Dog chewed wires-did she fry the valves?

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by rosie5350, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. rosie5350

    rosie5350 New Member

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    Last fall, my dog pulled the sprinkler wiring out from underneath the siding of the house, chewed through it, etc. The system had already been winterized, as far as I had already blown out the lines, but it still had power. So, this spring, I restrung new wire, only having to splice in one place for my front yard zones. Sprinkers won't turn on. Replaced the control box, thinking that maybe she had fried the panel. Sprinklers won't turn on. I can manually turn on each valve, but they won't turn on via the control box. So now I'm wondering if the valves were fried when she chewed through the wires. Please help.

    Oh, yeah. It's a six zone system, formerly seven, but I eliminated one zone. There's a manifold in the front yard with four valves and one in the back with three. The system is roughly ten years old.

    Rosie
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    San Diego
    Not likely that the valves were damaged . Possibly the timer, but they also usually have a fuse or red reset button, which should have protected it from the short circuit. Check for one of those.
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Another thing you can check is the ground wire from the controller to the valves. This is a common wire, usually white and daisy chained, to all valves. If broken or disconnected prior to reaching the first valve, none of the valves would operate. In the controller box, it will be connected to the terminal labeled C, Com, or Grd.
  4. rosie5350

    rosie5350 New Member

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    Re: dog chewed

    I already replaced the control box. Tried the reset button on the old one(Nelson SmartZone), and the place where I bought it no longer carries it and wasn't very helpful as far as replacing parts in it. So, I bought a new one, rewired it, and still nothing. I know I have my grounds plugged in to the COM lines in the control box, but I'll try back-tracking those wires, checking for breaks. Thanks.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Yakima WA
    The ground wire is just one possibility. Make sure you have good fuses, that any reset button is. There would have been no power to the valves when the dog chewed the wires, there is only juice in those wires when the circuit is activated by the control box. Are you sure there is power to the box? Perhaps the breaker to that outlet was tripped. Plug a lamp or power tool into the outlet and make sure. I don't think Fido did anything to cause the problem. A short requires the hot wire and the ground to come into contact with each other while there is current in the line, and if this did some how happen, the fuse in the controller would have popped. Most appliance repairmen know the first thing to check when something won't turn on is the power supply. Many times they find a washer or TV is just unplugged.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    valves

    You can only fry the valves by giving them too much voltage, not cutting the wires to them. Now, if the power had been on to the valves at the time, the dog might have thought he fried his mouth. You have some additional wiring problems, possibly chewed somewhere else.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2007

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