Two Valves - One Zone - Power Short

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by duke69111, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    Hi All,

    I am having some problems with a sprinkler system. My system is a

    Nelson 8300 Jr. - Control Box with 6 Zones

    I have two valves for zone 1 in my system. One valve controls half of my heads and the other valve controls the other half of zone 1. I have the ground wire spliced/connected with the power wire from both valves, and the On/Off wire spliced/connected to the remaining wire from each valve. When they are connected this way the zone shuts off after about 2-3 minutes and the power short icon on the control box is on.

    If I seperate the two valves from the brown wire, and hook the brown wire to either one of the two valves by themselves, it works fine and runs the full time.

    I have attached a simple sketch of what I have.

    Any help would be appreciated and thanks in advance.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  2. upper

    upper DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Re-check the wires and how far to the timer?Could also try two colors for the hot and tie them in at the timer...Upper
  3. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    I cut the wires back today to fresh pieces and wired them again. The run is about 40 - 50 feet or so maybe less. I have also tried the two seperate wires. I wired the brown to one value and a pink to the other and put them both on zone one at the control box and it still shorts out within 3 minutes. Should I seperate the ground into two wires as well, I can't really see the ground being the problem.

    Thanks!
  4. upper

    upper DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    Does the timer put out enough power for both valves?Each valve equals a one zone.You are operating two zones at once.You could also put in one valve to handle both zones and gpm usage.Then you would have one zone..Upper
  5. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    That makes sense, do you know how many volts it should put out to a valve and would I just need a volt meter to check?

    Thanks for your help.
  6. upper

    upper DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    24Vac-1Amp,Put the tester to it ......Upper
  7. BRD

    BRD New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    northeast
    I don't know if you have a master valve or not, but if you do, your trying to operate too many valves at once. That controller , I believe, can only operate two valves at a time. The fact that it runs fine with only one valve connected to the terminal hints to this. Is this a brand new system that your wiring up or is this a new problem recently encountered in a previously running system?
  8. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    I think you are absolutly correct BRD. On Sunday, I remembered that I have a valve on the other side of the driveway in with other zones. So basically my zone 1 was trying to operate three valves and it could not do it. I tested this problem by hooking my zones 4, 5 & 6 together and it did the same thing as zone 1 was doing and shutdown within 3 minutes.

    So I had extra wires in the strand , so I hooked the two valves up seperaly as new zones 1 & 2, and combined/doubled up one of my small zones with zone 4. Everything is working great. Thanks everybody for all of your help.
  9. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    Help with valves on my zones

    Hi Everyone,

    If you have read all my previous posts from 2009, my problem was with one of my zones that was shorting out after about three minutes. This started after I fixed some leaks/valves and done some rewireing (unintentionally). Well the problem we determined was three valves on one zone. Likely a master valve on the west side of the drive and then two valves on the east side of the drive for zone one.

    To solve the shorting out problem, I used some of the spare wires and split the valves into two zones. (Zone 1 & 2). I was able to do this because I had one small zone around my patio that was a mound of weeds and unhooked it and moved the old zone 2 to zone 3 in my control box and created two zones out of zone one.

    Now the problem I have is around my patio, I removed the excess dirt and laid sod around the patio and now I want to be able to water the area around my patio. Well the problem is now, when I try to connect the wire for the zone around my patio to any of the 6 zones in my box it shorts out in 2-3 minutes or so. I have a Nelson 8300 Jr. - Control Box with 6 Zones.

    Is there a way to wire the two valves on the east side of my drive back together so that it will water as one zone and I can reclaim one of my zones for use at the patio area.

    I know it is possible somehow because when I bought my house in 2007 and started messing with the zones in 2009, the two valves in zone 1 worked as one zone.

    If anyone has any ideas I would be very appreciative. Like I said above, I think I have a master valve on the west side of the drive way, but I am not 100%. But I do know that I messed up the wiring in 2009 and was able to make it work for my needs in 2009. My control box has two sets/strands of wires coming out of it with 8 or so wireles in each strand. One strand goes to zones 1-3 and the second strand goes to zones 4-6 based on the drawing labeled below as the the old way.

    I have included some drawings of the layout of my zones and the yard. VB on the drawing is Valve box. The control box is located in the patio area.

    Attached Files:

  10. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    We know that the controller will handle two zones without a problem, but will your flow rate and pressure handle two zones on at the same time? Normally, with different turf/garden areas (watering conditions/plant needs/watering times), as well as pressure and flow rate restrictions, is why we install different zones. Your situation is also why I install a nine zone clock in a home that will be full with six zones - for any possible expansion. For another $40.00 or so it's way less expensive to put a bigger clock in to start with. But you also know that by now.

    If your pressure and flow rate will handle it - I would look at the combining the two smallest (flow rate and pressure use) zones as one zone. Maybe zone 1 and the unhooked zone as zone one. But I also don't know what is in each of those two zones because you will aslo have to consider that the two combined zones will also have the exact same watering times. Are they both turf?

