Rainbird ESP Issue...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Southern Sky, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Southern Sky

    Southern Sky LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 13

    I went out tonight to help a neighbor start-up his irrigation system for the spring. The irrigation controller that was installed is a Rainbird ESP 4 zone controller with a 3 zone expansion module in use (7 total zones). I went to the controller, turned the dial to Auto and pressed the manual start button. Zone 1 popped-up and sputtered for about a second or two and went down. I turned the dial to the off position for a moment and back to Auto and pressed the manual start button again. Same thing, zone 1 popped-up and sputtered for a second or two and went down.

    I then pressed the test button and all of the zones came on and operated appropriately at this point. But, this is actually the second or third time I have seen this happen with manual start feature over the last few years. Has anyone run into a problem like this with the Rainbird ESP? If so, what did you do about it?
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    How much time is Zone 1 set for?

    The test button runs all stations for 2 minutes if I remember correctly.

    My other thought is perhaps this system was installed using a master valve, so there is a significant amount of air in the mainline due to winterizing, so the 1st zone ran will sputter for a minute or so, and the heads may not pop. By the time you ran the valve test, you may have charged the mainline.
  3. Bigred350

    Bigred350 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 779

    Did you try zones 2 and 3 to see what they did.

    And like dirtywater said..... sometimes it takes minuet or two before all the air gets out and everything pops up.
  4. What did the display on the timer show while this was happening....we need to narrow down our focus.....timer -vs- mechanical issue.
  5. Southern Sky

    Southern Sky LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Posts: 13

    I honestly don't remember exactly, but it seems that it was flashing "1" for zone 1 as would normally happen when the zone is engaging. As you can tell, I am not real clear on what it was showing but I am confident that it was not displaying any error message.
  6. If not an error message than it probably is not a timer issue. It could be, but I would look for mechanical failure of zone 1 or failure of a master valve if present.

    Or..as someone else said....could have been excessive air in the lines due to winterizing last fall.

    Good Luck
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Hmmmmmmm......... he is in Georgia. Kind of doubt they winterize with compressor.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,706

    In Georgia, they winterize with Stagnant Pressure :p
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Even if the system wasn't "winterized", but left dormant for an extended period, I would expect a system to need time to "pressure up". If everything is working now, I have to vote for operator error. It's a learning curve thing. Learn something from it, and no harm was done.
  10. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Hold down the button. Jezz.*trucewhiteflag*

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