bad solenoid, timer, transformer, wire?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BSME, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    Four out of five valves now won't open by the timer... they are getting power and will turn on when turned on by the timer and then when I close and then open the valve on the backflow preventer... they also close when I turn off the timer...

    I have to go back tomorrow because I didn't have the multimeter in the truck... any ideas? not enough current to pop the solenoid but enough to hold it open? what are the chances? and possible causes....

    unless I'm missing something
     
  2. AceSprinkleRx

    AceSprinkleRx LawnSite Member
    from Wyoming
    Posts: 95

    "Four out of five valves now won't open by the timer... they are getting power and will turn on when turned on by the timer"

    They (valves) will, or will not, turn on by the timer? Think I'm missing something here and you'll certainly need the multimeter! :D
     
  3. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    will not turn on by timer...

    but will make the solenoid buzz....

    I can pop the valve on by opening that ball valve on the backflow preventer once the solenoid is buzzing....

    once I cut power to the solenoid the valve will shut off
     
  4. GreenscapesofWestMichigan

    GreenscapesofWestMichigan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    dont know what valves you have, but first thing i would do is pull the plunger out to see if there in dirt in ther keeping it from moving....if not put new selinoid in and you should be good to go....


    Erik green
    Greenscapes of West Michigan
     
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,027

    With 4 of 5 not operating when the valves are under pressure, but still capable of lifting the solenoid plunger when dry, it sounds like low voltage at the solenoids, which makes the wiring a suspect. Check resistances.
     
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Check the common wire - may be nicked, stretched, or a loose connection.

    Jerry
     
  7. GreenscapesofWestMichigan

    GreenscapesofWestMichigan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    99% of valves are fail safe off....which means if the selinoid doesnt have power it wont turn on...if you loose pwer it will shut off automatically. if the common was nicked it wouldnt startplus one valve works properly....multiple valve problems at ounce tells me some did a repair up line some where and either got dirt in valves, pvc shaving, or glue...etc....4 selinoids do burn up all at ounce in a yard....not impossilbe but unlikely...

    now if they are toro hydrulic valves..lol...enough said.....

    Erik Green

    Owner Greenscapes Of West Michigan
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,027

    Not those rare hydraulic solenoids! ;)
    I would still bet a beer on it being a voltage problem that is presenting a 'threshold' situation. A solenoid plunger will lift in an unpressurized valve, but won't lift in a valve under pressure. Since it takes extra force to lift the solenoid plunger in a valve under pressure, it looks like an instance where the solenoids are right at the threshold of operating. Bad wiring could be the culprit here.
     
  9. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Gotta disagree with that. If the one valve that works properly is the closest to the controller, then the common could be bad from that point on and the last four wouldn't work. I'm still with Wet Boots on this one and there is a wiring problem and it is more than likely in the common wire, as the chances of four hot wires being bad at the same time is also very unlikely.

    And if the solenoids will click (hum) with the controller, then there is probably some sort of extra resistance in the wiring. Chances of four valves not operating due to trash is just about as likely as all four solenoids going bad at the same time.


    Jerry R
     
  10. GreenscapesofWestMichigan

    GreenscapesofWestMichigan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    all good points....im just presenting my argument from what he told us....didnt say order of valves, also didnt say weather he worked on it or some one else did....all speculaion....but ill bet $$$ its a maintenance problem not a mechanical problem....that might not be clear but brains not working today..lol


    Erik green
     

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