I guess I don't understand Rain Bird panel - valve hum & transformer hot

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by gdeangel, May 20, 2013.

  1. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    Since its a RainBird, im gonna gues and say an old ESP-M with firmware issues.
     
  2. gdeangel

    gdeangel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    The three buzzing solenoids were on zones 3, 4 & 5
    Z3 = 45 Ohms
    Z4 = 42 Ohms
    Z6 = 43 Ohms

    Wasn't able to isolate them because the wire nuts were rusted on and I didn't have my wire strippers. Anyway, I tested the zones after I disconnected them from the panel, and it should just be the same, right?
    116 VAC
    29 VAC. That's higher than it's rated at, but the voltage to ground was only 12V, so I think the meter might be the problem
    Well, that's interesting, because for sure something was drawing a lot of current to generate so much heat, but when put the transformer in series with the meter, plugged the thing in, and tested it, there was only .1 amps being drawn in "OFF" setting. But the receptacle is definitely the classic smoked color when there is too much current, so I have to think it was probably drawing a lot more when I showed up... although no breakers tripped... not even the GCFI on the outlet it's plugged in to.



    So like I mentioned above, when I did plug the thing back in after the transformer cooled off, the thing seemed to be working normally. No buzzing electromagnets (yes, I get it, don't call them motors), no voltages on the panel where they shouldn't be, and just a little heating up of the transformer what I would call normal (and no big current flow).

    So I'm just scratching my head again, but at least the thing is operational. :confused: I guess I'll wait and see if it happens again.... Unless it was the rain sensor, which I disconnected when I was testing the transformer and then left off when I reconnected it.... has anyone heard of wireless sensor generating back voltages to zones or other problem like that?

    BTW, your right on, it is an ESP-M with two installed modules and one open port. Not sure about the firmware...
     
  3. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    Never saw an ESP-M with firmware issues run three solenoids. Most of the time it was programming issues. In one case zone 4 could only be programmed to run for 0-9 minutes. RB will walk you through "rebooting" the controller.
     
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Had an RB ESP LXi today that was giving power to #5 all the time. Just moved the wore over to station 14. #5 solenoid was shorted out due to it. Probably did it all winter long.
     
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    We've also replaced 3 of the circuit boards on the ESPm controllers this week, due to the MV err message.
     
  6. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    I encountered one Pro-c that wouldnt recognize zone 3 and had to "re-loc" the module and plug the wall wart back in and now the wall wart buzzes. Seeing allt he weird issues with older ESP-M I wouldn't put this whole issue past it.
     
  7. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,774

    Ding Ding Ding Ding

    The first mod espm's are known for sending power to multiple valves in the off position. Time to replace the controller. You can quick fix it by resetting the controller.

    I've turned on small systems before to have all the zones ' on ' . I initially think all the valves are manually turned on.. Turns on the controller is sending power to all the zones. With the a 1amp fuse you can only have 3-4 valves on at a time before it blows
     
  8. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,774

    wow 3? I did one last week. We've weeded out a lot of them.
     
  9. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,774

    I've also seen the main module fail and do all this crap.
     
  10. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    could just esp smt it
     

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