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Hank Reardon
04-10-2007, 02:43 AM
I apologize in advance for my rookie status but I have a problem I cannot solve. Here are the facts:

Irritrol-Total Control TC-12
13 year old system
9 valves wired
Misc valves (Hit, Buckner, etc.)
Master Valve

Client calls with screwed up system. I arrive and start at the controller. You fire a zone and the controller is sending 24vac to all zones at once. OK, swap out the module, everything is cool, the controller only sends the 24vac to the zone selected and the MV. One less problem as we've proved the electrical part.

The problem is, the entire system is trying to operate at one time (even without 24vac going to other valves. I ohm'd out a solenoid at 21 so that is within spec's. I pulled a couple of bonnets and found some crap on the diaphragm but nothing major. Another test I performed was pulling a wire on a valve not selected (but is trying to run) and it continued to push water out of the heads.

What am I missing? It's gotta be something obvious that I've just convoluted.

:confused:

DarkLotus
04-10-2007, 06:00 AM
Make sure all the bleeder screws are closed completely as well.

PurpHaze
04-10-2007, 09:32 AM
Not being familiar with that controller, there's usually a difference between a module and the actual circuit board itself. If the controller is fixed then there's no reason to have power going to all solenoids simultaneously any longer. If the valves have been manually activated and left open then they will come on when the MV activates. I'd make sure that the entire system is "reset" before going any further. Make sure bleeders or other manual actuators on the valves are off, solenoids are snugly screwed on and the MV is off so the system is in ready "reset" mode before activating the controller again.

Mjtrole
04-10-2007, 11:23 AM
I apologize in advance for my rookie status but I have a problem I cannot solve. Here are the facts:

Irritrol-Total Control TC-12
13 year old system
9 valves wired
Misc valves (Hit, Buckner, etc.)
Master Valve

Client calls with screwed up system. I arrive and start at the controller. You fire a zone and the controller is sending 24vac to all zones at once. OK, swap out the module, everything is cool, the controller only sends the 24vac to the zone selected and the MV. One less problem as we've proved the electrical part.

The problem is, the entire system is trying to operate at one time (even without 24vac going to other valves. I ohm'd out a solenoid at 21 so that is within spec's. I pulled a couple of bonnets and found some crap on the diaphragm but nothing major. Another test I performed was pulling a wire on a valve not selected (but is trying to run) and it continued to push water out of the heads.

What am I missing? It's gotta be something obvious that I've just convoluted.

:confused:

Start at the controller again and disconnect all the leads except the zone #1 lead, start up #1 and take readings on all the "empty" wires so you can eliminate that there are no wire cross ups in the field, ie. recent landscape work and someone hit the wires and they are touching.

Sounds like the valves themselves are not closing, 13 yrs for valves sounds like they need to go anyway, even if you don't find anything in them to keep them from closing.

Good luck

bobw
04-10-2007, 12:05 PM
If you pulled a wire off a solenoid and it continued to run, then I'd be pretty sure that the problem isn't electrical.

Did you check to see if the plungers on the solenoids were ok? I've seen situations where they pretty much got frozen into the up position during winterization and more or less stayed jammed in the spring. Had to replace 6 in one yard one spring....

jerryrwm
04-10-2007, 01:00 PM
Check the bleed levers on the valves. Hit and Buckner made bleed levers that were like those on Weathermatic valves, but they didn't have the same type of stop that W*M has. So it is possible to flip it all the way over to the other side.

Mike Leary
04-10-2007, 02:48 PM
All of your suggestions are mine too. Hank told me the system is not
winterized with air, as our client systems are, but a drain opened & the
DCVA closed. The area is rank with iron & manganese in the water supply &
I'm leaning towards clogged diaphrams (or worn out) and/or plugged
solenoid ports. It's always weird when they ALL go down, tho the master
valve does open & close. I'm going over this afternoon & see if I can
confuse the issue even more.

bicmudpuppy
04-10-2007, 03:44 PM
Things go bad for a reason. Since we aren't watching 24/7 and omnivolence isn't always available, we don't always "see" the cause. You stated that the controller was sending on all stations initially? The total control will run multiple valves/programs concurently. It is possible that the programing was screwed up and you were trying to run everything at once and the weakened/reduced voltage is the cause of your now existing solenoid problems.

Mike Leary
04-10-2007, 04:19 PM
Things go bad for a reason. Since we aren't watching 24/7 and omnivolence isn't always available, we don't always "see" the cause. You stated that the controller was sending on all stations initially? The total control will run multiple valves/programs concurently. It is possible that the programing was screwed up and you were trying to run everything at once and the weakened/reduced voltage is the cause of your now existing solenoid problems.

