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Starting Member


Thursday, April 26th 2012, 9:55am

General troubleshooting for an older, existing system

Hey all!

Bought a home with an existing irrigation system that has not been well maintained and I have a few questions.

1 - The system has 8 zones, so does this mean it has 8 boxes in the yard somewhere, each containing a valve and solenoid, or is there just 1 master box? Thing is, I have to locate them, as they cannot be seen. (I assume they're buried) Do I buy a metal detector? Poke the grass with a metal rod?

2 - Zone 1 never turns off, it remains on while the system cycles through the other zones. I assume I need to replace the valve/solenoid for that zone? (once I find it!)

3 - If I plan on abandoning a zone because I'm taking out the grass in that area, is it ok to simply turn that zone off at the control box? Or should I remove it? (or maybe just cut & plug the pvc at the valve?) Doing so is more effort now, obviously, but I figured I might save myself a future headache.




Posts: 2,307

Location: USA


Thursday, April 26th 2012, 2:09pm

The valves could be anywhere. Could be any combination of valve boxes. I doubt there's just one box but there could be two or three. Or there could be 8.

You need to hire a guy with a wire locator. Or rent one and try it yourself. It's not always easy to find the valves using a wire locator. Sometimes it's a nightmare. It definetly takes practice.

The locator will trace the wires from the controller to the valves.

Yes it sounds like there's a problem with valve number 1 or you have it hooked up to the master valve teminal at the controller. Could be crossed wiring with the master valve somewhere in the field as well.

If you abandon the zone there's no problem just leaving the valve in place. You will definetly want to disconnect the wire from the controller though. If it'll give you peace of mine just go ahead and cap it off.

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