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Weathermatic Solenoids

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Hank Reardon, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    You guys may already be aware but Weathermatic had a bad [long] run of square solenoids. We were getting numerous failures on solenoids and WM just stepped up with a replacement program. From what we are seeing, years 2003 and 2004 are the in the scope. Contact your rep if you are getting failures on installs during that time.

    Good thing for RainMaster controllers. We would be waiting for the lawn crews to tell us something failed!:laugh:
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,684

    Part of the confusion regarding the solenoid failures is that some of the newer 'monster wire' solenoids are also suspect. Figure about 9/2004 for a point where good solenoids begin. Also, the failures were hours-in-operation-related, so wetter climates will take longer for enough operating time to accumulate, and the solenoids to fail.
  3. kozmo

    kozmo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Sounds like a nightmare must be tuff to keep pace. Did you talk to company about paying for failures?
  4. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    The sites we installed during that period started failing this year (early summer). The new 'monster wire' is a pain. You get three valves to connect and you have to use the 'monster king browns' to tie the commons.

    I've been running Auto Limits on our RainMasters and you can watch them start going down hill.

  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Why exactly were you using weathermatic valves in the first place?
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,684

    If you count back enough years, you'd have a tough time finding a better valve than a Weathermatic, and their solenoids were overdesigned, if anything. The 'Silver Bullet' valves were also pretty reliable (although I stuck with my Richdel valves) - now, with the founder's passing, there have been some transition pains.
  7. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    That is what has been installed on nearly every property I service. I only stock a couple of RB's and the rest is WM.

    As I'm new at this, is there another brand with better quality?

  8. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

    ive replaced over 40 solenoids this year, my supplier of weathermatic <Hughes> isnt passing out any FREE solenoids anymore.. something about the warranty has run out....
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    This type of question is like playing with a loaded gun. :)

    Everyone has their favorites (just like most products) based on experience, comfort level, availability, price and what has been traditionally installed in a particular area.

    As Boots has noted also, companies change throughout the years and product lines are bought out by consolidation of companies and often experience transitional problems. Additionally, it only takes one person's or machine's "oversight" to cause a huge problem down the line when the product is shipped out the door. Various products experience different problems down the line that make them unreliable during a specific time span. It does not make the product bad across the board but it does make for an aggravating time for both installers and maintenance people. The proof of the pudding is in how a company responds to problems and helps the irrigators wade through the difficult times that they face from product glitches that often determines whether or not their products continue as a primary product for many installers.
  10. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    We have replaced about 30 so far. HD Fowler has given me 80 total so we are set for now. WM told us to keep track of time and they would credit us the labor in WM products. Unfortunately, we only use the valves and the brass nozzles. That's a lot of valves and brass nozzles!

    I was told (by HD Fowler from WM) anything in the dates given by WM would be covered.


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