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View Full Version : Rainbird LXME Delay b/n station


e171fish
07-18-2012, 06:55 PM
I'm a homeowner and just had an irrigation system installed that uses a Rainbird LXME controller. The system is supplied by a well and the controller only allows up to a 10 minute delay between stations. I need a longer delay to allow the well to recharge.

Without trading controllers, does anyone see a problem if I re-wire the controller using every other station connection port?

Station 1 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 1, station 2 on the module not connected, station 3 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 2, and so on.

I can then use the unconnected stations "run" time for setting whatever "delay" time is needed between stations as it cycles through the program.

I tried it this afternoon and it works, but I'm wondering if there will be any negative effects.

My installer told me that I know more about the controller than he does, so that is the reason for posting in a professional forum.

Thanks

Wet_Boots
07-18-2012, 07:25 PM
I'm a homeowner and just had an irrigation system installed that uses a Rainbird LXME controller. The system is supplied by a well and the controller only allows up to a 10 minute delay between stations. I need a longer delay to allow the well to recharge.

Without trading controllers, does anyone see a problem if I re-wire the controller using every other station connection port?

Station 1 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 1, station 2 on the module not connected, station 3 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 2, and so on.

I can then use the unconnected stations "run" time for setting whatever "delay" time is needed between stations as it cycles through the program.

I tried it this afternoon and it works, but I'm wondering if there will be any negative effects.

My installer told me that I know more about the controller than he does, so that is the reason for posting in a professional forum.

ThanksIf the present controller doesn't satisfy, get a different one. Or better yet, balance the system so that your pump can run continuously, without the well going dry.

By the way, it was not uncommon to program 'dead' stations, on old electromechanical controllers, for just the purpose of allowing wells to recharge. On modern controllers, your results may vary, as some controllers will not let a zone operate with an electrical fault present, and that would include an open circuit

mrsteve
07-18-2012, 07:27 PM
I have one of those controllers in play and it will do almost everything you could want. I looked in the manual for the station delay and you are right on ten being the max setting according to the book. I don't see a problem with swapping wires to get more time. You should be able to turn off any activation of master valves etc. on the dummy stations. Maybe the pump experts will chime in with any concerns.

1idejim
07-19-2012, 01:04 AM
I'm a homeowner and just had an irrigation system installed that uses a Rainbird LXME controller. The system is supplied by a well and the controller only allows up to a 10 minute delay between stations. I need a longer delay to allow the well to recharge.

Without trading controllers, does anyone see a problem if I re-wire the controller using every other station connection port?

Station 1 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 1, station 2 on the module not connected, station 3 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 2, and so on.

I can then use the unconnected stations "run" time for setting whatever "delay" time is needed between stations as it cycles through the program.

I tried it this afternoon and it works, but I'm wondering if there will be any negative effects.

My installer told me that I know more about the controller than he does, so that is the reason for posting in a professional forum.

Thanks

that doesn't speak very highly of the installer, does it?

how much time are you placing on your ~recharge~ stations?

unless you create a circuit the only thing you have is a hot terminal. if you were daisy chaining the vacant stations you could be asking for trouble back feeding current.
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DanaMac
07-19-2012, 08:44 AM
I have seen this done. I have a customer with 4 older RB ESP 8 station controllers on a wall (don't ask, I've tried upselling). She does the exact same thing. Her system is on a well, but it comes off the house and the tank. It's not designed where it is turning on the pump directly, through the controller. So with hers, the pump is not operating when the "dead" stations are running. Seems to work for her.

To the OP - how many stations do you have? Could you still utilize the delay, and set up half the stations for one day, and have the other half run the next day? Using the A and B program?

Wet_Boots
07-19-2012, 08:46 AM
It does seem odd for a controller to have a station delay that does not permit well recharging.

Kiril
07-19-2012, 09:19 AM
I'm a homeowner and just had an irrigation system installed that uses a Rainbird LXME controller. The system is supplied by a well and the controller only allows up to a 10 minute delay between stations. I need a longer delay to allow the well to recharge.

