Two Valves now running at same time.

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by kstevens, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. kstevens

    kstevens New Member

    Mar 30, 2017
    Suwanee, GA
    I have had my rainbird system for six years. I have six working zones that all come on in order, 2-7. Zone one died about three years ago, so the 1 wire moved to 7.

    Yesterday, for the first time in three years something else changed:

    Zone 5 - Blue Wire - Back Yard - turned on independently.
    Zone 6 - Black Wire - Veggie Sprayer- turned on Zone 5 and Zone 6.
    Every other zone 2, 3, 4, 7 worked fine.

    So I started swapping around the wires. Blue 5, Black 6, Red 7. Blue 5, Red 6, Black 7. Black 5, Blue 6, Red 7... and so on.

    So here is what happened:
    Zone 5 - will no longer work independently - it turns on both 5 and 6.
    Zone 6 - still turns on both 5 and 6.
    Zone 7 - Zones 2, 3, 4, 7 still all worked fine, no matter what I did with the wires.

    What is causing this and how do I fix it?

    I want all of the zones to come on in succession.

  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Oct 28, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    Rainbird has about 40 different models and if it's one without plug in modules, then the controller went bad. It depends on how they're designed but the electronics that activate micro relays to turn on the solenoids are turning on more than one circuit or not at all. Most commercial grade controllers will have plug in modules that may operate four or five zones and it is not uncommon (at least with Hunter controllers) that ports on the within the modules will go bad.

    With a non plug in module controller/timer such as most of Rainbirds residential grade units are, you'll need to change out the entire controller. If you can remove the cover to get to the main circuit board you can check for burns, corrosion and sometimes ants will nest in them and with moisture the ant residue will cause shorts or even eat the wire insulation.

    You might be able to get the circuit board online. Usually on ebay if you search on your controller you'll find used ones where you can swap out the circuit board, however, new ones sold at Lowes or HD are not that expensive.

    This is beyond the scope of your question but this could be a basic circuit of a four zone controller. The two inputs from the processor chip (S1 & S2) drive the four outputs (F1-F4). Just one part of the integrated circuit fails it may send a signal on more than one output or non at all. Others may work as it is happening on your unit. This is why most controllers are offered with zones of increments of four. (4, 8, 12, 16)

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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