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irritation
08-03-2012, 03:07 PM
I have a zone wire that is hot anytime the controller is running. Pulling the wire from the clock terminal does not shut off the zone, the only way is to disconnect the wire at the valve.

I've narrowed it down to the pump start wire and that zone wire touching somewhere underground, it's not at the clock or any valve box.

What is the best way to pinpoint locate the area they are touching without potholing?

hoskm01
08-03-2012, 04:24 PM
I have a zone wire that is hot anytime the controller is running. Pulling the wire from the clock terminal does not shut off the zone, the only way is to disconnect the wire at the valve.

I've narrowed it down to the pump start wire and that zone wire touching somewhere underground, it's not at the clock or any valve box.

What is the best way to pinpoint locate the area they are touching without potholing?
I would try with a 521 or other audible locator, tracing back from the valve until the sounds are "just right." Dig there.

irritation
08-03-2012, 04:51 PM
It's about 200' from clock to the well head which has the pump start relay and first valve bank. The wire controls a valve about another 200' away. Clock is in garage and wires exit next to meter base, cable box, phone box, dog fence, etc. I know the problem is between clock and relay. The locator is getting too much interference from surrounding cables. There is also a sidewalk and landscaping beds between.

1idejim
08-03-2012, 06:09 PM
I have a zone wire that is hot anytime the controller is running. Pulling the wire from the clock terminal does not shut off the zone, the only way is to disconnect the wire at the valve.

I've narrowed it down to the pump start wire and that zone wire touching somewhere underground, it's not at the clock or any valve box.

What is the best way to pinpoint locate the area they are touching without potholing?

i will pm you when i get to the computer.
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greenmonster304
08-03-2012, 06:12 PM
Check with Jim but if you hook the tdr to the zone wire in question and the pump wire it should read the shortest path witch would be out the zone wire to where it is touching the pump and back. Then half the distance.
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1idejim
08-03-2012, 10:12 PM
i will pm you when i get to the computer.
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if you have any questions about those methods i pm'd you, just call me.
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irritation
08-03-2012, 10:20 PM
Will do and thank you but the more I think about it I should just replace the section of multi-strand in question.

Mike Leary
08-03-2012, 10:31 PM
Will do and thank you but the more I think about it I should just replace the section of multi-strand in question.

Lay the fresh multi on the ground, hook-up each end, and see what happens, before you get too carried away with trenching. :nono:

irritation
08-03-2012, 10:41 PM
Yea I know, I'm pretty sure the wires have been hacked several times over the years.

Mike Leary
08-03-2012, 10:46 PM
Yea I know, I'm pretty sure the wires have been hacked several times over the years.

I just sent you a pm, before you get all carried away with 521s and tdr.

grassman177
08-04-2012, 07:04 PM
i like relaying wire, cheaper and easier in the end prob. those wire issues piss me off to no end.

Duekster
08-04-2012, 07:10 PM
sounds like a common is crossed somewhere.

1idejim
08-04-2012, 07:28 PM
sounds like a common is crossed somewhere.

valve wire, common would effect multiple valves.
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CAPT Stream Rotar
08-04-2012, 07:32 PM
short to earth?

Duekster
08-04-2012, 07:54 PM
valve wire, common would effect multiple valves.
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Likely but not always. How else could a valve be getting a hot from the controller with the wire disconected at the controller?
We do not know how the common is run either. We also do not know the valve is not the end run.

Mike Leary
08-04-2012, 07:58 PM
Likely but not always. How else could a valve be getting a hot from the controller with the wire disconected at the controller?
We do not know how the common is run either. We also do not know the valve is not the end run.

Which is why I suggested to simply run a new multi-strand across the ground to prove the problem. I'm not convinced the problem has been solved.

Duekster
08-04-2012, 08:03 PM
Which is why I suggested to simply run a new multi-strand across the ground to prove the problem. I'm not convinced the problem has been solved.

I can see that but not sure it is needed.

Lets run down the facts,

runs with every station ?
Runs even with wire disconnected at station.

Perhaps he should swap the station and common and see it the problem repeats in the same manner.

Mike Leary
08-04-2012, 08:10 PM
I can see that but not sure it is needed.

Lets run down the facts,

runs with every station ?
Runs even with wire disconnected at station.

Perhaps he should swap the station and common and see it the problem repeats in the same manner.

