Rainbird ESP Modular

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by MEXANDME, Mar 8, 2009.


    MEXANDME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    I have a Rainbird ESP Modular controller and it is giving a "MV err" message even though there is no main valve and there is no pump start relay. If I reset the controller is works fine for a few days and the error message reappears. Someone said there is like a "recall" on the motherboard for this type controller if is over x number of years old.

    Has anyone else run across this problem? Does anyone know of a "recall" so to speak on this controller?



    MEXANDME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Sorry for posting this. I should have used the Search feature to begin with!


  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    Glad we could help :waving:
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    I assume you found your solution. Just in case you didnt, heres an Email that went out about 3 weeks ago.

    To: Rain Bird Contractor Customers

    RE: "MV ERR" Message on Certain ESP Modular Controllers

    We have previously communicated this quick approach to correcting false "MV ERR" messages and unexpected controller behavior caused by a ribbon cable condition on some ESP-4M and ESP-4Mi controllers manufactured between April 2005 and June 2007. We are sending this communication to refresh everyone's knowledge on how to correct this condition if encountered during spring start-ups - please note: this is only a reminder and not a new issue.

    MV ERR incorrectly displaying on the LCD
    Unexpected values appearing in the controller program.
    Date changes to 2002 or 2003
    Unexpected station run times (e.g., 16 hours)
    Program start times not in 15 min intervals (e.g., 8:23 am)
    Seasonal Adjust % not in 10% increments (e.g., 93%)

    The simple, fast solution - Install a Jumper Cable:

    If you service systems with earlier model controllers, we recommend that you attach a jumper cable in line with the ribbon cable and be sure to perform a factory reset on the controller the next time you complete any system maintenance as a preventative measure.

    The jumper cable will permanently resolve the false "MV-ERR" displays and takes less than 30 seconds to install. Master valve and station short circuit error detection will remain fully functional with the jumper cable however the seldom used over-current detection feature will be disabled. To efficiently employ this approach, we suggest that you keep a small supply of the jumper cables on your service truck.

    Please note that if you have previously replaced the backplane on the specific controller being serviced, or if it was manufactured after July 4, 2007, there is no need to install a jumper cable.
    Backplane Replacement Solution:
    Alternatively, you may choose to replace the entire backplane assembly and ribbon cable, and then perform a factory reset on the controller. This will update your older controller to the current production configuration.

    To perform a FACTORY RESET on the ESP4M Controller follow these instructions:

    1. Place the dial in the SEASONAL ADJUST % position.
    2. Press and hold the ON and OFF buttons simultaneously until "CLEARED" is shown on the LCD.

    NOTE: Pressing the reset button on the back of the display panel will not perform the required FACTORY RESET on the controller.

    What is "MV ERR"?
    When correctly displayed, the "MV ERR" message is part of the ESP Modular diagnostics function and identifies a short-circuit condition with the system's master valve. Earlier-model controllers utilized a soldered cable attachment on the backplane (shown directly above) which under certain circumstances may cause these conditions.

    More than 18 months ago, Rain Bird began producing enhanced ESP-4M and ESP-4Mi controllers with plug-in connectors for both the front panel and backplane. After extensive reliability testing and thousands of installations, no occurrences of the "MV ERR" issues have been identified with the modified design. Again, ESP Modular controllers produced since July 4, 2007 are not affected by this bulletin.

    How to Obtain Solution Kits:
    Both Jumper Cables and Backplane Replacement Kits may be obtained free of charge from your local distributor or through your Rain Bird field representative and both include easy-to-follow installation instructions.

    We sincerely appreciate your business and apologize for any inconvenience you and your customers may have experienced. If you have any questions, please contact your Rain Bird field representative or call us at 1-800-724-6247.
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I never received an email!! Just kidding. I actually have one in my truck and one in my shop, both to get fixed. I'm just taking them to Ewing and let them deal with it. I yanked them both out before we got the notification.

    Sadly, I have four 5004 rotors to replace as well. Hmmm... funny that I don't have any PGPs to replace.

    MEXANDME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Thanks for your help!

    I found the info on the backplane replacement but not on the jumper or how to do the factory reset. I would have just hit the reset button on the back of the panel.

    You saved me lots of time and aggrevation!

    Thanks again,

  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I assumed when you said you did a search that you got it figured out. Guess I shouldn't have assumed, huh.
  8. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    We did like over 50 Mv error swap outs last year.
  9. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Question; Can I get one of those jumper cables from my irrigation supplier? (should they have them in stock?) I have a one year old controler in my garage that was having this problem, over and over. The previous guy came out and "fixed" it and then a couple weeks later the problem started again. They had me replace it with a Hunter Pro-C (my choice). Now I have a nice, new-ish RB controler with 13 stations worth of modules I could fix...

    nevermind... I read the rest of the post with the info in it and got my answer!
  10. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    Take the controller into your supplier and just get the backplane replacement.

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