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Hydrawise low current alert on lighting zone

Discussion in 'Zone Talk' started by Optimal Irrigation Corp., Dec 17, 2019.

  1. Optimal Irrigation Corp.

    Optimal Irrigation Corp. LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 105

    Was wondering if anyone had the same problem... recently added a hydrawise timer to a customer with a low voltage lighting system that I installed a few years back. I used the Hunter Pro - C timer with the hydrawise faceplate because I had to have the option to bypass the master valve when turning on on the lighting zone. The lights come on and work without issue however when the zone ends the app sends me an alert that a low current was detected on the zone (as if I had a faulty wiring or solenoid on an irrigation zone).
    I mean other than an alert that I'm getting every time the lighting zone runs (everyday) I'm not overly concerned because the lights are coming on but I'm thinking maybe I should be... does anyone have any thoughts?
    I was thinking of putting this thread in the lighting forum but I'm trying to avoid being lambasted for being an irrigation guy doing lighting occasionally....
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Optimal Irrigation Corp.

    Optimal Irrigation Corp. LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 105

    I should also mention that all the fixtures have converted led bulbs (they were origionally halogen) and there are around 20 fixtures... pathlights and small spotlights.
     
  3. Sunset

    Sunset LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Log onto your contractor portals via web browser. Alerts can edited for specific controllers under customer wide settings. I assume your using a relay to turn on a lightning transformer. I'd check amp draw with a milliamp meter. Should be less then .5 amps.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Optimal Irrigation Corp.

    Optimal Irrigation Corp. LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 105

    I was hoping to leave the alert for the controller because it's also running the irrigation system (sorry, should have mentioned this in the description)
    Yes, I'm using the PX SYNC to turn on the transformer... should I be using lighting wire from the timer to the relay? Using 20 gauge 12 lead irrigation wire currently. It's a 15 ft run from timer to relay, I ran a separate wire independent of the irrigation wire from timer to relay.
    I can check the amp draw next time I'm in the area.
     
  5. Sunset

    Sunset LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    You have a low amp draw on the relay which is triggering the alarm. Check current amps and figure out how much load you need to increase. A led light wired in parallel should work. You don't need lighting cable but I would use at least 16ga wire. Add a secondary blade or glass fuse .25-.5 amp on the station wire for additional protection for the controller.

    Or buy a digital timer for $35 and abandon the relay. Should save you some time.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Optimal Irrigation Corp.

    Optimal Irrigation Corp. LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 105

    Ok bear with me... when I was last at the client's house (and before I created this thread) what I did was take six leads of the twelve lead 20ga for the common wire and the other six leads for the station wire to try and mimic a larger gauge wire... not that it changed anything, I'm still getting the low amp alarm (just trying to give you all the info based on the recommendations you are suggesting).
    If I understand what you are saying, I should add a fixture (in paralell) to the wire that runs from the timer to the relay? Should I be adding the fuse between the fixture and the timer or the fixture and the relay?
    Apologies if I completely misunderstood your recommendation.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Optimal Irrigation Corp.

    Optimal Irrigation Corp. LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 105

    Also, the goal is to have the lights be controllable from the hydrawise app (homeowner is unable to adjust the current analog timer on the transformer)... by using a digital timer am I right in thinking I'd lose the capability to be able to control the lights from the hydrawise app?
     
  8. Sunset

    Sunset LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    If you take a hydrowise controller and run a station that's not connected you'll get a low current alarm. A low current alarm in your situation is just annoying. Nothing is damaged. The relay does not pull enough amps when holding to get over the low limit threshold for the controller.

    Call hydrowise support because you need a software solution. Ask if they have a work around on a low current alarm for a single station and dont confuse them with the relay/transformer unless its necessary. Support can read the amp load for that station remotely. Also, find out what the lower limit alarm amp reading is.

    If there's no software work around you'll need to increase the amps for that station. Keep in mind your $400 fluke meter is more accurate then the $10 part in the pro-c.

    Start with a base peak amp and holding amp readings.

    Undo all the leads on the multi strand and use 2 wires only. This will increase the amount resistance and require more amps. Take peak and holding readings again. If that dosen't work increase the amps load with a led bulb. Start with a 1 or 2 watt bulb and go up. It doesn't mater how you wire as long as its off the same station and in parallel and not in series. Install one wire for the blade fuse at the station terminal and the other going to the relay and light.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Optimal Irrigation Corp.

    Optimal Irrigation Corp. LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 105

    Ok, I'll give that a shot. Thank you.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Optimal Irrigation Corp.

    Optimal Irrigation Corp. LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 105

    Spoke with Mark from Hunter Tech Support, there isn't a software workaround but simply wiring a solenoid onto the "zone" will fix the alert. Which is so beautifully simple for a knucklehead irrigation tech such as myself. Again, thank you for your help.
     

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