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Electrical gremlin -- all the valve wires connected to each other

Posted by gosalsk MS (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 18:07

Last year my sprinkler system worked. This year it doesn't.

So I cracked the controller box open and quickly noticed that ALL the zone terminals were hot when any individual one was supposed to be. I suspected a failed controller, but after disconnecting all the zone wires I verified that only the one terminal is getting hot at a time.

The wires to the controller are all in a premanufactured wrapped bundle which runs from the controller through a pvc pipe down the wall, through the wall, to a PVC connector and then is direct buried into the ground. About two feet away from the building the individual wires are all spliced to larger wires to head out to the various valves. I haven't ripped that bundled wire out yet but I'm 99.99% sure it's unmolested. And, again, the individual wires are all getting the full 27 volts when one does. The unused wires in the bundle--which end in the ground! -- have 2 volts or so. I measured about 110 ohms of resistance between the various sprinkler valve wires.

I didn't build this system and have only lived in this house for two years. Don't even know where all the valves are. Over the winter, I did do some digging for a garden, and it was unusually cold, but I'm pretty sure I didn't hit any wires and can't see how that could have caused this issue anyway. Mechanical damage to the bundle should not make ALL the wires connect to each other. That would be quite a coincidence.

I'm at a loss--what should I do? Thanks in advance.

This post was edited by gosalsk on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 18:08

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Electrical gremlin -- all the valve wires connected to each o

I guess I should add that the resistance when checking the common and valve wires is very, very high...

Could the cause of this be an innundated valve or connection? We have had a lot of rain here lately (though not too lately). I did find the meter boxes had still had standing water in them, though. The winter was also exceptionally cold.

But, no, there's no leak, at least not on my side of the meters.

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