    The only way to do it properly is to change to a nine zone clock. You have enough wire already laid.

    Mick
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Find a good lawn irrigation company and ask if they have an "Add A Zone" controller. If so, wire it into your zone 1 circuit. It allows one terminal to operate two valves separately so you do not have the overload.
  12. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    Good call hj. I forgot about that. We don't have Add-A-Zone up here so I wasn't thinking of that. We do have wireless solidoids, but that would be as expensive as getting a nine zone clock.

    Mick
  13. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    Hi Mick and hj,

    Mick on your question, I am mostly sure that that it can handle two zone on one, because it was hooked up that way when I bought my house and last year when I was messing with them I messed up the wires.

    As for your thought on a 9 zone controller:

    My controller is this one, Nelson Turf is what I have and it was acquired by Signature Control Systems, Inc. effective September 19, 2008.:

    http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Signature-8309C-9-Station-Controller-w-Power-Cord-p/8309c.htm

    &

    http://signaturecontrolsystems.com/Turf/ProductView.cfm?P=139

    My controller board looks like I can add another 6 zones to the circuit board, but I dont know if the programming can handle it or if it is even possible. Does anybody have any ideas. I have attached some photos.

    Thanks for your help, this forum has been great.

    I can not get the photo attacher to work so here is a link:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  14. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    Duke,

    Your controller will not handle more than six zones (with individual run times). The extra spaces that you have are because most manufactures like this use one circuit board for all of their clocks. They then only use the wire connectors and applicable e-prom (programming chip) for each individual model.

    I knew that you were able to handle the original two zones (zone 1), but I didn't and still don't know if your system (flow rate and pressure) can handle the water requirements for two zones to be operational at the same time. Depending on the heads and nozzles that you have installed, it can be a lot of water coming out of each zone. A lot of zones are designed so that they use from 75-85% capacity of your existing water flow. Yes the clock can trigger two zones at the same time, but can your water supply handle it? If both zones are designed for 75% of your existing water flow, then combined you will need 150% of your existing water flow to run both zones at the same time. - It can't happen.

    If you don't have the flow or pressure to run two zones at once, the heads won't pop up or they won't throw water as far as they should.

    If however both zones that you want to combine each have low water usage, then it might work.

    As far as the Nelson/Signature clocks go - that's all that I install. In the past two weeks, I've install six Ez-Pro Jr's They are the easiest controllers for clients to learn and use. They are versatile and have easy to use features.

    The 8309 is exactly the one that I was thinking of. That is a great price at $100.00. My cost (contractors discount pricing) is $123.87 plus taxes. We get killed with freight costs up here.

    Let us know how thing work out and what your decision is.

    Mick
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,270
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You should be able to order an Add-A-Zone attachment over the Internet.
  16. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    Yeah, that could be an option. But why install an Add-A-Zone unit at $91.33 when you could install a new clock at $100.77? The wiring is already installed. With the new clock, Duke will also have the option of adding two more additional zones if he has the need in the future. For a differance of only $9.44 it's a no-brainer.

    http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Add-A-Zone-R-Co-Add-A-Zone-p/add-a-zone.htm

    http://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/Signature-8309C-9-Station-Controller-w-Power-Cord-p/8309c.htm

    Mick
  17. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    Hi Mick,

    You are right on, on replacing the control box for $100.00. Thanks for the info on this. That will likely be my option as I will probably skip the add a zone.

    As for the flow rates, I have no idea what they are. Combinding zone 1 with 2, I would only be adding two 4" spray heads. To me it is kind of stupid that they made two valves for that in the first place.

    Spray Head:
    http://www.*********.com/Plumbing/h...splay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

    I really like my nelson controller box. Its a good piece of hardware.

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Josh
  18. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    You are welcome Duke!

    You wouldn't need to know flow rates unless you wanted to combine zones. For example if you combined zones 2 & 3 and placed both zone wires on the zone 2 contact point in the clock. Then both zones would have cone on at the same time and both would have tried to use the water for the zones. If you are going with the new clock, then each zone will be able to activate on it's own, at it's own time.

    Every client of mine that has had a Nelson clock, has loved them. I've had customers that I've installed Nelson's here in their cottages and summer homes, and have gone back and ordered a Nelson for their city home. I've had clients call me and been asked to talk to their irrigation contractor in their city to tell them what to order for them. Some of those contractors have called me back to tell me how much they liked installing and programming the Nelson clocks. A lot of people only buy parts from one supplier. I have three suppliers here, that represent Signature (Nelson), Toro, K-Rain, Irritrol, and Rain-Bird. I buy parts for my jobs that fit my jobs, I mix and match manufacturers to fit needs of my clients. Heads are one of three brands depending on what type of install it is, valves are another, and the clock is always Nelson.

    Mick
  19. duke69111

    duke69111 New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Wichita, Ks
    Hi Guys,

    I went ahead and purchased the 9 zone signature controller and everything works great.
  20. Fireguy97

    Fireguy97 Irrigation Contractor

    Glad to hear that it worked out for you Duke.

    Mick
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