Volt Meter For Irrigator

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ed2hess, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,596

    I want to get my son a good volt meter for use in his irrigation repair business. Presently we both use a Sear meter worth about $40 but not very hardened. I want to to able to clip on to wires not just have probe ends.
    Any suggestions?
  2. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,957

  3. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    Seriously, the Armada pro 30 sees 90% of the work around me.

    It is manual, fits in a shirt pocket and costs less than $20. Push on probe clips are a couple bucks at RS and work very well.

    Most irrigators can't use a FLUKE to its potential. I can't but have 2 of them anyway. Both ruined by me testing something incorrectly.

    Any inexpensive manual meter will beat the most popular meter that irrigators own
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    Btw, the most popular multimeter in most irrigators tool box is NONE.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    There are now some clamparound ammeters with current ranges between the leakage meters and the conventional ones. Those would be useful for solenoid current readings.
  7. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,690

    It always blows me away when another irrigator tells me they dont use one. It is the first tool I use on most service calls. One guy tells me he just uses a solenoid to test for voltage:hammerhead:
  8. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    You can use a low cost clamp to measure solenoids shoes, you have to make 4 or more turns around the meters jaw. The result is then divided by the number of turns.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    Solenoids activate between 19 and 30vac so even if he observes "real world" results of the solenoids operation, he has no clue of the condition of the system.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    OK, serious question, are you telling me that the .19 - .21 amps I get for solenoids with my Fluke clamp meter is wrong? I use it sometimes with systems where a zone is err'ing out the controller but when I arrive it ohms fine and a reset gets it running again. Some of those solenoids need to get warm before they go short and I do see a slightly higher amp reading on them, which causes me to go ahead and replace them. "Good" solenoids always seem to be around .19 - .21 amps but I'm just using a regular Fluke meter, not a leakage meter...

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