Tracking Valves . .help needed

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by GreenGuysLC, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    And now the current situation ... at the controller .. I ohm each station and return 26 to 41 on all zones except the one still missing ..ohms .37 I have tried to do a quick find and fix by jumping another working line over to the missing line at a valve box half way... still no valve activation.

    Picture attached .. red indicates the water and wire path. yellow star is 7 of the 8 valves. Orange circles the heads not operating because of lost valve. All the south line is in juniper. I suspect with the heads not operating the valve is in the juniper near the other valve that is feeding the south most lawn. It seems the installer didnt place valves inside the parking area. The valve for the heads on north side of building is the north set of valves.

    Any help on scratching head is apreciated. Pro 700 hasnt gave me even a hint of a lead. Tracks around without any noticible change ... jI would normally at this point dig from the first head back to the main pipe .. which I would think would be a short distance .. but it is in juniper .. and diggin anit

    Oh yeah . the black box on east wall is the cntroller location .. INSIDE THE STORE

  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,759

    What if you unplugged the controller and connected the transmitter to the system common outside? Maybe there is some continuity between the common and the missing solenoid.
  3. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    Ok.. I can try that... ran out of time on that job today and plan to run some other test when I go back . That will def be one of them. I cant imagine the wire being broken .. I can see it connected at all the located valves .. and if it had gotten broke .. I would think the others would have too. I am pretty sure the wires leave the building to the north and then loop around from there. Almost certian I will find it near the other valve in the juniper on south side ... that is where the first head is that is not operating.
  4. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,326

    Is that .37 ohms or 37 ohms?

    Also, it's possible that the missing valve is right next to another one that you've already found.
    You might try disconnecting the solenoid hot wire, (at the valve), of the valve(s) closest to the area that isn't working and tracking again.

    If the solenoid reading is 37 ohms and not .37 then connect the Pro 700 (I have one too) as I described previously and you should be easily able to pinpoint the valve location.
  5. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    yep, been there before.
  6. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    No it is reading POINT 37. .37 I suspected that it may be near the other valve .. but looking under the juniper that is ft and half tall is not easy . That is where my intense search will continue next week . I feel It has got to be right there close by. I am going to track the common wire and see where that takes me.
  7. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    The fastest way to find a shorted valve is to hook the red wire from the 700 transmitter to the zone wire and the black to the common. Follow your wire path, you'll have nothing (no null to signal over the wire) until you pass the solenoid. Once you start to get a tracking signal again, you need to back up until it disappears and that's your valve. Often the shorted solenoid will scream at you as you pass it so there's no mistaking it's location.
  8. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    mike i always isolate and group like wires, match the common to the wires they service.

    on your mega's, i know that you know, that i know that you're too damned picky not to have done this at install. :)

    what i would do in your case is, measure short to earth from both ends. i would also close the loop and take a resistance measurement from each end. if you have an earth fault, the STE measurement will show it, if you have a direct short, the loop measurement will tell you which end it is closest to. :waving:

    i use my TDR for this, works good most of the time.
  9. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,326

    Here's the answer from Armadatech regarding my inquiry about hooking up the Pro 700 directly to the valve hot and common.

    body: Question:
    Is it safe to connect the Pro 700 directly to the solenoid wiring to pinpoint the location of a valve?
    To state more clearly, is it ok to connect the red wire to the valve hot and the black wire to the valve common of a valve at the controller?

    Answer from Armadatech:
    Yes. Keep the power level low as this method does not introduce a lot of resistance and you don't generally need a lot of power. Overpowering just drains the battery faster.

  10. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    Thanks Sprinkus. I have not returned to the property as of yet. We are getting rain by the truck loads today so not too concerned about the system today. I am gonna try to follow the common first and If no luck .. make a long ground and hook to the controller as you have mentioned. I will not let this one valve beat me! lol

    BTW ... Pro 700 found a use in my basement two nights ago. I have two air conditioners (split units) with condensers in a closet in the basement .. drain pipes from both go into a 6inch pipe that goes under concrete floor and out to the back yard. Apparently the outlet had become blocked , water was dumping into my basement floor, and I didnt know for sure where it came out. dug where I thought and no luck ... Then I thought .. what if I snake a wire through the PVC .... and track it!!!! :) Worked like a charm.

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