Trying to diagnose a problem with wiring

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by brandonppr, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. brandonppr

    brandonppr LawnSite Member
    from tn
    Posts: 57

    I am working on a 12 zone system at a commercial building. On 4 of the zones, when one gets power, all 4 get power, but none of those 4 will activate the zone. The rest of the zones work fine. When I switch one of the none working zones to one on the controller that I know works, the same thing happens, (the 4 zones get power, but don't work). The valves are all good. For some reason on those 4, if you touch the ground wire you get shocked.

    I am unfamiliar with irrigation systems. We took over a contract that requires us to care for the irrigation system as well as the mowing, etc. I know basics about wiring. I have a crew that knows how to do repairs, but not wiring problems.

    How are the ground wires run?

    I'm thinking that when these 4 zones get activated that the pos is touching the neg somewhere.

    Any ideas on how to solve this problem?

    Thanks ahead of time for any help.
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,876

    This is kind of out of your depth. Do you even own a multimeter to measure resistances with?
     
  3. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,404

    Read a book or something basic how to on the internet to famliarize yourself with basic wiring. The Major companies will provide you with this. Then go from there. After you do this.

    Figure out why 4 are getting power when only 1 zone is on? This doesn't sound right.
     
  4. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,057

    you don't say which zones. first 4? Last 4? Consecutive or not? When you are asking for advice online the more details the better.
    What are your measurements? This situation requires all three R-E-I in order to begin analyzing the field and controller. Especially this one.
    Are you saying that only the 4 station terminals get hot at once or that those same 4 zone wires get hot?
    Once again, when do you get shocked? only when the zone should be running or all the time?

    I am unfamiliar with irrigation systems. We took over a contract that requires us to care for the irrigation system as well as the mowing, etc. I know basics about wiring. I have a crew that knows how to do repairs, but not wiring problems.

    How are the ground wires run?

    I'm thinking that when these 4 zones get activated that the pos is touching the neg somewhere.

    Any ideas on how to solve this problem?

    Thanks ahead of time for any help.[/QUOTE]

    First i would measure the voltage (E) the current (I) and then remove the wires and measure the resistance (R) in that order.

    From there you can begin eliminating possibles.

    You could have a clock, transformer or faceplate issue (E), a direct short (I) or ground issue (R).

    Perform the testing or find someone with the knowledge to test the system and shadow them.
     
  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,806

    Their is power to ground this was done Mostlikely intentionally by the last contractor. You need a multi meter
     
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,057

    What makes you think that? Is it from a personal experience that you had? Just curious.
    I am glad that i am not alone in that thought.
    :waving:
     
  7. stebs

    stebs LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 365

    First thought is a damaged common in the field.... but that's without being on site to see it for myself.
     
  8. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,806


    No never experienced a intentionally disabled system but I know significantly more about electronics than I actualy know about irragation the sinister side of me suggests it was intentional
     
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,057

    Its been 6 days since the op's last post so i guess this thread goes down as another..........
     
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,806

    Waste of time
     

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