Irritrol RD900 Solenoid Chatter

fullerleeJuly 12, 2007

Hi,

I am trying to diagnose a problem with my sprinkler setup, controlled by a Irritrol RD900.

When a particular valve is set to ON, the valve solenoid chatters (i.e. they fluctuate between on and off), this causes inconsistent water flow, and a fair bit of water hammer.

I've brought the Solenoids up to the control box and wired them directly to the terminals and they still exhibit chatter .

Measuring the voltage coming out of the terminals, it wavers around the 20vac mark, occasionally dropping to 0.

I've tried plugging the Controller into a different outlet to no avail.

Any ideas please?

Thanks,

Lee

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ronalawn82(z9FL)

fullerlee, it is unclear whether the chatter is associated with a particular solenoid or all of them. If it is with one only, then substituting another will tell you if it is a 'solenoid' problem or a current supply problem. If it happens to all of the solenoids, then it is a problem with current from the clock. If it happens on one valve only, regardless of the solenoid, then the problem may be narrowed down if you wire the zone to a spare terminal in the clock (if one is available). If a spare is not available, wire the zone to an existing terminal and see if the problem goes away. If it does not, the problem most likely exists in the zone wire itself.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 6:47AM
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edgarsenior

Hi Lee
I just went through the same nightmare ....
In my case it was the very expensive Rd 900 that is fried
I checked both the solenoid and the other parts of the valve. This Rd 900 is about 8 yrs old but has had a very easy life. Sadly I had a feeling something was a bit off. When I would change the zones with that crappy dial, the LCD would display other zone times and it couldn't seem find its proper place. I am really kind of bummed as this controller runs around 180+ dollars. I am sure this is your problem because I was getting the same clicking on all the valves. I hope this link below will help you
Kind regards
Ed

Here is a link that might be useful: Troubleshooting irrigation valves

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 7:37PM
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ccalkins

I also have solenoid chatter. Started a month ago. It's on all circuits. When I check the controller module, I find the gate signal going to the triacs to be faulty. Instead of this being pulled low (to turn on a circuit) it jumps around (measures .5-1.75 volts) causing the triacs to go on and off (causing the chatter). I'd like to put a scope on it to see exactly what's happening but don't have one. Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong? I have not been able to find the details on this cpu (S3C7C48E70-QWR8) so I don't know what is driving the output pin(s).

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:10PM
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wysocki(9)

I had the chatter issue on my RD900 after about 10 years. The voltage from the transformer was 25v but the output to the solenoids was 12-14v pulsing about twice per second. I called Irritrol (Toro) and they quoted me a maximum of $65 to repair it. I sent in the module and circuit board and got a call in two days saying it was done. Unfortunately, the service department said it was a flat rate of $85.

The tech there said that a marginal solenoid could cause the triac to blow and told me that they should be tested yearly. He said to run a solenoid for about 10 minutes to bring it up to temperature, then when it goes off, test the resistance at the controller terminals. Should be between 15-50 ohms to be in spec. If not, replace the solenoid.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 2:11PM
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ccalkins

I just had a second RD1200 fail with chattering solenoids (all circuits). I took the unit apart (carefully) and checked voltages. I found 25vac on the + side of capacitor C5 (220uf) instead of plain DC. Replaced this with a new one ($1.5 at Radio Shack) and it is working fine now. Thought I would let people know...

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 11:12AM
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VicPE

I have an RD1200 controller it has been working for about 7 years. All of sudden all solenoid valves started to chatter. But timer indicator seems normal, clock running normal. Replaced 9 vac battery any way and no change. I put system into manual control testing one output at a time. I put an AC voltmeter measuring an output terminal to common wire. On one terminal I got 13 volts and I expected around 24. I checked transformer input it was at 26 vac. I had another circuit where sprinklers were pulsing with a period of about 1 second between pulses of water and that terminal voltage would cycle every second between 9 vac and 0.5 vac. I removed digital electronic portion fromm unit detaching ribbon cable. So I am operating sprinklers by applying 24 ac directly to each solenoid with clip leads and all solenoids work
fine no chatter and sprinklers turn on.
The digital controller keeps time perfectly, it cycles through program as defined. I think the output Triacs switching the 24 ac are not functioning.
Does anyone have a circuit diagram for the output board?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2013 at 3:23AM
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Rickinphoenixaz

Hi,
Just fixed my Rain Dial RD900 With the chattering solenoid problem with the capacitor fix from ccalkins

This post was edited by Rickinphoenixaz on Sun, Apr 27, 14 at 19:35

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 7:21PM
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usamikeg

I just fixed my RD-900 for $13.00 and one hour of time all my problems are now gone from chatter to display issues and in some cases the sprinklers not coming on. I followed ccalkins post from Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 11:12

I just had a second RD1200 fail with chattering solenoids (all circuits). I took the unit apart (carefully) and checked voltages. I found 25vac on the + side of capacitor C5 (220uf) instead of plain DC. Replaced this with a new one ($1.5 at Radio Shack) and it is working fine now. Thought I would let people know...

It cost me $13 because I had to purchase a soldering iron as well.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 7:54PM
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