Luck or skill

Discussion in 'Professional Discussions' started by 1idejim, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,284

    Been a crappy week so forgive me if I seem fragmented.

    Traveled to a small rural farming community to locate a stuck valve yesterday, not many pics but......

    I've worked for the landscaper a couple of times, first time for the home owner. Nicest guy in the world, the owner was, a bit of hard hearing and talked a lot but, a real gem of a human being.

    Here's one of the clocks, a proC with 2 zones was in the garage.
    IMG_20170728_102132793.jpg IMG_20170728_102141158_HDR.jpg IMG_20170728_102145223.jpg
    I'm there to find zone 12 and hopefully 11 or 13 will be in the same box.

    I measure resistance on all zones, there's continuity and normal resistance 24-27 ohms.

    The water's off at this point but the zone is saturated. Owner says his landscaper has bragged my skills up and he's really anxious to watch me "do my thing".

    So I'm listening to the owners input and how he spent yesterday probing the lawn till his hands blistered, he hopes I have better luck. The owner asks about all the equipment I have stacked at the controller, pro800, pro900 and my pelican box of test equipment and how I trace the wire to track down the valve.

    I finally say I believe a successful locate is a combination of skill and luck and today I feel lucky and don't think I'm going to trace the wire path.

    I decide to use the pro900, I remove the correct common and zone 12 wire and close the loop, set it for direct connect, low frequency, solid tone.

    I walk to the area I have selected as my best bet, turn the receiver on, raise the gain to level 3 and get a hit where I'm standing. I then move a couple feet to my left where the tone increases, turn the gain down to 2 and move another foot, the tone increases. I turn the gain down to 1, lose tone altogether so I turn it to 2, zero in on the solenoid and stick my probe in the ground, thunk, there's the VB lid. :clapping:

    The VB is full of roots and water, have the owner turn the water on and use my probe to listen to the water flowing through the valve. I was able to shut the zone down using the flow control.

    All this took about 15 minutes so the owner asks if I can troubleshoot the rest of the system, sure, at additional cost I can.

    All told I spent about 2 hours with a great guy, got everything identified and a ton of questions answered and was paid well to do it. Thumbs Up

    Here's a nice aerial shot of the site Screenshot_20170729-090101.png
    Clock is in the lawn right off the pool and equipment, VB is left of the pool under the tree canopy.
  2. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,938

    So you just used Logic to gestimate where the valve was. What were the clues you used?

    When I hood up the 521 like you did it still pings the other valves on the same common but probably a little less loud than the target valve, same with the 900?
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,693

    When you walk into a cold call, and see the crappy wiring in the clock, you KNOW the rest of the system is jacked!
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 51,747

    Very nicely done indeed. :drinkup:
  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,284

    I make my own luck Arthur. I know I've a 50/50 chance in a closed loop, plus I'm using the finest equipment on the rock and know how to use it. I also downloaded an aerial pic of the site on the way to the job. That's a great help.

    That's normal on systems with close valves or where you put too much juice to the circuit.

    The 900 has digital signature which is unlike any irrigation specific location before. You get a cleaner signal in most cases and especially near active power or transformers. I'm older and like analog features on the 800 but I'm really getting used to the 900.
    AmarilloSlim likes this.
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,284

    You say that all the time Mike but 99.9% of my jobs are cold calls with crappy wiring, doesn't make any difference to me. I just get my job done and try to leave it a little bit better than I found it.
    AmarilloSlim likes this.
  7. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,284

    Thank you very much Boots. :)
    RhettMan likes this.
  8. Mr Efficiency

    Mr Efficiency LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    I would say more skill then luck.
    That's a nice property, I assume he pumps out of the lake to run the system?
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,284

    Nope, well water.
    Mr Efficiency likes this.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,693

    I hope those pics were "before".
    AmarilloSlim and RhettMan like this.

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