Good point, Hank did ohm out one of the solenoids & found about 20 ohms,
low, but since we have zero experience with Buckner & Hit valves, do you
think this could still be a fried solenoid deal. Yes, we've had numerous
problems with "pilot error": multiple start, multiple runs. Are those valves
a "fail open" w/ fried solenoid type? Thanks for your insight. Mike

londonrain
04-10-2007, 08:21 PM
I worked on a system last year that had about the same problem, all zones letting water pass. I disconnected all field wires and still same problem so that eliminated the controller. We ended up replacing eight old Nelson valves with PGV Hunters and problem solved.
Manually open master valve and see what happens....

Mike Leary
04-10-2007, 08:23 PM
Thanx london..that seems to be where Hank & I are going.

bicmudpuppy
04-10-2007, 10:34 PM
Good point, Hank did ohm out one of the solenoids & found about 20 ohms,
low, but since we have zero experience with Buckner & Hit valves, do you
think this could still be a fried solenoid deal. Yes, we've had numerous
problems with "pilot error": multiple start, multiple runs. Are those valves
a "fail open" w/ fried solenoid type? Thanks for your insight. Mike

A lot of older solenoids (buckner and WM for sure) are good at becoming "magnatized". Sometimes all it takes is a light tap on the top when the power to the solenoid is off, but they will stick next time, every time. Sometimes, (much more frustrating) they only stick when they have run for several minutes. This type of problem doesn't show on an ohm meter.

bicmudpuppy
04-10-2007, 10:41 PM
I apologize in advance for my rookie status but I have a problem I cannot solve. Here are the facts:



What am I missing? It's gotta be something obvious that I've just convoluted.

:confused:

One more minor addition, Hank. No appologies necessary. You can go back through your posts, and you will find little of the sarcasm we so liberally sprinkle into the posts of those brain surgeons who stop in knowing it all but expecting answers. Your location says it all. Your experiences may be lacking, but your attitude and abilities are not. The day I can't return my good fortune of having worked with some first class irrigators is the day I can bury my shovel in the hole and quit.

Hank Reardon
04-11-2007, 12:38 AM
I appreciate all the advice and support as I work through this problem. The depth of knowledge here in our little irrigation community is refreshing.

A little more info from the field this afternoon:

1. I opened up five valve boxes and ohm'd out three of them (21-22 ohms)
2. Removed three bonnets and found nothing in the diaphragms or solenoid ports
3. Verified on five of the nine that none of the manual bleeds were opened
4. Pulled a couple of solenoids and found the plungers "not fused"
5. The master valve is firing electrically and holds when closed as there was no water in the mainline when pulling the bonnets (no low drain checks)

At the end of the service call, it still is trying to operate all nine valves at once without current (albeit 1vac) to any zone except the one selected (24vac). The magnetized solenoids sounds possible. How does this occur? Could this be caused by dirty power, low current during brown outs, or other electrical problems associated with generator usage? We sometimes experience unstable power during storms and a lot of us have generator backup.

bicmudpuppy
04-11-2007, 09:34 AM
I'm not sure I could ever find a "cause" for the magnetization. I see more WM solenoids, but I have seen it on buckner ones as well. I've seen it on small residential systems where voltage and length of wire should not have been an issue, and I've seen it on large commercial properties as well. You can have on out of 30 magnetized, or you can have five or six go bad at once. Your situation may have been brewing for a while or something may have accelerated the process. I have no experience with the HIT valves. I think I'm glad of that!

In most cases, if the solenoid is magnetized, a gentle tap will release it. Alternately, put some paper or something (something that can be removed easily) inside before the plunger so it can't open.

PurpHaze
04-11-2007, 09:48 AM
In the "system ready mode" (everything off, no water running, system is ready to activate to the controller program, etc.) what exactly happens when you manually fire zone #1 from the controller? What exactly happens when you then turn zone #1 off?

SprinklerGuy
04-11-2007, 10:20 AM
Circuit board?

Hank Reardon
04-11-2007, 11:11 AM
In the "system ready mode" (everything off, no water running, system is ready to activate to the controller program, etc.) what exactly happens when you manually fire zone #1 from the controller? What exactly happens when you then turn zone #1 off?

In "system ready", nothing runs or has any current. Switch to "manual-zone #1 (or any zone), and everything tries to fire. There is still only the 24vac going to the selected station at the controller.

Mike Leary
04-11-2007, 11:18 AM
Circuit board?

Hank changed-out the module & the circuit board, we don't believe it's
electrical, but some of your posts concerning solenoids are causing us to
consider again. Thanks guys.

Hank Reardon
04-11-2007, 11:19 AM
Circuit board?

Replaced. On my first service call at this site, the system was doing the same thing. In checking the board with the voltmeter, when a station was selected and manually fired, everything was trying to operate. The difference was I was getting 24vac on every zone. I called Irritrol and they said to send it in. It was the old style circuit board so in lieu of rebuild, they sent a new style module and board (with surge protection).

