A little stumped

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Hank Reardon, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    I apologize in advance for my rookie status but I have a problem I cannot solve. Here are the facts:

    Irritrol-Total Control TC-12
    13 year old system
    9 valves wired
    Misc valves (Hit, Buckner, etc.)
    Master Valve

    Client calls with screwed up system. I arrive and start at the controller. You fire a zone and the controller is sending 24vac to all zones at once. OK, swap out the module, everything is cool, the controller only sends the 24vac to the zone selected and the MV. One less problem as we've proved the electrical part.

    The problem is, the entire system is trying to operate at one time (even without 24vac going to other valves. I ohm'd out a solenoid at 21 so that is within spec's. I pulled a couple of bonnets and found some crap on the diaphragm but nothing major. Another test I performed was pulling a wire on a valve not selected (but is trying to run) and it continued to push water out of the heads.

    What am I missing? It's gotta be something obvious that I've just convoluted.

  2. DarkLotus

    DarkLotus LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 82

    Make sure all the bleeder screws are closed completely as well.
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Not being familiar with that controller, there's usually a difference between a module and the actual circuit board itself. If the controller is fixed then there's no reason to have power going to all solenoids simultaneously any longer. If the valves have been manually activated and left open then they will come on when the MV activates. I'd make sure that the entire system is "reset" before going any further. Make sure bleeders or other manual actuators on the valves are off, solenoids are snugly screwed on and the MV is off so the system is in ready "reset" mode before activating the controller again.
  4. Mjtrole

    Mjtrole LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    Start at the controller again and disconnect all the leads except the zone #1 lead, start up #1 and take readings on all the "empty" wires so you can eliminate that there are no wire cross ups in the field, ie. recent landscape work and someone hit the wires and they are touching.

    Sounds like the valves themselves are not closing, 13 yrs for valves sounds like they need to go anyway, even if you don't find anything in them to keep them from closing.

    Good luck
  5. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    If you pulled a wire off a solenoid and it continued to run, then I'd be pretty sure that the problem isn't electrical.

    Did you check to see if the plungers on the solenoids were ok? I've seen situations where they pretty much got frozen into the up position during winterization and more or less stayed jammed in the spring. Had to replace 6 in one yard one spring....
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Check the bleed levers on the valves. Hit and Buckner made bleed levers that were like those on Weathermatic valves, but they didn't have the same type of stop that W*M has. So it is possible to flip it all the way over to the other side.
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,170

    All of your suggestions are mine too. Hank told me the system is not
    winterized with air, as our client systems are, but a drain opened & the
    DCVA closed. The area is rank with iron & manganese in the water supply &
    I'm leaning towards clogged diaphrams (or worn out) and/or plugged
    solenoid ports. It's always weird when they ALL go down, tho the master
    valve does open & close. I'm going over this afternoon & see if I can
    confuse the issue even more.
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Things go bad for a reason. Since we aren't watching 24/7 and omnivolence isn't always available, we don't always "see" the cause. You stated that the controller was sending on all stations initially? The total control will run multiple valves/programs concurently. It is possible that the programing was screwed up and you were trying to run everything at once and the weakened/reduced voltage is the cause of your now existing solenoid problems.
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,170

    Good point, Hank did ohm out one of the solenoids & found about 20 ohms,
    low, but since we have zero experience with Buckner & Hit valves, do you
    think this could still be a fried solenoid deal. Yes, we've had numerous
    problems with "pilot error": multiple start, multiple runs. Are those valves
    a "fail open" w/ fried solenoid type? Thanks for your insight. Mike
  10. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    I worked on a system last year that had about the same problem, all zones letting water pass. I disconnected all field wires and still same problem so that eliminated the controller. We ended up replacing eight old Nelson valves with PGV Hunters and problem solved.
    Manually open master valve and see what happens....

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