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checking a valve station wire

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by TPnTX, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    I need a way to check for wiring problems. I want to do an continutity check at the valve but I guess I should do an ohms check. Do I disconnect the station wire from the controller and and then temporarliy connect it to the common making what should be a closed circuit. I read somewhere that you leave the station wire disconnected and check for the correct ohms. That makes no sense to me though because then you don't have a complete circuit.

    I have an ohms meter and I'm not affraid to use it.:cool2:
  2. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    DO the continuity check from the controller. Disconnect the wires and check for continuity and resistance to the valve. If it shows open or short, then go to the solenoid and check there. That will tell you which side the bad spot it on. Solenoid or field wiring.
  3. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    One lead on the common...one lead on that zone wire......for clarification...

    BTW..ever hear of a Multimeter going bad?
    Mine was reading 150v at all the receptacles in a house yesterday....called the utility company....his showed 122v......mine is shot apparently...hmmm.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    We use a toner/continuity checker instead like the phone company uses. If the wire is good it will tone through. It will also check continuity (lights up) by hooking the leads to the control/ground wires. Mine even has a phone jack if I want to check phone lines.
  5. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,444

    progressive/tempo makes whats called a station master pro, i have two, specifically made for irrigation.

    this is what you need. Solenoid = GOOD/SHORT/OPEN it lights up
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    We have a Rain Bird unit similar to this that works well also. Basically an OHM reader with lights for OHM-impaired people. :)
  7. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Sorry, not an ohm meter w/ lights.
    I have one also...but mostly use it to activate solenoids under power from outside when the homeowners are not home.

    An ohmeter in the right hands will tell you much more than SMPro ever will....
  8. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    It's hard to get a reading across all the valve wires with only an LED. And a Multimeter is well worth the money and the time and effort to learn how to use it. The Station Master is great for activating solenoids and using the tone generator for ID'ing wires.
  9. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,186

    I had to use my multi/ohm meter today (thanks for the help Tony). Station Master was showing all the solenoids as good, but the fuse in the timer shorted out twice in the last month. Used the ohm meter and station 4 showed 1.9 as opposed to around 25 for the others.

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