More screwing around and scratching ass doth not repair a line problem. I don't see Irritation as a dipshit, so he will tell us what he found, by the cheapest, most expediant method.

Duekster
08-04-2012, 08:14 PM
More screwing around and scratching ass doth not repair a line problem. I don't see Irritation as a dipshit, so he will tell us what he found, by the cheapest, most expediant method.

Oh yeah, your method is easiest. Only you would see it as hard to swap two wires.

Mike Leary
08-04-2012, 08:21 PM
Oh yeah, your method is easiest. Only you would see it as hard to swap two wires.

I would assume the op had tried everything already, he's on it, just relax. :drinkup:

Duekster
08-04-2012, 08:26 PM
I would assume the op had tried everything already, he's on it, just relax. :drinkup:


I recall you once telling me not to assume the OP had tried everything.
I know you have lots of experience but do not slam me when I make a valid post but challenge me at the same time.

If the common and station wire got crossed then swapping lines should tell us something. If not then no harm.

Cheers :drinkup:

Mike Leary
08-04-2012, 08:36 PM
I recall you once telling me not to assume the OP had tried everything.
I know you have lots of experience but do not slam me when I make a valid post but challenge me at the same time.

If the common and station wire got crossed then swapping lines should tell us something. If not then no harm.

Cheers :drinkup:

I was not slaming or challenging you, I was bringing up a point that that all my techs missed over the years: they spent more time and money coming up with 240,000 reasons why we had a problem, rather than just dealing with it, who cares what happened? Fix it, now.

Duekster
08-04-2012, 08:40 PM
QUOTE=Mike Leary;4490449]I was not slaming you, I was bringing up a point that that all my techs missed over the years: they spent more time and money coming up with 240,00 reasons why we had a problem, than just dealing with it, who cares what happened? Fix it, now.[/QUOTE]



I will spend about 1 hour trouble shooting ( and inspecting) at my service call rate. If it is not fixed then I quote a repair. I live ( and die) by the quote.

1idejim
08-04-2012, 09:11 PM
Likely but not always.

there is always something that can make a liar out of any of us but i feel confident in this situation

How else could a valve be getting a hot from the controller with the wire disconected at the controller?

by direct contact of the valve wire and the pumpstart wire in the field, if the common wire were the culprit then the wire wouldn't run with the valve wire disconnected at the controller.

We do not know how the common is run either. We also do not know the valve is not the end run.

i have found that common wires are common wires, they only service the wires they support but when joined at the controller, they still only service the valves they support.

you can have 12 common wires from 12 wire paths coming into a junction box where they are all joined, a single wire running to the controller. when joined the single wire services all 12 wire paths. the controller sends the voltage to the valve wire, the supporting common serves as the return path for the activated valve.

Mike Leary
08-04-2012, 10:08 PM
I will spend about 1 hour trouble shooting ( and inspecting) at my service call rate. If it is not fixed then I quote a repair. I live ( and die) by the quote.

Sometimes it's just best to do the obvious.

AI Inc
08-05-2012, 06:39 AM
Sometimes it's just best to do the obvious.

What he said

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-05-2012, 11:38 AM
there is always something that can make a liar out of any of us but i feel confident in this situation



by direct contact of the valve wire and the pumpstart wire in the field, if the common wire were the culprit then the wire wouldn't run with the valve wire disconnected at the controller.



i have found that common wires are common wires, they only service the wires they support but when joined at the controller, they still only service the valves they support.

you can have 12 common wires from 12 wire paths coming into a junction box where they are all joined, a single wire running to the controller. when joined the single wire services all 12 wire paths. the controller sends the voltage to the valve wire, the supporting common serves as the return path for the activated valve.


Not to get off topic here, Jim, the other day I was trying to find a valve.

I after 30 mins I put the MM back on the each of the commons on the clock..and found something odd. the valve wire its respective common were on 2 different wires...Meaning when I was putting my 521a ground lead on common and red lead on the valve wire I got nothing.. And boy was I pissed...

I admit I was moving to fast..

Wet_Boots
08-05-2012, 11:52 AM
I was having a swell time (not) looking for valves the other day with my (mumble mumble) locator, and I was getting all kinds of false positives, including the copper house supply line.

