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cjohn2000
07-12-2012, 02:44 AM
Got sent out to a apartment complex that has valves that wont come on. My boss already told me it was going to a wire locate. So out of seven zones the first three at the controller have continuity, the last four, nothing, open circuit. So I use my bosses Greenlee 521 to trace the common. I know where the first and last valve are and two in between, so two m.i.a. Well when I saw the last four on the controller had no continuity I kinda knew it was a common wire issue, nicked, bad splice, etc. I tried hooking the ground clamp to a zone wire and the other lead on the common and trace a zone but couldnt isolate one solenoid from the others reliably. Spent three hours getting this far. We also have one of those Greenlee "toners" but im not sure if that is the right tool for this. Obviously I don't have a lot of experience locating. Any help/ideas/suggestions much appreciated.

1idejim
07-12-2012, 09:58 AM
Got sent out to a apartment complex that has valves that wont come on. My boss already told me it was going to a wire locate. So out of seven zones the first three at the controller have continuity, the last four, nothing, open circuit. So I use my bosses Greenlee 521 to trace the common. I know where the first and last valve are and two in between, so two m.i.a. Well when I saw the last four on the controller had no continuity I kinda knew it was a common wire issue, nicked, bad splice, etc. I tried hooking the ground clamp to a zone wire and the other lead on the common and trace a zone but couldnt isolate one solenoid from the others reliably. Spent three hours getting this far. We also have one of those Greenlee "toners" but im not sure if that is the right tool for this. Obviously I don't have a lot of experience locating. Any help/ideas/suggestions much appreciated.

sent you a pm with my contact number, call me :waving:

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-12-2012, 11:10 AM
Of the valves you've found which work and which don't? If the first three work and are closest to the controller based on the wire path then locating from the third or furthest working valve towards the 4 non working is how I'd go about it. If the valves which have continuity and the valves that don't are distributed in an unorderly fashion then that is a little more complicated.

Duekster
07-12-2012, 11:18 AM
Jim will help ya but I do agree to trace the circuit wires not the common. The number sequence is not always related to location / relationships either.

1idejim
07-12-2012, 08:00 PM
So out of seven zones the first three at the controller have continuity, the last four, nothing, open circuit. So I use my bosses Greenlee 521 to trace the common. I know where the first and last valve are and two in between, so two m.i.a.

so what you're saying is that you are only looking for the 2 valves rather than 4? doesn't really make a difference, a locate is a locate.

Well when I saw the last four on the controller had no continuity I kinda knew it was a common wire issue, nicked, bad splice, etc.

this is a common perception that the common is ALWAYS at fault when a series of valves don't work, it's not always true since not all systems have single commons and when you are looking at the controller station assignments they are seldom in the physical order of placement. that's why you may see stations 1-3-4-7 working and 2-5-6-8-9 not working. this is what i use a TDR for and why i began helping others learn to use them.

I tried hooking the ground clamp to a zone wire and the other lead on the common and trace a zone but couldnt isolate one solenoid from the others reliably.

first of all, get used to connecting the red lead to the target wire and the black to an earth ground or the common. once this becomes habit you won't be making simple mistakes.

to make this short, you need to trace the wire path first and find the compromise.

this is prolly a common wire issue so i would trace the common first and make the repair.

a TDR/SSTDR and GFL would help you a bunch.

if you go back out call me and i will be happy to walk you through the locate :)

Duekster
07-12-2012, 08:07 PM
Here is my pay pal account do not send it to jim :laugh:

cjohn2000
07-13-2012, 12:50 AM
so what you're saying is that you are only looking for the 2 valves rather than 4? doesn't really make a difference, a locate is a locate.



this is a common perception that the common is ALWAYS at fault when a series of valves don't work, it's not always true since not all systems have single commons and when you are looking at the controller station assignments they are seldom in the physical order of placement. that's why you may see stations 1-3-4-7 working and 2-5-6-8-9 not working. this is what i use a TDR for and why i began helping others learn to use them.



first of all, get used to connecting the red lead to the target wire and the black to an earth ground or the common. once this becomes habit you won't be making simple mistakes.

to make this short, you need to trace the wire path first and find the compromise.

this is prolly a common wire issue so i would trace the common first and make the repair.

a TDR/SSTDR and GFL would help you a bunch.

