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Dnryan
09-19-2011, 03:38 AM
Ok so just redid a 7 valve system that had them all crammed into one box. Yes 7, rainbird 100PEB in one 20" valve box. anyways, split them up into two boxes, wired it all up and replaced two of the valves that were having issues. The homeowner did not want to spend the money for another 5 valves so we reused the others. Well, got everything connected, tested the system manually and then with the controller and everything seemed fine. Well i get a call from them yesterday and the system is stuck on. I get over there and one solenoid is making the clicking sound constantly so i shut the controller off. i figure i had a few extra solenoids on the truck so i just swapped it out and tested it again. No problems, no clicking, turned on and off without any issues. Well now they call me again at 11pm saying its stuck on again. Any ideas what this could be? Im stumped and thinking it might be with the wiring? idk, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

DanaMac
09-19-2011, 05:23 AM
Sounds more like a controller issue. If it is making continuous clicking noises, it is getting electricity. The solenoid won't "click" without current getting to it. Sometimes a controller fails and sends a signal all the time. I have a couple controllers that I have to leave an empty terminal rather than replace the controller.

mitchgo
09-19-2011, 05:26 AM
Could be a number of things

More then likely there is debris in the valves from pvc shavings... excess glue.. or debris getting inside the piping from careless installation.
Take the valve apart and flush.. inspect the diaphram for damage.. Our policy is to always replace but that's up to you..

The controller could be malfunction too because you are hearing clicking? ... but since this wasn't the issue prior to you fixing it more then likely it's workmanship error.

Dnryan
09-19-2011, 11:06 AM
yea it was not "clicking" before i disassembled the old manifold. Now it is. I will try cleaning the valve out and flushing it to see if anything comes out. I think i will also use a different terminal as well. Appreciate the feedback.

JayinMI
09-19-2011, 11:10 AM
I had this problem this year with an Irritrol controller. Danamac is correct, it was a controller problem. Instead of just using another terminal I replaced the controller. When I would take the wire off the terminal in the controller the valve would shut off. To be safe because the valve was old, I took the wire off another terminal and put it on that one and that valve stayed on. So I would check the controller.

jvanvliet
09-19-2011, 07:07 PM
I agree with mitchgo, more likely debris in the valve or damage to the diaphragm from debris. If a controller fails, it's not likely to be to a single pole on the wiring block.

DanaMac
09-19-2011, 08:43 PM
I agree with mitchgo, more likely debris in the valve or damage to the diaphragm from debris. If a controller fails, it's not likely to be to a single pole on the wiring block.

Then how do you explain the clicking? To me, at least from the OP's description, it is making a clicking noise just as if the controller were turning it on and off. The plunger in the solenoid makes noise (usually) when it is activated on and off. As I said, I have a few controllers in service where just one terminal is putting out juice all the time, even with the controller in the OFF position. The other zones are fine.
this particular controller could easily be doing a continuous rapid fire of electricity on/off/on/off/on/off/on/off.......

I'm not saying it can't be in the valve, but how would one explain the clicking noise.

Wet_Boots
09-19-2011, 08:54 PM
solenoid weevils :)

Sprinkus
09-19-2011, 09:59 PM
What controller is being used?

FIMCO-MEISTER
09-19-2011, 11:06 PM
I agree with Dana the clicking is a controller issue but it could be something else. If the problem is occuring about the same time every night then sherlocking may be necessary.
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mitchgo
09-19-2011, 11:09 PM
Well.. Not trying to be a jerk to the OP

But the multimeter would have been a nice tool here...

If you follow a simple step by step diagnosis you will eliminate most major situations.

jvanvliet
09-20-2011, 05:42 AM
Maybe a solenoid issue too. He said he swapped out the coil and that stopped the event, but later that night the valve jammed open.

I'll rely on your experiences that it is possible one terminal on the wiring block is toggling power to a single zone continuously. That hasn't been my experience.

I'd swap wires on the suspect terminal and see if I can duplicate the event in another valve, and/or put a tester on the suspect zone and get some readings, and/or use my Station Master to run the zone independent of the controller to see if I can duplicate the problem or the if the valves operation is nominal. It could also be a bad splice, contact, in ground short, the possibilities are almost infinite. Question is what do you eliminate first?

Could be the valve needs to be throttled back or cleaned. Sherlocking is definitely necessary.

AI Inc
09-20-2011, 05:55 AM
Question is what do you eliminate first?

.
Obviously the controller.

jvanvliet
09-20-2011, 06:21 AM
Obviously the controller.

What you said.

Sprinkus
09-20-2011, 08:22 AM
I'll rely on your experiences that it is possible one terminal on the wiring block is toggling power to a single zone continuously. That hasn't been my experience.


I've got several controllers in the field that have the same problem. We keep moving wires from the bad terminals to the unused ones until the cheapo customer is finally forced to buy a new one.

