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Old 06-22-2014, 11:01 AM
TJLinc TJLinc is offline
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Locating a valve

I will preface this story by saying that i am a licensed irrigation contractor.

I have been working on the irrigation system at my personal residence. Since I bought the house (September 2012) I have had to replace most of the valves. The system was installed in 1987. I have also replaced most of the heads, and will continue to do so as necessary until the system is all the same. I'm a sucker for K-rain super pro's. But that's not the point. The one zone that I have not had to do anything to is my zone 9. Well here's the problem... The previous owner had an issue with zone 8 so rather than fix it he jumped it onto zone 9. I don't know if they did this through the PVC or just with a jumper. I have plenty of water to run these two zones together as is. The problem is that I want to expand my turf area and add a few heads. Obviously, I can't do this until I get those two zones separated. I figure no matter which way I do this I need to find the valves, whether I separate the zones and add heads or add another zone it would be logical to start at the valve and keep everything together.

The problem is I cannot find the valve to save my life. 9 times out of 10 I don't even have to use a locator because I can look at a system operate and do a little probing and go straight to the valve. I have spent hours with a locator on multiple occasions now and can't find them. I will say that I am not the most experiences valve locator out there, but I have NEVER not been able to find a valve.

So, the question for you more experienced guys is. Do you have any tips, tricks, or secrets that you can share. This is super frustrating.

BTW I'm using a 501 locator.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:26 AM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJLinc View Post
I will preface this story by saying that i am a licensed irrigation contractor.

I have been working on the irrigation system at my personal residence. Since I bought the house (September 2012) I have had to replace most of the valves. The system was installed in 1987. I have also replaced most of the heads, and will continue to do so as necessary until the system is all the same. I'm a sucker for K-rain super pro's. But that's not the point. The one zone that I have not had to do anything to is my zone 9. Well here's the problem... The previous owner had an issue with zone 8 so rather than fix it he jumped it onto zone 9. I don't know if they did this through the PVC or just with a jumper. I have plenty of water to run these two zones together as is. The problem is that I want to expand my turf area and add a few heads. Obviously, I can't do this until I get those two zones separated. I figure no matter which way I do this I need to find the valves, whether I separate the zones and add heads or add another zone it would be logical to start at the valve and keep everything together.

The problem is I cannot find the valve to save my life. 9 times out of 10 I don't even have to use a locator because I can look at a system operate and do a little probing and go straight to the valve. I have spent hours with a locator on multiple occasions now and can't find them. I will say that I am not the most experiences valve locator out there, but I have NEVER not been able to find a valve.

So, the question for you more experienced guys is. Do you have any tips, tricks, or secrets that you can share. This is super frustrating.

BTW I'm using a 501 locator.
Sure, you aren't using the correct locator to begin with. The 508/pro300 are the pendulum types and the 521/521a and the Armada pro600,700,800 are all irrigation specific wire and valve locators. The 501 uses a much higher frequency and was developed for use in the catv industry. I'm not saying you can't find valves with the 501, what I'm saying is you are using a locator that wasn't designed to find valves, to find valves.

It can be done.
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I forgot, what's your resistance of the zone in question?

Last edited by 1idejim; 06-22-2014 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:47 AM
Irrigation Contractor Irrigation Contractor is offline
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If you can get your hands on a Armada 800 you will find it.

We finally have one now in every service truck and we passed our 521's down to our install crews for locating utilities.
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:53 AM
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AI Inc AI Inc is online now
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Are you sure previous owner didn't just double jump the wires? If he did nothing says he did it in the box you are looking for.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:06 PM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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First step is measuring the resistance of the zone, if it's between 11-19 the valves are prolly ganged. If not, he's going to have a more difficult task.
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Knowing what you're looking for is half the battle, he can always give me a call.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:27 PM
TJLinc TJLinc is offline
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I have no clue how he did it. My guess is he did it in the box though. I would think its much easier to do there than elsewhere.

The 501 is a borrowed tool. I know I need to buy a locator, but I just don't use one that much. We get very few irrigation repair calls for systems that we don't work on regularly. I only maintain about 150 systems regularly. Only use a locator a couple times a year, so I always put it off.

