Question about the 521

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mike Leary, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 22,068

    Are we o.k. when tracking a wire from the clock to locate a valve hooking
    the 521 ground wire into the green ground off the transformer? Thanks.
     
  2. The 521 works the best if you disconnect the field wire and the common from the controller and hook directly on the field wire....
     
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 22,068

    Ground to the transformer ground o.k.? Thanx londonrain.
     
  4. I don't think it would be the best way to trace a field wire since it would possibly send a signal through all the field wires at the same time and send you on a wild guessing path....

    I have shocked myself twice in 2 days using the 521:cry:
     
  5. Mjtrole

    Mjtrole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 226

    Grounding to the transformer ground will pick up Everything that is grounded, best to stick to the "hot" wire you are looking for, if its a big problem to locate the valve mark your path with some flags and then go back to the start and follow your markings but this time hold the wand parrallel with the wire route and the tracker will signal when there is a connection.
     
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    When working from the controller I disconnect the field and common wires so I don't get a looped transmission through a completed circuit and just limit my location to the wire I'm looking for. I never ground the 521 to the green controller ground wire, rather to something else metallic nearby that is grounded and I get a very good signal then. If it's an outside controller on a wall or in a pump enclosure then I'll ground it like normal into the earth. If my controller is indoors and I can't seem to get a good ground inside I'll actually take a piece of 14 gauge wire to extend the ground to earth outside. Has worked well for me over the years.
     
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    On a different note... I always make sure that the signal indicator level is between the recommended #4 and #8. Sometimes this means jabbing the grounding probe deep into the soil while other times I barely have it in the soil. Can't always accomplish this with an inside ground point though.

    In this picture I went off the controller's common wire with an earth ground probe. I was able to get a strong signal even through the concrete in an attempt to trace the wire path and probable main line. The slash in the right of the picture was for the triangulation depth which is usually pretty accurate.

    Four Creeks Bike Area Main Leak 3-23-07 IV-02.jpg
     
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Its always nice when the controller is mounted next to a waterheater, or any other sort of plumbing that you know is properly grounded :)

    If I'm out in the field, a 12" screwdriver in the ground works just fine as well.
     
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Should be very little difference between using the green ground in the controller and any other part of the house ground. That being said, I agree w/ Haze. Getting a seperate earth ground is the best answer. Remove the wire being tracked from the controller. No way around this to get a reliable signal. Again, we have all skipped this step at some point, but usually, you end up doing it right. Dead short solenoids that don't "ring" can be found by connecting the 521 ground to the common after you have located the wire path. You will get a fuzzy or null signal until you pass the valve where the power wire stops. Also, if you have a wire that just doesn't sound "right" when your tracking, reverse your connection. Ground the red and connect the black ground to the wire being traced.
     
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Ours came with a grounding probe which is basically a screwdriver sharpened to a point on the end.
     

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