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Irrigation / Electrical Question

  1. #1
    Lifer
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    Milton, MA
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    Irrigation / Electrical Question


    I have a basic set up for lawn irrigation: control box in the garage, wires to 9 solenoids which fire 9 valves. Only the don't. Somewhere between the box and the valve boxes the wires are shot. There are now wireless set ups I can go with; in theory, if I clip the wires to the solenoids and attach them to a new (battery powered) wireless controller, I should be able to fire up the sprinklers. However, I don't really know how to test fire the existing solenoids. If they don't work I can get new ones, but those are pricey and I'd rather see (and hope) that the existing ones will work. Any ideas?

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  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: Irrigation / Electrical Question

    YouTube to the rescue! Several people say to link three 9 volt batteries together, and the see the solenoid will fire. I'll try it this weekend.

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  3. #3
    ain't nuttin wrong w/that scubasteveRR's Avatar
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    Re: Irrigation / Electrical Question

    I do this all day... running a new set of wires is usually fairly easy and the cheapest way out I would say.

    White (SHOULD) be common, It gets hooked to one wire on every solenoid, if you lost all your valves i would start there. Chipmunks like to chew wires... also landscapers like to cut them and not tell anyone. Have you had any digging done in your yard lately, ESPECIALLY new bushes or some flowers planted anywhere.

    I would bet money all your solenoids work, those things are VERY hardy, they rarely go to be honest. the chance that you lost 9 of them is extremely slim.

    If you have more question let me know. I know these things forward and backwards and I'm the guy my boss sends to fix issues like this.

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    Last edited by scubasteveRR; 06-15-17 at 07:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Lifer Jayspeed's Avatar
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    Re: Irrigation / Electrical Question

    Probably a bad transformer in the control box. The rating info on the box, what is the output? I'm guessing 24vac? See if there is voltage output either on the terminals where the wires leave the box to the valves while in the on position or check the output directly on the transformer. Thats what I'd do. I've never trouble shot sprinkler systems though.

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    Jay
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  5. #5
    Lifer
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    Milton, MA
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    Re: Irrigation / Electrical Question

    Thanks - the solenoids all fired with the 'three 9 volt batteries looped together' trick. I don't want to rerun lines because these sprinklers cover about an acre and a half, and I don't have the time or inclination to take that on. According to the good folks at sprinklerwarehouse.com (!) going wireless is not an expensive proposition if the solenoids are good. Plus this is a DIY project.

    Interestingly, I contacted 5 or 6 irrigation installers in the area and none of them deal with wireless. Seems odd that they're sticking with old tech.

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