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multimeter...how do you use it?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greenworldh20, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 659

    today i met a competitior on a service call. he was across the street from our sprinkler install. he was trying to diagnosis (sp) a valve problem. the valve did not operate from the timer...ie..electircal problem.

    he was running back and forth from the valve to the timer with a valve, connecting the solenoid to the terminals of the timer, checking for the solenoid to 'hum'. then he went to the box to check for power...and so on and so on...

    why did he not have a mutimeter was my question.

    they have saved me numerous times, have made me alot of money and make me look like a genius.

    does anyone know how to use one? feel free to share your secrets.

  2. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

    i dont know why, but im facinated by my competition- i guess its just cool how they keep me with plenty of service calls. im suprised the people across the street didnt call you first.

    sounds like a cut wire.

    & he should get a progressive/tempo station master plus
  3. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 659

    actually, the solenoid was no good on the valve. there was 'power' at the timer and valve box.

    oh well...

    multimeters...a great 'weapon' in your irrigation 'aresenal'.

    also a great profit 'helper'.

  4. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 865

    I hate to admit it but I never used or even thought of using one for troubleshooting irrigation until this year. It has probably been one of the most useful tools I have learned to use and as Brian said,,,makes you look like a genious.
  5. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 659

    does no one want to share their 'secrets'?

  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Multimeter use...

    1. Test continuity at the controller. Check for resistance pattern. Not all valves will have the same resistance due to distance from controller, wire size, etc. Make sure all valve wires are spliced on new installation.

    2. Test for continuity at the valve to see if solenoid is good.

    3. Test voltage output at controller - station output, transformer output, wall recepticle output.

    4. Check condition or field wires - check for shorts and stretched wires.

    Use it in conjunction with the 200EP/77, the Station Master, the 521 and Pulsar and you can find out everything you need about the wiring problem, (except the reason the nimrod went under the driveway with thermostat wire and then spliced back to multistrand irrigation wire. And used electrical tape for waterproofing)

    Anyone got a copy of Bill Derryberry's book "Troubleshooting Electrical Irrigation Systems". Great little book,- had my copy for nearly 20 years.


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