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clyde
09-27-2011, 09:47 AM
Hey guys,

I installed a Rainbird ESP system last year for a customer.

She called me yesterday and told me zone 1 for some reason is running while all the other zones are running.

It just started doing it a week ago.

Any suggestions?

I have never had this issue to come up so I am a little confused as to what happened.

SHe might have gone out there messing with it or ele went out. :hammerhead:

DanaMac
09-27-2011, 10:09 AM
99% of the time it is NOT the controller. It is most likely a stuck zone valve. Have her (or you) unplug the controller. If it does not shut down, it is a zone valve.

clyde
09-27-2011, 10:39 AM
it shuts off AND ON when you start and stop controller. Say you went to zone 2 passing zone 1 well zone 2 and 1 would come on.

Wet_Boots
09-27-2011, 10:49 AM
Is there a master valve?

clyde
09-27-2011, 10:52 AM
Not that I am aware of ( Wet Boots ).

Why what are you thinking?

I didn't install the system. I have done a lot to it though since they bought the house 2 yrs ago. Its about a 20 yr old system.Which I am sure has been upgraded little by little, i think there is about 250 heads in this yard.

DanaMac
09-27-2011, 11:10 AM
it shuts off AND ON when you start and stop controller. Say you went to zone 2 passing zone 1 well zone 2 and 1 would come on.

If it is shutting down when you unplug it, while zone 2 is still operating, then it is either:
1. the controller is always sending a signal to #1
2. the valve is stuck open, and there is a master valve in place that shuts down when the controller is unplugged. Turn the controller to off, and see if zone still is operating.

I still stand by my diagnosis of the valve for #1. Don't believe everything the customer tells you about what they did or did not do in troubleshooting it themselves.

Wet_Boots
09-27-2011, 11:22 AM
Disconnect the zone 1 wire - see what happens

irrig8r
09-27-2011, 03:11 PM
Have you taken your multimeter and confirmed that current is flowing to station one (at the controller) while running through all the rest? Seems like the first diagnostic step you want to try.

Unplugging the controller or yanking the wire kinda does the same thing, but this way you can compare voltage and see if any other zones are "live" too.

I had a problem with an ESP-M earlier this year, though with multiple zones staying "live" 24/7 and discovered after some troubleshooting that replacing the backplane assembly (available at your distributor for free) solved the problem.

jvanvliet
09-27-2011, 05:01 PM
I don't think a master valve has anything to do with a field valve staying open; maybe wrong, wouldn't be the first time.

1. Electrical fault: Multi meter; disconnect zone 1; swap zone 1 to another terminal on the wiring block. Test system. If zone one opens & closes, you are done.

2. Solenoid failure: test solenoid (I use a "station master pro"). If it fails, replace it.

3. Debris in the valve: Not uncommon if you've done any repairs. Most hacks don't de-bur pipe or purge the lines following a repair - clean the valve.

4. Too much pressure in the system for zone #1 to close: throttle the valve back a little at a time until it closes.

DanaMac
09-27-2011, 05:09 PM
I don't think a master valve has anything to do with a field valve staying open; maybe wrong, wouldn't be the first time.


The MV wouldn't CAUSE the problem, but it can help us to diagnose in online. If the problem valve is only stuck on when the other zones are operating, then maybe there is a master valve. Then of course the problem zone would only run when all the other valves are on during their scheduled program, and off when they are done.

But, it could also be a wiring issue, if if is only running when the other valves are running.

I still believe it is a valve issue.

Mike Leary
09-27-2011, 05:10 PM
Everyone seems on the money, except I've not noticed that the solenoid was pulled and the port was cleaned.

GreenLight
09-27-2011, 05:21 PM
This is going to sound overly simplistic and possibly trivial, but before you go nuts with a ton of troubleshooting, do one simple thing. Go over to the valve box that has zone 1 valve in it. Make sure that no one has cracked it open manually or messed with the bleeder screw. I have seen countless times where people swear a zone is stuck open and the first thing I check is to make sure that it hasn't been f'd with (somehow these things tend to happen)...If that valve has been cracked open manually or opened by the bleeder, you can do all the electrical tests you want, but it isn't going to shut off. If all is secure there, then move on with field tests.

Also an overly simple way to detect if you have a master valve or not is to flip open the controller face plate and see if you have a wire running to the MV/P port. If you do, then you almost definitely do have a master valve.

jvanvliet
09-27-2011, 05:22 PM
OK Dana, I thought the master valve just supplied the water under pressure, either as a solenoid controlled valve attached to city supply or a pump and is contolled seperatly from the irrigation zones. I'm guessing he'll only know if the problem zone only runs when all the other valves are on during their scheduled program when he has got pressure in the system, for that he'll need the master valve to operate.

I haven't encountered a automatic system yet that doesn't have some form of master valve. But I'm still a pup with a scant 10 years of experience in irrigation hell. :laugh:

jvanvliet
09-27-2011, 05:25 PM
Everyone seems on the money, except I've not noticed that the solenoid was pulled and the port was cleaned.

Does that come under section 2 subchapter XVII of the "clean the valve" clause? :laugh:

I mean you want to everything else first before you get your hands dirty right?

unit28
09-27-2011, 05:41 PM
This is going to sound overly simplistic and possibly trivial, but before you go nuts with a ton of troubleshooting, do one simple thing. Go over to the valve box that has zone 1 valve in it. Make sure that no one has cracked it open manually or messed with the bleeder screw. .

I'm wondering why there's no Toro reps chiming in.

The seconed step is to open the valve body by removing all 18 screws and
simply re-install them...done.:laugh:

jvanvliet
09-27-2011, 06:16 PM
Dana:

Having taken a shower and sucked down a glacier cold Coors, I see what you are talking about; he may have a continually presurized system tied directly into the city supply. That would omit the need for an MV. Duh :hammerhead:

Don't see that down here although I'm sure it exists. What I see is an elctric valve feeding a hydro-indexing valve when attached to city supply.

Anyway, if there was no MV and the valve was the problem, his complaint would be that it was running continually; he says it cycles on and off with the system.

I think he's got enough info the confuse him for a while.

Wet_Boots
09-27-2011, 07:15 PM
check the blinker fluid

clyde
09-27-2011, 10:19 PM
Hey guys, I got busy with some tractor work today and will look at the Irrigation tomorrow . I ll try everything mentioned here and let everyone know whats up. :usflag:

Sprinkus
09-28-2011, 09:17 AM
PE troubleshooting guide:
http://www.lashen.com/vendors/tempo/Manuals/trblsht.pdf

clyde
11-07-2011, 09:23 PM
Ok update: I went looking for the valves. I didnt get far until i decided it could be the controller PERHAPS, I spoke to a specialist and they said there is a 50% it might be.The guy at the store I bought the Rainbird ESP from a year ago said he would exchange it under warranty. SO I did that. I hooked it all up and BAM! same problem going on... I disconnected aaall the zone wires ALL of them! I turn it to any zone and the same problem happens it. ZONE 1 still turns on through any zone selected ( out of 12 total ).

We spent all day trying to dig through tree and bush roots to find valves. We had a metal detector. 24b chatter style device and an old diagram the irrigation company drew out in 1981 when it was installed. We had zero luck finding these valves on a 4 acre lot with 2 acres wooded flower bed natural areas.

Look I thought it might be the valve but considering the issues in finding it compared to a Warranty issue that MIGHT resolve the prob. I took the chance.

ANY SUGGESTIONS!?

clyde
11-07-2011, 09:26 PM
what will find a valve very deep , and VERY FAST... model number if ava. please.

DanaMac
11-07-2011, 09:30 PM
It's in the valve. You need a locating device Progressive 521 is the most common device.

clyde
11-07-2011, 09:37 PM
thats what i was afraid you were going to say ( 521 ).

If i was finding valves once a month in general I would say the $600 would be worth it but considering its about once every 6 months, i am not sure if I want to put that much out on the thing.

Any other ideas?

DanaMac
11-07-2011, 09:42 PM
Any other ideas?

Progressive 521 :)

Stuttering Stan
11-07-2011, 09:48 PM
Hire a local irrigation pro who has a Progressive 521. Or a utility locate service may be able to track the wire.
Posted via Mobile Device

Kiril
11-07-2011, 09:49 PM
thats what i was afraid you were going to say ( 521 ).

If i was finding valves once a month in general I would say the $600 would be worth it but considering its about once every 6 months, i am not sure if I want to put that much out on the thing.

Any other ideas?

If your time is free, keep doing what you were doing and get a tile probe ... otherwise rent/buy the tool that is made to find things like valves.

DanaMac
11-07-2011, 09:50 PM
Any other ideas?

X-ray vision.

clyde
11-07-2011, 09:50 PM
http://www.rycominstruments.com/3-8856-cable-utility-locator.asp

would this thing do it? My father has a co worker that use to be in the Utility location biz and he said he would sell it to me for $100

DanaMac
11-07-2011, 09:54 PM
Invest in the 521 equipment, market yourself out to other contractors that need the service. look on craigslist or ebay for a used one.

Not sure if that thing would do it.

clyde
11-07-2011, 09:54 PM
Stuttering Stan: Thats what I was considering. Doing tomorrow. Of course still even with the 521 its going to take time to locate it...

I have been working from one end of this yard to the next spending at least on ave. 5hours in the yard a week for the last 2yrs and I know only where about 2-3 valves are. The rest must be off in about half an acre of Azaleas bushes.

DanaMac
11-07-2011, 09:57 PM
A pro who has the equipment, and knows how to use it, should find it fairly quick. I'd say less than an hour. Call your local supply house and ask for recommendations.

clyde
11-07-2011, 09:58 PM
Ok i ll work on it tomorrow thanks!

irritation
11-07-2011, 10:23 PM
I did a wint today where the landscapers hacked up the irrigation. Ball valve on the backflow was shut off when I got there and knew there was trouble. Sure enough zones where sticking on and nozzles were clogged. They broke the main and got debris in the valves. Texas style 6" boxes scattered and buried in mulch beds.

Pulled out the 501 and marked the wire path and then let the 521 scream when it hit a box.

Autoflow
11-08-2011, 03:44 AM
I would get someone in with a locator to find all the valves. If the system is that old you will probably start getting more valves fail. Make a plan showing where the valves are for future reference and leave it there so when they fail, you don't have to get someone back out again. There would also be a master valve that is allowing flow through the main, so the stuck valve is operating when the main is pressurised, otherwise the stuck valve would run 24/7.
The only other thing it could be is the zone 1 wire has been screwed into the MV port, but I'm sure you would know that is not the case.

If the client agrees to get someone in to find them all, I would consider purchasing a locator and doing it yourself. The money you make out of this job can go towards it's purchase.
A locator is an invaluable tool to have. Just today I found a valve that I would never have found without it. Over a foot deep and directly above it was a 4 foot wide shrub that was planted maybe 4-5 years ago. It was on a large site and on the opposite side of a driveway to the zone it operated in a large garden. I found it in less than 5 minutes and spent more time digging than what it took to follow the wire path.

1idejim
11-13-2011, 12:15 PM
http://www.rycominstruments.com/3-8856-cable-utility-locator.asp

would this thing do it? My father has a co worker that use to be in the Utility location biz and he said he would sell it to me for $100

buy it. it will work, i use my 4110 a lot.