Timer troubleshoot

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Fahzu, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Need some expert advice...

    New Orbit timer turns on new valves in the front yard fine. Old back yard valves won't turn on and valve gives a "fault program" message.

    No breaks in the wire. Connections are clean.

    I tested the valves with a 9 volt battery...one sparks and won't turn on, but the others will run with 9 volt battery.

    Is it possible a 9 volt battery will run a solenoid but not a timer due to some problem with the solenoid that the timer recognizes?

    Thanks!
     
  2. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,134

    What are your resistance measurements?

    You are positive of this because?

    The one that won't activate leads one to believe the problem is just prior to said valve. Your resistance measurements will help diagnose the system better.

    The clock is 115vac.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    Did you install this?
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  3. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,079

    Run temporary wires from the timer to each valve (an extension cord will do). If the valves work with the temp wire the problem is the existing wire.
     
  4. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Here are some answers,

    I didn't check resistance.

    No breaks because I was able to run the valves with the battery from the conductors I was inserting into the timer.

    I installed the timer today, brand new.

    The wires leading to the back yard are copper, but smaller than the average gauge I see used for residential landscapes. Just in case this was causing a problem I ran some new wire direct to the valves and experienced the same issue.

    What should my resistance reading be if I'm checking the solenoids?
     
  5. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    There's your problem.
     
  6. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I was kind of wondering that too...
     
  7. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,134

    You should be reading between 20 and 60 ohms as a rule.

    You can switch the wires in the back to the terminals that are running the front yard for a quick comparison.

    Check the voltage of the terminal while under load but, start with your resistance and work from there.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Fahzu

    Fahzu LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119


    Thanks so much for the help. I'll run the checks tomorrow.
     
  9. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,049

    Step one- remove orbit timer from wall

    Step two- place orbit timer directly in garbage can

    Step three- install professional timer

    Step four- do what 1idejim said
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,808

    Step 5 - hit your head with a tack hammer until you come to step 6......
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