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share an experience...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by TPnTX, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Well with all the irrigator wanna-bees (including myself) I thought I'd share this experience.

    I figure troubleshooting irrigation problem is like anything else,
    1st experience is the best resource.
    2nd a methodical approach to problem solving goes a long way.
    3rd Having tools and supplies with you goes a long way too.

    In this case I went to the job with a little of #1 and #3. I am a good problem solver so with a lot of #2 I was good to go.

    I was referred by a pool builder to re-zone a backyard after the pool hole took out a big section. The house is old but it's a very affluent hood in NW Dallas.

    They had shut down the irrigation at the BFP because the 1" main was cut. I capped it and opened the valve.

    I wanted to figure out which zone where taken out by the pool so I went to the timer and tried all zones and got nothing.
    Ah! the valve wire is cut too. The 1" main came from one direction around the house but the 9strand wire came from the opposite direction. I dug around the capped area and there is was the cut valve wire.

    So I went and bought 250ft of 9/18 wire. $120.00

    I wired the cut cable up making sure there weren't anymore breaks or cuts. and ran the wire back to the timer. Luckily it went straight through the garage wall.

    I jotted down the wire positions, disconnected the old wire and connected the new wire.

    I expected to manually fire each valve and see water shooting out of the heads and/or the cut lateral lines but I still got nothing.

    Now I know it's hooked up right. Everthing indicates to me that I the wire where it was cut could be reconnected.

    So now I've got to find the valves and I don't have a locator. I tried to find them by looking around but no such luck.
    It's late in the day and I just got the owner to pay me 150.00 for capping the 1"main(I had to dig) and the $120.00 for the wire. I thought that was fair.

    I will either borrow/rent a locator or I will refer this job to someone else. Its an old install and may be better suited for someone fully equipped and experienced. Even with a locator this could get tricky.
    Jury is still out. Anyway, life of a newbie.
  2. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Did you find both ends of the wire? Did you try connecting your new 18/9 to both ends? Did you check to make sure the control box was working w/ a wire tester?
  3. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Being late in the day, once the new wire was connected at the break and the timer, it was time to take a step back and consider the posibilities.

    It is possible the timer has died. I doubt it but it will certainly be verified. I didn't think of that though, Put a test light or meter directly to the com and station(s) terminal to test the timer. Its an old timer and manual mode is kind of tricky.

    See there you go thats why you post stuff here.

    Both ends? I think thats a yes.

    I think the next step is
    A. Lilke you said verify the timer.
    B. Locate the valves.
  4. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    You did find both ends of the wire right? It sounds like you might need to hook up the locator to the cut end of the wires to find some of the valves. You might could just sell him on a new system for the back. That might actually save him some money.
  5. planoirrigation

    planoirrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    If you decide to give up on the job, I would not mind taking over for you if the job is in North Dallas area. I have done many pool reroutes and I am a licensed Irrigator in the state of Texas. Please e-mail me if interested at planoirrigation@aol.com
  6. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    [You did find both ends of the wire right?] Yes I did. Right where the pool guy cut the irr. Main, I found the 9wire. I dug back a couple of feet too and made sure the wire wasn't cut or broke anywhere else and thats where I spliced into the new 9wire. I then hooked it up to the timer. So yeah you might as well hook a finder up there.

    I have already called a Irr guy I know. He's going to take over. I know I could figure it out but I think I'll just let Kyle do it. I've got two big landscape jobs I'm in the middle of designing, I've got a ornamental steel gate to make and 3 garden bridges. There is good possiblity because of the age of this system, of more surprises.

    Planoirr, sorry about that. I will keep your info for in the future installs and repairs though. I'm in the Rockwall area.

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