Controller Bad?? "Short" on LED (Hardie)

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ed2hess, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,204

    When I attempt to run the controller in manual, or auto mode, it immediately shows "SHORT" on the LED. I checked voltage from transformer and it is good. I removed all 8 valve wires and gnd and measured resistance across each valve wire to gnd and that looks good. Can I assume this controller is bad? It is a HARDIE Total Control with 8 stations. With all gnd and valves wires the unit still shows "Short" when I try to run it manual/auto and there is no voltage to valve post.
  2. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 214

    I'd disconnect each of the station wires and the common wire. Then turn the station on with the wires disconnected and see if you get the short light. If so, it's in the controller, if not measure the volatge at the common and station teminal as you cycle through each station. The voltage should be ~24 volts AC. If they all check out good your controller is good.

    Then I'd check the resistance in each station wire and the common. You'll quickly determine which one has the short. I'd next disconnect the solenoid for that station from the field wires and measure the resistance with the ohm meter. The solenoid should show ~10-180 ohms. 0-10 ohms is a shorted solenoid.

    Once the solenoid, controller and the splices at the valve have been checked and found to be ok, you will need to get some specialized equipment to find the short in the field wiring.
  3. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    How old is the controller?
    Does it have a rain switch installed? Perhaps it has one that was installed by splitting the common wire outside of the controller.

    If you are getting the "Short" message with all the zone wires and common disconnected, and there are no master valves, and no rain switches, then it is a pretty good bet that it is the controller. irritrol has a good warranty on those models so if it isn't out of date, get a new panel and put it in.

  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,204

    Thanks for confirming the procedure to use on this With all wires disconnected (common+rain sensor+8 valve wires) the unit goes to short when I try to run in manual, and same in auto mode. The resistance on all the valves measured(relative to gnd)okay. This controller is about 5 years old. Kinda interesting I went all summer no controllers went out on our commericial properties now I have had two in Dec(one inside and one outside). Priced new rainbird at $117(outside box 8 station with rain sensor).
  5. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Perhaps the only thing left to do before chalking it off as a loss is to open up the controller and visually inspect the pc board and parts inside.

    It doesn't take much to have areas on a pc board short out, or open up. A loose component or wire, a scratch through the pc boards conductive foil, or even a barely visible metal flake can screw things up.

    ALTERAIN LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I had several simalar probs in past years. Ask the homeowner if they had any thunder storms latly. Lightnig will often fry a solinoid (and in turn damage cont.) or a diode on circuitboard even if it is grounded properly.
  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    does it do it on every station?
  8. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 241

    You must remove the battery, if one is present. Then you need to unplug the controller from the wall for a couple of minutes. Then follow the reset procedure outlined in the manual, although unplugging it should cause the board to reset anyway.
    If the board is the older style, without a fuse on the board, then it's probably done for.

    Best of luck.

  9. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    This info is taken from the Hardie instruction manual.

  10. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Another thing... I doubt that you're running more than one valve at a time per zone, but if you are, that could cause problems. Valves in parallel = less resistance and increased current flow. Controllers are different in how much current they can handle safely before you run into problems.

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