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EMF problems with digital controllers?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by irrig8r, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Saw this posted by a HO on another website. Spelling/ typos his.

    "... they installed a new Rain Bird ESP last summer. The ESP is approximately 1ft above a 220V service disconcircuit protection that powers a shallow self primer well pump ... Now I actually read my Rain Bird Installation manula which I am sure my contractor did as well and they note in caution not to install the controller within 15ft of High output EMR device such as a refrigerator or A/C. I called Rain Bird 800 number and spoke to a gentleman/Technician in Mexico/Phillipines who told me that I should not mount the controller within 15tf of the 220V Servcie disconnect box ..."

    Assuming he meant EMF, or electro-magnetic field. Seems to me I'm often within 15 ft. of A/C without any issues that I know of.

    When I install there it's because that's where the outlet or old controller that I'm replacing is. Sometimes it's near pool pumps or close to the electrical main or subpanel. Or sometimes in a garage next to a big freezer.

    Seems like builders like to locate many utilities in a cluster on one side of a house.

    So, you guys ever run into any issues with EMF?
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    BTW, the manual does have this on page 37:

    CAUTION: To minimize electromagnetic
    interference, select a location at least 15
    feet (4,6 m) away from high-draw
    motors, such as air conditioners or
  3. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,143

    I've seen this as an issue only once in the 2000+ controllers that ever came into our shop for repair. There was nothing wrong with the controller but it was mounted right next to a large commercial cooling tower on a commercial site. The client moved the controller and the problem went away. I remember them covering this as a potential issue when I took both the Hardie and Rain Bird ASC training for controller repair. I know that the Rain Bird ESP controllers have a foil lining on the insides of the circuit board enclosures to reduce the effects of EMR but unless you've got the unit installed within 6" of a large 220VAC or larger pump or motor I'm hard pressed to think that you'll really have an issue. I'm sure that in their product testing the manufacturers test for EMR interference and so they put the warning in their manual as a CYA kind of thing.
  4. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,590

    I have many inches away from psr's, which have 220v constant to a mag relay.
  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,315

    manufacturer's tend to error on the side of caution (as was mentioned) so following the mfgrs. specs would seem to be the best route.

    i have never seen this issue arise but i follow the mfgr's recommendations (RTFM) :)
  6. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,590

    I remember when some installation instructions called for a separate 8' ground rod.
  7. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,143

    The RB ESP-MC still does.... and we install em too! Especially when we're using them as Maxi-Com satellites.
  8. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,152

    Yup, we did the same with our Rain Masters; problems zero. :clapping:
  9. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

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