if you go back out call me and i will be happy to walk you through the locate :)
My boss committed us to starting a installation today. But I told him I had someone who could help me with it. So Im going out in the morning befoer I take off for a trip in the afternoon. I honestly think this ( being finding a bad splice, nicked wire) is beyond him and I would just like to the water going again because were a sub of the landscape company and have multiple commercial properties with them. Kind of erks me that I wasnt out there today to finish this repair. Should have been a top priority, oh well. Just hope they havent mowed.:waving:

cjohn2000
07-13-2012, 01:01 AM
Well as far as I know there are seven zones, three of which work and a fourth that doesnt. Didnt take the time to see which ones they are but I believe they are the first three closest to the controller. So I am looking for three valves, but there are also some extra wires in the controller and the apartments "sprinkler guy" said they are extra :hammerhead:. Now I wonder if they may be part of the issue, because in the valves that I found, there are no "extra wires" and one of the valves is jumped to something else, like two valves wired together. Not to mention these "extra wires" were stripped back like they had been used at some point, but now have no continuity. Time to get a bunch of DBY splice kits ready as the maintenance guy decided to test the solenoids on the first four valves with an 18 volt battery, so house nuts on everything. And grease nuts have no place on a commercial site, IMO.

cjohn2000
07-13-2012, 01:10 AM
a TDR/SSTDR and GFL would help you a bunch.

All my boss has is the Greenlee. How much does a TDR cost. I will have to tell my boss to start saving money in his piggybank for one :) But we only have to do locates a few times a year.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-13-2012, 01:24 AM
Did you call Jim?

cjohn2000
07-13-2012, 01:27 AM
Did you call Jim?
Not yet, I plant to be out at the site in the morning, as a favor for my boss to try and get this problem solved before I take off for the weekend.

mitchgo
07-13-2012, 02:50 AM
Locating is fun -

I'll locate a couple times a week. A few years back Jim showed me the secrets and now I'm 99.9% accurate on all my locates :)

1idejim
07-13-2012, 09:45 AM
I'm irrigating at home so i have the time today, no problem.
Take some extra wire with you for grounding and testing.
This will be a hoot, look forward to working with you
Posted via Mobile Device

Kiril
07-13-2012, 09:50 AM
I'm irrigating at home so i have the time today, no problem.

Are you flooding your pastures?

1idejim
07-13-2012, 10:22 AM
Are you flooding your pastures?

Yup. My turn in the rotation.
I also have to check on the replacement status of tracks for the mini-ex and a ton of things i can do from home since it's friday the 13th.
Best of luck to all
Posted via Mobile Device

1idejim
07-13-2012, 06:02 PM
I spoke with cjohn and we will continue the locate when he returns.
Posted via Mobile Device

cjohn2000
07-17-2012, 02:28 AM
Went out today and identified my three working valves. Hooked my 521a to the common at the last working valve and traced toward the first "dead" valve. Half way I dug up pulled the common and checked continuity between there and the first dead valve, nothing, open. Created a jumper from that spot I dug up and the first dead valve and went to the controller. What do you know, I had continuity on all my zones, and they worked. So I attached my 521a to the spot I dug up and traced the dead area. Found a weak spot by a tree and dug up the common and checked continuity between my first spot and this spot and I had continuity. So I did this once more and have narrowed my "dead" area to about 40 feet from 200. Tomorrow I will dig a hole and check continuity on each side of this 40 feet. And hopefully I only have to "scab" in about 20 feet of wire. I know this may not be the most efficient way to find the problem but it gonna get the job done. In the end I think this was an original splice that slowly corroded and finally failed. Nothing was dug up all the wires are next to the main about 16 inches deep. Thanks to Jim for helping me get some bearings on the problem:waving:

DanaMac
07-17-2012, 09:28 AM
Sometimes with learning to locate, getting the job done is key, whether it is efficient or not. You will learn from your "non-efficient" methods and get better each time.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-17-2012, 10:57 AM
Nicely done for someone new to this tool. Run into too many of those situations and you will want a fault finder. It will put you right on top of the problem. Dana summed it up well.

Waterlogged
07-17-2012, 06:24 PM
Well done cjohn you always remember your first time:clapping: now ask for more money:laugh:just kidding

irritation
07-17-2012, 06:34 PM
Keep pot holing until you find the problem.

Without A Drought
07-17-2012, 08:36 PM
my tricks on the locator are, thanks to jim and pete, isolate the wire path as best you can. pull out the common from the controller, the problem wire, the plug the ground, everything you can to get a direct path from locator to wire, to ground.

then, make sure you have a good ground contact. i like to turn my power up at the box and down at the reciever, others do opposite.

listen, listen, listen. thats prolly the most subjective aspect of locating. each site is different, so you really need to train your ear, (and eye for that matter) and note even the slightest change in tone.

and, when in doubt, pot hole. even the best have done it...

irritation
07-17-2012, 09:04 PM
The 521 is not a good wire tracer, it's a good valve locator. I use my 501 more than the the 521 unless I'm looking for a valve.

