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Electrical day from hell!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, May 16, 2006.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    O.k. guys and gals, here goes.

    We had one customer with three bad Hunter solenoids less than two years old. We changed out two solenoids for them last year. Using communication cable to feed all solenoids. Two condo systems less than two years old. After new solenoids all is well until the next one fails.

    Another customer with three bad Irritrol solenoids. One was completely broken off from the threads. Two stopped working electrically. Owner maintains he has no idea what happened.

    Next customer: We installed a new PRO-C Hunter controller three weeks ago and the 7-12 zones will not operate. 1-6 operate perfectly. When we get to zone 7, we have voltage to 7 and 8. When we get to zone 8, we have voltage to 7,8,and 9. And no zones open. Same with next module-10,11,12. All voltage checks at the controller output modules.

    I am going to take a new controller and modules tomorrow to narrow it down as I ran out of time today to swap modules. Seems like a controller issue. Any ideas what might cause this. Again, communication cable is used for electrical connections. Not irrigation cable. 24 gauge stuff in my estimation.

    Any ideas as their has only been one thunderstorm here in the last month. That is my solution to all of them but I just don't know.

    Thanks for the opinions in advance.

  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I've pulled new solenoids (Hunter and Irritrol) out of a case of them and had one fail immediately. Some components are assembled outside the US. Maybe it's the assembling? :)

    Had to replace a round plastic QCV box at one of our stadiums today. Workers said they didn't hit it with their mower but it was hard to explain why the top of it had been sheared off. Replaced it with a concrete Christy box with a cast iron lid. Next time they'll need to have the mower fixed if they don't pay attention. :laugh:

    Doo-doo also happens with controllers right out of the box. I installed a new Irritrol MC-Plus controller at one of our sites just two weeks ago. Get a call today that water is on during the day and discover that the time is off. I reset the time and then went for break. Came back and the time had advanced eight minutes in a half hour. Took the circuit board out and returned it to our supplier who swapped it for a new 24 station board and will just send the bad one back to Irritrol.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    This is one reasion why I love the Rainbird DVF's so much. I've never seen a failed solinoid.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,520

    As long as you're getting time and material for messing around with screwed up sprinkler systems, enjoy the madness. With undersize wire, the first, best, thing to do is to parallel a second wire to the common. That helps out all the zones. Resistance, and operating current, measurements are next, in case one or more conductors are causing problems.
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    I see about 5-6 DV solenoids go bad a year. But nothing compared to the Irritrols. I've gone through about 20 so far this spring. Will explain the problems later when I have time.
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I wonder if its the extreme climates?

    Regardless, I have yet to see any DVF solinoid go bad.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,520

    The only valves that never had a failed solenoid are hydraulic ones.

    And maybe Griswolds, but those are mutants.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794


    I'll admit that my experience is limited compared to you guys, but I've sure seen a lot of other brands fail :)

    I'm so glad there aren't any hydraulic systems out here anymore, I have nightmares about plowing through a bunch of distribution tubing.
  9. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Hate to say it

    Very few 2 screw Toro solenoids go bad either.....or for that matter, D shaped Hardie solenoids....

    Ahhh...the good old days.
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    Well I hate to disagree, but I have changed out about 4-5 of those already. Are you talking about the ones with the small, hard to see spring? Yeah I hate those too. Of the most used valves here in our area, the DV solenoids are the least that I replace. And they are also the most installed, so I would have to say they are the most reliable. But I see more DV diaphragms seeping than the others.

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