Need Help To Locate Hidden Zone Valves and Sprinkler Heads

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by JBW2017, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. JBW2017

    JBW2017 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Wolverine lake, Michigan
    My widowed brother died 8 years ago and did not use his 1980s-installed lawn irrigation system for 5 years before that. My young nephews, who have inherited the house, decided to upgrade the system, which pumps water from the adjacent lake for the lawn. They were too young 13 years ago to know where the sprinkler heads are at, let alone know where the the zone valves are located. There are no indications of these components in his yard.

    We have replaced/upgraded the pump, controller, pump start relay, and the original power line going to the pump from the PSR box. (We found the original buried line would not carry 115 volts in both wires for a 230 volt supply-- it was compromised somehow over the years).

    Tomorrow we will power up all of the new components via the new buried #10 line, but preliminary (troubleshooting) tests of the lake pump using a temporary (unburied) line showed no sprinkler heads popping up and distributing water and no wet areas on the ground that might be generated from buried or broken sprinkler heads or lines. We hooked the temporary line via the PSR, so the zone valves should have been energized by the controller settings during this test period. (The pump was definitely running).

    I have to assume the electrical cable to the zone valves has been damaged or the zone valves are not functional.

    Other than trenching the back yard while following the multi-line 24 volt cable to find the valves, my guess is that they are likely buried closer to the house than the to the lake (??). (There is a 140 foot distance between the lake and house). My nephews think there are three zones-- (1) lake side of house, (2) street side of house, and (3) both sides of the house... but this is only a guess.

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to locate these hidden components? Thanks in advance for your response.
     
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida When the wife won't let you get a Harley!

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
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  4. JBW2017

    JBW2017 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Wolverine lake, Michigan
    Thank you very much for the suggestion. Reading the comments of the " Noyafa D3IN0580-B Underground Cable Wire Locator" led me to another unit ("Armada Pro48 Multi-Function Irrigation System Tester") that had decent recommendations. The info on both units has been forwarded to my nephew for his consideration. If the cable to the zone valves is bad, he is going to have to trench out the run to replace it anyway, so instead of $60 or $100 for a locator device, he may decide to exercise his trench shovel.
     
  5. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida When the wife won't let you get a Harley!

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    When the valves are located, at times there maybe a spare wire laid down. Probably all wires are cut in one location perhaps when a hole was dug, etc. Was the output voltage to the zones ever checked? It be around 24v ac from the controller. Connect the zone wire and check voltage again. also with wires diconnected check the ohm reading. Shorts or opens will tell a story.

    This site has excellent tutorials.
    https://sprinklerwarehouseblog.com/...e-a-bad-controller-valve-or-a-wiring-problem/
     
  6. JBW2017

    JBW2017 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2017
    Location:
    Wolverine lake, Michigan
    All good info... plus it lead to additional videos and articles. Thanks. First, both the old Pump Start Relay and the Controller were replaced with a brand new PSR and BHyve unit from Orbit. (The old units had to be from the initial install in the 1980s). When it was determined that the buried 240 volt line to the lake pump had been compromised (i.e. only one leg of about 119 volts was available in the white wire-- the black wire had negligible voltage -- essentially dead), the multi-color zone valve cable that feeds 24 volts to the zones was unearthed at the side of the house when the new replacement #10 wires for the 240 volts was inserted into conduit, trenched and buried. The multi-colored 24 volt line did not follow the original #12 underground cable to the lake, but went off in what appears to be a 90 degree angle towards the center of the back yard. There was no spare wire with the zone valve cable. We have not had the opportunity to search out the zone valves or follow their cable yet. The new #10 line to the pump was completed yesterday and has resolved the problem of the new pump not working. Weather permitting, we expect to restart work on the zone valve issue on Friday.
     
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