1idejim
07-17-2012, 09:12 PM
The 521 is not a good wire tracer, it's a good valve locator. I use my 501 more than the the 521 unless I'm looking for a valve.

i find valves with my tr-4110 @ 84k without problems, the 501 should do the same. :)

i use my 521s very seldom anymore. too many other cool tools to use

irritation
07-17-2012, 09:17 PM
i find valves with my tr-4110 @ 84k without problems, the 501 should do the same. :)

i use my 521s very seldom anymore. too many other cool tools to use

It does, but I can't get it to scream like the 521.

1idejim
07-17-2012, 09:22 PM
It does, but I can't get it to scream like the 521.

reorient the aerial from horizontal to vertical. irrigation valve locators are all vertically oriented to react loudly (peak response) with the solenoid coil.

cjohn2000
07-18-2012, 01:02 AM
Well I learned more about how to locate with my 521a, but what got the job done was potholing. Three holes and I ended up only "scabbing" in 45' of wire compared to 400' between valves. But im convinced there are better tools for finding a nicked wire than the 521a, not saying it cant be done, just that their may be a more refined or specific tool. Now I just need to get my boss to buy that tool:)

1idejim
07-18-2012, 01:25 AM
Well I learned more about how to locate with my 521a, but what got the job done was potholing. Three holes and I ended up only "scabbing" in 45' of wire compared to 400' between valves. But im convinced there are better tools for finding a nicked wire than the 521a, not saying it cant be done, just that their may be a more refined or specific tool. Now I just need to get my boss to buy that tool:)

the best locator i have is me, everything else are jvst tools and accessories.

the trick to perfect locating is perfect practice and lots of it.

you can do a forum search for tempo progressive manual, download and memorize it. take note on connections.

i read everything i can on locating and i test test test. grounding is paramount. with a solid ground return path i can get 4 - 8 signal strength with minimal output enabling me to get better reception and greater distances.
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cjohn2000
07-18-2012, 01:29 AM
grounding is paramount
Posted via Mobile Device

Unfortunately, since the sprinklers have not been running it has been, as a maintenance guy once told me, "drier than a popcorn fart out there"

irritation
07-18-2012, 01:34 AM
I think Wa state is one of the few areas without drought conditions.

cjohn2000
07-18-2012, 01:36 AM
Yeah Im still doing a late startup here and there.

mitchgo
07-18-2012, 02:38 AM
I think Wa state is one of the few areas without drought conditions.

I have to admit we are pretty lucky . Come on over and have some Aqua
The top ground is finally drying up and some grasses are starting to crisp up. However noo drought what so ever





Our overall Seattle water supply situation and outlook is good.

Last week, 0.02 inches and 0.12 inches of precipitation were recorded in our Cedar and South Fork Tolt River watersheds, respectively.

We are starting the summer season with full reservoirs for water supply. Chester Morse Lake at the Overflow Dike is at elevation 1563.0 feet, about 0.2 feet lower than last week, and about 5.1 feet above its long term average (based on the years 1989 to 2005). Masonry Pool Reservoir at Masonry Dam is at elevation 1562.9 feet, about 0.3 feet lower than last week, and about 6.1 feet above its long term average. The South Fork Tolt Reservoir at the South Fork Tolt Dam is at elevation 1764.0 feet, about 0.8 feet lower than last week, and about 5.3 feet above its long term average. Water releases from reservoir storage are actively being managed for water supply and fish habitat objectives for both the Cedar and South Fork Tolt Rivers.

Water consumption for the previous seven days averaged approximately 152 mgd. That is more than the 142 mgd consumed during the same period last year, and less than the average of 190 mgd used during the same period over the years 1999-2008.

http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/About_SPU/Water_System/Water_Supply/WaterSupply/index.htm

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-18-2012, 10:47 AM
Well I learned more about how to locate with my 521a, but what got the job done was potholing. Three holes and I ended up only "scabbing" in 45' of wire compared to 400' between valves. But im convinced there are better tools for finding a nicked wire than the 521a, not saying it cant be done, just that their may be a more refined or specific tool. Now I just need to get my boss to buy that tool:)

There is its a fault finder. Both Greenlee and Arvada sell them. A must have tool for someone in the service business that deals with scattered valves.