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2 bad valves

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by TPendagast, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,027

    I got called to troubleshoot a 14 station system on a esp 16lx that customer says is 4 years old.
    Stations 10 and 11 no longer fire. Customer states they started to act funny by only going off for 5 minuted instead of the 30 they are programmed for, then stopped working all together.
    Tested solenoids. they work
    Valves open maunally.
    Pump start relay works fine.
    No problem with other valves.
    Took wires off of station 10and 11 put them on 15 and 16, still wont fire.
    Changed out solenoid (rain bird dvs) any way.
    No dice.
    Tomorrow Im going to bring a test clock to see if I get any different responses.
    ALL zones check out green with station master, I suspect bad common wire, but why would only 2 zones of the 4 on that common be bad?
    any if the wire was broken it wouldnt show up green
    I had this happen once before this year only (never seen it before that) where we common would carry enough signal for the station master, but not enough to activate the valve, when i ran a new common every thing worked.
    Even though station master said circuit checked out.
    On this property I cannot run a new common (500 plus feet of finished immaculate landscape) without causing humungous amounts to the client.
    If that is the case Ill probably run DC latching solenoids.
    Tomorrow Ill redo all the wire nuts just incase. But everything looked tight under quick inspection today.

    Anyone know of what else this could be?

    Messages: 18,668

    Sounds like the common is grounding on you. Are the two zones along the tail end of the common path or do other valves work that are using the same common further down the line? Try to logically lay out where the common is good to and then where it starts to give you trouble.
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    Any spare wire you could use as a common?
  4. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    Sounds suspiciously like what I have going on at the cemetary - valves test OK from controller, solenoids test OK, but no joy when firing from controller.

    You say you can't run a new common - do have any spare wires that run from a good valve to either of the affected valves that you can use as a jumper?
  5. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    Beat you by a minute. :laugh:
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,267

    Some of these geezer are still spry, even if zone valves elude them :)
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,027

    Genious who put it in ran at least 6 commons.
    whether or not any of them run the same paths? I dunno.
    Maybe they ran an extra zone wire thats unused and i could turn a colored wire into a common.
    Odd thing is there are two valves per valve box.
    The two valves that arent firing are each in a differnt valve box and their companion valves DO work.
    You would figure they are using the same ground wires for those four valves ( all four are close to each other ...within 100 feet) but the performance Im getting is half and half.

    If there are two ground wires in the same valve box then Ill just use the other one, but it certainly didnt look like it.
    Valve 11 and 14 should be using the same ground because they are in the same valve box, but 14 works and 11 doesnt, and the same with 10 and 12 I dont know where the heck 13 is in all this, but it apparently isnt a problem so I didnt bother looking for it.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I suspect they only used 1 common, but ran 5 more to various phantom locations so ML could spend another month looking for buried valves. :laugh:
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    Keep kicking away & installing your little five zoners with laser tube.
  10. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    My point exactly. Or if the wire is multi-strand, pick up a wire that was used before it reached the bad location and use it.

    After re-reading your post, looks like the problem isn't on your common, it's on the hot side. To ask the obvious question, have you tried swapping the hots from one working to one not-working valve?

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