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number one zone is always on

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by clyde, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    Hey guys,

    I installed a Rainbird ESP system last year for a customer.

    She called me yesterday and told me zone 1 for some reason is running while all the other zones are running.

    It just started doing it a week ago.

    Any suggestions?

    I have never had this issue to come up so I am a little confused as to what happened.

    SHe might have gone out there messing with it or ele went out. :hammerhead:
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    99% of the time it is NOT the controller. It is most likely a stuck zone valve. Have her (or you) unplug the controller. If it does not shut down, it is a zone valve.
  3. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    it shuts off AND ON when you start and stop controller. Say you went to zone 2 passing zone 1 well zone 2 and 1 would come on.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,643

    Is there a master valve?
  5. clyde

    clyde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 335

    Not that I am aware of ( Wet Boots ).

    Why what are you thinking?

    I didn't install the system. I have done a lot to it though since they bought the house 2 yrs ago. Its about a 20 yr old system.Which I am sure has been upgraded little by little, i think there is about 250 heads in this yard.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    If it is shutting down when you unplug it, while zone 2 is still operating, then it is either:
    1. the controller is always sending a signal to #1
    2. the valve is stuck open, and there is a master valve in place that shuts down when the controller is unplugged. Turn the controller to off, and see if zone still is operating.

    I still stand by my diagnosis of the valve for #1. Don't believe everything the customer tells you about what they did or did not do in troubleshooting it themselves.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,643

    Disconnect the zone 1 wire - see what happens
  8. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,535

    Have you taken your multimeter and confirmed that current is flowing to station one (at the controller) while running through all the rest? Seems like the first diagnostic step you want to try.

    Unplugging the controller or yanking the wire kinda does the same thing, but this way you can compare voltage and see if any other zones are "live" too.

    I had a problem with an ESP-M earlier this year, though with multiple zones staying "live" 24/7 and discovered after some troubleshooting that replacing the backplane assembly (available at your distributor for free) solved the problem.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  9. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    I don't think a master valve has anything to do with a field valve staying open; maybe wrong, wouldn't be the first time.

    1. Electrical fault: Multi meter; disconnect zone 1; swap zone 1 to another terminal on the wiring block. Test system. If zone one opens & closes, you are done.

    2. Solenoid failure: test solenoid (I use a "station master pro"). If it fails, replace it.

    3. Debris in the valve: Not uncommon if you've done any repairs. Most hacks don't de-bur pipe or purge the lines following a repair - clean the valve.

    4. Too much pressure in the system for zone #1 to close: throttle the valve back a little at a time until it closes.
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    The MV wouldn't CAUSE the problem, but it can help us to diagnose in online. If the problem valve is only stuck on when the other zones are operating, then maybe there is a master valve. Then of course the problem zone would only run when all the other valves are on during their scheduled program, and off when they are done.

    But, it could also be a wiring issue, if if is only running when the other valves are running.

    I still believe it is a valve issue.

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