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gohogs

New Member

1

Wednesday, July 26th 2017, 2:57pm

Have to open faucet for irrigation to run

Good afternoon,

New construction - moved in last year. Using a Rachio controller. Had the system winterized in early December.

This year, system hasn't worked correctly since I had it un-winterized in April. Would have to start each zone multiple times - sometimes 10 times - to get the sprinklers in that zone to pop up, whether I was using Rachio app or directly on the controller. Irrigation company finally said the controller had to be the issue so they installed a Rain Bird ESP-TM2 last week. He didn't test before he left and lo and behold I'm still having the same issue.

I was trying to troubleshoot and read about measuring my flow rate. Took a five gallon bucket out to the backflow preventer and turned on the faucet there. The water pressure knocked the bucket out of my hand so I started to turn off the faucet. Just before the water was completely turned off the zone that was supposed to be running popped up. I let it run for a few minutes, shut it off, and then tried to start that zone again from the app. It didn't start so I tried opening and closing the faucet again it worked. I can now repeat this any time one of the zones doesn't pop up.

I asked both the irrigation guy and the guy who winterized the system if they knew what could be wrong. Both said they had never heard of the problem but would ask around. That was last week and neither has called me back.

Do you guys have any ideas? I'd love to be able to schedule my irrigation and have it run all by itself! Pictures of the backflow device are at the links below (couldn't get them to attach to this message).

Thanks

http://imgur.com/zSioyD4
http://imgur.com/W0pigss

pass1

Active Member

Posts: 39

Location: east coast

2

Wednesday, July 26th 2017, 4:51pm

What is your static water pressure ?

pass1

Active Member

Posts: 39

Location: east coast

3

Wednesday, July 26th 2017, 4:52pm

Also, do you have a master valve

gohogs

New Member

4

Wednesday, July 26th 2017, 6:43pm

No master valve. I'm going to pick up a pressure gauge tomorrow so I'll post back with the pressure.

Also should have added that the irrigation has a separate meter, so I suppose that means it's a separate line.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,135

Location: Metro NYC

5

Thursday, July 27th 2017, 10:13am

Besides the water pressure, some details on the system wiring would be in order. The wiring distance between the controller and the valves, and the gauge of the wire used. Is there a spare conductor in the wiring bundle, one that all the zone valves have access to?

gohogs

New Member

6

Thursday, July 27th 2017, 10:50am

Thanks for your response. I'll respond back to your specific questions later today.

I am curious why you think the wiring could be the issue. Obviously not saying you are incorrect - I don't know anything about irrigation outside of what I've read on this site and few others. :) I'm asking because I think the problem has something to do with the BFD or the de-winterizing (springizing?) since the heads pop up when I open the faucet and then close it. Makes me think the signal is getting to the solenoids but there just isn't enough pressure there to pop up the heads.

It is interesting that when this started this spring I had the same problem with all zones. Since I've been doing the faucet workaround for the last week or so all but one zone are coming on every single time I start them. The one that isn't is the one that is closest to the BFD device, and even that one has come up every time I started it yesterday and today. Could be purely coincidence though I suppose.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,135

Location: Metro NYC

7

Thursday, July 27th 2017, 12:11pm

Just trust us and answer the questions. You will learn something.

pass1

Active Member

Posts: 39

Location: east coast

8

Thursday, July 27th 2017, 2:44pm

gohogs,
some of the requirements for a properly opening valve include 1. correct voltage at the controller 2. wire size (guage)
and distance from controller to valve and 3. static water pressure Thats kinda where i was heading with
the minimal info you provided

pass1

Active Member

Posts: 39

Location: east coast

9

Saturday, August 5th 2017, 1:12pm

Gohogs,

So, What did you find out or do? Certainly would like to know the outcome. :?:

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