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firefightergw
02-18-2006, 03:39 PM
I've got a customer that keeps blowing a fuse in his RainBird controller. When I go out there I replace the fuse and hook-up my ohm meter to each one of the zone wires everything checks out OK. Anyone ever run across this? Does anyone have any ideas why this continues to happen?

I would suspect that there are wires that short out after the ground becomes saturated with water and by the time I get out there the ground has dried enough to eleviate the problem. I don't know?

Wet_Boots
02-18-2006, 03:47 PM
Solenoids can also fail after they're energized a while and heat up a bit. If the controller is giving you an error message specific to a particular zone, try replacing that zone's solenoid. Or, using the multimeter in its AC Current mode, check through the zones and see if one of them has a higher current draw than normal.

PurpHaze
02-18-2006, 04:57 PM
Try this thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=125146&highlight=Rainbird+fuse

It dealt with a Rainbird ESP controller and may be of help.

PurpHaze
02-18-2006, 05:05 PM
You also might try: http://rainbird.com/contractor/literature/controllers.htm

All of their controller operating manuals are available online.

firefightergw
02-18-2006, 05:23 PM
Solenoids can also fail after they're energized a while and heat up a bit. If the controller is giving you an error message specific to a particular zone, try replacing that zone's solenoid. Or, using the multimeter in its AC Current mode, check through the zones and see if one of them has a higher current draw than normal.

I'll try the AC Current mode and see what I come up with. PurpHaze, thanks for the thread. If I don't come up with any high draws from the AC Current mode, I will shut of the water and see if I can get a solenoid from any of the zones to blow the fuse. This controller does not give me what zone caused the blown fuse.

Thanks for the input.

BSME
02-18-2006, 05:52 PM
it's almost always the solenoid for me...

this is the routine I usually try

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=73467&highlight=bsme

I didn't even know there was a homeowner assistance forum... i'll have to start checking that out

sps2868
02-20-2006, 01:13 AM
I'll try the AC Current mode and see what I come up with. PurpHaze, thanks for the thread. If I don't come up with any high draws from the AC Current mode, I will shut of the water and see if I can get a solenoid from any of the zones to blow the fuse. This controller does not give me what zone caused the blown fuse.

Thanks for the input.


When you first put in the new fuse pay close attention to the display it should flash a zone # and a time display that will tell you that it failed on that particular zone... If this fails to solve the problem get a really good digital volt meter and test all the solenoids for resistence starting at the clock check each solenoid then go to the valve boxes and check them directly by unsplicing them, also have a brand new solenoid with you so you can check what they really should be reading. This should solve the problem. BTW don't forget to charge for all of your time, and maybe take a class in low-voltage wiring or a class that shows hows to use the voltmeter properly. Their may not be a better tool in your tool box than a really good electronic voltmeter..

I see this issue alot in my area because the contractor who worked the area before me would have this problem but unable to figure out which solenoid was causing the issue would just replace the fuse w/ a 10amp fuse and the problem was solved... Now years have gone by and clocks are starting to fry all because he installed his system with regular household wirenuts (no silicone at all).
:cry:

Wet_Boots
02-20-2006, 11:06 AM
Boy, you have to wonder how those old sprinkler systems, the ones that were installed before the waterproof wirenuts were invented, ever managed to survive. :p

PurpHaze
02-20-2006, 11:18 AM
Boy, you have to wonder how those old sprinkler systems, the ones that were installed before the waterproof wirenuts were invented, ever managed to survive. :p

I occasionally run into wire-nutted-only splices that are still working fine. :hammerhead:

koster_irrigation
02-20-2006, 10:22 PM
Get a progressive station master pro

bicmudpuppy
02-20-2006, 11:12 PM
Boy, you have to wonder how those old sprinkler systems, the ones that were installed before the waterproof wirenuts were invented, ever managed to survive. :p
Blue Pooky anyone? :) I always liked the copper crimp, welded pots! Oh, you want to be able to take it apart? Didn't you get it right the first time? Sometimes I think convenience is a nice modern way to spell amature.

Instant Rain
03-08-2006, 10:18 PM
Its been awhile since i last visited. it may be a little late for this particular problem. when a controller is blowing fuses, after looking at the ohms on each station to make sure you don't have a short it might be a good idea to see how many stations the home owner is running at once and how many valves are coming on at once. the inrush current double the current after inrush. another thing that might be going on is back emf. when an electromagnetic field is collapses a voltage spike travels back through the wires. In a 24 volt system these spikes can reach up to 200volts. most irrigation controllers are setup to handle what ever back emf a solenoid makes but if they are not functioning properly the back voltage can blow fuses.

SprinklerGuy
03-09-2006, 12:15 AM
you said: spell amature.

And I think amature is an amateur way to spell amateur...kidding of course!
;)

bicmudpuppy
03-09-2006, 03:09 AM
you said: spell amature.

And I think amature is an amateur way to spell amateur...kidding of course!
;)
LOL, I caught that after it was to late to edit :) Hate it when I don't spell check :)

Grassmechanic
03-09-2006, 10:18 AM
Blue Pooky anyone? :) I always liked the copper crimp, welded pots! Oh, you want to be able to take it apart? Didn't you get it right the first time? Sometimes I think convenience is a nice modern way to spell amature.
I still have some Snap-Tites laying around in the garage. I'll donate them to the National Irrigation Museum.:laugh: