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ESP program stacking

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bicmudpuppy, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Ok, I mentioned this in another thread, but nobody bit. I had an E-class refuse to stack identical start times. Will the ESP stack identical starts on the same program? There are enough guys here using them that someone should know. It is more than idle curiosity, I have programed ESP's this way in the past, and just assumed it worked. With the weather here as wet as it was last year, it might not have. The mow/maint. guys have re-programed the ESP's for me on some sites in prior years. I'm wondering now if they might have had a good reason.
  2. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    Which kind of ESP Controller (model) are you referring to?
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Does it make a difference? The program software is different depending on ESP model? I'm curious about the nuiances then. Which ones will and which ones won't recognize duplicate start times?
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    The commercial versions do vary quite a bit from the regular homeowner ESP4si units, yes. I was just trying to figure out which you were using. The terms you're using "stacking identical start times" don't make sense to me. So I was thinking maybe this is a commercial thing, which I have less exp. with.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    On controllers that do not allow for cycle and soak programing, instead of doing a lot of caculations and scheduling like we used to with the old mechanicals, I "stack" start times.

    What this means is, if you have a "tight" soil or significant slope, you program the run times just like you normally would for any other controller. This allows you to "keep your story straight" w/ the home owner. I am a proponent of 1/2" watering cycles and I like 3 day intervals during the worst part of our dry season backing off to 4 and 5 day intervals as the weather becomes less harsh. You can then use the water budget feature on most controllers to reduce the water by 50% and then program 2 start times. I usually make both start times exactly the same so the home owner understands that we are just spliting the same run. I don't know why, maybe it is the way I explain it, or something else, but this works one on one w/ most of my customers who need the soak time. My problem was the RB controller didn't run both trips, only one. I switched start 2 to a time 30 min later (about 4 hours total so 2 hours/ 50% cycle on this site) and it ran twice like I was telling it to. Is this problem normal with RB controllers? ESP, E-Class, etc.??

    Even the old Nelso controllers have always stacked identical starts for me. Works on Hunter, Irritrol and Toro (though I really don't like that clock). Was hoping for an intelligent answer on why not on the RB.
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,632

    Simple solution. And it will work for any timer that can stack.
  7. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Hmm... this is a bit like stacking up aircraft that are trying to land all at the same time at a busy airport. I suppose a few scenerios could happen given different controllers, for whatever it's worth.

    One controller could stack them, others would run the first sequenced and then drop the second start time since it would have elapsed, and then the third scenerio would be that both are actually running at the same time, but being that the same zone is programmed to run in both cases you'd just assume that the addition start time was being dumped.

    And what happens with Program B when it's start time is the same as Program A? Same thing as programming the same start time just within one program? I don't know, but things tend to get flakey.
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    If we were talking about a Hunter or Irritrol clock, I know the answer. Same for a "Toro" that looks just like the Irritrol products made after they bought Hardie. Programs are automatically stacked. Order of stacking occurs by time, program, and start time. The priority of these may be slightly different, but my understanding has always been that time comes first. After that which start time it is, and then which program it is associated with. This may seem backward, i.e. 4:30am start 1 program B runs before 4:30am start 2 program A, but that is how the program prioritizes, or at least how it was explained to me.

    My first experience with this as a major malfunction was w/ an irritrol total control on a well pump system that had around 18 zones. The customer decided to reprogram things and programed a start time for each station or that is what they thought they were doing. They couldn't understand why the system wouldn't shut off, by the time I got there, the controller had finally maxed out the stack buffer and was in an error state. 18 starts w/ a total program time of around 8 hours...............was going to run for a VERY long time
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    You seem to like to needless overcomplicate things.

    I usually set up one program for the customer, and explain how to adjust the timer for more coverage depending on the zone.

    Theres really no need for all that fancy programming unless you like to waste your time doing 15 minute callbacks.
  10. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    True, true, keep it simple, but at the same time having some sort of knowledge on these idiosyncrasies related to controllers never hurt anyone. And, needless to say, that some fancy programming - if you want to call it that - is often justified as in the case of keeping new turf from drying out.

    At any rate, my curiosity is enough for me to experiment with this, on my own time of course. Lets see... Program C supercedes B, except on odd dates, whereas on those days program A's second and third start times supercede the first... unless if it is raining outside, or a Wednesday. Did I get that right, bicmudpuppy?

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