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Mysterious wiring problem

Discussion in 'Zone Talk' started by Central Irrigation, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Delmarva Keith

    Delmarva Keith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 761

    Complicated problem. Break it into chunks. From the program descriptions I’m assuming there is one controller so all the wires eventually end up in one place. Use a locator to locate all the pits and accessible splices. I’d start at the “first” pit (whichever one the first set of wires emerge first coming from the clock) and make sure everything in it is understood and wired in some sensible way. Start a detailed wiring diagram. If the outgoing wires change colors through a splice or any other weirdness, document it in the detailed wiring diagram so it can all be understood what is going on at the next pit. Continue moving pit to pit and adding to a detailed, complete wiring diagram.

    If you reach the last pit and the diagram makes sense but the system behavior still doesn’t, there’s a buried splice someplace (and Murphy’s law says if there’s one, it’s not the only one). Reassess based on the diagram and the behavior — can a work-around be figured out with what’s there. At some point, if it’s still screwed up and there’s no good way to locate where things have gone wrong, it may well be time to bury some new wire.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Central Irrigation

    Central Irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Found it! Just because you like a green common, doesn't make it common. 20190820_121717.jpg


    And repaired....yes I used grease tubes before burying.

    20190820_121541.jpg
     
    hort101 likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Central Irrigation

    Central Irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    Well done sir!
     
    jdmccay likes this.
  4. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,927

    Nicely done magna.
    Also, the resistance in a parallel circuit is equal to the resistance of a single solenoid divided by the number of solenoids in that circuit.

    27/2=13.5 or 27/3=9 ohms as example

    The resistance in a series circuit is equal to the total of all solenoids in that circuit.

    27+27=54. or 27+27+27=81 ohms

    I’ve only run into systems wired in series as mistake, and only a couple I can recall.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  5. benhargreaves

    benhargreaves LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    I've done it once on purpose. Design changed after install was largely completed. A zone was added but there was not enough wire to add another valve. So I wired two drip zones in series to gain an extra wire for the added zone.
     
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,927

    Could you be confusing a“ganged” valves circuit with solenoids wired in series circuit?
     
  7. benhargreaves

    benhargreaves LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    No, it was wired in series.

    I was called into figure out what was going on with an install our install guys were doing. The entire system was plumbed and wired, except for one valve. And no one seemed to know what to do with this valve. Cleaning up other crews messes irks the heck out of me, so I tend to find highly expedient solutions in these situations. The simplest solution was to run the valve in questions with the other drip zone on the system. The other drip valve was already wired in and was much further down the wire run. The other valves in the box with the un-wired valve were already wired. So the easiest thing to do was wire this valve in series with the other drip valve. That way I didn't have to redo the existing common connections. Clipped the zone wire, connected one end to each of the solenoid wires, closed the box, and was done. I did note at the controller that zone 12 had 2 valves and they were wired in series, in case someone takes electrical readings in the future and is perplexed.

    Not a common thing, but I've wired in series before. It's rare enough that I still remember what color the zone wire was. It was grey.
     

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