Without trading controllers, does anyone see a problem if I re-wire the controller using every other station connection port?

Station 1 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 1, station 2 on the module not connected, station 3 on the module connected to sprinkler zone 2, and so on.

I can then use the unconnected stations "run" time for setting whatever "delay" time is needed between stations as it cycles through the program.

I tried it this afternoon and it works, but I'm wondering if there will be any negative effects.

My installer told me that I know more about the controller than he does, so that is the reason for posting in a professional forum.

Thanks

1) Determine what your well can supply continuously and short term

2) Schedule your run times so they don't exceed that amount by splitting the total zone runtime over multiple start times, allowing for well recharge between the end of the one cycle and the start of the next.

2a) Alternatively you can schedule the cycle and soak for a soak time of up to 60 minutes for each zone. This is essentially the same thing as you would be doing by setting multiple start times, however using cycle and soak is a hair easier as the controller sets up the start times automatically. If the cycle and soak is not enough, then you are stuck with using multiple starts.

e171fish
07-19-2012, 10:16 PM
Thanks for the replies.

A little background...

The system was installed a few months ago. It consists of 19 zones, 11 for the front yard and 8 for the back yard.

The well is 290ft deep and provides approximately 12gpm at 60psi from the spigot with the pump running. Unfortunately I don't know any other specifics regarding the well. I also don't know the pressure at the heads, but it seems to be very strong.

Zones 1-3 are spray heads for landscaping beds and the remaining zones consist of three RB 5000's per zone with 4gpm nozzles.

The front yard is setup as Program A , which is zones 1-4, and Program B, which is zones 5-11. Zones 1 and 2 run for 20 minutes, zone 3 and 4 for 30, and zones 5-9 run for 35 minutes each. Zones 10/11 are not used. Total run time is 3.75 hours on Mon, Wed, and Fri.

The back yard is setup as Program C, which is zones 12-16, and Program D, which is zones 17-19. Zones 12-16 run for 35 minutes, zone 19 runs for 15 minutes. Zones 18/19 are not used. Total run time is 3.16 hours on Tue, Thur, and Sat.

After installation, I discovered that the well was cycling on and off every few minutes because the well was providing more water than the irrigation system was using.

I ended up setting zones 1 and 2 to run simultaneously, and the same with 3 and 4 using the simulstations setting on the controller. I changed the nozzles in all of the remaining rotor zones from 3 to 4gpm. The well pump now runs consistently for the duration of the irrigation program.

Most mornings after irrigating, our household water is a little yellowish in color for a short period of time. The well company believes the well is drawing down to far after irrigating for 3-4 hours and introducing sediment. Thus the need for a delay between stations to allow the well to recharge.

The yard is surviving with 35 minutes per zone but I think it needs to be increased. Increasing the run time without being able to set a delay will only cause more water issues.

Ideally I'd like to run the rotor zones for one hour with a one hour delay.

I tried the cycle and soak program today, but when one zone is “soaking” the controller advances to the next zone and irrigates. It then returns to the previous zone, finishes the irrigation, and then moves forward again. The system is calling for water the entire time.

The Hunter ACC controller appears to do what I need but I really don't want to spend an additional $700+ if I can find a solution with my current controller.

If I did not have to run zones 1 / 2 and 3 /4 simultaneously to prevent the well from cycling, there seem to be a lot of less expensive controllers available that will allow the delay between stations that may solve my problem.

Zone 1 uses 6 sprays and approximately 7.36gpm. Zone 2 uses 5 sprays and approximately 6.98gpm. If ran independently the well pump cycles, so I combined them to prevent that from occurring. Similar situation with zones 3 and 4.

I guess I could add more heads to each of those zones to use more water and prevent the well cycling. I could then use most any controller.

