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ScottR 06-14-2009 11:44 AM

Sprinkler control wiring re-connect (diagram)
Not sure if this belongs in plumbing, landscaping, or electrical.. :)

Hi Everyone,

I'm having a problem with my in-ground sprinklers. I just got them turned on for the first time this season (installed by previous h/o a few years back). Two of my zones worked fine, and two would not work. I traced all the water and electrical connections, and came up with this diagram:

The red, orange, green and blue lines are electrical connections. I left out the common wire (black) which connects to each valve. The system is 24 VAC. Valves A-C are in the front yard, and valves D-E are in the backyard.

As you can see, valve B needs to turn on in order for zone 3 or 4 to work.

The problem is that the leads on valve B were ripped out. The blue and green wires pass through the box in the front yard, and I'm pretty sure one of them was connected to valve B (they are spliced in that box).

If I connect valve B to the green wire, then zone 3 works and 4 does not. Likewise if I connect valve B to the blue wire, zone 4 works and 3 does not. So all the valves and water connections are OK.

How in the heck was valve B connected such that it would turn on when either zone 3 or zone 4 is on???

Aside from the common wire, the 4 wires in the diagram are the only ones hooked up at the sprinkler controller. The sprinkler controller is not capable of turning on 2 zones at once, so I cannot simply connect a new wire to valve B and have it turn on along with D or E.

Thanks in advance!


ScottR 06-14-2009 12:11 PM

Here's a couple of pics.. I don't know how helpful they'll be -- the wiring is a mess.

I currently have valve B hooked up to the blue wire, so zone 4 works. When I first looked at the wiring, the splices for the blue and green wires had no wire nuts.

The white wire is also common, tied together with the black @ the controller.
Box in front yard. From left to right: Valve A, B and C.
Box in back yard.

Full-size images, in case they make it more clear:

ScottR 06-14-2009 12:25 PM

UPDATE: I just whipped out my multimeter. Looks like when any zone is on, I get 24V between that zone's connection and any other zone. The zones that are off read 6 Ohms to each other.

So it seems that an off zone becomes a common connection.

If I hook up valve B to both the green and blue wires it should work. Does anyone see a problem with this? Don't want to burn out my controller sending current back to a zone connection.

ScottR 06-25-2009 07:48 PM

It's been raining nearly every day here since my last post, so I didn't get around to testing things until today.

Connecting valve B to the green and blue wires did nothing (valve B would not actuate). I'm not sure why, as I was still able to detect 24V between the 2 wires when either zone 3 or 4 was on.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.. :help: Thanks!

PS - Sprinkler controller is Orbit model 57586. I can get pics of the wiring there later tonight -- my wife absconded with the digital camera.

Very similar to this:

Kap 06-25-2009 08:51 PM

Remove valve B.

Problem solved.

It serves no purpose that i can see.

Or leave valve B in place, and turn it on manually and leave it on.

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