Help with a locate

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by cjohn2000, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    Got sent out to a apartment complex that has valves that wont come on. My boss already told me it was going to a wire locate. So out of seven zones the first three at the controller have continuity, the last four, nothing, open circuit. So I use my bosses Greenlee 521 to trace the common. I know where the first and last valve are and two in between, so two m.i.a. Well when I saw the last four on the controller had no continuity I kinda knew it was a common wire issue, nicked, bad splice, etc. I tried hooking the ground clamp to a zone wire and the other lead on the common and trace a zone but couldnt isolate one solenoid from the others reliably. Spent three hours getting this far. We also have one of those Greenlee "toners" but im not sure if that is the right tool for this. Obviously I don't have a lot of experience locating. Any help/ideas/suggestions much appreciated.
     
  2. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,331

    sent you a pm with my contact number, call me :waving:
     
  3. Of the valves you've found which work and which don't? If the first three work and are closest to the controller based on the wire path then locating from the third or furthest working valve towards the 4 non working is how I'd go about it. If the valves which have continuity and the valves that don't are distributed in an unorderly fashion then that is a little more complicated.
     
  4. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Jim will help ya but I do agree to trace the circuit wires not the common. The number sequence is not always related to location / relationships either.
     
  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,331

    so what you're saying is that you are only looking for the 2 valves rather than 4? doesn't really make a difference, a locate is a locate.

    this is a common perception that the common is ALWAYS at fault when a series of valves don't work, it's not always true since not all systems have single commons and when you are looking at the controller station assignments they are seldom in the physical order of placement. that's why you may see stations 1-3-4-7 working and 2-5-6-8-9 not working. this is what i use a TDR for and why i began helping others learn to use them.

    first of all, get used to connecting the red lead to the target wire and the black to an earth ground or the common. once this becomes habit you won't be making simple mistakes.

    to make this short, you need to trace the wire path first and find the compromise.

    this is prolly a common wire issue so i would trace the common first and make the repair.

    a TDR/SSTDR and GFL would help you a bunch.

    if you go back out call me and i will be happy to walk you through the locate :)
     
  6. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Here is my pay pal account do not send it to jim :laugh:
     
  7. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    My boss committed us to starting a installation today. But I told him I had someone who could help me with it. So Im going out in the morning befoer I take off for a trip in the afternoon. I honestly think this ( being finding a bad splice, nicked wire) is beyond him and I would just like to the water going again because were a sub of the landscape company and have multiple commercial properties with them. Kind of erks me that I wasnt out there today to finish this repair. Should have been a top priority, oh well. Just hope they havent mowed.:waving:
     
  8. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    Well as far as I know there are seven zones, three of which work and a fourth that doesnt. Didnt take the time to see which ones they are but I believe they are the first three closest to the controller. So I am looking for three valves, but there are also some extra wires in the controller and the apartments "sprinkler guy" said they are extra :hammerhead:. Now I wonder if they may be part of the issue, because in the valves that I found, there are no "extra wires" and one of the valves is jumped to something else, like two valves wired together. Not to mention these "extra wires" were stripped back like they had been used at some point, but now have no continuity. Time to get a bunch of DBY splice kits ready as the maintenance guy decided to test the solenoids on the first four valves with an 18 volt battery, so house nuts on everything. And grease nuts have no place on a commercial site, IMO.
     
  9. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    All my boss has is the Greenlee. How much does a TDR cost. I will have to tell my boss to start saving money in his piggybank for one :) But we only have to do locates a few times a year.
     
  10. Did you call Jim?
     

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