Wiring problems

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by londonrain, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Six service calls today....
    First job - cut zone wire - 521 locator for landscaper and he will fix or rewire.
    Second job - 8 zones not working but wiring was good, 521 the valves and they are all under a newly widened road and flow controls must be cranked down , needs new system
    Third job - 2 zones not working. Two blown solenoids, replaced and now both working.
    Fourth job - 2 zones would not close - 521 the valves and find rocks in the valves. Get that fixed and no zones will fire from controller, cut wires and a bunch of bad heads, back next week for repairs.
    Fifth job - 4 zones out of 12 not working. - Worst wiring job I have ever see, 3 18/13 wires coming together into one big mass of wire nuts and electrical tape and no grease fittings. Fixed all zones but will be back for complete rewire next week.
    Six job- zone not working but turned out it was a cut pipe under a tree but just as bad as a wiring problem....

    Wiring problems are the most frustrating type of problem and you make the least amount of money and require the most knowledge. We figured out all wiring problems.....:dizzy:
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    That sounds like a slow day for me in my prime!:laugh: Are all the clients
    chipping in to buy you a fresh 521 w/ the long probe & the golf cart?
  3. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Did not know they had a 521 out in the early 1950's.....:laugh:
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    My father, Timothy, taught me how to locate wires with "the
    power of seeing under the ground"...the first 521, tho in the mind, you know!
  5. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,168

    I have seen some shabby wiring jobs..

    Thanks to a few toys we get it easy for the most part..

    Worst one I can remember was like londonrain said,"four 13 strand wires all connected together....with only 12 zones operable...
    We call it YO-YO Jobs...
    We usually wire for the current number of valves in field/controller...
    what do you all do for wiring codes?

    I'm just curious cause I know everyone does it different.
  6. BPC

    BPC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    The next lesson is the 2003 pulser for locating nicks in wire.
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Your such a bright guy.

    Always run at least 2 spares.
  8. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,168

    1.we are talking about different things
    2.whats your wiring code.
    3.we always run spare wire in the field, I'm talking about only wiring necessary connections..meaning don't wire the controller for 14 zones when its only 6 to date..

    its just others preference in the process of wiring I was seeking..

  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I use the following color code:

    White - Common
    Red - 1
    Blue - 2
    Green - 3
    Yellow - 4
    Orange - 5
    Purple - 6
    Brown - 7
    Grey - 8

    After that its a crapshoot because different manufactures tend to have different colors.

    I also do something a little unusual, but I like to downsize my wiring as it runs from manifold to manifold on large properties.

    For example, a 18-10 out of the timer will got box one with four valves in it, I'll then run a 18-7 out of that to remaining 3 valves etc.

    In the first box I would have wired the 13 wire like this:

    Red - Valve 1
    Blue Valve 2
    Green Valve 3
    Yellow Valve 4
    Orange to Red on the 18-7
    Purple to blue on 18-7
    Brown to green on 18-7

    then obviously Red, Blue, Green to the valves in the next manifold.

    The advantage of doing this is that I can always know where a valve is located in the wire path by the color to the wire (Red on a valve, thats the first valve between this wire and the timer, or a previous splice).

    It also means I can follow a consistent pattern in the timer, and be able to tell zone numbers by color code quite often.

    Huge time saver when coming back to a system we've installed years ago.

    How do you do yours?
  10. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,168

    dude we do something very similar..

    and as different companies have different numbers it changes a little buts thats the basic.
    but green is accepted around here as the old school common...

    on a 13 strand black/light blue are rain sensor if its applies..

    we do the same thing...13 from the controller

    and then from the main junction box we bump down to 9>7 strand.

    I totally agree with the having a code down for all the installs...Makes better for future service work,ad-ons, trouble shooting...

    It amazes me on how many Monkeys out there slap wire nuts on valves and make up BS codes and get paid the good $$....

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