Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by raza, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. raza

    raza New Member

    Jul 15, 2012
    Houston, TX
    hello! i have a rainbird esp 6 system i use this manually for two stations it is now about a week not giving water first i changed the battery with a new 3 volt one i also replaced the 1 amp fuse still no water have been reading the manual but coud not decipher the places i should measure voltages
    first checked the voltage from wall into transformer that is coming fine from here on could you please assist as to which locations shoud i measure voltages to be able to locate the problem
    usually in other devices you woud see say two terminals across which you coud measure voltage but here i do not see many accessible terminals

    thank you
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    If this is a new controller, the battery should have been OK. All the controllers I am familiar with use a 9 volt battery to maintain the timer setting in case of a power failure. The transformer supplies the power the rest of the time. Was the fuse blown? That is a rare thing. Did you replace it with one the proper size? There could be other problems, but the most common one is loss of ground. That is the wire coming from the controller terminal marked "C". This is normally a white wire, but a DIY could have used another color. This wire runs to the first solenoid which is the electric device that operates the valve. It is then linked to each of the remaining solenoids, in your case the last one. This is done by connecting the wires with either a special wire nut that has waterproof goop inside, or just a standard wire nut that is then filled with silicone. From you description of the problem, I suspect the ground wire has lost continuity between the controller and the first solenoid. If it was after the first solenoid, the first one would work but not the second one. I have never seen need to test voltage in a controller. Check the ground wire.

    I just check the ESP6 manual on line. It states the battery must be a rechargeable NiCad 9 volt. NOT Alkaline.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The battery will NOT operate the valve system. It only maintains your settings while the power has failed. You check the voltages inside the controller at the valve wires, but you have to know what to look for. call a landscaper, because few plumbers, and even fewer electricians know how to diagnose a sprinkler controller. You could also have an "static discharge" electronic problem that requires that you remove power from the controller, remove the battery, and let it set for about an hour before putting it back together and trying it.
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