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TPendagast
07-25-2008, 12:05 AM
I got called to troubleshoot a 14 station system on a esp 16lx that customer says is 4 years old.
Stations 10 and 11 no longer fire. Customer states they started to act funny by only going off for 5 minuted instead of the 30 they are programmed for, then stopped working all together.
Tested solenoids. they work
Valves open maunally.
Pump start relay works fine.
No problem with other valves.
Took wires off of station 10and 11 put them on 15 and 16, still wont fire.
Changed out solenoid (rain bird dvs) any way.
No dice.
Tomorrow Im going to bring a test clock to see if I get any different responses.
ALL zones check out green with station master, I suspect bad common wire, but why would only 2 zones of the 4 on that common be bad?
any if the wire was broken it wouldnt show up green
I had this happen once before this year only (never seen it before that) where we common would carry enough signal for the station master, but not enough to activate the valve, when i ran a new common every thing worked.
Even though station master said circuit checked out.
On this property I cannot run a new common (500 plus feet of finished immaculate landscape) without causing humungous amounts to the client.
If that is the case Ill probably run DC latching solenoids.
Tomorrow Ill redo all the wire nuts just incase. But everything looked tight under quick inspection today.

Anyone know of what else this could be?

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-25-2008, 06:03 AM
Sounds like the common is grounding on you. Are the two zones along the tail end of the common path or do other valves work that are using the same common further down the line? Try to logically lay out where the common is good to and then where it starts to give you trouble.

Mike Leary
07-25-2008, 10:37 AM
Any spare wire you could use as a common?

Waterit
07-25-2008, 10:38 AM
Sounds suspiciously like what I have going on at the cemetary - valves test OK from controller, solenoids test OK, but no joy when firing from controller.

You say you can't run a new common - do have any spare wires that run from a good valve to either of the affected valves that you can use as a jumper?

Mike Leary
07-25-2008, 10:39 AM
You say you can't run a new common - do have any spare wires that run from a good valve to either of the affected valves that you can use as a jumper?

Beat you by a minute. :laugh:

Wet_Boots
07-25-2008, 10:52 AM
Beat you by a minute. :laugh:Some of these geezer are still spry, even if zone valves elude them :)

TPendagast
07-25-2008, 12:32 PM
Sounds suspiciously like what I have going on at the cemetary - valves test OK from controller, solenoids test OK, but no joy when firing from controller.

You say you can't run a new common - do have any spare wires that run from a good valve to either of the affected valves that you can use as a jumper?

Maaaaaybe.
Genious who put it in ran at least 6 commons.
whether or not any of them run the same paths? I dunno.
Maybe they ran an extra zone wire thats unused and i could turn a colored wire into a common.
Odd thing is there are two valves per valve box.
The two valves that arent firing are each in a differnt valve box and their companion valves DO work.
You would figure they are using the same ground wires for those four valves ( all four are close to each other ...within 100 feet) but the performance Im getting is half and half.

If there are two ground wires in the same valve box then Ill just use the other one, but it certainly didnt look like it.
Valve 11 and 14 should be using the same ground because they are in the same valve box, but 14 works and 11 doesnt, and the same with 10 and 12 I dont know where the heck 13 is in all this, but it apparently isnt a problem so I didnt bother looking for it.

Kiril
07-25-2008, 12:50 PM
I suspect they only used 1 common, but ran 5 more to various phantom locations so ML could spend another month looking for buried valves. :laugh:

Mike Leary
07-25-2008, 05:40 PM
I suspect they only used 1 common, but ran 5 more to various phantom locations so ML could spend another month looking for buried valves. :laugh:

Keep kicking away & installing your little five zoners with laser tube.

Waterit
07-25-2008, 08:35 PM
Maybe they ran an extra zone wire that's unused and i could turn a colored wire into a common.

My point exactly. Or if the wire is multi-strand, pick up a wire that was used before it reached the bad location and use it.

After re-reading your post, looks like the problem isn't on your common, it's on the hot side. To ask the obvious question, have you tried swapping the hots from one working to one not-working valve?

Mike Leary
07-25-2008, 09:05 PM
[QUOTE=Waterit;2435636 After re-reading your post, looks like the problem isn't on your common, it's on the hot side. To ask the obvious question, have you tried swapping the hots from one working to one not-working valve?[/QUOTE]

A good thought, as I did too....it's those multiple commons that confuses me.
Gotta tone out the wires.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-25-2008, 09:36 PM
Maaaaaybe.
Genious who put it in ran at least 6 commons.
whether or not any of them run the same paths? I dunno.
Maybe they ran an extra zone wire thats unused and i could turn a colored wire into a common.
Odd thing is there are two valves per valve box.
The two valves that arent firing are each in a differnt valve box and their companion valves DO work.
You would figure they are using the same ground wires for those four valves ( all four are close to each other ...within 100 feet) but the performance Im getting is half and half.

