the MV does get the same voltage as the active zone, BUT when I physically go to the MV while manually running I get NO voltage.
I'm guessing the MV problem noted above is important, but I don't know what to do to try to fix it.
Can someone let me know what the next step is for me in fixing the problem?
Much appreciated in advance!

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mikeybarratt" (Sep 17th 2016, 3:43pm)



Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Saturday, September 17th 2016, 7:07pm

You originally stated that when you turned the master valve on manually at the valve there isn't enough flow to operate the valves.
So forget everything i've said up to this point.
Now you're saying there's a broken or loose wire somewhere between the controller and the valve. So you'll have to look around for a bad splice somewhere or maybe you cut the wire in half digging. Maybe the wire's loose that the m/v-pump terminal or the common wire.
If you're unable to find where the wires broken you can either see if there's a spare wire leading to the master valve or replace the wire from the controller to the master valve or find the fault with a wire/valve locator.

When you turned the master valve on manually did you have one of the zone valves on either manually or via the controller? Maybe give that a go and see if the sprinklers come on.
If you didn't have a zone valve on that would explain why it didn't sound like there was enough flow.

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