Friday, April 4, 2008

Sprinkler Wiring

I received this question about sprinkler repair from Armando:

I have a Rain Bird ESP-6TM Controller that’s 8 years old with Hunter valve/solenoids. And was working fine until last summer. The problem seems to be between the the valves and the controller as it shows the correct time and station yet doesn’t communicate to valves to open or close.

I did some messing around with the wiring at the valve box and seem to have an extra wire that goes somewhere. In addition I don’t know how tight or loose the solenoids should be to be considered on without manual operation.

Hi Armando;

My first thought would be "what sits between the controller and the valves?" That would be the rain sensor. Try disconnecting that and see if it works.
At the same time you could look for an extra wire in the controller. Possibly the unconnected wire in the valve box is a spare.

On a ESP controller it is difficult to insert a prong from a voltage meter into the terminal. Insert a 2" piece of wire into the common terminal and the same for zone one. Then check for power coming out of the controller.

You can also try re-slicing the the common connection to the valve closet to the controller. If that common splice is bad none of the other valves electrically down stream will work.

Hunter valve solenoids have an arrow on top pointing to the direction to open them manually.
Turn it in that direction slowly until you hear the water flowing through it. Be careful not to turn it to far because it could pop out and make a mess!

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