Wiring Replacement Rain Bird Timer

wanageshik(8 OR)April 4, 2005

Hi Everyone,

I hope someone can help, otherwise I'm back to soaker hoses. I just bought my house a few months ago. It has an underground sprinkler. The former owner took the timer, but a neighbor called her in a distant state and she said to buy a 4 station Rainbird Timer and hook red to red and black to black. I bought the Rainbird ISA-304 at Lowes. I have a 7 strand sprinkler wire in the laundry room. The timer has little screws that you're supposed to put wire under. The first one is COM. Then what do I do?

I only have a very small urban yard that I am just now planting pereenial beds in. I would be happy if the system just came on, sprinkled for a while and turned off. I don't need more than 1 zone (two is okay too).

I tried to wire the white to COM, the black to #1 and the red to #2, but nothing happened. I just looked like an idiot running from door to door listening for the sound of a sprinkler coming on (it was dark).

Can someone please help me? Thank you. ~Sheryl

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hookoodooku(8a AL)

Go find your valve box that should be burried in the yard somewhere with a green cover. Each valve should have two wires connected to it. These wires should be connected to the other end of the 7 wire strans you see inside the house.

What ever color wire is attatched to all four valves is the wire to connect to COM (usually the white wire is used for this, but the person who wired it up could have used any of the wires for this). From there, just pay attention to the colors of the four other wires connected to the other wires comming from the valves. Connect these four colors to #1, #2, #3, and #4.

From there, it should be just trial-and-error of turning each of the four zones on one-at-a-time to determine which number controls what water.

If you can't find the valve box, then it's just trial and error from the beginning. Pick any two wires and place them on COM and #1. Turn on zone 1 and see if anything happens. If nothing happens, pick a different pair of wires until something finally happens. Once something happens, note which two colors finally did something. One of those will be the COM and the other will be what is needed for #1. Pick one of the two wires and assume it's the COM wire. Try all the other wires to see if other zones will turn on. If not, you've picked the wrong wire to be COM and should connect the other to COM and again try every other wire to see if they will make something work. Assuming you don't have any electrical problems (broken wires, bag conroller, etc) you should be able to work all four valves.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 6:03PM
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wanageshik(8 OR)

Thank you HooDooKooDu for the help, but I am more stupid than you think. I ended up calling a landscaping company that charges $60/hr. The guy listened to my story, yanked the cover off the crawlspace, crawled in, and turned on the water line feeding the sprinkler. The sprinklers came on! Yep, I'm a dummy. I had already figured out how to wire the timer, so there wasn't much left for the repair guy to do, except replace a few heads that had broken. He took the time to show me how to do the repairs myself in the future, so I guess it was worth the money. ~Sheesh! Thank you anyway... ~crawls back into her hole~ Sheryl

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 11:51AM
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blespo(Z7 NC)

I have much the same problem - bought house with rainbird system installed and no nothing written down to instruct us. We followed the cables and the pipe out of the house, both of which went under the deck. The pipe is capped off and the cable is buried under there.
We have been unlucky finding the valve box and if it is under the deck by these pipes/wires, you can forget it - it is about 6 inches high there.
We downloaded a bunch of manuals and printed them to try just about everything under the sun to get this thing working...to no avail.
If the pvc pipe is capped, does the mean no rainbird for us?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2005 at 1:43PM
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