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  1. #1
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    Sprinkler system zones shutting down

    We have a very simple UG sprinkler system with 3 zones. As of the past few days, two of the three zones have suddenly started to shut off after 1 or 2 minutes of run time. The third zone runs just fine.

    I've tried a new transformer and a new controller, and I'm still having the issues. Not knowing a damn thing about electrical work, I'm at a loss. Ground issue maybe? Control wire issue?

    Any suggestion on how to troubleshoot things further? Or is this one of those things best left to the pros?

  2. #2
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    VC is offline Calmer then you are Dude
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    No expert by any means, I'm sure someone thats has a clue will chime in at some point but heres my suggestion anyway. Are the solenoids on your sprinkler system interchangable from one zone to the other? If so try changing them to see if its with the solenoid or something else. Also I'd try changing the which wiring in the the control box (put zone 1 wiring into zone 2) that may narrow down the issue.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by systemoverblow'd View Post
    Right...cause topics like Canon 7D firmware issues and batteries in backup power sources are so critical to developing countries:

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...are?highlight=

    https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...S-s?highlight=

    I can go on if you'd like?

    To VC, thanks for the info and suggestion, I'll give it a try. But first I have to deal with my some critical social justice issues like camera's firmware.

  5. #5
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    Hey slick

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    #2 - what do my threads in photo/video have to do with me making a joke about first world problems?
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    igBand:


    systemoverblow'd:

  6. #6
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    I have a friend that owns an irrigation co. I'll ask him for his insight. What system you using? Rain bird, hunter,...?

  7. #7
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    New valves are pretty cheap (way cheaper than calling in a pro) and pretty easy to swap out. I'd try that next assuming you've already checked the wiring connections at both ends.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NmbrdDays View Post
    I have a friend that owns an irrigation co. I'll ask him for his insight. What system you using? Rain bird, hunter,...?
    That would be awesome man...many thanks. Using a Hunter system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zesty Not Spicy View Post
    New valves are pretty cheap (way cheaper than calling in a pro) and pretty easy to swap out. I'd try that next assuming you've already checked the wiring connections at both ends.
    Good advice Zesty - I'll try swapping the valve from the zone that I know works into one of the faulty ones.

  9. #9
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    Definitely check the valves. I just put in a sprinkler system at my house this year. Mine was an Orbit but I am assuming they are going to be similar. The wiring is very simple. I would double check where the sprinkler wire goes into the control unit first. Make sure they are snug and can not be pulled out. If thats not the case then go to the valve. If they are anti-siphon it will be easy. Inline will be buried. Check to make sure nothing is shorting out your ground wire at the valve (most people use white as their ground color). Since the wires are typically bundled in one strand and the other valve is working, my guess is that its not an actual wire issue. If you can strip a wire and have a splice kit you can wire these things. Dont been intimidated by it.

  10. #10
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    Its been a while, but i used to work on these things. What happens when zone 1 shuts off? Does zone 2 turn on right after or does it wait until the programmed time for zone 1 run out? Can you turn zone 1 on manually after it shuts down?
    My initial thoughts are that you either have some dirt in your solenoids that allow it to turn on initially, but when it pressurizes the dirt gets in there and trips it, or you have a wiring issue where the wires may be stripped somewhere and shorting out. Maybe when they get wet. Weird stuff can happen if the insulation is stripped somewhere, but it is odd that it would be happening in two zones. You should have extra strands to switch over to in your wiring.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Josef and Lawless - again the mag collective comes through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawless View Post
    IWhat happens when zone 1 shuts off? Does zone 2 turn on right after or does it wait until the programmed time for zone 1 run out? Can you turn zone 1 on manually after it shuts down?
    The system waits until the programmed time on the zone 1 runs out before switching to zone 2.

    I picked up some new valves that came with solenoids, so I'll give that a try and will update.

    Thanks for the info/help to you all!

  12. #12
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    mine went a little fritzy for awhile there, zone 1/2 shutting down, zone 5 not working etc. turned out to be 2 sep. but related problems - bad solenoid on zone 5, wire caps were collecting water from the spray inside the valve box... turned all the caps so any water would drain out and replaced solenoid (ok my yard guy did it) and everythings fine. Little frogs are living in the valve box enclosure, pretty funny in dry ass Reno...
    ... jfost is really ignorant, he often just needs simple facts laid out for him...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfost View Post
    mine went a little fritzy for awhile there, zone 1/2 shutting down, zone 5 not working etc. turned out to be 2 sep. but related problems - bad solenoid on zone 5, wire caps were collecting water from the spray inside the valve box... turned all the caps so any water would drain out and replaced solenoid (ok my yard guy did it) and everythings fine. Little frogs are living in the valve box enclosure, pretty funny in dry ass Reno...
    This seemed to solve things. New valves and solenoids on two of the suspect zones, along with new caps on all wires in the system. Guess I won't know what it was exactly, but at least it's up an running again. Thanks to all for the suggestions.

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