Controller Troubleshooting - HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by raya, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. raya

    raya LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Girlfriend's sprinkler system wasn't working. Contractor examined and said the controller (Imperial Valet) was bad. Quoted her a stiff price to replace it and no details about which controller, etc. and no other troubleshooting. Also said vacuum valve needed to be replaced. Suspected a rip-off.

    I went online to determine best controller replacement for old Imperial Valet unit. Found a thread that a Hunter ICC was big enough to handle the supposed high current draw from old Imperial Valet Valves. Purchased and installed a new Hunter ICC controller. G/f called in a second contractor to replace the vacuum valve. Contractor installed valve and system still did not work.

    Second contractor suspected that the new controller did not have enough output to turn on the master valve and zone valve. He wanted to either replace the master valve or remove it altogether. He thiought this might solve the ouput( current) problem. I was skeptical and suspected that the MV solenoid was defective.

    I removed the old solenoid and sure enough the plunger was stuck/corroded. Ordered and installed a replacement solenoid and ran system manually through eight stations (Station 8 disconnected) . System worked perfectly! One set of wires (Station 8) remaining to be connected - connected them and re-ran manually and then nothing on all stations individually or in sequence!

    Re-checked all connections for tightness
    Disconnected station 8 Wiring
    Cleared and re-set controller programming
    Checked t/f output voltage at all station terminals - OK (24 vac)
    removed and re-installed solenoid - nothing
    re-check solenid resistance - OK
    master valve bleed opening is clear
    purchased an installed second solenoid and tried w/ 2 different plungers - nothing

    Would appreciate some suggestions!!! feel like I'm re-inventing the wheel here - doesn't seem like there is anything left to check!!!


    I purchased and installed a Hunter ICC controller to replace an Imperial Valet (out of business) controller with a bad transformer
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    I'd probably want to start with checking connections on the common wire. Any splices along the wires other than at the valves and clock?
  3. raya

    raya LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2


    I found a splice on what appears to be the station 8 wire but this was disconnected. System worked fine once only and nothing else outside or underground was touched except the above-mentioned wire which again I believe is Station 8 and is disconnected?

    Can you elaborate on the test you're referring to - VOM test on resistance in each circuit?

  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,174

    With the bleeder open on the mstr. valve will it fire? I'm thinking two
    problems: solenoid and/or wiring at # 8 & solenoid and/or wiring at m.v.
    Solenoids have been known to work, then after heating up ,fail. Are you sure
    you have water? Sounds dumb, but you had to shut down when solenoids were changed. VOM should give you 15-50 ohms at the solenoid. With those
    valves, I'm not sure of the inrush when two fire at once, but you should have
    seen a fault on the clock. Water..power..vacation.:)
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Can you elaborate on the test you're referring to - VOM test on resistance in each circuit?


    Well, what I meant was pretty simple. By check I meant a visual check of the splices. Are they waterproofed? Could there be one that's corroded or loose?
  6. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    You can always run new wires above the ground to the valve, run a common and a zone wire and lay them on top of the ground to see if that will solve it. If it fires up then, you know you have bad wire underground somewhere.

    there are other ways to eliminate this option, ohm test, amp and volt test, but this is the simplist.

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