SprinklerGuy
04-11-2007, 11:54 AM
I'm confused... read your other post service call posting and I'm wondering what the problem is now?

Are you only getting 1 VAC at the valves now except the one that is firing?

Are the valves still stuck in the open position?


It is beginning to sound a bit like a field wiring issue.....please update.

SprinklerGuy
04-11-2007, 11:55 AM
Also...I'm not sure about this so bear w/ me....

a tiny bid of voltage bleed from the circuit board to the other zones may or may not be as uncommon as you might think. 1 VAC will not fire a zone, nor will it cause harm....

When the bleed becomes higher...8-14 VAC that is when you get the solenoid chatter etc....

More info please when you get a chance...I love this stuff!

Mike Leary
04-11-2007, 12:14 PM
To our knowledge, no site work has been done at Hank's job. However, we
all know sometimes you have to jack the client up against the wall to get
"the rest of the story"

SprinklerGuy
04-11-2007, 12:45 PM
Is it just me or is this 3rd person/2nd person narrative a little wierd?

I'm kidding of course.

And....there really could be a bad connection.....rodents?....I had a client once that insisted that the ants were eating the wires...so anything is possible.

We'll wait for Hank...

Mike Leary
04-11-2007, 05:15 PM
Is it just me or is this 3rd person/2nd person narrative a little wierd?

I'm kidding of course.

And....there really could be a bad connection.....rodents?....I had a client once that insisted that the ants were eating the wires...so anything is possible.

We'll wait for Hank...

Yes, it does sound wierd, except Hank bought my biz & I'm trying to help as
much as I can without stepping on his toes. I'll go out with him on Mon. &
see what I can do...but got me stumped.

PurpHaze
04-11-2007, 11:10 PM
If the controller has been eliminated as a potential culprit then you must move along to the wiring and/or solenoids. Move along now... no dawdling. There's nothing left of the electrical system after that. :laugh:

BTW... When you finally find the culprit are you putting the old board and module back into the controller?

Midlo Snow Maker
04-11-2007, 11:31 PM
sounds to me like the master valve wire might be crossed up, in the controller, depending on the set up you could be sending power throught the common of the MV wire and bleeding Volts on other zones when activated, open the MV manually and disconnect MV common and hot wire and fire the zones up then

Dirty Water
04-11-2007, 11:37 PM
Sounds like a field wiring issue.

Your only know if you manually open the master valve.

Hank Reardon
04-12-2007, 12:16 AM
sounds to me like the master valve wire might be crossed up, in the controller, depending on the set up you could be sending power through the common of the MV wire and bleeding Volts on other zones when activated, open the MV manually and disconnect MV common and hot wire and fire the zones up then

The MV wire was labeled when removed from the old circuit board and tied down when I installed the new one. The color also corresponds to the field wire.

I have not disconnected the MV wiring on opened the bleeder, however, wouldn't I have proved it if it fires? When I turn on a valve manually at the controller, it sends 24vac to the selected valve, the MV, and the station valve.

Midlo Snow Maker
04-12-2007, 12:28 AM
The MV wire was labeled when removed from the old circuit board and tied down when I installed the new one. The color also corresponds to the field wire. do you have 2 wires just for the MV or 1 hot and the other is tied throughout the commons?[/B]
I have not disconnected the MV wiring on opened the bleeder, however, wouldn't I have proved it if it fires? [B]NO you can fire it off backwards too When I turn on a valve manually at the controller, it sends 24vac to the selected valve, the MV, and the station valve.

it has got to be some crossed wires, don't trust what was left to you in the controller

irrig8r
04-12-2007, 02:12 PM
Just as an aside...How many start times are set for the controller? The gardener on one of my jobs felt like he needed to use every damned one.. apparently thinking that each zone needed it's own start time.. though as I recall there are only 16 start times and this was an 18 zone clock...

The Total Control apparently doesn't "stack" start times, but tries to run them all at once if they are all set to the same time..

Of course that wouldn't effect manual operation..

My guess is that the problem is in the field wires somewhere where there's contact between bare wires.. maybe due to rodents chewing the insulation off, but not breaking the wires...

Sounds like you tested the resistance at the individual valves, and the outgoing voltage at the clock.. how about the resistance through the field wiring to the valves and back?

wab1234
01-27-2008, 08:23 AM
I know this is an old thread but I think people would like to hear what the outcome was.

AI Inc
01-27-2008, 08:57 AM
I would have shut off and unplugged the controller. Then manualy opened the master valve. If problem is still there it is a valve problem , if not, its electrical. Possibly crossed wires in the field.

FIMCO-MEISTER
01-27-2008, 10:32 AM
I know this is an old thread but I think people would like to hear what the outcome was.

