Irrigation question

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Southern Lawns, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    I have a OHM/mutimeter etc. But don't know how to use it:(...
    My main reason for using it would be to check the electrical current to the selonoid of irrigation valves, to troubleshoot a break in the line, bad clock etc. What do I set the meter on? It has several setting ie. AC v DCv OHM x1k, I do understand the off button though:) Am I correct in thinking that all we need to do to check for power is ground blk and hot red and see if the meter reads a 7 or better. This is my guess but am not sure. Thanks.
  2. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    What is the problem you are trying to solve would be the first question ?
  3. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    Irrigation not responding to clock signal. Valves work manually, clock has power. My first thought is solenoid but all four at once? Not likely.... so I thought checking for power at the solenoid connection would at least narrow my troubleshooting. But not sure how to read the test equipment.
  4. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    Sounds like the wire may have been clipped somewhere - a break in the common. Use a locater to trace the common wire to see if you have a break.
  5. Instant Rain

    Instant Rain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    start with the simple things. make sure the system does not have a rain sensor or anything else that may break the common purposely. a good way to test the common would be to set the multimeter to ohms(the omega). then test continuity of the common by placeing the leads to the station wires two at a time(1 & 2, 1 & 3, 1 & 4 ect.) if you get reading at all you will know the common is good from the controler to those valves and between them. different valves have different resistance but generally anything between 10 and 50 is probably good. its a good idea to invest in 24A selenoid clock tester it comes with directions and has an wand that can be used to identify a wire from a group of wires. a tracker is an expensive tool well worth its weight i gold. but there is no point in tracking down a wire that isnt broken. if all else fails its possible that something is blocking the exaust ports on all the valves if you are manualing by bleeding from the bonnet.
  6. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    Thank you IR, will look into the tools you mentioned.
  7. DGI

    DGI LawnSite Member
    from SE Mich
    Messages: 173

    What sort of clock? LMC by any chance?

    Are you sure the clock has power to those particular zones?
  8. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Many controllers have a battery backup. THe controller will work just fine but will not fire the zone. My guess is that it is does not have 110V AC going to the controller. A very common thing is that the outlet it's plugged into is a GFCI and it's tripped.

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