Multiple Zones on 1 Valve

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by Masonb09, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. Masonb09

    Masonb09 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Good morning, first time posting here. So I have been having some issues with my Weathermatic irrigation system. I noticed my sprinklers in the back yard were not coming on, as well as my MVP solenoid was broke (MVP box had the manual lever set to on, no wire nuts or waterproofing, and it was flooded). So I replace the solenoid in the MVP box and resolved that issue.

    My other issue, which was in part due to my idiocy of not taking a picture first, was when I changed the solenoids for my two vales (one box) in the back, I do not recall how the wiring was set up prior. There are two valves in this one box, but 4 zones. The zone wires just have a piece of insulation stripped off, but the common wire looks to be cut (two strands of maybe 16 gauge wire). There are also 4 white wires (same color as common), but they are not 16 gauge wire, they look to match the wires on the solenoids.
     
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    It’s all low voltage 24v ac so there are no standard color coding. Generally the WHT is the common and black or any other color is the wire to the zone connection at the controller. The solenoids have no polarity requirements. You’ll notice both wires from the solenoid are black. Wire gauge is not important for most home lots unless you’re talking a several acre Lot.

    What type of water source, pump or city, how many zones and model # of the controller? Pictures of your problem will help.
     
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  4. Masonb09

    Masonb09 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I am on city water, using Weathermatic PL1600 that has 7 zones and a MVP.

    So the image with the wire caps is my first valve controlling Zones 1-3.
    Image with a bunch of wires is the 2nd and 3rd valve that controls zones 4-7.
    You can't see it well, but there are 4 zone wires (Black = 4, Brown = 5, Orange = 6, Grey = 7).
    Zones 5 and 6 are rotary heads in my backyard, zones 4 and 7 are smaller heads lining my west and south walls.
     

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  5. Masonb09

    Masonb09 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    A little update. So I wired what I thought was correct, and Now everything is getting a reading on the multimeter. The problem now is of the 4 zones, only 2 work. i.e. run zone 4 and sprinklers come on, run the next zone and zone 4 comes back on. I think I may have wired the solenoids to the incorrect zones. Will try again this evening.
     
  6. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Usually one valve per zone, simple. Using a master valve connected to the MVP terminal is for the entire system. It keeps the city water pressure off the valves when not in use. Not often used but maybe it's needed for winterization. The rats nest appears that someone ran one zone from the controller to multiple valves, as you are calling them zones. Most newer controllers can handle two valves per zone but more than that could damage the controller.

    The get things figured out, with a voltmeter check for voltage (~24v ac). When you activate a particular zone start looking for voltage. I would disconnect all multi wire connections, except the common, and start mapping it out. It looks like there are plenty of wires for each zone per valve assuming there are no more than seven valves.
     
  7. Masonb09

    Masonb09 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I had to make a (very badly drawn) diagram. My issue is the I have 4 "zone" wires as they are wired into my WeatherMatic PL1600 (zones 4-7). I have two valves, and the common wire. I also have 4 white wires from another source, but I am unsure what they are or where they come from. I believe the valve in my front yard is wire similarly given that it is one valve with 3 zone wires connected (Zones 1-3).
     

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  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    All of the white wires are common and it doesn't matter where they go but in the picture the wires look new? The only way, as I hinted in my previous post is disconnect all wires everywhere. Activate zone one and check for 24 v ac at the controller and where you think is the zone one valve. If you find voltage, tag it as zone one. Do this for each and every zone. If you have a large yard there may be seven valves buried with the wires. It is commonly done as trenches are dug for each valve, pipe and sprinklers, all the are wires are daisy chained through the valve box to get to the next one. A good installer will bury a few extra wires should one go bad. There may be only one white wire buried that all valves connect to for the common. Since only one zone is used at a time, one wire can handle the few milliamps needed. It could be split in two directions depending on the layout.

    Someone, maybe the previous owner, didn't know what they were doing and really hack up the works, maybe trying to bypass bad valves, wiring or a bad zone at the controller. To get a handle on it you may need to call a sprinkler company out and they can trace the wires and find buried valves.

    This is about the best web site to learn about sprinkler systems. Here is a video for a typical installation and it cannot be explained any simpler.
    https://school.sprinklerwarehouse.com/video-library/#uael-video-gallery-be8b23f-77
     
  9. Masonb09

    Masonb09 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2020
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I figured it all out yesterday evening. So the new white wires are the ones on my Weathermatic solenoid. 3 zone wires (4,5,6) are on one valve, and zone 7 is on the other. I wired the solenoid on the valve for zone 7 to zone 7 wire and common. For the valve controlling 3 zones, I wired the solenoid to the zone 4 wire and the common. Then with the additional 4 white wires, I wired one to zone 5, one to zone 6, and the other 2 two the commons. Everything is working correctly now.

    Our house is a new build. After researching, I'm not sure what happened, and no-one is really any help. Builder won't tell me who installed. Permit with the city lists a plumbing company. I reached out to them, but they don't install sprinklers and pointed me to another company. After looking for a day or two, the company I was pointed to went out of business. I found someone who worked for them and they stated that they don't install irrigation systems either. Needless to say, I'm not too thrilled with our builder.
     
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