Irrigation Electrical Troubleshooting Pop Quiz-worth 100 points

Hayduke

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oregon
For you veterans, this is a no brainer, maybe wait for a few amateurs to chime in. Ran into this one today and haven't had to employ this method before.

Property is 5 acres, clean canal irrigation. Client wants new zone added. I locate a valve box near where they want to add a new zone with a 1 inch pvc line stubbed and capped and two unconnected wires, one red and one white solid core 12 gauge representing an available common and an available valve wire. There are 9 more boxes like this scattered over the 5 acres with a pvc stubbed pipe and one red and one white wire. Someone was thinking ahead, but they left no map or details.

Back at the timer, Hunter PRO C, about 800 feet away are two standard 10 strand, multi colored 18 gauge stranded sprinkler wire cables. 11 of the 20 wires are used, two whites for common and 9 multi colored for valves currently in use.
The remaining 9 wires at the timer are stripped, but not connected to a terminal.
Now assuming each of the unused sprinkler wires at the timer is spliced somewhere in the 5 acres to a red wire with a spliced white common going to a box with a pressurized pvc stub....and....they are not connected to anything....What is the fastest way to determine which sprinkler wire at the timer is spliced to the red wire in the box I want to use?
 

1idejim

LawnSite Fanatic
For you veterans, this is a no brainer, maybe wait for a few amateurs to chime in. Ran into this one today and haven't had to employ this method before.

Property is 5 acres, clean canal irrigation. Client wants new zone added. I locate a valve box near where they want to add a new zone with a 1 inch pvc line stubbed and capped and two unconnected wires, one red and one white solid core 12 gauge representing an available common and an available valve wire. There are 9 more boxes like this scattered over the 5 acres with a pvc stubbed pipe and one red and one white wire. Someone was thinking ahead, but they left no map or details.

Back at the timer, Hunter PRO C, about 800 feet away are two standard 10 strand, multi colored 18 gauge stranded sprinkler wire cables. 11 of the 20 wires are used, two whites for common and 9 multi colored for valves currently in use.
The remaining 9 wires at the timer are stripped, but not connected to a terminal.
Now assuming each of the unused sprinkler wires at the timer is spliced somewhere in the 5 acres to a red wire with a spliced white common going to a box with a pressurized pvc stub....and....they are not connected to anything....What is the fastest way to determine which sprinkler wire at the timer is spliced to the red wire in the box I want to use?
Never assume
 

RhettMan

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Texas
id attach a solenoid in the box in question, and check resistance at the clock, im suspecting only one wire/circuit to show some resitance in irrigation solenoid range.

Perhaps I'm the amatuer, either way i couldnt wait, curious to learn better ways.

how do we know you arent fishing for ideas again?

and when does the winner get the 100 points?

images

"Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Thats the one!"
 
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1idejim

LawnSite Fanatic
id attach a solenoid in the box in question, and check resistance at the clock, im suspecting only one wire/circuit to show some resitance in irrigation solenoid range.

Perhaps I'm the amatuer, either way i couldnt wait, curious to learn better ways.

how do we know you arent fishing for ideas again?

and when does the winner get the 100 points?

images

"Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Th-Thats the one!"
If you’re connecting a solenoid to the wires at the valve box, you’re placing faith in there not being another pair of wires connected to a solenoid as in an abandoned valve.

Twisting the wire pair together at the valve box will provide you with an electrical value expectation of 0-5 ohms.
 

RhettMan

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Texas
your assuming I didn't check the resistance beforehand :)

(ultimately my proposed swing at the 100 points is an extention of my not yet finished time in the Jim's school of irrigation electrical philosophy)

What id do is go ahead and attach full bore silicone connections to a threaded on model of solenoid.
w/ each time: testing at the controller and recording "which new wire is which" as solenoids are added. a reverse process of elimination so to speak

When I finally plumb the valves i just screw the solenoids on, and I eat my crow sandwich:

(because if we are talking about pure diagnosis, your wire connecting method - used in a record and elimate way, is better than mine, by law of Einstein: being more simple)

even the process of elimination i suggest could be argued to probably originated from your early suggestions to "Isolate Isolate Isolate"

What are you going to buy with your points?
more importantly whats the best way?
 
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RhettMan

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Texas
What is the fastest way to determine which sprinkler wire at the timer is spliced to the red wire in the box I want to use?

Put remaining 9 wires in the the next 9 terminal slots in sequence,

Wire Temporary roam remote.

Set at each box with a volt checker, while shuffling through the new 9 zones with the Re-mote.

Hard times lately, I need these points friend.
 

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