You are not logged in.

Dear visitor, welcome to SPRINKLER TALK FORUM - You Got Questions, We've Got Answers. If this is your first visit here, please read the Help. It explains how this page works. You must be registered before you can use all the page's features. Please use the registration form, to register here or read more information about the registration process. If you are already registered, please login here.


Starting Member


Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 10:21am

Rain Bird RC-4Bi Help

Sprinkler was working fine three weeks ago. Checked breaker box and toggled GFI outlets in house/garage. The clock works fine and the timer advances in AUTO mode, but sprinklers do not work? Had the water utility company come out and verify that irrigation & house water supply are good to go. Any ideas? This is a Rain Bird RC-4Bi system.


Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 10:51am

Grab a multimeter Turn
your Multimeter to the proper VAC setting. Turn the problem zone on with the
manual start on the controller. Here we will say it is zone 1. Touch one lead
to the common and one lead to the zone 1 wire/screw. You should get around 24v.
Usually 22 to 28 works. If you get lower than 22 you have a problem.Try two zones. This will tell us if you have power coming from the box to the zones.

assume the voltage is good. Now let’s check the wires. We’ll check for
continuity, which is testing the ohms or resistance of the zone. Turn to the
Ohms setting. It might look like (Ω). Check your manual to be sure. This will
test for a short in the circuit. First, turn off the controller. You don’t want
to check resistance with a live circuit. Disconnect the zone wire. Place one lead on the common terminal
and one lead on the zone wire. Depending on the valve brand you should
get a reading from 20-60 ohms; every manufacture’s valves will have a slightly
different reading. Low signals indicate trouble with the solenoid. On the other
hand, any reading above 60 means you have a wiring problem, either stripped
insulation, nicked wire or bad connection.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,269

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, May 15th 2012, 11:26am

If the controller keeps time, and the rapid advance between stations works, the problem is likely in the field wiring

if the controller doesn't keep the time of day, it would cost far more to repair than to replace with a modern controller

Rate this thread