Latching Solenoid - Trouble Shooting

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ed2hess, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,555

    Is there a way to determine if a latching solenoid is bad? I got a few of those old rainbird battery operated devices with solenoids, some work some don't. Resistance seems infinite? I can hear them click when I have them out in my hand, but they aren't turning on the valve.
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    If a latching solenoid clicks it should fire the valve. They're not like a regular solenoid that stays on clicking or humming as long as power is getting to them. They click once and latch open or closed with the battery impulse. If they didn't do this then your battery would go dead in short order. If the solenoid is bad when the valve is off then the valve won't fire at all and you usually don't hear the click. If the solenoid hangs when the valve is on then that valve won't shut down.

    That said, Ryan and I looked at a ballfield system today that he's taking over the maintenance. The system has been off for two months now and sometimes latching solenoids will stick. One didn't fire because a gopher got the wires. Another wouldn't fire so I removed the solenoid and manually pushed the plunger in a few times and it seems to be working OK for the time being. A third solenoid was doing the same thing and we got it to work for awhile but Ryan PMed me and says it wouldn't work later. I'd left him a couple of extra latching solenoids and he went ahead and replaced it. Seems to be working fine now.
  3. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    The old kind with the nut on are a real pain. You can take them apart and clean them with steel wool and they will work again. The older TBOS controllers had coper wire and if not sealed would corrode just enough to not stick on or off. You can usually cut down to some good wire and then they will work. I am way too familiar with the TBOS units.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,555

    Couple more questions:
    1. Is there any way a latching solenoid -with power removed- could keep the valve from opening when I open the bleed screw on a Irritol valve?

    2. If they cross threaded a Rainbird latching solenoid into an Irritol valve it isn't likely to open the valve correct? Even if it isn't leaking around the solenoid?
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    If the valve isn't opening from the manual bleeder then you need to take the valve apart and investigate. The manual bleed on most valves is completely separate from the solenoid ports.
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Sounds like you have a diaphragm problem. Irritrol won't open if there is a rip in the diaphragm.
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Like Jon said, the valve should still open with the manual bleed screw.

    I'm not sure how compatible the Rainbird DC solenoid is with the Irritrol valves. I know that when we used the Irritrol valves with the TBOS they were an after-market solenoid (square with a nut on top with an "H" label for Hardie; but we use the Century Plus valve) that matched up with them. I would imagine it depends on how cross-threaded the solenoid was.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    The TBOS system had too many problems for us with our Irritrol Century Plus valves; too much could go wrong. That's why we've converted them to Hunter ICV valves, Hunter DC latching solenoids and the Hunter WVC controllers. Although we've now had two solenoids (in two years) that needed replacement the ovearll combination is much superior to what we were using before.

    The main problem I've noted over the years from using battery operated systems is that problems tend to crop up when the system has been off for some time. This is the reason we change the batteries each spring at startup and manually fire (via the WVP) each zone to make sure that each valve is OK at that time.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,749

    Did you ever use the IBOC controllers?
  10. Mjtrole

    Mjtrole LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    I have, there was a time where everybody used those things I still see some around, last i heard was toro suppliers sells/exchanges them refurbishes them and puts em back out.

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