I'll try multiple start times and/or rearranging programs and see if I can find something that works before I re-wire the controller using every other connection port.

Thanks to anyone who is still reading.

eludemann
07-19-2012, 10:45 PM
You could upsize the nozzles on each zone. That would increase the amount of water put out, keeping the zones running about the same times and keep the pump running without doubling the zones up. It may put you closer to the output of the well and not draw it down as much. Just a thought.

S.O.Contracting
07-19-2012, 11:01 PM
Check out the flow management section of the manual. It starts on page 51. Might be able to set it up to only pull X gallons of water from the well before stopping.

Wet_Boots
07-20-2012, 12:25 AM
find out what is the precise delivery of the well - how many gpm at what pressures - make a chart, and forget what your pressure switch is set for - chart the well/pump performance to 70 psi at the tank, and maybe higher if the pressure switch will allow

you will forget about combining zones - you will run one zone at a time, and nozzle the heads in those zones to match the well performance - this is what was done in olden days, and you can do it today, even if the balance (balance means there is no cycling) between well and zone is met at a pump output beyond 70 psi, because modern pressure tanks are rated at 100 psi or greater - sometimes, you have to replace the pressure switch with a heftier model with a higher range of cutoff pressures - it's an effort, but worth it

but there is a shortcut

there are a family of devices that can retrofit to a well install, upstream of a pressure tank, that takes away all the hard work involved in balancing a system to a well - one such device is named Cycle-Stop Valve - you dial up your desired output pressure (a number below the cutoff on your pressure switch) and the device maintains that outlet pressure that makes your sprinklers work, and the pump operates continuously the entire time the zone is on

e171fish
08-02-2012, 11:46 AM
The csv is interesting but I'm going to try balancing by adding additional spray heads to Zones 1-3 so they can run independently. The zones could actually use additional heads for better coverage.

The remaining zones are balanced.

Thinking about using the Hunter I-Core controller. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Wet_Boots
08-02-2012, 12:07 PM
If you get the entire system balanced, what problem does the existing controller present? Does continuous well operation at any output pressure whatsoever (going above 70 psi here) run the well dry?

e171fish
08-02-2012, 05:34 PM
The current controller only allows a 10 minute delay between stations.

I've never ran the well dry, but after 3 plus hours of irrigation, we get the yellowish/brown water inside from what the well company believes is sediment being introduced because the well has drawn down.

slava
08-02-2012, 05:41 PM
AFAIK RainBird LXME has Cycle&Soack function. You can use it. It's some sort of dirty hack, but should work.

Wet_Boots
08-02-2012, 05:50 PM
you are still pissing in the wind until you know what the deal is with the well's recharge rate - find out what it is

the colored water is probably years of deposits on the walls of the well shaft, that come loose when the water level drops more than in past years - you can simply filter it out for the time being

e171fish
08-02-2012, 07:30 PM
The well is only 2.5 years old. Does the recharge rate test need to be done by my well installer?
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Mike Leary
08-02-2012, 07:37 PM
The well is only 2.5 years old. Does the recharge rate test need to be done by my well installer

We call it a "pump-down" test up north, and, yes, your installer should have provided you paperwork for demand/recharge criteria. I'd be thinking of another well guy to do a test, if you've got no info. :dizzy:

Wet_Boots
08-02-2012, 07:40 PM
that test should be done when the well is drilled, but you could still do filtration - it isn't like yours is the first ever well to bring up unbeautiful water

e171fish
08-28-2012, 09:58 AM
Quick update... All of my zones are now balanced to prevent the well pump from cycling.

I'm just waiting on a Hunter I-Core controller to replace the Rainbird unit so I can set longer a longer delay b/n stations to allow the well to recharge.

Should be all set after it arrives.

Thanks for all of the helpful information.

AllSeasonFortCollins
08-29-2012, 07:44 PM
If you are still having problems contact me at allseasonlandscapefortcollins@gmail.com and I will walk you through what you need to do to get the timing right.