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Old 06-01-2012, 07:24 AM
jcom jcom is offline
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Location: Bismarck, ND
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New electrical snafu for me.

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
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:15 AM
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Sprinkus Sprinkus is offline
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Welcome to the wonderful world of troubleshooting poorly installed irrigation wiring.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2012, 08:38 AM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcom View Post
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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Old 06-01-2012, 08:59 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcom View Post
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).
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:45 PM
ArTurf ArTurf is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcom View Post
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.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:20 PM
jcom jcom is offline
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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
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:35 PM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcom View Post
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.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:40 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
I'm sure the client is overjoyed.
I'm sure your old
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2012, 04:31 PM
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KrayzKajun KrayzKajun is online now
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Originally Posted by Sprinkus View Post
Welcome to the wonderful world of troubleshooting poorly installed irrigation wiring.
Amen to that!
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2012, 07:12 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
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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.
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