• Thankful For Your Family…. Business?
    Landscaping businesses are often family endeavors. While this can combine the best of both worlds (personal and professional), it isn’t always smooth sailing. Click here to read more.

Wire paths and valve locating for sports fields

1idejim

LawnSite Fanatic
Located a bunch of valves on a baseball field yesterday for an irrigator.

He specifically asked me to find #8 which read OL with the Armada 94/95 and 2.96 mega ohms with my fluke.

The system was at a church, installed by volunteers and wire was 14/1.

Valves were 1-1/2” Irritrol, Rain Dial clocks.

No documentation was available.

I Ohm’d the valve wiring at the clock, removed the earth ground from the system along with the common and #8 wire to trace.

I began tracing the common which traced from the controller, located outside the fence deep center field.

I got hot spots every 50-60 feet til just back of second base and then the wire path took off at a right angle toward the first base line. I followed it to the fence where there was a round box with 3 runs of multi strand and a gate valve.

I then traced the #8 wire along the same path to the same destination. Problem is there was no valve. Already checked for short to earth and the field was soaked sooooo, I figured it safe to call it and locate the rest of the valves.

There was a water fountain just off of and behind home plate backstop, a quick coupler behind the pitchers mound and everything pretty much lined up with my previously traced path.

The irrigator finally showed up and I located 1 thru 7 in just a short while.

He and I discussed valve #8 and since he was doing the digging, we did some exploring to no avail.

While double checking the system at the clock I noticed #8 had no time on it while the rest had 30 minutes. Pretty much sealed the deal for me.

I’ve done quite a few located on sports fields in the great state of Jeff and I’ve noticed if there’s one thing they all have in common it’s, the main will run from home base to the outfield Through second base and the key is finding the QC behind the pitchers mound.

OR, the main will run along the fence and foul lines on first and third. Valves will be behind home and near each of the dugouts.

Football fields will either circle the field with a looped main along the sidelines and just back of each end zone OR, run across the field at the 50 yard line.

I'm not sure how many of you troubleshoot sports fields or not, but if you do, look for the obvious telltale signs, get a site map or LA’s blueprint or CAD and download one of https://www.rainbird.com/professionals/sportsfield-cad-drawings or https://www.hunterindustries.com/cad-sports-field-plans they come in handy.
 

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
Maybe I'm slow (mama always said I was) but are you saying #8 doesn't exist?

14-1 coming out of controller and then switches to multi? That's a new one to me, I've seen it the other way round.
 
OP
1idejim

1idejim

LawnSite Fanatic
Arthur, there was no #8 valve-
The wire was either a spare or a trace wire to an isolation valve which was in the box. There were too many variables which would discount another working valve.

1) Insulation from earth near 3 megohms
2) frozen gate valve in a box in which the signal stopped.
3) coverage of all turf was good
4) all other zones had 30 minutes on them
5) we dug around the box looking for evidence of another valve.
6) the system was installed and has been maintained by amateurs (church volunteers)

I’ve reread my post and nowhere did I say or imply the 14/1 was connected to multi strand.

F8CBCE70-7ACE-4BCC-B35F-3A16262A4B05.jpeg


Top clock

467953D3-E363-4D18-BD97-8EBF315B9D8D.jpeg


Bottom clock

I did say there were 3 runs of multi strand in the box.

Btw,

There’s no such thing as a dumb question, Just dumb answers.
 

RhettMan

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Texas
This happens alot,

often before calling a pro, a homeowner, or mower jockey will attempt to insert spare wires, especially if already stripped of insulation, into any available terminal slots and then leave it that way, causing confusion for those who follow.

it can be especially difficult for guys like me and jim, who usualy work without a schematic of the system, and we must first assume its an open line on a once-complete circuit
 
Last edited:
OP
1idejim

1idejim

LawnSite Fanatic
This happens alot,

often before calling a pro, a homeowner, or mower jockey will attempt to insert spare wires, especially if already stripped of insulation, into any available terminal slots and then leave it that way, causing confusion for those who follow.

it can be especially difficult for guys like me and jim, who usualy work without a schematic of the system, and we must first assume its an open line on a once-complete circuit
I do everything I can not to assume, if the zone’s open I pull out the Mike Leary fluke and measure for short to earth.
 

RhettMan

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Texas
I was going to add that, and thought of your rules on assumptions immediately after typing "assume" but you say it so much better, so i left omitted.

For me an assumption is the first path taken in following efforts of confirmation.
Never assume without confirmation, and I too often forget this rule.

perhaps the word i shoulda used was: Suspect
 
Top