Service Questions, need some opinions here.

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bicmudpuppy, May 10, 2005.

  1. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    First, the easy question. I sort of know the answer, but want some input from anyone with prior experience. I got a call to turn on a system that is finally out of warranty with one of the management groups I sub for. The backflow is a Wilkins 950xlt DC 1.5". It failed. Second check is shot. I open the device up and the plastic seat is lose and the o-ring for the seat is hung up on the spring. To get a "feel" for the condition of the system, I put the cap back on #2 with the guts missing. The cap is hard to start, but once started makes about 2 turns and gets very hard to tighten up. The cap o-ring is also somewhat stretched. This device has only been in place for about 18 months. Does it sound like it froze and the check body is slightly warped to you? What are the odds that a new check seat and o-rings will allow the device to function? I have already warned those that need to know that they may be looking at a new DC install. Also, the bottom of the check seat is probably the reason for my stuck zone at the end of the run. I didn't get that far. I took the failed device back out of service and had to make my next appointment. I've ordered the parts. They were not expensive, so we will try to salvage the backflow. If it will pass with new parts, I will save the owners a few hundred bucks :)

    Now, for my hard question. I have an account that another company installed about 4 years ago. I took over the account when the litigation between the installer and the builder began. For the last 3 years, I have replace 2-3 solenoids per year. The date codes are mostly 01's but a few are early 02's. this would be common in this are for a late '02 install. The failing solenoids are WM on silver bullets. The controller is a ICC w/ a total of 24 stations, 22 are in use. There has not been a lightning strike at this site that anyone knows about. Is it possible to stress/strain solenoids if the crew didn't know what they were doing wired the controller wrong and fried it the first time? I'm thinking hooking the 120 to the 240 instead? I have replaced almost half of the solenoids and this system isn't 4 years old yet. Any thoughts on why this has happened would be great.
     
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    A ground short can cause a solinoid to go out. Have you checked all the wiring for any bad ground connections?
     
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    ...has been redsigned yet again.

    "It will be easy to identify the new product. Just look for “monster” solenoid wires and black threads."

    Apparently water was leaking into the coil area. Time will tell if they got it right.
     
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Contact your WM supplier. WM had problems with a batch of solenoids and they have been replacing the solenoids if they are brought in and made aware of the situation.

    Jerry R
     
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Again this begs the question why people continue to buy valves from companys that have had issues.

    Rainbird DVF's....Replaced maybe 2 solinoids out of a good 1000 installed?
     
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Local distributor has warantied all that I have presented so far.......I was looking for a REASON for so many bad. I didn't install it, they took the guys who did to court. Warranty for them is not an issue at this point. So, I can get ready to replace the other ten soon........Sounds good since it's all profit for the fix it guy :)
     
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Like I said, I inherited this one, just looking for a "why". Guess now I know ........
     
  8. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    Well my young friend if we quit buying from every company that had issues or product problems we would not have anything to install. We would be back to levees, dikes, gated pipe and syphon tubes for irrigation.

    Every manufacturer out there has had products go south at one time or another. Rainbird, Toro, Weathermatic, Hunter, Hardie, Irritrol, Buckner, Superior, Imperial, Moody, Nelson, Richdel, K-Rain, Griswold, Moist-O-Matic, and others that you have never heard of. What is important is how the manufacturer handles the problem once it is known to exist.

    And not to burst your bubble, but several years ago, Rainbird was sending replacement DV valves to the contractors that were having problems with them and they were paying for the service call to boot.

    So, we keep using what we like, what works best for us, and hope that the products will last through the warranty period.

    Jerry R

    Trivia question. Who started Moist-O-Matic and what Company eventually bought it?
     
  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Hmmmm, Jerry, have we swapped some of the same mud? :)
    I spent a season back in '95 working for Jay and Bob at "A New Deal" in DFW. You've got to love southern climates w/ that broad range of equipment out there to service.
    And I'm just guessing, but something makes me think your trivia answer is Hardie, but it might be Buckner. The obvious answer cuz of the "matic" would be WM, but that doesn't sound right. I'm probably wrong though. The geneology of parts always messed w/ my head :)
     
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,003

    My world crumbles about me :p
     

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