Duekster
08-05-2012, 12:00 PM
there is always something that can make a liar out of any of us but i feel confident in this situation



by direct contact of the valve wire and the pumpstart wire in the field, if the common wire were the culprit then the wire wouldn't run with the valve wire disconnected at the controller.



i have found that common wires are common wires, they only service the wires they support but when joined at the controller, they still only service the valves they support.

you can have 12 common wires from 12 wire paths coming into a junction box where they are all joined, a single wire running to the controller. when joined the single wire services all 12 wire paths. the controller sends the voltage to the valve wire, the supporting common serves as the return path for the activated valve.

That would make to logical place to look for a cross connection is at the pump controller.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-05-2012, 12:14 PM
I was having a swell time (not) looking for valves the other day with my (mumble mumble) locator, and I was getting all kinds of false positives, including the copper house supply line.

521???? blue box?


I can find conduit from time to time.

Wet_Boots
08-05-2012, 12:41 PM
I was trying to find more crappy Flo-Pro valves, and was getting lots of AC hum (stoopid buried powerlines) Most of the false leads were at least semi-logical if you assumed 'coupling' from one conductor to another, as I could see the Malibu lights, and the blue mark at the curb for the water supply.

CAPT Stream Rotar
08-05-2012, 12:57 PM
did you put the black lead on the common and red on valve wire?

Wet_Boots
08-05-2012, 01:12 PM
Didn't get anywhere that way. There were enough extra conductors in two additional cables to make for many dead ends. I think the water line showed because my earth-ground wire was parallel to it. I was trying to finesse things by using lower output levels (less coupling that way, theoretically) ~ found the last group with output maxed, and connected to a valve wire.

1idejim
08-05-2012, 02:15 PM
Not to get off topic here, Jim, the other day I was trying to find a valve.
Since when did anyone think any of our ramblings were topic specific?
after 30 mins I put the MM back on the each of the commons on the clock..and found something odd. the valve wire its respective common were on 2 different wires...Meaning when I was putting my 521a ground lead on common and red lead on the valve wire I got nothing.. The valve wire is supported by 1 common Ed, along with any other common that is tied into the supporting common. You haven't a clue what people prior to you have done to the wiring to make it work or not. That is why i am such a bear about gathering information. I could also interpret the lack of signal part of your statement as, aint supposed to hear anything in a closed loop until you're over the valve. And boy was I pissed ... You are a little high strung my friend, it's what makes you want to be the best you can be.

I admit I was moving to fast..
I hope that is more of a hindsight observation than an excuse. There is nothing wrong with analyzing your process as long as you aren't looking for an excuse. Many times have i screwed the pooch and turned it from negative to positive. Next time take a couple of extra breaths, you'll end up with a more harmonious outcome.

Next time you have an issue, call me. 24/7 for you Ed
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CAPT Stream Rotar
08-05-2012, 02:18 PM
The problem I had the other guy with me, who is a great worker, but i had nothing for him to do, I need to keep the return per man @ 100$ or as close as possible so the pressure is always on me with a 2 man service crew.....

I am High strung...
Thank god for smokes and swear words.

Mike Leary
08-05-2012, 02:45 PM
The problem I had the other guy with me, who is a great worker, but i had nothing for him to do, I need to keep the return per man @ 100$ or as close as possible so the pressure is always on me with a 2 man service crew.....

I am High strung...
Thank god for smokes and swear words.

Seems like you work in a small market, as I did. Do you charge "portal to portal?"

1idejim
08-05-2012, 03:10 PM
Didn't get anywhere that way. You wouldn't get anywhere unless you had pretraced the path or were sweep searching. There were enough extra conductors in two additional cables to make for many dead ends. Situations like these teach one that the earth ground is critical. I think the water line showed because my earth-ground wire was parallel to it. Possible but not probable unless you were crossing the water line with the return path and the water line was much shallower than the wire path. You're in cold country Boots, water should be fairly deep. I was trying to finesse things by using lower output levels (less coupling that way, theoretically) Good for you Boots, somebody does listen. The less voltage that you place on a conductor the farther the signal will travel. The more voltage you place on a conductor the more it bleeds and the easier it couples. The problem with irrigation locators is the lack of frequencies which allow you to punt when required. found the last group with output maxed, and connected to a valve wire.

The ability to adapt is paramount. Glad you found your targets.

I am sending you a pm, read it. It may help next time.

BTW what type of locator does Harbor Freight sell?
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