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zliminator
03-01-2007, 02:59 AM
I have a zone in the middle of a circular driveway that wasn't working. I cut the wires and cycled threw the zones and found voltage going to the valve when zone 4 was operating. (there was another valve for zone 4 because I saw another zone come on). So I figured it was a bad valve. After replacing the valve and reconnecting the wires, I found the valve not working when zone 4 came on. Oh crap, did I install a non-working valve? I cut the wires and got a separate 24v transformer and the valve worked perfectly. So now I'm thinking that since the timer only has 8 zones and this on should have been zone 9, that the original designer "doubled up" 2 valves on 1 zone and there's just not enough "umph" from the timer box. (I did see the new valve come on for just a second when zone 4 was calling). I also noticed the pressure to zone 4 go way down when zone 4 was calling and I manually opened the new valve. There is a cable which goes beside the pipe under the circle driveway which I'm going to cut into. My only hope is that I can double up on another zone which doesn't have as many heads and not loose pressure. I could put another box with more than 8 zones, but there's no way to get the wires to the valve under the driveway. (There probably wasn't anything wrong with the valve I replaced).

Dan

aric43085
03-01-2007, 03:06 AM
Most new controllers will support up to three valves (including master valve). What type of controller and valve are you using?

zliminator
03-01-2007, 03:15 AM
http://www.hampleman.com/TiffTerr.htm

Its an Irritrol valve and the controller is a Hunter.

Dan

bicmudpuppy
03-01-2007, 07:46 AM
That my friend is some serious pipe art. If you haven't burried that hole, fix the 3/4" reducer connection on the lateral. After having disturbed the soil around it, that joint is going to give way sometime in the near future. Replace the tee and use a 45 to get to line up the 3/4 line. Depending on the model of controller, you should have no problem firing two valves at once in your situation. You stated you had voltage when #4 runs, how much voltage? The point where this wire and zone 4 combine may be a bad splice.

PurpHaze
03-01-2007, 09:20 AM
As ARIC stated: Most newer types of controllers will fire multiple zones that are wired together. Just make sure that the zones are the same types of sprinklers or you'll have a major unbalanced precipitation problem.

On some of our large athletic field systems architects will double up two 2" valves on the same station number instead of installing a 3" valve and making the main laterals larger. This seems to be quite prevalent with LAs for some reason and there's good and bad aspects to it. The good is that if one valve goes out then only half of a zone is affected. The bad is that we have more wire and valves in the ground where something can go wrong.

As BRYAN stated: A good irrigation piping system is a lot lot a good wine and needs some breathing room. I've never been keen on installers that double back lateral lines through a valve box area.

Wet_Boots
03-01-2007, 09:51 AM
Rainscape East

Dirty Water
03-01-2007, 12:34 PM
And you guys got on my case last time I knocked Florida Irrigation.

That valve would have been replaced as last resort, and any good irrigation troubleshooter would know that.

Your burning your clients money.

SprinklerGuy
03-01-2007, 12:44 PM
Ut oh..............

zliminator
03-01-2007, 09:23 PM
That my friend is some serious pipe art. If you haven't burried that hole, fix the 3/4" reducer connection on the lateral. After having disturbed the soil around it, that joint is going to give way sometime in the near future. Replace the tee and use a 45 to get to line up the 3/4 line. Depending on the model of controller, you should have no problem firing two valves at once in your situation. You stated you had voltage when #4 runs, how much voltage? The point where this wire and zone 4 combine may be a bad splice.I measured 26 volts.

Dan

bicmudpuppy
03-01-2007, 11:35 PM
If you've got 26 volts, your solenoid should fire. If you put the solenoid back in the circuit, what voltage do you get? Try it again with a new, know good solenoid. IF the voltage drops down with the solenoid in circuit, I still think your chasing a ground fault or bad splice (bad splice would still be a fault). I would guess the drop to be down to around 8-10volts. time to locate the entire wire path, and a pulsar would be the easy way. Pot holing between the last known good point in the wire you can find and the valve would be the next step. I would find and check the wiring/splices at each valve between the controller and the non-working spot first.

zliminator
03-02-2007, 06:39 PM
Today I cut into the cable that went under the driveway and found four wires going to 4 other zones on the other side of the driveway. The valve in the island had been doubled up with one of the 4 zones and would not work for some reason. There was probably nothing wrong with the old valve. I found a wire nut missing from where the valve was connected so it was probably just grounding out. Oh well, I'm a hack, what can I say. So, here's what I'm going to do. Take one of the wires for the four zones, tie it to 24vac at the main timer box and use it for a 6 zone timer in the middle of the driveway. That way, I have 6 more zones that can run independently of the main timer. All I have to do is make sure that both timers are set to the current time and that either one doesn't run when the other is running so there's no loss in water pressure. Problem solved.

LCPullman
03-02-2007, 08:38 PM
I would guess the drop to be down to around 8-10volts.
I've run into valves that wouldn't fire even with 20 to 18 volts available when the station is on (thanks to a damaged wire).

