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Old 04-28-2018, 02:20 PM   #1
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Sprinklers not working.


I have a Slimdial Irratrol system with 6 zones. When I shut it down last season after I blew out the lines everything worked fine. I shut the controller removed the transformer from the wall socket and removed the 9 volt battery.
Went to put them into service today and nothing works. The screen display works and goes to the separate zones but they don't open. I opened the main valve manually and can open each valve manually to water the lawn. But electrically nothing works to the valves. I am getting about 26 volts where the transformer attaches to the head unit.

I have a rain delay on it but when they put new siding and gutters on the house they put it in a spot where the rain dosen't get to it. It was never an issue. That was 10 years ago. Maybe that went bad and if so how can I bypass it.
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:04 PM   #2
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


Do you have any kind of multi meter/tester so that you can trace the juice?
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Old 04-28-2018, 05:17 PM   #3
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


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Originally Posted by stevez View Post
I am getting about 26 volts where the transformer attaches to the head unit.
What is a head unit? You mean the controller?

So if you got 26 volts into the controller, next is to measure at the terminal strip on the controller if you got any volts coming out of the terminal strip when you energize a zone.

Next, after that would be to measure if you have voltage at the valve.

I think they normally have one common wire (probably black) and then one wire for each valve. If none of the valves turn on, I would guess either:
-a) controller is dead
-b) common wire does not have good connection to controller terminal strip
-c) common wire is broken somewhere underground
-d) at the valve box, common wire is split under a wire nut to one wire per valve, and this connection is corroded or a broken wire. You wonder how a wire just breaks over the winter, but it seems to happen commonly. Every spring, I seem to find at least one valve where the solenoid wire just broke off from the valve solenoid.
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:10 PM   #4
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Guap0_ View Post
Do you have any kind of multi meter/tester so that you can trace the juice?

Yes I have one.
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:17 PM   #5
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


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Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
What is a head unit? You mean the controller?

So if you got 26 volts into the controller, next is to measure at the terminal strip on the controller if you got any volts coming out of the terminal strip when you energize a zone.

Next, after that would be to measure if you have voltage at the valve.

I think they normally have one common wire (probably black) and then one wire for each valve. If none of the valves turn on, I would guess either:
-a) controller is dead
-b) common wire does not have good connection to controller terminal strip
-c) common wire is broken somewhere underground
-d) at the valve box, common wire is split under a wire nut to one wire per valve, and this connection is corroded or a broken wire. You wonder how a wire just breaks over the winter, but it seems to happen commonly. Every spring, I seem to find at least one valve where the solenoid wire just broke off from the valve solenoid.
I can lean towards A. But what would make it go bad in my garage with no power to it.

I have 2 boxes with valves in them. One has the main valve and the valve for zone 6. The other box is on the other side of the yard and has the rest.

I will check the grounds.

How about the rain shut off. If that went bad that would cause the same results. Can I jump that out. That would eliminate that. They also talk about a circuit breaker or fuse that can be reset. I don't see it.


https://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/I...als-s/5848.htm

Scroll down to slimdial and that is the manual I have, you can see the wiring.

Last edited by stevez; 04-28-2018 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 04-28-2018, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


Sounds to me that circuit breaker is internal to the controller - nothing for user to touch.

You can try disconnecting the rain sensor or this and that, but that is all just playing games. Get your meter out and analyze where you have voltage and where you do not.

I had a controller go bad once, but the whole thing was dead. I believe you are saying display all works. When a zone is on, it should show on the display that the zone is on. (although I understand that you have not used it in 6 months and may not remember what kind of icon displays when a zone is on) Does it show the zone is on ? I don't know your controller, but you should be able to manually turn on each zone. Doubt the rain sensor over-rides manually turning on a zone.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:01 PM   #7
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
Sounds to me that circuit breaker is internal to the controller - nothing for user to touch.

You can try disconnecting the rain sensor or this and that, but that is all just playing games. Get your meter out and analyze where you have voltage and where you do not.

I had a controller go bad once, but the whole thing was dead. I believe you are saying display all works. When a zone is on, it should show on the display that the zone is on. (although I understand that you have not used it in 6 months and may not remember what kind of icon displays when a zone is on) Does it show the zone is on ? I don't know your controller, but you should be able to manually turn on each zone. Doubt the rain sensor over-rides manually turning on a zone.

The display works on the controller. Shows everything like it did last summer. I can turn on each zone manually.

I tested the lugs for each wire terminal to the valves and the main valve. They all read 25 to 26 volts. Same as where the transformer is attached to.
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:17 PM   #8
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


You were possibly touching the screw on the terminal strip common connection, better to touch the copper common wire (or just unscrew it, clean it and tighten again), in case there was not a good connection.

But OK, you got voltage going out of the controller, do you have voltage at the valve ?
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Old 04-28-2018, 07:57 PM   #9
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
You were possibly touching the screw on the terminal strip common connection, better to touch the copper common wire (or just unscrew it, clean it and tighten again), in case there was not a good connection.

But OK, you got voltage going out of the controller, do you have voltage at the valve ?
I checked the box next to the house. That is the one that has the main control, valve and the valve for zone 6. It sits under a small deck so it doesn't get looked at much. Well the cover for it is gone and it was filled with water. after i pumped it out I found some wires that appeared to be broken. When I hooked up grey wires that looked like they were together at one time I went inside and manually set up a zone. I heard the water go for a couple of seconds then stop. So I may be on the right track. It got dark so I had to call it a night. I am redoing my deck so I have to take care of the sprinklers later on Sunday. I am just glad I can water the lawn by opening the valves by hand. Thanks for your help and I will post some more tomorrow.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:50 PM   #10
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


Got it fixed. It was a broken ground wire. I even fixed a zone that the valve only worked by hand. Now I am having some trouble with a zone that isn't shutting off.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:57 PM   #11
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Re: Sprinklers not working.


Valve not closing can be debris (pebble) under the diaphragm, keeping it from closing.
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