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ams316
07-17-2008, 09:45 AM
I have a condo association that has 2 esp controllers that are runnning through the programs 3 times and cant figure it out. I have spoke with rainbird & JDL about the issue and neither know what is causing it. It will run through the cycle, then start right over when the last zone completes. I cleared all programs out through the seasonal adjust function & re-programmed but it continues to run improper. What's causing this?

irrig8r
07-17-2008, 09:57 AM
Too many start times.

ams316
07-17-2008, 09:58 AM
There is only 1 start time per zone. all other programming has been cleared out.

Wet_Boots
07-17-2008, 10:11 AM
Try one start time, period.

irrig8r
07-17-2008, 10:55 AM
You don't need one start per zone.

I could be rude and say RTFM, but because this is a common mistake that many novices and homeowners make, just remember: use only one start time per program unless you want it to repeat like yours does.

Sometimes on slopes, I recommend splitting the run time in half and running two starts, an hour or two apart, depending on the precip. rate, infiltration rate and degree of slope....

Otherwise, one start time per program.

Wet_Boots
07-17-2008, 11:00 AM
"This is not a VCR"

ams316
07-17-2008, 11:21 AM
Thanks. I do not usually do irrigation work, but recently I have had many request from existing lawn & landscape clients for these services. I figured a good way to learn more about this is by taking on some maintenace & service work.

Waterit
07-17-2008, 05:30 PM
I figured a good way to learn more about this is by taking on some maintenace & service work.

A good way to learn, and a good way to embarrass yourself while losing money! Oh wait, that's the way most of us started, isn't it?

EagleLandscape
07-17-2008, 05:50 PM
Yes, you only need one start time per program.

When the program turns on, it will sequentially run zone 1 - whatever.

If you have start times at 6, 10, 12, this is what you are getting.

6am
zone 1-whatever

10
zone 1- whatever

12
zone 1-whatever

correct?

Kiril
07-18-2008, 01:13 AM
correct?

Not always.

koster_irrigation
07-18-2008, 05:52 AM
have you checked the other two programs to make sure that they are off??

alot of people overlook that.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-18-2008, 07:10 AM
Over the phone I'd tell this person to unplug clock, disconnect battery, leave it alone for half a day, come back, put plug back in, battery back in, reprogram. Should go back to the factory program on A. The fact that two timers are doing this suggests human error in programming. Sometimes trying to convince a HO or whoever they screwed up is fruitless.

AI Inc
07-18-2008, 07:31 AM
The beauty of an exterior clock, a lock.

Wet_Boots
07-18-2008, 07:40 AM
A Lawn Genie clock wouldn't have had these problems.

irrig8r
07-18-2008, 10:38 AM
Yes, you only need one start time per program.

When the program turns on, it will sequentially run zone 1 - whatever.

If you have start times at 6, 10, 12, this is what you are getting.

6am
zone 1-whatever

10
zone 1- whatever

12
zone 1-whatever

correct?


Or if you set it up with 15 min. run times and run 4 zones and give each what you assume is its own start time (not having read the manual) you could end up with the clock trying to start at say 6:00, 6:15, 6:30 and 6:45... and trying to run for a total of an hour four times... but stacking the start times, and thus running for a total of four hours...

Waterit
07-18-2008, 10:44 AM
Or if you set it up with 15 min. run times and run 4 zones and give each what you assume is its own start time (not having read the manual) you could end up with the clock trying to start at say 6:00, 6:15, 6:30 and 6:45... and trying to run for a total of an hour four times... but stacking the start times, and thus running for a total of four hours...

Yup, we can make it so the water NEVER shuts off - multiple programs, multiple start times, all stacking...

That is one of our typical "warranty" calls - "It won't shut off!"

The other of course being "It won't turn on!" Mr. HO, have you tried plugging the transformer back in, or turning the breaker back on, or putting the dial in the "Auto" position?

irrig8r
07-18-2008, 10:46 AM
A Lawn Genie clock wouldn't have had these problems.

But a Lawn Genie, even with only 6 stations running at 10 minutes each, would still require a window of 3 hours from start to finish... (OK, technically, watering would end after 2 hrs. 40 min.)

Kiril
07-18-2008, 10:49 AM
have you checked the other two programs to make sure that they are off??

alot of people overlook that.

That is what I count on. :laugh:

irrig8r
07-18-2008, 10:49 AM
Over the phone I'd tell this person to unplug clock, disconnect battery, leave it alone for half a day, come back, put plug back in, battery back in, reprogram. Should go back to the factory program on A. The fact that two timers are doing this suggests human error in programming. Sometimes trying to convince a HO or whoever they screwed up is fruitless.

If it's a programming error, and the clock has a NVM, then unplugging won't do it.

Wet_Boots
07-18-2008, 10:54 AM
But a Lawn Genie, even with only 6 stations running at 10 minutes each, would still require a window of 3 hours from start to finish... (OK, technically, watering would end after 2 hrs. 40 min.)Most reliable controller. Ever. :)
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=105431&stc=1&d=1207520393

irrig8r
07-18-2008, 01:49 PM
Most reliable controller. Ever. :)
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=105431&stc=1&d=1207520393

Now ya got me doing it.

:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

JimLewis
07-19-2008, 01:55 AM
It always amazes me how many people don't understand controllers. Even people who've been in the irrigation industry don't understand basics like start times, the difference between A, B and C programs, etc.

The Rain Bird ESP is about the simplest controller out there, IMHO.

My guess is the same as Koster - I bet there is a B and C program going at or around the same start time as the A is set to. I've seen this happen more times than I can count. For some reason, people think the only program that will run is the one that the switch is turned to. Then when I explain that A, B and C will ALL run, regardless of where the switch is - it's like a light goes off in their head. They say, "Oh......OH!!! Ok. Now I understand why it's been watering so much!!!"

Anyway, to the original post; check all of the start times. There are 3 or 4, depending on how old or new the ESP controller you are working with is. The only start time you need is #1. Make sure all the other start times #2, #3, and #4 are set to OFF. Then switch to the B program. Now make sure ALL of the programs are set to OFF. Now go to C program and make sure ALL programs are set to OFF. This will almost certainly solve your problem.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-19-2008, 07:43 AM
If it's a programming error, and the clock has a NVM, then unplugging won't do it.

Has been awhile since I messed with a ESPMi in this way but I was referring to the clock in the original post. Doesn't that particular controller go back to a factory program when the battery and power is removed? I realize it has an internal battery as well. I know this works on Raindials and the older versions of the ESPs. Is the newer ESPMi NVM? I know the WM SL is.

greenmonster304
07-19-2008, 08:02 AM
"I have spoke with rainbird & JDL about the issue and neither know what is causing it."

does anyone else find it strange that neither of these two could tell him about start times

Waterit
07-19-2008, 10:55 AM
"I have spoke with rainbird & JDL about the issue and neither know what is causing it."

does anyone else find it strange that neither of these two could tell him about start times

Never ask a vendor a technical question.

LawnMedic904
07-19-2008, 11:32 AM
A bit off topic, BUT

Has anyone had any trouble with the RB Esp's display. I have had 2 recently that would not display the appropriate zone? While rotating the selector knob it will simply show the wrong zone. example while checking run-times one clock will not show #12 zone, it will show #11 on the display on both the #11 & 12 zone. If you press in on the knob it will blink then show the right zone. It will run correctly on either manual or auto, it's just the display. RB and distributor have "never heard of this" on the Esp 4mi. Any-hoo, two clocks, same symptom, different zones?!? I know their mass produced and these things happen, just wondering if this is coincidence or a trend?

Critical Care
07-19-2008, 01:25 PM
Earlier ESP Modulars have had integrated circuit connection problems on their printed circuit boards that caused erratic things to happen. While I tend to think that ams316’s problems stem to a programming issue, there nevertheless is that chance - as remote as it may seem - that the two controllers are from the same lot. And fwiw, you can get replacement boards at no cost.

In addition, as elementary as it may seem, some people may not know how to sequence through start times for each program. If that’s the case, on the ESP Modular you would select Program A, select Set Watering Start Times, and then press the Manual Start Advance button to cycle through whatever times may be in there. You also have to do this with Program B and C.

And LawnMedic, to answer your question “yes” the E series seemed especially to have problems in my opinion with their selector knob switches, though the switches could be the same from one controller to the next. These are “wafer switches” like the tuner switches on old television sets. Remember having to wiggle the channel knobs to get a picture to come int? Blame it on cheap switches, cheap contacts on the switches, a bit of dust, and a hundred more things.

Waterit
07-19-2008, 01:38 PM
A bit off topic, BUT

Has anyone had any trouble with the RB Esp's display. , just wondering if this is coincidence or a trend?

Are these older clocks? If so, dust and corrosion are probably the culprits, or what Critical Care has posted about the connection problems.

BTW - thread-jacking is the norm* around here, don't feel guilty about going off-topic.


*If you can call any of this normal:dizzy:

LawnMedic904
07-19-2008, 04:32 PM
kinda noticed that. ;)


These two particular clocks where purchased (new) early this spring at the same time, installed a few weeks apart. 1st time I've used this model.

Rotor_Tool
07-20-2008, 03:43 PM
kinda noticed that. ;)


These two particular clocks where purchased (new) early this spring at the same time, installed a few weeks apart. 1st time I've used this model.

To answer Fimco's question, these controllers have NVM, so unplugging the controller will not help. Would be my guess that there are multiple start times entered in the controller which is causing it to stack. One program, one start time...period. You don't need a start time per valve, this is your problem.

It is very unlikely you will get sound technical advice from JDL on any product, sometimes if you get the right person - which is a crapshoot, you will get decent information from the manufacturer. Maybe one out of ten attempts....

Mike Leary
07-20-2008, 06:33 PM
99/9/10th of the time, it's pilot error.