View Full Version : Rainbird ESP Issue...

Southern Sky
03-15-2007, 09:51 PM
I went out tonight to help a neighbor start-up his irrigation system for the spring. The irrigation controller that was installed is a Rainbird ESP 4 zone controller with a 3 zone expansion module in use (7 total zones). I went to the controller, turned the dial to Auto and pressed the manual start button. Zone 1 popped-up and sputtered for about a second or two and went down. I turned the dial to the off position for a moment and back to Auto and pressed the manual start button again. Same thing, zone 1 popped-up and sputtered for a second or two and went down.

I then pressed the test button and all of the zones came on and operated appropriately at this point. But, this is actually the second or third time I have seen this happen with manual start feature over the last few years. Has anyone run into a problem like this with the Rainbird ESP? If so, what did you do about it?

Dirty Water
03-15-2007, 10:04 PM
How much time is Zone 1 set for?

The test button runs all stations for 2 minutes if I remember correctly.

My other thought is perhaps this system was installed using a master valve, so there is a significant amount of air in the mainline due to winterizing, so the 1st zone ran will sputter for a minute or so, and the heads may not pop. By the time you ran the valve test, you may have charged the mainline.

03-15-2007, 11:54 PM
Did you try zones 2 and 3 to see what they did.

And like dirtywater said..... sometimes it takes minuet or two before all the air gets out and everything pops up.

03-16-2007, 08:43 AM
What did the display on the timer show while this was happening....we need to narrow down our focus.....timer -vs- mechanical issue.

Southern Sky
03-16-2007, 10:03 AM
I honestly don't remember exactly, but it seems that it was flashing "1" for zone 1 as would normally happen when the zone is engaging. As you can tell, I am not real clear on what it was showing but I am confident that it was not displaying any error message.

03-16-2007, 06:22 PM
If not an error message than it probably is not a timer issue. It could be, but I would look for mechanical failure of zone 1 or failure of a master valve if present.

Or..as someone else said....could have been excessive air in the lines due to winterizing last fall.

Good Luck

03-16-2007, 06:30 PM
Hmmmmmmm......... he is in Georgia. Kind of doubt they winterize with compressor.

03-16-2007, 06:59 PM
In Georgia, they winterize with Stagnant Pressure :p

03-17-2007, 01:51 AM
Even if the system wasn't "winterized", but left dormant for an extended period, I would expect a system to need time to "pressure up". If everything is working now, I have to vote for operator error. It's a learning curve thing. Learn something from it, and no harm was done.

03-17-2007, 02:18 AM
Hold down the button. Jezz.*trucewhiteflag*

Mike Leary
03-17-2007, 10:18 AM
I seem to remember a Rain-Bird service sheet on cleaning the contacts on
the ESP controllers, might check Rain-Bird web site.

03-17-2007, 01:55 PM
Even if the system wasn't "winterized", but left dormant for an extended period, I would expect a system to need time to "pressure up".

True. Even with our constant pressure main lines the laterals always have air in them after being dormant over the winter. Water does evaporate from the lines. First time they're fired they also smell a little stagnant. Maybe they were made in Georgia. :)

03-17-2007, 05:15 PM
How old is the system? If the system has those old RB EV valves, then I gaurantee that is your problem. Or at least part of your problem.

03-17-2007, 06:42 PM
If you don't hold down the button the zone will start then stop. Hold the button for a few seconds. Promise.

03-17-2007, 07:28 PM
Don't make promises you cannot keep...

I have never had to do that....anyone else have to count to 3?

Dirty Water
03-17-2007, 07:44 PM
I remember doing that on the old ESP's before the modular came out.

03-19-2007, 02:30 AM
All you have to do is put the dial on auto then press manual advance. Number 1 Station will start and it will show the time remaining.

You need to check how much time was on the zone. To find that out turn the dial to 1 the display will show a number which will be the minuets the zone will run for. Add some min. to it by pushing the up arrow. Then put the dial back to auto and hit manual advace again.

03-19-2007, 03:03 AM
Been there done that. Hold down the button.