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Thursday, March 17th 2011, 1:32am

Controller or valves problems?

I have a 4 years old controller (orbit 57696) and it is working fine for years. This morning when I turned on station 1 (all 4 stations were on at the same time), tried station 2 (2 and 3 were on), turned on station 3 (2 and 3 were on again), turned on station 4 (2 and 3 were on as well).

I checked all the valves, opened and cleaned them thoroughly. Check the valves wiring everything seems ok. But the same problem still exists. So, I disconnected the wire of station 3 on the controller. Turned on station 3, this time station 2 and 3 were still on at the same time!

What's wrong?? Any solutions to solve this problems? Thanks in advance.




Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Thursday, March 17th 2011, 12:14pm

Is there a wire hooked up to the pump terminal?


Thursday, March 17th 2011, 6:51pm

Yes, I am using underground bored water.


Supreme Member

Posts: 493

Location: Seattle


Thursday, March 17th 2011, 8:14pm

Good job on the diagnosis.

If you have a multimeter you can test the AC power by touching the common port to the zone port while the zone is running. For example, if you turned on zone 1 and used your multimeter and saw that the rest of the zones were getting around 24V as the same as zone 1 then you have 100% verified that the problem is within the controller. Frankly I'm surprised all 4 valves cranked on from this controller without blowing the fuse. So it's possible the issue could be something else such as more wireing issues, master valve issue with stuck zones ( and or manually turned on from the winter) and more with further diagnosis

However I'm leaning to bet on the controller is gone kaput

Your problem is that your controller is Orbit!!!
You have a $20 dollar controller, of course it's going to fitz up.

Please upgrade to a normal professional controller- Hunter , Rain Bird , WeatherMatic , Irritrol


Friday, March 18th 2011, 9:53pm

This time I tried to swap station connection on the controller, station 1 to station 3 and station 2 to station 4. I still got the same result station 1 on (1,2,3,4 on), station 2 on (2,3 on), station 3 on (2,3 on).

So, this is the controller problem??


Supreme Member

Posts: 493

Location: Seattle


Friday, March 18th 2011, 10:25pm

Unfortunately that doesn't confirm that it's the controller, though in all probability it is
Do you have a multimeter? This would be the easiest and fastest

Though You can try one zone at a time.

Hook zone 1 to port 1 and take out the other 3 zone wires from the controller. Turn it on and see what turns on in your yard. Complete this for each zone, if only a single zone turns on each time then you have no fully confirmed thats its the controller. Try hooking up zone 1 wire to port 4 and turn on zone 1 from the controller, this will confirm it too. Basically the controller is sending power to all the zones at once.


Supreme Member

Posts: 482

Location: Houston, Texas


Sunday, March 20th 2011, 10:58am

Concur with Mitchco, Orbit timer no bueno!! :thumbsup:

You were lucky to get 3 years out of it.
:thumbup: :thumbsup:
LI0006121, BPAT0011021, CI0009500

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