Sprinkler won't sprinkle!

rjgator(z9Florida)December 5, 2004

My Hunter SRC system has me baffled. It just stopped working one day after the recent hurricanes and subsequent power outage. There is power to the unit and the display seems fine. Date, time, year, etc...all good. Fuse is OK as is backup battery. I've checked all the connections. There are three systems and each valve can be operated manually and they work fine. The controller is another thing. When I go to "run"... the display shows the date and time instead of the system and countdown timer as it should (i.e 1: 15). I figure all three electrical valves couldn't have failed simultaneously and am out of ideas. Can anybody help?

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irri_guy(No CA)

Were valve station program settings okay, including master valve on if needed? Try reprogramming if it's messed up. Voltage spikes can scramble some memory settings. Also try single station operation with the timer controls.

Another thing you can do is test that the valves do work electrically, bypassing control circuitry. The timer is, after all, just a fancy switch for 24 volt AC power. If you can't measure the transformer voltage output, let's assume it is okay to get started.

I do not have an example in front of me, so will have to wing it a little. The transformer may have three output wires or just two. If three, one is an intermediate connection in the transformer winding and does not influence output to the valves. It is apt to be a different color from the other two.

With the (other) two, there is 24 volts between them. One is arbitrarily made the "common" and either one of the two wires from all the valve coils also connects to common. Hence the name. The OTHER transformer lead is the one that is switched, to the other wire of individual valve coils. It may be labelled "test" on the circuit board where all the wires connect.

One at a time, loosen the wire to the numbered station terminal for each valve. Touch or attach it to the test terminal and see if the valve opens. What happens if you connect to the wrong 24 volt terminal? Nothing, it's just both valve coil wires to common and no voltage.

If all the valves work with this test at the controller, everything external to the controller (wiring and coils) is okay. Therefore, the controller is not okay.

If nothing works, that is inconclusive by itself. Either the transformer is bad or, more likely, the external common wire is broken/disconnected in the run between timer and first valve group. Skipping partial functionality for now.

Even an inexpensive multimeter can be useful in diagnosing these problems, by the way.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 7:15PM
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irri guy, Thanks. Just did the electrical test....all valves work, so it must be controller. Have reprogrammed...still no go. Guess I have to replace...unless you have another idea. You sure saved me alot of trouble. Thanks

    Bookmark   December 5, 2004 at 8:14PM
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You can try to re-boot the controller by removing all power to the controller as you would a computer. That would include the transformer as well as any battery backup. Leave the power off for about 5 mins. then plug the transformer back in. You will have to reprogram the controller, but it may reset itself and work fine. If not, it sounds as if you'll need to replace the controller. Also, make sure that your rain sensor isn't preempting the controller from operating.

All Wet
Texas Licensed Irrigator #1897 since 1984

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 9:04AM
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irri_guy(No CA)

Good points from All Wet. I tend not to think about rain sensors here. 95% of our rain is outside the growing and irrigation season.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 4:13PM
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All Wet, irri-guy. Thanks for all your help! The system is up and running. I kinda ruled out the rain sensor for three reasons: 1. I never saw one in the system 2. As I drive around the neighborhood in the rain, I see plenty of sprinklers running...makes me think they aren't standard equipment here. 3. SRC has a "by pass sensor" position...and that made no difference. So, I went out and bought a little Orbitz controller, hooked it up..and eveything runs fine. Thanks again for the troubleshooting help!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 8:51PM
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Forgot to mention...reboot was a no go. SRC even has a reboot function....disconnect all power, wait a few minutes, depress + - & > keys and reconnect. Nothing helped.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2004 at 10:05PM
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deeproots(8b South Ga)

great, now go buy a rain sensor.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 12:03PM
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I have a hunter SRC. All zones work except for two..... I can hear them running when controller is on those zones. But there doesn't seem to be a charge in the lines.... One of my junction boxes has two manual solenoids as well as electric ones...another has one..... The faulty zones box has just the electric ones.... Hopefully I didn't confuse anyone.. I know I am with this....please help.. Thank you in advance

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 7:47PM
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Hi Draught,

Change out the solenoids in the faulty ones. Have you had a break in a line recently. I have never heard of a manual solenoid. Describe what you think is the solenoid, please. Hand turn the non-working zone solenoids and let me know if the water in that zone comes on. Aloha

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 8:37PM
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I recently tried to turn on box manually because I had it unplugged and it doesn't work. Was working fine last week all of a sudden shows no signs of life. Any ideas out there...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 1:54PM
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What do you mean by turning the box on manually. Describe what the box is. Please describe what you did specifically. Aloha

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 6:33PM
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My sprinkler system was working fine last week. Now all of a sudden no water is coming out -I can hear the stations running but no water - Please help

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 10:46PM
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Check the main water supply valves to the auto-valves. Make sure they are working and not jammed closed. Listen for water movement in the pipes that are exposed. Manually turn on the sprinklers by rotating the solenoids counterclockwise just enough to start the zone. It is a blocked main line or broken valve. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:10AM
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