Sprinkler wiring?

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by mkeefe, May 3, 2010.

  1. mkeefe

    mkeefe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    I have just installed new sprinkler valves and ran new wire to a new sprinkler timer. For some reason only 3 of the 7 wires will work? All the solenoids work fine, the valves turn on both manually and using the timer (switching the good wires each time), but I cannot get the last valve wired because the other 3 wires in the strand will not work. I have been banging my head against the wall on this one. I re-ran new wire (separate purchase) and even purchased a new solenoid with no change. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there some electrical component that I am missing?
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If you wire this correctly, you have a "hot" wire,usually black, from each of the zone stations in the controller to a solenoid, and a single ground wire, usually white, from the Common or Ground terminal in the control box. The ground wire is linked from one solenoid to the other. My first guess on you problem is that this ground link is broken/not connected at one link and the ensuing solenoids are the ones not operating. These connections are made with special waterproof wire nuts. Hope this is you problem as I can't think of anything else that might be at fault.
  3. mkeefe

    mkeefe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Thanks for the reply. All 3 solenoids are at the same box with each ground wire from each solenoid all connected to a single ground (white) wire that leads to the timer. If I rotate the "good" wires to each of the solenoids they work fine, however only the ground wire and 2 others in the 7 wire cable seem to work? When I first connected everything I used the waterproof connections which got goop all over everything, after learning my lesson there, I have been trying all the wiring (using normal wire nuts) first before finalizing it with the goop. Is there some sort of resistance issue or issue with multiwire strands I don't know about?
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,308
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Guess I'm stumped too. If all connections are made with no break in continuity, they should work. You're OK with the regular wire nuts for now, and you can even waterproof them later with silicone. About all I can suggest at this point is call a sprinkler service to come in and find the problem.
  5. BRD

    BRD New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    northeast
    If you have access to a ohm meter you can check the resistance through each of the wires. You know the solenoid is good because it worked with one of the known good wires. Depending on your meter, if you get a reading that says open line(OL), infinity, or a number with a "k" or "m" such as 256k that means you have a broken wire. Check each of the suspected wires. Maybe you got a bad batch of wire???. Are you sure you are getting 24-28 volts out of the suspect zone terminal on the controller? Other than that I'm stumped too!
  6. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    If your go through the ohm meter route....and everything checks out.....How did you switch the wiring for the valves? Did you switch the wiring at the valve box? If you did, try switching the wires at the clock. Your clock could be toasted.

    Mick
  7. mkeefe

    mkeefe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Salt Lake City
    Thanks for all the suggestions. It seems that the connections at the meter may be the problem, I just returned the meter and have a new one on order. I will post again when the new one is connected to see is this fixes it?
    Thanks
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    you would have had to be very careless or unlucky to damage 4 wires out of 7. If you had interchanged one of the good valves and wires to the third terminal, you would have determined very quickly if it was the wire or the controller.
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