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Station Master vs. Volt Meter and such

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BSME, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    lets see if I can focus the ADD long enough to get some help. I ran out of time on Friday and will be going back this week.

    -I'm in the process of getting a hotel up and running. A cement repair hit a 2'' main. The 2'' repair got crap into just about every valve in the system. All valves that were stuck on are now fixed.
    -2 zones (four valves) aren't coming on by the timer. The four valves are all in a certain area (after the main repair).

    -I just recently bought a station master and have been doing troubleshooting with both my volt meter (where I have confidence) and station master to see if I can confidently do my trouble shooting with that.

    -Clock (ICC): correct voltage with meter and checks out with station master.
    Ohms are high. I forget right now how high. 150+? I know it's two zones with RB 150PGA valves I believe (RB 1.5'') I believe the station master said good when I tried it at the clock.

    -valve box: Valve checks out ok by ohms (40 I believe). Turns on and off by station master just fine.
    Getting 26 volts to the valve by meter. When I check volts in the box by the station master another random unrelated zone pops up.

    I'm guessing they hit the wire when they were digging around the main. What do you think? I don't have a fault locator. What do they rent for?

    anything I missed?
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    The station master is a great troubleshooting tool, you'll get used to it & trust
    it as much as your VOM. Solenoids should ohm-out between 15 & 50 ohms.
    Most clocks put out 28+ volts to take into consideration wire run loss, so my
    guess is you've been clipped..any spare wire around? This situation is what
    prompted me to buy a 521 locator. I don't have their site..maybe someone
    else has?:cry:
  3. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    My guess is that it is the common that has been clipped as those are the last four valves going that way and none of them work.

    I really want to find a reason to buy the fault locator.

    I normally would just run new wire from where I think it is damaged except the sod is just starting to look ok again and they don't want me digging it all up. I'd also have to go under two sidewalks.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    So the question is.....are you ready to make a capital investment? Most of us
    on this forum have 521s, for a good reason.:) Billable hours locating, ya know!

    Messages: 18,668

  6. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    Not the 521. I have one of those. I even followed the wire with my locator and went right through where I suspect they nicked the wire.

    I'm talking about that pulsar in the thread FM just posted to.
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    Clean the wax out of your ears..the 521 will locate clips, just takes some
    listening.:) The pulsar, I've heard, will help w/groundfaults, but never needed one.
  8. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    A lot of the times the 521 will bleed right past cuts and nicks. If the cut is bad enough the 521 will start loosing signal or start getting weaker about 3' after the cut. I used my 521 for over 10 years finding cut wires and bad splices but that was a lot of digging and spot checking. If you want to find the exact spot of a wire splice, nick, cut then get a ground fault locator.

    Messages: 18,668

    I agree with LR the pulsar is a great tool. Will save a lot of time if you do your prep right. Only problem is storing that A-frame in my service truck.

    PROFESSORRAIN LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    Gotta 521 What's the cost on pulsar?

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