Sprinkler System Suddenly Not Working

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  #1  
Old 06-19-13, 10:08 PM
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Sprinkler System Suddenly Not Working

My Sprinkler System is Suddenly Not Working. I check the box and fuse and it appears good.

When I go the the solenoid the first main one will get water when I turn the head manually from off to on.

But all the others will not get any water when I turn the head manually.

Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-19-13, 10:51 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Seems to be a little confusion here. If you go to the first valve and manually open it and get water.......then you have an electrical issue.

If you go to the other valves and manually open then and don't get any water......that's a different problem and not electrical.

Could it be a programming issue ? If not....
You will need to use a meter to check for voltage output on the zone terminals. You should read approx. 24 VAC on an activated zone.
 
  #3  
Old 06-20-13, 05:58 AM
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Without knowing how your system is plumbed, especially the layout of the manifold where your solenoids are located it's hard to say what the problem could be. Since you describe the first solenoid as the main one is it possible that it must be open to allow water to flow to the others? In which case it (the main one) must be open in order for any of the others to work.

Can any of the zones be manually turned on at the control panel? This is done by selecting the zone on the panel and telling the controller to turn the zone on, NOT by going out to the valve and manually turning the solenoid.

If any zones can be controlled from the controller I suspect:
a bad connection or broken wire to that zone
the solenoid for that zone may be bad
the valve could be clogged with debris
the valve's diaphragm could need replacing

If none of the zones can be activated from the control panel I suspect:
a bad connection or broken common or ground wire going to the solenoid bank
bad controller

Still a key to this whole thing is you mentioning a "main" solenoid. Whether or not it is a master or main solenoid or just the solenoid for zone 1 makes a big difference.
 
  #4  
Old 06-25-13, 11:47 PM
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Thank you for replying on this topic. I have been troubleshooting for a couple days. I uploaded pictures here: http://sdrv.ms/10k3NJr (4 pictures you can flip through them)

Here is what I think happen. I think the end blew off one of the pipes during the day and someone turned my water off from the main line feeding from the street.

I have since replaced the the end that blew off and turned back on the water from the main line feeding from the street. However, I still get no water at the solenoids when manually turned on except for the first one solenoids. All the others seem to have no water feeding to them. When I tap on the pipe of the other solenoids I can hear they are hollow with no water coming to them.

So it appears to be a not an electrical or control panel issue, but a water issue.

Anyone have any ideas from looking at the pictures at the above link?

Thank you again for your help.
 
  #5  
Old 06-26-13, 02:18 AM
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In the picture where you show the water turn off......it's turned off......did you try turning it back on ?
 
  #6  
Old 06-26-13, 05:02 PM
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Yes, I tuned it back on and I can hear the pressure come into the tube but when I flip the valve on. But then when I go to the solenoids after doing this, no water is getting to the solenoids when i manually turn them on (except for the first one). Could a bad first solenoids prevent the water from reaching the others? It appears to me the water that feeds the solenoids that don't work is from a different source then the one that is working. But I don't know where else to look to find out where water might be turned off. I have checked everywhere and all the water in my house is working. And the sprinklers were working fine since I bought the house 3 years ago. Then all the sudden stopped working.
 
  #7  
Old 06-26-13, 07:14 PM
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You've taken some pics for us but it's very hard to follow them.

Sometimes there is a main electrically operated valve feeding the others but I don't see it there.

How many zones is you system ?
The wiring doesn't look real...... neat for lack of a better word. Looks like phone wire was used.
In the one picture it looks like there are at least 5 zone valves in a row....it looks like they are wired to a common zone.

It looks like there are two valves in the valve box and in the pic of the valve you say is working.....the one gate valve is turned off.
 
  #8  
Old 06-27-13, 08:56 PM
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Pjmax, thank you for the reply. The wiring is funky I agree. Can the wiring cause the system to not work even if I turn it on manually from the solenoid? My feeling is I really don't think that wiring is the issue right now because it was working fine for many years. It appears no water is getting to the sprinklers other then the first one master solenoid.

