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problem with 2 zones going on at same time

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by dfrank, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. dfrank

    dfrank LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi all i just tumbled on this site.
    My problem is that zone 3 and 5 go on at the same time.
    I tried changing the timer/controller but still same problem.
    also whenever i try setting zone 3 manually , zone 5 goes on also
    and vice versa.

  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    The zones are either double wired at the valve, or the two zone wires have been nicked and are "bleeding" together.

    Check the valves first, then replace the wiring.
  3. Scott's

    Scott's LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    make sure 5 or 3 isn't in the master valve terminal. Just came in behind another irrigator for what ever reason had done this and created some heart burn for a home owner. Also look and see if someone used two sets of stranded wire thinking they were saving money and the two valves are on the same color, if so try changing one valve to the same color on the other strand of wire. If all the wires are the same color then break out the old ohm meter and start trouble shooting.
  4. dfrank

    dfrank LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Ok i will check the wiring at the valves but last year it was fine.
    What does "bleeding " mean.
  5. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Means that the electrical current is straying from one wire to the other by means of a nick in the wire insulation. With that nick in the wire insulation, some of the current will "bleed" out, just like you would if you get a nick on your skin.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    If that were the case whichever valve is attached to the MV terminal will come on with every other valve on the system. I.E.... If #3 was wired to the MV then when zone 1 came on you'd have 1/3 on simultaneously, then 2/3, then 3/3 (it would actually be a different zone 3 but you'd have two firing at same time), 4/3, etc. until all zones are through watering. You'd have a very flooded zone by the end of it all.
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I've never seen this happen. Of course we use solid strand 14AWG with a heavy insulator instead of dinky multi-strand. :)

    I've run across wires in the same location that have been stripped completely bare by a gopher and never had them bleed and fire the wrong valve or simultaneous valves. Electricity normally seeks an earth ground which in this case would be soil. Then you get a ground fault where the valve stops working altogether and you get to pull out the Ground Fault Locator which is the 521's brother. :dizzy:

    Now... two wires stripped in an LB or some other electrical junction conveyance and touching each other is another story. :hammerhead:
  8. dfrank

    dfrank LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    So i guess problem lies in wiring then, and not the valves
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    That would be my guess. The valves only respond to the electrical input that reaches them.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,527

    It might still be a controller problem, but the wiring should be checked out first, with a resistance meter (VOM, or similar tester)

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