solenoid chattering

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by turfman59, Jun 4, 2002.

  1. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Had a client call because the power co just installed a new service at an industrial facility. They hit the Main line twice and hit 3 lateral lines and pulled them apart. I didnt install the system but the client asked me to try to get it back running. It has 13 valves and is serviced by a 2 inch service I have only been able to find 4 of the 13 valve boxes because this site sat abandoned for 4 years and the grass was always like a hay feild before it was cut. The controller wire was cut in 2 and was temporarly spliced to find all the broken laterals. We got it down to the last valve that wouldnt work off the controller Hunter model with a hunter ICC controller we used a spare wire that wasnt hooked to the timer and put it in where the old one was that wouldnt work. When we made a TEmpory connection the solenoid chatter like an electrical short but came on and operated, thats where we stopped for the day. One thing I saw was on the controller mutiple leads were in the same zone. This means he was running two valves off from the same zone. Can you do this on a Hunter ICC timer He has 13 valves running off from 8 positions in the timer box all toegether. Please respond with your thoughts. To me this seems wrong ... Also he did not use a master valve. and through out the day one sprinkler ran continously when the bfp was turn on . I cant beleive someone ran one valve to one head. When we turned the water supply off for a couple of hours the head didnt come back up the second time Must have been a ghost.
  2. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    We've found the ICC will support 2 valves and a pump relay. A load greater than that will generate an error message.

    If I understand you know where this chattering valve is located. Probably low voltage at the solinoid or a bad solinoid. Turn off water and remove solinoid and try it direct at the controller, swap solinoids between valves and retest, check voltage at valve location etc. You'll get it. Voltage problems could stem from bad connections or distance from controller coupled with wire size. When you check voltage at location make sure the valve is on so you can get a reading under load. If the meter does not give a stable voltage reading the solinoid maybe bad but I'd also check the common and zone terminal on the controller with NO wire connected to be sure it is not something odd on that zone.
  3. greasemonkey

    greasemonkey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I use ICC's regularly...they put out quite a bit of power...sometime next week I'm converting a subdivision entrance way from a 1" main to a 2hp (I think) well pump. I'm going to double up the zones to cut down on the # of hours the system runs. We had anticipated that we'd be putting in a well at somepoint and sized the mainline to support that kind of flow...

    I've found that most chattering valve problems are wiring related. Changing the solenoid is usually pretty quick and painless, so I'd reccomend that you change it beofre trying anything else. After that I'd check connections. I'd also keep in mind that the wire may have been sized too small when it was installed, or, if this valve runs on the same controller terminal as another valve, that the voltage drop in the circut may be pretty significant if the chattering valve is a good distance away from the sounds like the controller may be newer than the original system and the person who installed the new controller didn't know / care about voltage drop issues. I'd consider making this valve one of the isolated ones if it is not and the chattering persists even with a new solenoid before breaking out the wire tracker and shovel. You might also consider switching to a different conductor if you're working with multistrand.


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