There are 6 total zones and the first one is the master control. When I turn the solenoid head to the master control it will turn on the sprinklers to one zone. But if I do the same for the other zones nothing happens and the other zones are getting no water.

I realize the gate valve is shut off in the picture, but I had it turned on during my test. I felt the water load in pipes in the valve box.

But even with it on, there was no water pressure in the solenoid two thru six, only pressure in number 1.

Is there a setting on the first solenoid master control that I need to have set right to cause the water to get to the other solenoid?

Thank you again for your help.
 
  #9  
Old 06-28-13, 08:07 AM
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Manually operating a solenoid trumps the electrical so if it's not working I would disassemble the valve. It may be clogged with debris or need a new diaphragm.

Irrigation valves are a solenoid type which is different than the big spigot on the side of your house. Solenoid valves use the water pressure to provide the force to open the valve. There are some small orifices and passages that can clog with sediment and most also rely on a rubber diaphragm. If it's punctured, cracked or stiff with old age can prevent the valve from working.
 
  #10  
Old 06-28-13, 12:15 PM
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Ok, I will give that a try with cleaning. One question. Does the master solenoid control the water flow to the other solenoid?
 
  #11  
Old 06-28-13, 06:14 PM
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It depends on how the system was plumbed.
 
  #12  
Old 06-28-13, 06:25 PM
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I don't see a master control valve. You said when you turned that valve on Zone 1 works. That would make that the Zone 1 solenoid/valve.

You have a six zone system....... how many electrically operated valves do you have.....6 or 7 ?
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I only see six in your pictures.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 06-28-13 at 06:41 PM.
  #13  
Old 06-28-13, 06:50 PM
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I was just thinking..... maybe someone turned all your pressure regulators off.....not knowing which zone was the one leaking. Watch this video....especially around 2:30 and see if this might be your problem.

Rain Bird DAS / ASVF Sprinkler Valves: Basic Operation - YouTube
 
  #14  
Old 06-28-13, 07:07 PM
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This is the master control #1, which as you noted in the picture you posted was not shown. On the solenoid it has an on off and if I turn it. If I do turn it to on, water comes on of the sprinklers in one zone, but will not come out if I turn on the other zone even if #1 is running.


The master is in this picture

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  #15  
Old 06-28-13, 07:13 PM
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Hmmmm.......now that I'm looking it's different than the other ones but it's just the newer style. It should not have anything to do with the other ones. If you have a total of 6 valves like I drew on the picture......then there is no master. Have you tried taking one of the others apart so see if it's clogged. I don't recognize the Rain Bird model of the 2-6 valves
 
  #16  
Old 06-28-13, 07:17 PM
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Sorry I thought that was a master. I will try and take one apart and see. I did notice this #1 valve will turn on zone one even when the main water valve from the street is turned off.
 
  #17  
Old 06-28-13, 07:29 PM
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Thank you so much for the help!!! I finally got it to work. I feel like such a dummy When trying loosening the solenoid per your suggestion of taking it apart, I noticed the top back ridged part of the solenoid twists along with the whole solenoid (the grey portion). Before I was only twisting the whole solenoid and not the black knob part so the water was not turning on. Now it is turning on by twisting the whole solenoid and the top black part. Thank you again so much for our help!
 
  #18  
Old 06-28-13, 07:35 PM
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You are very welcome
 
  #19  
Old 06-29-13, 03:01 PM
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So I got this working manually and but I am trying to get it working with the controller now. Some of the wires that are going into the controller seem be a different color then the wires coming out at the solenoid. Does anyone know how I can use a multimeter to determine which wire is the common wire at the solenoid? What process to follow and what setting to use?
 
  #20  
Old 06-29-13, 03:40 PM
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The common wire at the valve location is the one wire that every zone valve connects to. In looking at your pictures again..I'd say it's the one with the red wire nut.

If you can't figure it out from there then you'll need to take every connection apart and start again.

To check for voltages at that location you'll need to set your meter to the scale just over 24 VAC. It could be 50 vac or 100 vac.
 
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