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1

Tuesday, August 22nd 2017, 8:11pm

Oh, one more question. Supposing I ever figure out which wires in my controller actually belong to the wires that used to go to a rain sensor -- can I take my cut end, with the white and red wires, and hook them up to a new rain sensor? Or do rain sensors already have wires hooked up that I can't disconnect? Home Depot and Lowes around me don't carry any rain sensors so I can't check one out to see what the wiring looks like.

2

Tuesday, August 22nd 2017, 8:11pm

Please help me understand my Hunter Pro-C Wiring

Hello all, I've lurked a while and gotten some good information, but this is my first post. Long story coming -- but short story is I'm trying to figure out what the wires in my controller are from/for.

We bought our home a little over a year ago. Chicago western suburb area. Previous owners were elderly and I don't think kept up with too much maintenance, including the in ground irrigation system. End of last year the Irritrol controller in the garage stopped working. We had a local landscaping company come and install a new box -- they put in a Hunter Pro-C.

Our property has 7 zones:





This year I've begun thinking of swapping the controller out for a smart controller, mostly so the system behaves more intelligently regarding rain events. Before I attempt this though, I wanted to make sure I know what all the wires in my current setup are for.

Here's what the inside of my current Hunter Pro-C controller looks like:





In the bottom right, there are actually two separate bundles of wires that come up into the controller.

The larger bundle carries all the multicolored wires that plug into stations 1-7, as well as 1 white wire, which is plugged into "COM" at the very bottom -- common wire I'm assuming. This bundle also carries a black and a grey cable that are plugged into two separate terminals each marked "SEN", which is for a rain/weather sensor. There are also 3 unused wires that remain unstripped.

The smaller bundle has just two wires -- 1 white one, which is also plugged into "COM" at the bottom, and 1 red one, which is not attached to anything.

I'm trying to figure out what that red wire is for -- especially since the end is stripped, which makes me think it was used for something in the past, and is supposed to be plugged in somewhere.

This got me to looking around the outside of the house, where I found this cut wire bundle, with just a white and red cable inside. Next to it was a Rain Bird Rain Check shutoff sensor.





My simple brain says, small bundle with 1 white and 1 red wire -- and in the controller box there is a similar small bundle with 1 white and 1 red wire -- is it possible my controller is wrongly wired? And that inside it the 1 white COM wire and the 1 unattached red wire are actually supposed to go to SEN since the other end of the wire, that used to be attached to the rain sensor before it got cut, are the same white/red colors? I don't really care that there is no rain sensor at this time -- I'm just running the controller on BYPASS.

Then what are the black/grey wires that are currently in the SEN terminals for? I plugged both the black and the grey wires into one of the PCM modules and manually ran those stations, but no sprinklers popped up. Again, the black and grey wires come up in the same bundle as the rest of the multicolor wires that go to stations 1-7.

I called Rain Bird and asked them, is it possible that on the sensor end, the wire is white/red, but somehow by the time it gets to the controller, the wires are different colors. They said that sometimes with the old Rain Check sensor, the wires would go to the ? solenoids first, and then get spliced to the controller, and therefore might have different colors. This part was over my head.

The other question I have is, do I have a master valve, or how can I find out? In the bottom PCM module, the terminal for P/MV is empty. My water supply and RPZ are in the basement. Is the master valve usually something I can see? Here's what the equipment in my basement looks like.









I understand that blue box labeled "Munro Pump" is a booster pump. But the gray power cable that comes out from underneath it is UNPLUGGED ... 8| 8| . Is this supposed to be plugged in? Or put another way, does it make sense that my sprinklers still work even though this Munro Pump is unplugged? That sticker on the bottom right says "Multiple power sources" -- maybe there's another power source somewhere.


LOOOONG post. I appreciate any and all input anyone can provide.


Thanks!




Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,144

Location: Metro NYC

3

Wednesday, August 23rd 2017, 7:49am

Did you only deal with a landscaping company? It would seem that irrigation company named on the pump box sticker would be an obvious choice to contact.

Since the Pro-C controller has a switch to bypass a sensor, you can test the system without worries about a rain sensor. If that gets you nowhere, you check the wiring for continuity.

If the pump box is a simple pump relay, then it would have a wired connection to the controller.

4

Wednesday, August 23rd 2017, 11:37pm

Did you only deal with a landscaping company? It would seem that irrigation company named on the pump box sticker would be an obvious choice to contact.

Since the Pro-C controller has a switch to bypass a sensor, you can test the system without worries about a rain sensor. If that gets you nowhere, you check the wiring for continuity.

If the pump box is a simple pump relay, then it would have a wired connection to the controller.

Thanks for the reply. I called the company listed on the sticker. They want $130 for a service call to answer my questions. ;(

I may just install the smart controller with zones 1-7 this week, and not mess with the rain sensor. Part of the supposed benefit of this smart controller is its ability to integrate weather forecasts. Whether that is better than an actual rain sensor I guess is to be determined.

Maybe for next year's sprinkler startup I'll call that original company on the sticker and just pester the person that comes out with questions.

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 2,001

Location: USA

5

Thursday, August 24th 2017, 1:15am

[/quote] for next year's sprinkler startup I'll call that original company on the sticker and just pester the person that comes out with questions.[/quote]

That's funny. I have a story to go with that. I had a guy who would call me out once in a while. One day it was a simple job. Just a washer. He said while I was fixing it, you know I could have done that but why should I when I can just call you? Sooo, I charged the guy full price. I was going to give him a nice discount. I explained to him that's my minimum charge to come out and a service call is good for 1 hour before I charge more.
Well, he started calling me with tiny jobs and stood there with his watch. You have 20 minutes left he'd say, why don't you move this sprinkler over 4 inches. He called me like 3 times in a month and hovered over me with that watch making sure I worked an entire hour on nonsense items.
One day his nonsense wound up costing him more and when I handed him the bill he wasn't happy. I said, you did it to yourself.
He kept calling and I wouldn't return his calls after that. He finally gave up.

Anywho.. I wouldn't do business with a guy who's charging you 130 bucks just look at something. Personally I'd go out for free as long as it's a local job just to meet the new home owner and let him see I'm a pro and he can trust me. That's how you get customers for life.

Call around, he can't be the only guy. Look for someone who specializes in sprinklers.

6

Thursday, August 24th 2017, 1:18am

Thanks for the input. The problem is, I'm stuck between company A who installed it but wants the $130 for a visit, and company B who started up my sprinklers this year but won't give me input on the pump because they didn't install it.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 5,144

Location: Metro NYC

7

Thursday, August 24th 2017, 11:51am

As for the $130 charge, it might be worth it if you can't find anyone else who cares to take responsibility for a booster pump. What strikes me as curious, is that the system apparently been working without the booster pump, if the control box for the pump has no power.

Instead of throwing money at another controller for which you will wind up paying an annual subscription fee, take the time to understand what you already have and how it's all connected together. Use your eyes and your brain, and an inexpensive multimeter if need be, to learn how the dots are connected. A rain sensor will pull its weight, economically, in water usage saved, so get one installed in place of what you've apparently lost.

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