WE WANT ANSWERS!!!!

Kiril
01-27-2008, 10:39 AM
WE WANT ANSWERS!!!!

There are no answers, only questions.

AI Inc
01-27-2008, 10:44 AM
There are no answers, only questions.

I thought that was " there is no such thing as a stupid question, just stupid people that ask questions"

Wet_Boots
01-27-2008, 10:44 AM
WE WANT ANSWERS!!!!"You can't handle the answers!!!"

AI Inc
01-27-2008, 10:47 AM
"You can't handle the answers!!!"

Gotta love Jack he does the one thing we all wish we could, says whatever he wants whenever he wants.

Mike Leary
01-27-2008, 10:52 AM
That was last summer me & Hank screwed around with that system, maybe he has
long term memory; I don't. Best I can remember is we replaced all the valves with
WM silver bullets & pulled the cone markers. That was a weird site..the valves would
work & then not..which was why we suspected wiring...service call from hell.
Hank did learn a lot about where & where not to install a quick-couple, tho!

Hank Reardon
01-27-2008, 10:05 PM
What a strange trip that was. We decided to proceed with replacing valves and started with the POS Hit valve that happened to be closest to the driveway (I mention this to explain to which Mike is eluding. I glued in the QC assembly on the wrong side of the valve. I no sooner finished wiping up the glue and stood up and realized what a DS thing I just did.). Slapped in a new valve, re-plumbed the QC assembly correctly and tested. Without looking up the service call, I believe that fixed everything. The problem was with the old forward-flow valves were sticking open due to the low volume caused by the POS Hit valve. That's my theory anyways; "it's good to be king".

Moral: Don't service systems you don't install because they use probably used POS materials or check the valve box before knocking on the door (giving you the chance to get up the driveway before they see you).

Mike Leary
01-28-2008, 01:02 PM
Moral: Don't service systems you don't install because they use probably used POS materials or check the valve box before knocking on the door (giving you the chance to get up the driveway before they see you).

Double moral: have a truck with no writing & no pipe rack when visiting
strange sites for the first time. Hide the cone markers!:drinkup:

AI Inc
01-28-2008, 03:05 PM
Moral: Don't service systems you don't install because they use probably used POS materials or check the valve box before knocking on the door (giving you the chance to get up the driveway before they see you).

But its the messes other people put in that are the profitable ones. If ya only service your installs ya aint gonna get rich selling 10 rotors a day.

wab1234
01-28-2008, 04:11 PM
I am handling this truth just fine. I am impressed you remember, thank you for posting and satisfying my curiosity.

Hank Reardon
01-28-2008, 04:15 PM
But its the messes other people put in that are the profitable ones. If ya only service your installs ya aint gonna get rich selling 10 rotors a day.

We do both but there is enough good work out there to have to deal with too many "problem" jobs. Besides, we quite well being the Irrigation Nazis.

Besides, I can make more in profit on 10 rotors than a lot of hacks make on their $350/per zone systems.

AI Inc
01-28-2008, 04:19 PM
Ive had quite a few that were 10+ yrs old , iron problem and junk from the get go. Ended up selling em new systems. They always ask " what do ya do with the old one" and I tell em ignore it, pull a new one right thru it.

Mike Leary
01-28-2008, 04:36 PM
Besides, we quite well being the Irrigation Nazis..

If it was't so cold up there, the spelling & grammer nazi would be camped
outside your palatial beer garden/irrigation shop.

Hank Reardon
01-28-2008, 06:01 PM
Another storm coming in as I type. Supposed to start as snow then turn to rain sometime during the night.

Poulsbo and Suquamish got more than we did. Lofall woke up to 3" of the white fluffy.

Hank Reardon
01-28-2008, 06:03 PM
Ive had quite a few that were 10+ yrs old , iron problem and junk from the get go. Ended up selling em new systems. They always ask " what do ya do with the old one" and I tell em ignore it, pull a new one right thru it.

It always freaks me out when you trench through an old lateral or main line and water is pouring into the trench.

Mike Leary
01-28-2008, 06:07 PM
It always freaks me out when you trench through an old lateral or main line and water is pouring into the trench.

Especially when you discover you have multiple p.o.c' s.

Hank Reardon
01-28-2008, 06:39 PM
Especially when you discover you have multiple p.o.c' s.

Hey, I just got approval to fix that mess (Lofall job from last year)! What a PITA though an easy fix with our standard extra stub out in every VB.

Mike Leary
01-28-2008, 06:56 PM
If only there was a market.

Hank Reardon
01-29-2008, 12:04 PM
If only there was a market.

We woke up to another inch of snow, the wind is gusting around 30mph, but at least the temp is already up in the mid 30's.

Kiril
01-29-2008, 12:08 PM
Best get to work before it gets worse. :laugh: