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jcom
06-01-2012, 08:24 AM
I had to troubleshoot a non functioning valve yesterday. I had voltage at the solenoid but would not function. Installed another solenoid and still not operational. Same with a third. WTF??

I then put my meter in with the connections. As soon as I connected any of the solenoids, the voltage disappeared. I had only the common and the "hot" in the valve box. I was only a foot from where the cable left the building so I opened the cable and spliced in new wires to the box and all is well. The installer did not use waterproof wire nuts in the box so I think he used them underground as well. Nice guy that doofus.

I did not excavate in this situation but anticipate that in the future it will be needed as the remaining boxes are a long ways away.

John

Sprinkus
06-01-2012, 09:15 AM
Welcome to the wonderful world of troubleshooting poorly installed irrigation wiring.

1idejim
06-01-2012, 09:38 AM
I had to troubleshoot a non functioning valve yesterday. I had voltage at the solenoid but would not function. Installed another solenoid and still not operational. Same with a third. WTF??

I then put my meter in with the connections. As soon as I connected any of the solenoids, the voltage disappeared. I had only the common and the "hot" in the valve box. I was only a foot from where the cable left the building so I opened the cable and spliced in new wires to the box and all is well. The installer did not use waterproof wire nuts in the box so I think he used them underground as well. Nice guy that doofus.

I did not excavate in this situation but anticipate that in the future it will be needed as the remaining boxes are a long ways away.

John

what were yovr restance measurements john. did you measure your short to earth and your vac potentials. what about amperage measurements. you have a situation that will be made easier if you can list and compare results
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Kiril
06-01-2012, 09:59 AM
I had to troubleshoot a non functioning valve yesterday. I had voltage at the solenoid but would not function. Installed another solenoid and still not operational. Same with a third. WTF??

Just because you have the necessary voltage doesn't mean you have the necessary current. See the above post (Jim's).

ArTurf
06-01-2012, 01:45 PM
I had to troubleshoot a non functioning valve yesterday. I had voltage at the solenoid but would not function. Installed another solenoid and still not operational. Same with a third. WTF??

I then put my meter in with the connections. As soon as I connected any of the solenoids, the voltage disappeared. I had only the common and the "hot" in the valve box. I was only a foot from where the cable left the building so I opened the cable and spliced in new wires to the box and all is well. The installer did not use waterproof wire nuts in the box so I think he used them underground as well. Nice guy that doofus.

I did not excavate in this situation but anticipate that in the future it will be needed as the remaining boxes are a long ways away.

John

Welcome to the world of ground faults and breaks. I got my feet wet on this last year on a golf course with 500 yard long runs of wire (talk about jumping straight into the frying pan). With the help of the good folks on this forum I was able to learn and somewhat conquer this. I actually don't run across this much in residential.

jcom
06-01-2012, 03:20 PM
This was my first time where the voltage would disappear when a load was hooked up. In the past, if I had voltage, the solenoid would operate.

I did not do any measurements as to common to ground, etc.. I expect more trouble in the future on this property. And I expect the problems to be the same.

Where the installer branched out to the individual boxes, he simply brought the hot and common to the box underground. Saved a few pennies by not bringing the cable into the box but instead just brought the individual conductors. I am sure he used non waterproof wire nuts underground to continue the common.

John

Mike Leary
06-01-2012, 03:35 PM
This was my first time where the voltage would disappear when a load was hooked up. In the past, if I had voltage, the solenoid would operate.

I did not do any measurements as to common to ground, etc.. I expect more trouble in the future on this property. And I expect the problems to be the same.

Where the installer branched out to the individual boxes, he simply brought the hot and common to the box underground. Saved a few pennies by not bringing the cable into the box but instead just brought the individual conductors. I am sure he used non waterproof wire nuts underground to continue the common.

John
I'm sure the client is overjoyed. :rolleyes:

Kiril
06-01-2012, 03:40 PM
I'm sure the client is overjoyed. :rolleyes:

I'm sure your old ;)

KrayzKajun
06-01-2012, 05:31 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of troubleshooting poorly installed irrigation wiring.

Amen to that!
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agrostis
06-01-2012, 08:12 PM
You can find all kind's of problem's in all kind's of electrical thing's because of bad connection's all of the time.

grassman177
06-01-2012, 08:13 PM
Welcome to the wonderful world of troubleshooting poorly installed irrigation wiring.

always makes a day bad, i hate that most of all.:hammerhead:

1idejim
06-01-2012, 09:18 PM
I had to troubleshoot a non functioning valve yesterday. I had voltage at the solenoid but would not function. Installed another solenoid and still not operational. Same with a third. WTF??

I then put my meter in with the connections. As soon as I connected any of the solenoids, the voltage disappeared. I had only the common and the "hot" in the valve box. I was only a foot from where the cable left the building so I opened the cable and spliced in new wires to the box and all is well. The installer did not use waterproof wire nuts in the box so I think he used them underground as well. Nice guy that doofus.

I did not excavate in this situation but anticipate that in the future it will be needed as the remaining boxes are a long ways away.

John

this is a good example of repair by replacement john. your valve is working but you haven't a clue as to what was wrong with the system. instead of eliminating the problem and recording the info for use later you simply ran new wires. hows that going to help you in the future when other valves are failing? you said the runs are long so you arent runoing new wires to fix the issue. i am not ragging on you but think that you failed by succeeding
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Mike Leary
06-01-2012, 09:26 PM
::::Backs out of thread, I'm in enough trouble, already:::::

1idejim
06-01-2012, 09:47 PM
::::Backs out of thread, I'm in enough trouble, already:::::

why? john did what most trblshtrs would have done. problem is that he doesnt know why it wouldnt functon
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jcom
06-01-2012, 11:05 PM
I beg to differ, Jim.

With my simple troubleshooting, I jumpered the hot and all was the same. When I jumpered the common, the valve would function. Based on the fact that non waterproof wire nuts were used on the system and thus believing that the same were used where they branched to the boxes, the common wire nut was the problem. And it will be in the future as well. I can figure that out in this instance without readings. It is a relatively simple setup compared with what all the gurus, like yourself, have to deal with.

I can track a wire or a lack thereof if need be but it is not necessary in this instance. IMHO.

John

mitchgo
06-02-2012, 07:16 AM
I beg to differ, Jim.

With my simple troubleshooting, I jumpered the hot and all was the same. When I jumpered the common, the valve would function. Based on the fact that non waterproof wire nuts were used on the system and thus believing that the same were used where they branched to the boxes, the common wire nut was the problem. And it will be in the future as well. I can figure that out in this instance without readings. It is a relatively simple setup compared with what all the gurus, like yourself, have to deal with.

I can track a wire or a lack thereof if need be but it is not necessary in this instance. IMHO.

John

I'm glad you have gotten the situation fixed!

For a future reference of help as Jim is trying to give. A Simple Ohm resistance /voltage test from the controller- to this valve initially would have answered 90% of questions and confusing. Then Finding the valve and testing here would answer the remaining 10% ( Diagnosing)

Remember when electrical testing.. You goal isn't to simply 'find whats wrong' .. Your goal is to eliminate what is working properly

Starting all diagnosis from the controller initially is a must

jcom
06-02-2012, 08:39 AM
Thanks to all.

I have learned a lot on this one. Both on site and here.

John

1idejim
06-02-2012, 02:48 PM
john, i hope that you aren't taking my replies as an attack on you, that's not the purpose of my posts.

you as a professional assume the responsibility of analyzing and diagnosing the customers problems and correcting the issue at a fair price. this is what separates us from the home depot parking lot contractors.

electrical troubleshooting is basically performing a series of tests and knowing what those results mean. each measurement will clue you to the next step by telling you either what's right or what's wrong.

by the way john, 95% of the systems that i work on are prime candidates for the wall of shame, they're total fubar or they have a problem that some hotshot tech can't figure out. i wish i worked on the good stuff :waving: