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New 12 zone irrigation controller recommendations

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Earthlinklandscaping, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Earthlinklandscaping

    Earthlinklandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Need some recommendations on replacing a 18 plus year old toro 12 zone controller. some of the zones were starting to go when i blew it out in fall.. spring time the owners want it replaced. yes they trust that a 15 year old who has been doing alot of irrigaion repair on the house with the pervius owner know what hes doing
  2. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,445

    Am I having dajavu? I swear there was a thread about this earlier, It must have been deleted.....
  3. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,445

    If the zones are "starting to go"

    You need to be certain a new controller is what you need and that you're not having electrical issues out in the yard, which is very possible if certain zones aren't operating. The controller could be fine.

    If you're not sure how to perform this test to check, get in contact with a licensed irrigation contractor in your area, He'll know lots of tricks of the trade to get the problems solved quickly!

    I'm not knocking you for being young, I hung my first toro vision II at the ripe age of 14, I'm just concerned for the homeowner not to have their money wasted on needless repairs.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  4. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,317

    What do you mean "starting to go"? What were your resistance, voltage and amperage measurements? What is your line power measurement? Could your programming be messed up? What makes you think that the controller is going south on you?

    Feel free to answer any or all of these questions before even thinking of a controller replacement. Don't become another repair by replacement irrigator. Whether or not your state requires licensing you owe your client a fair analysis of his controller and field wiring before R&Ring the controller. If you are unable to do so, find someone that can.

    Best of luck to you.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. Earthlinklandscaping

    Earthlinklandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    it was my thread from earlier.. i asked to get my threads delted and forgot to keep that one. the zones are starting to go by the fact the its almost 19 years old and keeps blowing fuses, last time it blew a fuse it blew zone 12 which was a blank zone but dont want it to blow anymore.. if it does ill need a new controller
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,317

    Age alone won't cut it. If you're blowing fuses that suggests a wiring issue. The client deserves a qualified analysis of the controller and field wiring before a replacement. You also need to understand what you are looking at instead of hoping that your problem will be solved by replacing the clock.

    While I'm not against a young person working or being self employed ( I applaud your ideals) I am against unqualified persons wasting water. Water is a prescious limited resource that cannot afford to be wasted or misused. Have the owner hire a competent irrigation contractor or troubleshooter and shadow him. Ask as many questions as you can. Remember you're only as good as the company you keep so seek out the best company you can.

    Best of luck.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,193

    get a multimeter and check the resistance.

    blown fuses= field issues like jim said..

    you are going to replace that clock and the same issues are going to reoccur.

    you tube some videos and make some money brotha....
  8. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,445

    Yep, I'll 3rd that--

    Blowing fuses in the controller signals bad wiring in the yard, usually a shorting valve solenoid,

    You'll need to get some help on this one,

    Replacing the controller, you'll still have shorting issues,

    New residential grade controllers don't have fuses, but they sense amp overload situations such as this, You'll get an error message on the screen of the zone with wiring issues.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I'll support the troubleshooting first to verify field wiring is functioning properly, and simply as a lesson. That said, if the controller is that old IMO it is time for a replacement with a good smart controller, if for no other reason than it is better suited to manage water efficiently with limited user input and knowledge. The SMT would be my choice at the moment for a good residential/light commercial smart controller.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,578

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