Most guys I know that have them use the 521 though. Is the Armada that much better?
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:56 PM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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The Armada pro800 is the finest irrigation specific locator on the planet at this time. This isn't just my personal opinion, it's my opinion based on it's versatility, durability and transition-ability

1) User choice of 2khz direct connection or 175khz broadcast (induction mode) allows one the option of tracing wire paths with or without access to the controller.
2) One may perform sweep searches of utilities or buried metal objects prior to trenching or plowing as a damage prevention measure.
3) Peak/null response selection allows for 2 different tracing tones and target accuracy confirmation on the run.
4) Higher voltage output translates to longer and deeper locate ability.
5) Support, you won't find a company that stands behind their product better than a Armada does. When an issue arises one simply places a call to the Armada headquarters and whammo bammo, you are the number one customer at the moment.

I'm seeing a few 800's pop up around Jeff, it's scary knowing I might have to go up against some guy that is using the same equipment I am. Might make me a better locator though, good company makes for better competition.

I have a feeling that we'll be seeing more of the Armada line of locating equipment in places we only found Greenlee or Tempo/Progressive before.
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Old 06-22-2014, 05:29 PM
TJLinc TJLinc is offline
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Jim and I had a great conversation about this earlier. Im posting my ohm readings here so that we can all learn from this. And, quite frankly, they leave me confused.

Zone 1- 21.3
Zone 2- 22.8
Zone 3- 238.6 - This is not a typo.
Zone 4- 21.5
Zone 5- 21.6
Zone 6- 21.7
Zone 7- 40.2 - This is a Rainbird valve
Zone 8- -
Zone 9- 16.1

Here's the readings. Let's discuss what this means.
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:30 PM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJLinc View Post
Jim and I had a great conversation about this earlier. Im posting my ohm readings here so that we can all learn from this. And, quite frankly, they leave me confused.

Zone 1- 21.3 -irritrol valve
Zone 2- 22.8-irritrol valve
Zone 3- 238.6 - This is not a typo.
Zone 4- 21.5-irritrol valve
Zone 5- 21.6-irritrol valve
Zone 6- 21.7-irritrol valve
Zone 7- 40.2 - This is a Rainbird valve
Zone 8- - open
Zone 9- 16.1-ganged

Here's the readings. Let's discuss what this means.
From our conversation I got that the system was comprised of irritrol valves which usually ohm out at 25/26 ohms at the bench. You're measuring 18ga wire that's been in the ground since '87 so this seems a reasonable expectation.

Your 238.6 measurement isn't too far from 180 ohms that indicates poor splicing. That'd be another reasonable expectation.

Your 16 ohm measurement is prolly the result of ganging zones 8&9. Once again it's just a reasonable expectation. Ohms law states that when more than one resistor is wired in parallel, the sum of the resistance is equal to the resistance of a resistor divided by the number of resistors. Or something close to that.

If your solenoids measured 26 and the wire influenced the measurement by 3 ohms you'd wind up with somewhere around 16 ohms. 26/2=13+3=16 or something like that.

Anyway I'd measure the amperage of zone 9 and expect to see something in the neighborhood of 400 ma. That would seal the deal for me.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:36 AM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
From our conversation I got that the system was comprised of irritrol valves which usually ohm out at 25/26 ohms at the bench.
You're measuring 18ga wire that's been in the ground since '87 so this seems a reasonable expectation.

Your 238.6 measurement isn't too far from 180 ohms, that indicates poor splicing. That'd be another reasonable expectation.

Your 16 ohm measurement is prolly the result of ganging zones 8&9. Once again it's just a reasonable expectation.
Ohms law states that when more than one resistor is wired in parallel, the sum of the resistance is equal to the resistance of a resistor divided by the number of resistors. Or something close to that.

If your solenoids measured 26 ohms, and the wire influenced the measurement by 3 ohms you'd wind up with somewhere around 16 ohms. 26/2=13+3=16 or something like that.

Anyway I'd measure the amperage of zone 9 and expect to see something in the neighborhood of 400 ma. That would seal the deal for me.
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just reread my post and it needed some help.
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