If there are two ground wires in the same valve box then Ill just use the other one, but it certainly didnt look like it.
Valve 11 and 14 should be using the same ground because they are in the same valve box, but 14 works and 11 doesnt, and the same with 10 and 12 I dont know where the heck 13 is in all this, but it apparently isnt a problem so I didnt bother looking for it.

Dig them up. Make sure on all facts. Two valves in same box/ one works and one doesn't/ dig them up. Eliminate possibilities. If on same common then it has to be a zone wire problem. Possibility the clock but I doubt it. Check at clock/ check at dug up valve box/ go from there.

Mike Leary
07-25-2008, 09:55 PM
I've pulled the wires (after marking them), cut the wires back, re-strip, new w.p
connectors, fired up....worked. Ganging the commons in a manifold is where I see
most problems. Commons should be "daisy chained" instead of the big wrap.

TPendagast
07-26-2008, 12:18 AM
I've pulled the wires (after marking them), cut the wires back, re-strip, new w.p
connectors, fired up....worked. Ganging the commons in a manifold is where I see
most problems. Commons should be "daisy chained" instead of the big wrap.

Yea i thought about the big wrap issue too. Thats where I was going to look first.

By the way, clock checked out fine. I swapped hots around and still same two zones wouldnt fire. Of course if I give them a new hot wire altogether they will fire. but then the zone I stole the wire from wont fire.
Soo...Ill spend some time looking for free hot wires (most smart people run extra) and re strip those wires and daisy chain the commons.

The 6 different commons all run in differnt directions. I think by looking at it now, the installer ran 6 strand wire, 1 common, 5 hots. So there are three sets of wire running into the clock, which gives me 15 hots there are 14 zones, so There maybe a free hot, but only if that wire set was run in that direction.
So the other 3 "extra commons" maybe exactly that, spares. but then why would they actually be already wired into the clock, rather than left loose like the extra hots usually are?
Maybe the guy hooked all the commons up because when he got to wiring the clock, he couldnt remember which ones were the extras.
I think I've got to buckle down and spend alot of time toning this job.

Mike Leary
07-26-2008, 12:33 AM
I think I've got to buckle down and spend alot of time toning this job.

Label every wire you remove, who cares about the valves, the field wire
continuity is what you're after. I've seen wires at the clock that
went to no zone, no valve...only to confuse us down the road.:dizzy::dizzy:

Kiril
07-26-2008, 01:02 AM
Keep kicking away & installing your little five zoners with laser tube.

ROFL ..... feeling a bit touchy today are we?

greg251
07-26-2008, 01:34 AM
Check for wire damage where they stripped the cover off the wire towards the bottom. Exposed damage to wires will do as you describe. Also did you ohm out the solenoids and wiring?

AI Inc
07-26-2008, 08:10 AM
I hate multiple home runs. We use 1 trunk coming from the clock. I had to troubleshoot a system a few weeks ago with 5 wires all the same colors running to the clock. By the time I figured out what was what I could have been done.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-26-2008, 08:24 AM
I hate multiple home runs. We use 1 trunk coming from the clock. I had to troubleshoot a system a few weeks ago with 5 wires all the same colors running to the clock. By the time I figured out what was what I could have been done.

Lot of 16ga single strand here. A real pain is having 10 reds and one white under two to three pipes and you are trying to isolate one for troubleshooting. Having said that I would prefer single strand in my own system over multi strand.

AI Inc
07-26-2008, 08:35 AM
Lot of 16ga single strand here. A real pain is having 10 reds and one white under two to three pipes and you are trying to isolate one for troubleshooting. Having said that I would prefer single strand in my own system over multi strand.

SO do you stock multiple color single strand?

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-26-2008, 08:39 AM
SO do you stock multiple color single strand?

No..... Just red and white. In the hands of a good installer nothing wrong with single strand. Your problems will either be at the valve or at the timer. Never in between.

AI Inc
07-26-2008, 08:42 AM
Sure there can be, electrical wires run to a new pool cut thru your wires, dog fence installs , " the cable guy" ect.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-26-2008, 08:55 AM
Sure there can be, electrical wires run to a new pool cut thru your wires, dog fence installs , " the cable guy" ect.

That's different. I'm referring to the integrity of the wire. Besides you can still hook up all the reds again and straighten out the zones at the timer.

AI Inc
07-26-2008, 08:58 AM
True , but it just adds time to the call. Not thats thats realy a bad thing . You know what I mean, the rest may not agree.

Waterit
07-26-2008, 12:31 PM
No..... Just red and white. In the hands of a good installer nothing wrong with single strand. Your problems will either be at the valve or at the timer. Never in between.

I agree. The key words there are "good installer". By the way Peter, I have a picture of one of your favorite pieces of equipment that I need to dowload/upload. I'll post it under a new thread once I find my darned USB cable (young daughters like to borrow stuff and then "lose" it...).