2 Wire Systems

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by fire&rain, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. fire&rain

    fire&rain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    What systems are you using and what problems/difficulties have you encountered?

    Just bid my 1st on and have a good friend who is now doing a rather large one and has given me some great advice and tips. Just looking for anything that hasn't been considered yet.

  2. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    I maintain a hitt logic1 2 wire system. In the last 2 years I have replaced all 21 of the field receivers and the controller. You must have a very good asbuilt if you maintain a 2 wire system..
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794


    What advantage is there?
  4. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Received a call today that zones 16, 17 and 18 are not working....:dizzy:
  5. troc

    troc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I have installed about 10 two-wire systems in the last three years. I personally feel they are easier to maintain(althouth more costly), troubleshoot, and are in general more dependable-on larger sites especially.
    Of course, if your hardware is junk, and there seems to be a lot of it out there, then you are going to end up feeling like londonrain and not be very happy.
    Install according to specs with good lightning protection and high quality controller/decoder system and I think you'll be happy. I've found that a lot of guys are scared of two-wire because it's something that they're not comfortable with and aren't used to using. But here is the biggest reason it's better on some sites-

  6. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    Bare with me here...I'm new (but not scared :) ).

    I don't get the savings in either time, money, or ease of troubleshooting.

    The combination of the two wires isn't much smaller than my 13-strand, I don't need a decoder, and when properly labelled (A run, B run, etc. with arrows) on multiple runs they're easy to wire up. I pull mine into a plastic electrical enclosure (along with the remote pigtail), put everything into terminal blocks with spade lugs (stations labelled), and wire a shunt to the controller (matching colors). Makes troubleshooting easy and it looks sweet.

    Is it time for me to get schooled? :confused:
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,373

    I dunno, once you are getting into (tens of) thousands of feet of 14 (or heavier) gauge copper, there has to be a point where a two-wire system looks attractive.
  8. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    We have been in the process of installing a 2 wire system over the last 2 years at a huge Carriage Home complex. It has kind of been a "design-build" situation - with us not knowing a final zone count. Builder determines what is & what is not irrigated. Everyting has run pretty smooth except for a few problems with the Rain Bird controller, and your typical new construction associated headaches. So, a decoder system was ideal for this situation.

  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Maybe to gophers? :)

    It's what one is used to I guess. It really becomes no less complicated or labor intensive if your're set up with a proper wire reel cart.
  10. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    As Greensweep said - it makes adding zones at any point on the under-construction project simpler. If you have mainline nearby and the two wire in the same trench, then you can put an expansion valve anywhere.

    Also, on a system that has multiple controllers and upwards of 150 valves the wire nightmare becomes a pain. Doable, but a pain never-the-less. And as the job may be going in in phases, and other areas added on a year or two later, and new pads, walks, parking, etc. go in, then the chore of running a wire or wires back to the controller gets a little trickier. Now some may say to pull extra wires so that you don't have to do it later. That's fine if you want to sit on that money for labor and materials waiting on them to add more area that may not happen. And with runs of 1500' - 2500' from the controller and burying 34 14ga UF wires it gets pretty damn expensive. 50K ft of 14 UF is a few dollars to sit on hoping you are going to get to use it.

    And yes, there are times when large commercial jobs that go in in phases are installed by different contractors. You may have an in, but all it takes is for thr owners to fire the GC that you started with, and bring in another one who has a list of subs that he uses. You can be underbid on a phase, and now that guy gets to use your wire that wasn't in your original bid. Nope, not gonna do it. (Saw that happen on the irrigation system installed at Sea World in San Antonio. There were three irrigation companies working on that project at one time, all headed to the central location. It is on Maxi - but it was a mess)

    Two wire decoders may be expensive, but even if the wires get cut, looking for a single broken wire is a lot easier that sorting out 150 red wires after they run the backhoe through the system.

    Purp, I had a job with a six reel rack. Runs of over 1000' and 24 valves in that area. Many trips and through many sleeves and into the controller. Yeah it's labor intensive and labor expensive.

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