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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Four out of five valves now won't open by the timer... they are getting power and will turn on when turned on by the timer and then when I close and then open the valve on the backflow preventer... they also close when I turn off the timer...

I have to go back tomorrow because I didn't have the multimeter in the truck... any ideas? not enough current to pop the solenoid but enough to hold it open? what are the chances? and possible causes....

unless I'm missing something
 

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"Four out of five valves now won't open by the timer... they are getting power and will turn on when turned on by the timer"

They (valves) will, or will not, turn on by the timer? Think I'm missing something here and you'll certainly need the multimeter! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
will not turn on by timer...

but will make the solenoid buzz....

I can pop the valve on by opening that ball valve on the backflow preventer once the solenoid is buzzing....

once I cut power to the solenoid the valve will shut off
 

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With 4 of 5 not operating when the valves are under pressure, but still capable of lifting the solenoid plunger when dry, it sounds like low voltage at the solenoids, which makes the wiring a suspect. Check resistances.
 
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99% of valves are fail safe off....which means if the selinoid doesnt have power it wont turn on...if you loose pwer it will shut off automatically. if the common was nicked it wouldnt startplus one valve works properly....multiple valve problems at ounce tells me some did a repair up line some where and either got dirt in valves, pvc shaving, or glue...etc....4 selinoids do burn up all at ounce in a yard....not impossilbe but unlikely...

now if they are toro hydrulic valves..lol...enough said.....

Erik Green

Owner Greenscapes Of West Michigan
 

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Not those rare hydraulic solenoids! ;)
I would still bet a beer on it being a voltage problem that is presenting a 'threshold' situation. A solenoid plunger will lift in an unpressurized valve, but won't lift in a valve under pressure. Since it takes extra force to lift the solenoid plunger in a valve under pressure, it looks like an instance where the solenoids are right at the threshold of operating. Bad wiring could be the culprit here.
 

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GreenscapesofWestMichigan said:
99% of valves are fail safe off....which means if the selinoid doesnt have power it wont turn on...if you loose pwer it will shut off automatically. if the common was nicked it wouldnt startplus one valve works properly....multiple valve problems at ounce tells me some did a repair up line some where and either got dirt in valves, pvc shaving, or glue...etc....4 selinoids do burn up all at ounce in a yard....not impossilbe but unlikely...

now if they are toro hydrulic valves..lol...enough said.....

Erik Green

Owner Greenscapes Of West Michigan
Gotta disagree with that. If the one valve that works properly is the closest to the controller, then the common could be bad from that point on and the last four wouldn't work. I'm still with Wet Boots on this one and there is a wiring problem and it is more than likely in the common wire, as the chances of four hot wires being bad at the same time is also very unlikely.

And if the solenoids will click (hum) with the controller, then there is probably some sort of extra resistance in the wiring. Chances of four valves not operating due to trash is just about as likely as all four solenoids going bad at the same time.

Jerry R
 
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all good points....im just presenting my argument from what he told us....didnt say order of valves, also didnt say weather he worked on it or some one else did....all speculaion....but ill bet $$$ its a maintenance problem not a mechanical problem....that might not be clear but brains not working today..lol


Erik green
 

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Of course, whet this thread really points out is the advisability of carrying that multimeter on the truck.

Another maddening solenoid problem of the old pre-solid-state days was the intermittent overload. You know the problem is an overload that keeps tripping the breaker or blowing the fuse, but everything works fine when you reset the controller and run the zones. The very definition of fun. :confused:
 

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As usual, there can be little doubt that Wetboots and Jerry are right on track. Slight possibility something really wierd is going on, but most likely a common wire problem. If the common wire is grounding, you can get just enough power to hold the solenoid open, but not to actually open it. We still don't know what brand valves we have here (or I missed it). I have had bad commons that were completely pulled loose by construction damage on a yard w/ sod that would hold open because there was enough ground connection in the wet box. Have you checked the common splice in the valve that actually works? Very possible that the down side of that splice going to the other four valves is where your fault is.
 
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