I'm stumped. Is it the controller or the solenoid?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by MILSINC, Jul 17, 2007.


    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    Need a little input guys. On a system I installed, one of the zones is running continually, even when the timer is set in the off position. During manual zone operation at the timer, the zone shuts off! When returned to auto, the zone turns back on again, when it shouldn't be. I replaced valve and solenoid, but same results. Could the problem be the timer? I am planning to swap wiring on that station with another zone to see if it does the same on another valve. Any thoughts? the controller is a rain bird ec 6.
  2. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,911

    What kind of valves did you install?
  3. JB926

    JB926 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 150

    controller is either putting out power to the station most of the time or you have an eratic solenoid. test the controller first then move on to the valve, but sounds like a hot zone on the controller

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    I installed Rain Bird DV valves. I swapped three brand new solenoids, each time with the same result (still running when it shouldn't be.). I also threw in a new valve. I am starting to think it must be the controller. I just got off the phone with Rain Bird ( I know, I'm really reaching here), and they didn't have any idea what would cause it, but they don't like to admit that the controller might malfunction. I do agree, I think that zone on the controller is not working properly. But any more ideas are greatly appreciated, as this is the first time I've had this type of problem, and I assume someone else has run across this before. Thanks again.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,708

    Why all the swapping, as opposed to some electrical testing?
  6. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 756

    I have to agree with Wet Boots, you have gone the hard route so far. Start with some electrical testing or do the most simple thing that requires no digging... Swap the zone wire.

  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Is a multimeter not part of you toolkit?

    If you getting voltage at the valve when your not supposed to, whats the point of digging it up and changing it?
  8. Bigred350

    Bigred350 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 779

    Or how about a phillips screw driver. If takes about 10 secons to unscrew the sone wire and unhook it to see if it shuts off.
  9. Mjtrole

    Mjtrole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    For future reference always start at the controller to troubleshoot, by the sounds of it you have probably wasted hours with no results.

    If you don't have a multimeter get one they are invaluable just in time savings alone, also if you don't know how to use a volt meter try using a valve solenoid, not as versatile but you can do some troubleshooting with it.

    good luck and go swap out that bad controller.
  10. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

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