Dirty Water
03-02-2007, 09:11 PM
Today I cut into the cable that went under the driveway and found four wires going to 4 other zones on the other side of the driveway. The valve in the island had been doubled up with one of the 4 zones and would not work for some reason. There was probably nothing wrong with the old valve. I found a wire nut missing from where the valve was connected so it was probably just grounding out. Oh well, I'm a hack, what can I say. So, here's what I'm going to do. Take one of the wires for the four zones, tie it to 24vac at the main timer box and use it for a 6 zone timer in the middle of the driveway. That way, I have 6 more zones that can run independently of the main timer. All I have to do is make sure that both timers are set to the current time and that either one doesn't run when the other is running so there's no loss in water pressure. Problem solved.

You are a hack. So, the valve was doubled up with another set of valves, there is a reason why it wouldn't open, probably couldn't get enough current under load, which would translate to a ground fault (IE nick).

And you want to install a 2nd timer? I don't think your fancy plan of running 24 volt through the currenty (possibly damaged) control wire to the timer will work well, as well as cause undue stress on the existing timers transformer.

zliminator
03-02-2007, 10:12 PM
I've got 4 wires to choose from, not including the common. The bad place was where it was tied with a wire nut (missing) at the valve. As far as undue stress, I could just install another transformer next to the current timer.

Wet_Boots
03-02-2007, 10:26 PM
A second transformer would give the kludge an air of legitimacy.

PurpHaze
03-02-2007, 10:27 PM
Why am I having such a hard time following this thread now? :)

Wet_Boots
03-02-2007, 10:48 PM
It's art, dude. Start with pipe art. Now bring in wiring art. Reminds me of the time I ran a new system (all new pipe, valves and heads) from an existing 120-VAC-output electromechanical controller. (there is a way to wire in a 24VAC stepdown transformer into the output wiring)

PurpHaze
03-03-2007, 10:31 AM
A second transformer would give the kludge an air of legitimacy.

OK... Now I'm awake and I still had to look this one up Boots. Nice choice of words. :laugh:

KLUDGE: a badly assembled collection of parts hastily assembled to serve some particular purpose.

Remote Pigtails
03-03-2007, 10:53 AM
OK... Now I'm awake and I still had to look this one up Boots. Nice choice of words. :laugh:

KLUDGE: a badly assembled collection of parts hastily assembled to serve some particular purpose.

I agree! what a great word. I'm going to use it ten times over the next week in order to make it a permanent part of my vocabulary.

PurpHaze
03-03-2007, 11:32 AM
I can see you addressing a customer on her irrigation problems: "Ma'am, I found the problem and it's a kludge that's creating all your uneven watering. We charge extra for repairing kludges." :laugh:

Remote Pigtails
03-03-2007, 12:02 PM
Nedd to find the flat fee rate on kludge repair. (that's two times now)

Hank Reardon
03-03-2007, 12:35 PM
<...adds "kludge" line item to QB Pro...>

Wet_Boots
03-03-2007, 01:25 PM
Of course, if you're MacGyver, it isn't a kludge. :) ~ Wikipedia on Kludge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kludge)

PurpHaze
03-03-2007, 02:41 PM
I was watching a program on History Channel last night and they mentioned "debug" as being originally coined in the 40's. Seems a firing control early "computer" had a moth get into the mechanisms and needed to be extracted. Hence, the word and common usage. :)

I can just see Jon taking some bug spray to his computers in his new job to debug them. :laugh:

Wet_Boots
03-03-2007, 05:21 PM
Now here is an example of a true kludge. Utility sink trap cleanout plug dies from old age, and poor access and corroded pipes point to leaving the trap in place, and trying to thread in a replacement cleanout plug. Of course, a replacement is about as easy to find as repair parts for an equally-old unbranded gate valve. The kludge is to find something with identical/close-enough threads to take the place of the old cleanout plug. A half-inch CxF union supplies that something, and a plastic plug completes the kludge. (and don't skimp on the teflon tape)
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/3302/drainkludgeir9.jpg

richgauci
03-04-2007, 03:54 AM
Just because your getting a reading of 24V at the valve doesn't mean your getting the proper current. You probably have a ground fault somewhere.

SprinklerGuy
03-04-2007, 10:16 AM
Keep in mind as you are reading this...

The correct pronunciation of KLUDGE is "klooodge" the u is a long u...

I use Kludge w/ my young clients..with my old ones I use
Rube Goldberg...

:)

PurpHaze
03-04-2007, 11:16 AM
I use Kludge w/ my young clients..with my old ones I use Rube Goldberg... :)

Rube and kludge kinda rhyme. :)

Remote Pigtails
03-04-2007, 11:52 AM
Keep in mind as you are reading this...

The correct pronunciation of KLUDGE is "klooodge" the u is a long u...

I use Kludge w/ my young clients..with my old ones I use
Rube Goldberg...

:)

I'm one that needed that correction. I soooo Thank you.

PurpHaze
03-04-2007, 12:20 PM
I'd prefer that it rhymed with sludge or crud.... because it more fits the irrigation picture. :laugh: