Sparking Timers? What the heck.

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by sildoc, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    We have had some rain for the last few days and most of my customers systems are off for the last couple of weeks. We don't winterize here as we maybe freeze an inch at the very most.
    So problem is that one zone when I went to turn it on to run the drip, (some new plants just put in), decided to fry and spark. I traced the line all the way and it is not nicked any where and wired up fine. No water in the valve box at all. So that zone no longer worked but the other 4 did. By the way the zone I am having trouble with is on a completely different wire than the other 4, and no other zones are on the one that is giving me problems.

    What I have done. I laid another line right next to the original, roughly 105 feet. Wired as I would normally wire and try again.
    I move it to an empty zone on timer and it works with no sparking, frying or anything and all is well.

    My question is what would cause this??
    I'm stumped and at a lost and wondering if any one else has experiencing this?
    Looking to learn something new here.

    PROFESSORRAIN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    what kind of controller?have you added anything to it lately?:drinkup:most cont. have a self diagnostic program
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    I think it is the RB esp 6 zone. not sure.
    Nothing added at all since install 6 years ago.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,748

    Maybe the date was accidentally set to the Fourth of July :p
  5. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    I had a similar problem a couple of weeks ago on an esp6 outdoor controller.

    My problem was that there was first a short in the field wires and also when I tried the zone it would spark at the zone wire on the controller. The spark was caused by a semi-loose zone wire screw at the controller. Tightened the screw on the field wire and that solved the spark issue. Pulled out the 521 and traced that path of the field wires. Then used the ground fault locator and located the chewed up wires causing the short.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    We use Irritrol MC Plus controllers for standard wired systems and I've never seen one spark. If there is a solenoid/wire problem the controller will skip that zone and continue with all the other zones. The controller will read "fuse 6", i.e. if there's a problem with valve #6.
  7. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    That is what I'm used to. Like I said it is the first time it has ever happened.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Had a strange one last month. We sent a 42 station board in for repairs because it was fried on the back of the circuit board and stopped working altogether. It was confirmed that water (from a sprinkler) had gotten into the controller from a teardrop hole in the back of the box. This hole (actually two of them) are precut on all Irritrol MC Plus boxes to make installation easier. However, this hole wasn't used during original installation because it didn't match up right with the stand's cross-members fabricated for this particular controller.

    Of course the board wasn't under warranty because of the type of damage and it cost us $565 for repairs. Funny thing is that if the MC Plus is installed on a pedestal stand these holes are not used and are open to the elements.

    Some plumber's putty and duct tape (on both sides) sealed the hole before I reinstalled the circuit board.

    Irritrol Controller Box IV-01.jpg

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