Amateur Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by lawnspecialties, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I have approximately 15 high-end residential accounts that I do their full-service lawn maintenance. One of the services I try to help them with is assistance with their irrigation system. Start-up, winterization, programming, head and nozzle replacement, and other "light" stuff.

    I have one long time customer with a Toro system approximately 5-7 years old. We just recently decided to start the system for the year since Raleigh's had some great rainfall totals this spring, but we're coming off last year's big drought.

    I have the valve opened at the meter, the backflow is installed correctly, the controller seems to be working fine, but no water is flowing. I try to run it manually and although the controller says we should be seeing water flowing like crazy, nothing's coming from the heads. The water meter shows no activity at all. They have a rain sensor on the roof but it hasn't rained in over a week and it's been in the high 90's several days now.

    What am I missing? If it's something "big", we'll call the company that installed the system. But if it's just something I could easily handle but just missed, then I'm ready to learn something new.

  2. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,577

    Wires are cut, probably to the rain sensor.
  3. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,605

    is there a master valve? maybe its not working or the clock is not setup to run w/ a master valve? Open a valve manually on any zone, if water comes out if might be as simple as the clock not working (wouldn't surprise me if its a toro)
  4. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,577

    More than likely one of these caused it.:laugh:
  5. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    Are the valves on BOTH sides of the meter open?
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,804

    Try opening a valva manualy, if the heads come up its an electrical problem, if they dont , its a water problem ( as in the backflow isnt turned on or only 1 valve is open)
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,374

    Definitely the blinker fluid.
  8. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,804

    Better get out the board stretcher

    Messages: 18,668

  10. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I went by there this morning with some hose-end sprinklers to get them by. It's gonna' be 102 today after 100 yesterday and 100 tommorow.

    But I thought I'd try checking things once more. Water at the meter, backflow correct, and I then opened a valve manually. Water started flowing in zone 4 perfectly. I'm now thinking electrical.

    The homeowner starts mentioning how she had the gutters cleaned in April and the guy had mentioned something about a "sensor". They have a step ladder just barely high enough for me to stand on the top rung and be eye level with the sensor. All the wires and connections look fine but I see it's set at 1/8". I turn it to 1/2" and then manually try the controller and water starts flowing like crazy.

    It's been set at 1/8" since it was installed I guess. But for some reason, I guess the morning dew or something kept it from running this year. Oh well, another lesson learned.

    Thanks for everyone's tips. :)

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