Lack of 521 fun - Texas edition...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bcg, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    I got called out to a property yesterday that's 26 zones on 2 controllers (15 on 1, 11 on the other). They had a 2nd house built on the property a few months ago and had a 2nd septic system put in and when the installer did it, he managed to cut through 10 of the 11 zone wires on one side of the property. Looked through the wires and didn't see any common wire but went ahead and spliced them all back together anyway and can't get any of them to run. System was put in sometime in the early 80's and there's not a 6" valve box to be found so I think, break out the 521, find the valve that works, trace the common to a wire fault and dig, find a valve that doesn't work and repeat. Easy enough, right? Well, the 521 isn't working.

    No matter what wire I hook up to, I'm not getting null over the wire. If I go to one side, I'll get tone, go to the other side and it's null as far as you go. The ground is bone dry and I don't know if that might have something to do with it but I can't get it to work. Called Greenlee and they suggested wetting the area where the ground stake was and trying moving it around or adjusting the signal strenght but none of that seemed to work. If I can't trace this wire, I'm going to be digging down the zone wires until I start finding valves (probably 60 - 80') and I really don't want to so if any of you have some tricks you can suggest, I'm all ears.
     
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,923

    Why do you Texans bury the valves so deep, is it the oil drilling heritage? :rolleyes:
     
  3. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,908

    wet the ground with a hose brotha.
     
  4. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    the wires are only 8" deep but who knows how long I have to dig down them to find a valve. The wires are broken right in the middle of a zone and it's easily 80' from one end to the other. I can't imagine the valves will be more than 8" - 12" deep, but who knows.
     
  5. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    I did where I put the stake in but the area I need to trace through is easily an acre...
     
  6. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,923

    Check the batteries on the 521, you might tone the common from the clock & field-
    locate it, that will get you back to the null. Hopefully, you'll find one valve where you
    can backlocate the common. Why am I posting?, I'm a miserable failure.
     
  7. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,908

    yikes...

    get that fault locator.....or jwings rusty flag trick
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,412

    Are you trying different ground points? I was always able to get a signal when I was using a locater, but it would sometimes be louder on one side than the other.
     
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,923

    ::::sets to work on a locator that plays Jonathon Edwards as the wire path is followed
    and Celine Dion when the valve is located:::::
     
  10. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    I tried moving the ground stake all over the place. Even went out and un-spliced one of my splices to see if I could go find a valve from there and no luck. Tried the common wires as well, same thing. If I watch the little meter on the wand, moving to one side of the wire, the needle goes up, move to the other side of the wire and it stays at 0.
     

Share This Page