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1

Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 6:16pm

Just moved in and system won't come on

I bought my home about a year ago. It's a older home that was remodeled completely. The company that was selling the house didn't advertise it but there was a irrigation system apart of the home that I noticed doing one of the walk throughs. I had my inspector take a look at the system. The company had the water turned off for the winter but he said all the parts were there and functional and should work after turning the water back on.

I didn't use it any last year as I was away on business most of the time. I'm wanting to do some gardening this year, so I recently tried to turn the system on to test everything to make sure it works properly. The controller (Rainbird ESP - 8 ) works and I am able to program all the zones. Problem is none of the zones actually come on. The panel shows them as running but nothing happens.

I couldn't find the valves as the company that remodeled the home buried them about 5 inches below the ground. I dug up the line and followed it back to find the valves (thankfully it was only about 20 feet work of digging). There is no visible damage to the line after I dug it up. I manually opened each of the valves and everything works fine then (I was honestly surprised to find heads I didn't know were in the yard as I thought I had them all mapped). The only thing I noticed that was odd was that there's a gray wire that runs from the valves to some place I have yet to determine. It doesn't lead back to the control box. The wire looks like a flat version of a phone wire.

Admittedly I don't know too much about these systems but any help yall can provide would be appreciated. All the people at Lowes and Home Depot want to do is sell me a new controller for $150.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,080

Location: Metro NYC

2

Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 8:22pm

get yourself an inexpensive multimeter and check the system wiring for resistance - there's every chance the control wiring will show a lack of continuity

3

Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 9:00pm

I tried that actually

I forgot to mention I tried that already. I tested on each zone and couldn't get a reading at any zone when the system was running.

wsommariva

Supreme Member

Posts: 332

Location: Northern New Jersey

4

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 8:02am

Double check that you have the controller set up correctly.

Check the wires coming out of the controller with the meter

pokerh8r

Unregistered

5

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 11:01am

common sense

Rain sensor dumb dumb!

pokerh8r

Unregistered

6

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 11:05am

BTW, i was referring to wsommariva (the so called "Supreme Member") as the dumb dumb. Stop leading homeowners in the wrong direction!

pokerh8r

Unregistered

7

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 11:08am

I pretty much know everything there is to know about irrigation. Feel free to send any questions my way.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,080

Location: Metro NYC

8

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 12:14pm

RE: I tried that actually

I forgot to mention I tried that already. I tested on each zone and couldn't get a reading at any zone when the system was running.
With the system not running, you would take resistance measurements, touching one probe to the common wire, and the other probe to a zone wire. You want a reading somewhere around 50 ohms.

9

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 1:14pm

Im 99% sure either your rain sensor wire is cut or your rain sensor is shot. You should trace your rain sensor wire back and eliminate from the system and try testing again.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,080

Location: Metro NYC

10

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 9:34pm

Rain Sensor wire is actually clear-jacketed 2-conductor speaker wire, or at least it usually is. Check to see whether this wire is or isn't connected to the controller.

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