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Old 07-24-2012, 09:57 PM
clcare2 clcare2 is offline
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locator trouble

I dont do alot of irrigation but the local guys are currently 8 weeks out on service calls, if they even aswer the phone, so a school i do some work for asked if i could help out. The system is around 15- 20 years old and the oldest current employee has only been there for 10 years, so no one has any idea where the valves are. In may two of the valves on the baseball field stopped working and they can't find them. I was called to use a locator to see what if i could find, really the blind leading the blind because i hadnt used one before either, and i didnt get any breaks in the line , it seemed to run all of the way to the end.

Is this normal and if not what could cause this?

Not sure what locator i was using but i am going back tomorrow for more investigation so i can find out then if it matters.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:02 PM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is online now
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Did you ohm-out the wires from the clock? Depending on the solenoid, you should see between 20 to 60 ohms.
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:50 PM
clcare2 clcare2 is offline
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No, i didnt. What will this tell me? That it isnt a wire break or some thing else?
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by clcare2 View Post
I dont do alot of irrigation but the local guys are currently 8 weeks out on service calls, if they even aswer the phone, so a school i do some work for asked if i could help out. The system is around 15- 20 years old and the oldest current employee has only been there for 10 years, so no one has any idea where the valves are. In may two of the valves on the baseball field stopped working and they can't find them. I was called to use a locator to see what if i could find, really the blind leading the blind because i hadnt used one before either, and i didnt get any breaks in the line , it seemed to run all of the way to the end.

Is this normal and if not what could cause this?

Not sure what locator i was using but i am going back tomorrow for more investigation so i can find out then if it matters.
where you are located is important as in many states the office of the state architect OSA maintains all prints and as-builds, you may be able to get a copy if the district doesn't.

Separate the issues, if more than area is in question focus on one, finish, then move on. Get a google earth photo of the fields you are working on for an in field reference source.

As Mike said take continuity / resistance measurements at the controller. If you have continuity at all of the stations the battle is half won.

Manually run each station and mark the zone on the GE photo, this helps you to visualize the layout. Try to note the first working head.

Connect the red lead of your transmitter to the common and the black lead to an earth ground. following the common wil lead you through the entire wire path. Mark the path and any directional changes you encounter.

Check the marked path against the GE pic for reference to the valves estamated positions.

Once this is all done you can connect the earthed lead to the common and the red lead to the zone wire and walk over the premarked wire path. The locator will be dead silent until you are over the solenoid.

There are a few other things you should be aware of, these valves are prolly 3 ft deep so a screwdriver is out of the question. In CA valves are normally in concrete VBs and i use a drill with a piece of rebar for a bit and bore a hole to the coocrete box lid for verification. The majority of baseball fields i have located valves on have 1 - 3 valves behind the backstop at home, in or near both dugouts and within 25 ft of 2nd and center field.

best of luck and happy hunting
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:54 PM
clcare2 clcare2 is offline
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Thanks for the help. This makes more sense now.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by clcare2 View Post
Thanks for the help. This makes more sense now.
Speaking of making sense, you just might hook a spare solenoid to the transmitter and listen to the receiver response when over it. I do this when i think i need to tune my ear a little.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:43 AM
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Now that was some excellent help.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:19 PM
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Any luck finding the valves?
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:41 AM
koster_irrigation koster_irrigation is offline
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yesterday we had a repair call at a apt. complex in Raleigh.

Apparently several zones hadnt worked in years around the office building.

Pulsar locator pinpointed when the jacket of the 9 strand cable was severed and ONLY the common wire was cut in two! lots of corrosion built up so
im sure it was cut a while back. Someone prob drove a stake in the ground for a banner sign is what we're figuring.

Another job well done thanks to the pulsar....
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2012, 12:00 AM
clcare2 clcare2 is offline
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Any luck finding the valves?
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Found the valves i was looking for. Both valves were in the same box. Go figure.

Since I was able to find take care of this, thnx for the help, I am going back in a couple weeks to map out the rest of the baseball field and the football field. Hopefully a good relationship for years to come.
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