Dnryan
09-20-2011, 10:01 AM
Well i went to the clients house yesterday and flushed everything out. Did not notice and debris come out but who's to say there wasnt small stuff in there i could not see with my eye. Also inspected the gasket and did not notice anything out of the ordinary. i did switch the wire to a different terminal and instead put one of the brand new valves onto that terminal. Ran through the system a bunch of times and again, everythning seems fine....for now. When before i stated that maybe there was something wrong with the wiring, i was implying that maybe there was a nick in the wire i did not see and it was contacting something....would/could that cause this type of problem? Just curious as this seems to be an intermitent problem. Also, we did have a major power outage here about a week ago, so maybe some damage from a power surge when everything came back on? Idk but i really appreciate all your guys input. Also, if there continues to be a problem, i will get the multimeter out and check to see if the readings are out of the ordinary.

jvanvliet
09-20-2011, 05:18 PM
I've got several controllers in the field that have the same problem. We keep moving wires from the bad terminals to the unused ones until the cheapo customer is finally forced to buy a new one.

What type of controller? I've had problems with modules going bad on the newer controlers, but haven't had prloblems like that with the older Rainbird XLS type controlers.

Live and learn, that's why I visit this site, to benefit from the cumulative experience represented here.

Dnryan
09-20-2011, 05:45 PM
The controller is a hunter pro -c. And to the person who posted about the clicking, u r correct, it seemed to me that the controller was constantly sending the solenoid a signal to open and close. It was doing this even after I turned the controller off for a minute or so and then back on. Still haven't figured out why it was doing that, but so far it hasn't happened again.
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irritation
09-20-2011, 06:56 PM
My guess is debris in the valve. Unplug the piece of crap and if it shuts off, it's the controller.

1idejim
09-20-2011, 07:44 PM
Also, if there continues to be a problem, i will get the multimeter out and check to see if the readings are out of the ordinary.

IMHO, anytime that you even think you have an electrical issue you should have basic troubleshooting tools at the controller with you.

a DMM and stationmaster/probe won't set you back more than $200.

with the exception of the mid/large and megas' 12 zones is the max you will analyze, 15 - 20 minutes at the clock might just save you a ton of time stumbling around the site.

Sprinkus
09-21-2011, 08:13 AM
What type of controller? I've had problems with modules going bad on the newer controlers, but haven't had prloblems like that with the older Rainbird XLS type controlers.

Live and learn, that's why I visit this site, to benefit from the cumulative experience represented here.

These ones are the Irritrool Tootal Control.

jvanvliet
09-22-2011, 06:52 PM
These ones are the Irritrool Tootal Control.

IrriTROOL or IrriTROLL:laugh:

Don't see too many of those, Rainbird, Hunter, Intermatic & K-Rain... unless it's a HO big box pieceOcrap.

jumps in mud
10-03-2011, 12:40 AM
Found a clicking solenoid on Friday. The valve was closed, works fine, no seeping, and no programs were running when I heard the clicking. It wasnt a buzz or a chatter, just a slow intermittent click, like youd get with a bench test. The valve is an RB-PGA-150 with a .41 amp AC solenoid connected to an old ESP-LX. After I touched the DMM leads to the terminals looking for a ghost current (nothing) the clicking stopped. Resistance was OK 34 ohm.

I found something else I thought was weird, which means Im forgetting something really basic. With the common wire disconnected, and station #1 active, I got 29 volts between the COM terminal and every station terminal that had a wire connected . With the white wire connected, I only got voltage between the COM terminal and the station that was on.

I did the same test on a different LX (same vintage). With the wire disconnected, the voltage from the COM terminal was 27 volts with the lead on the terminal of the active station but only 14 volts to the other zones. Instinct tells me there something funky in the first clock but Id like to know for sure before replacing it. Id also like to know why I was getting voltage across the other stations.

Im ready for a good smack on the forehead!!!

stebs
10-03-2011, 03:13 AM
Station 1 being on is feeding power to its solenoid, which is feeding power back to the common, which is feeding power back through every other solenoid that common is tied to. Since the common isnt connected at the controller, it has no place to drain that power to, hence, the backfeed through the other solenoids.


Also, I used to work with a Toro LTC Plus controller, and it would always put out 24 volts on all stations that were in "Auto," only it didnt pass enough current to actually actuate or hold the solenoid open. That particular controller also disconnects the common from the controller when its not being used for ""lightning protection." I learned about the power bleed by getting bit by the common wire one day changing out a solenoid.

Sprinkus
10-03-2011, 08:39 AM
I've also got an old LX that gives intermittent power to one valve. Same thing, not enough to open the valve, just causes the solenoid to click occasionally.
We'll see what state/condition the controller finally fails in.

jumps in mud
10-03-2011, 02:41 PM
I've also got an old LX that gives intermittent power to one valve. Same thing, not enough to open the valve, just causes the solenoid to click occasionally.
We'll see what state/condition the controller finally fails in.

In my little corner of sprinklerville, I rarely have to wonder when a timer is kaput. Only had to replace 2 this year. One got smashed by a delivery truck, the other had smoke coming out from behind the display. (That probably had something to do with the gum foil I wrapped around the fuse!!) When I do actually get the DMM out of the glove box, it seems like I have to learn everything new again. I know the HOA is broke, so I'll just move that valve to an empty station and see what happens.

Stebs was right on. I really appreciate the clarity of his reply. With multiple common wires coming into a clock, there's a trick to ID which valves are wired to which common, but I'd also wonder if that would be hard on doublers & such.