lawn sprinkler control unit repair

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Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about automatic
sprinkler system control unit repair?


Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


The control heads are so cheap that it rarely pays to repair it unless
it's a simple problem.

From:pak
pak.ecker@comcast.net

> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about automatic
> sprinkler system control unit repair?




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


When on turned on control unit in the garage (had been shut down for
winter) all seemed fine, programed it like I do each spring, except
when I used the control unit to activate a sprinkler head, the unit
went dark. So I went outside and opened the box in the ground where
the wires are hooked to the valves. What I found is somehow the box
had filled up with wet dirt and covered all the valves and wires.
Could  the wet dirt have caused the inside unit to short out?  Do you
think if i dig out the valves and let them dry out the inside unit
might work again?


wrote:

>The control heads are so cheap that it rarely pays to repair it unless
>it's a simple problem.
>
>From:pak
>pak.ecker@comcast.net
>
>> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about automatic
>> sprinkler system control unit repair?
>



Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


Yes! That's the first thing to do - clean everything up and dry it out.
Check all the connections and waterproof them using gel caps (from Home
Depot in the sprinkler section). Then check the fuse on the control unit
and replace if needed and test.

From:pak
eckerpw@yahoo.com

> When on turned on control unit in the garage (had been shut down for
> winter) all seemed fine, programed it like I do each spring, except
> when I used the control unit to activate a sprinkler head, the unit
> went dark. So I went outside and opened the box in the ground where
> the wires are hooked to the valves. What I found is somehow the box
> had filled up with wet dirt and covered all the valves and wires.
> Could  the wet dirt have caused the inside unit to short out?  Do you
> think if i dig out the valves and let them dry out the inside unit
> might work again?
>
>
> wrote:
>
>> The control heads are so cheap that it rarely pays to repair it
>> unless it's a simple problem.
>>
>> From:pak
>> pak.ecker@comcast.net
>>
>>> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about
>>> automatic sprinkler system control unit repair?




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


thanks to all for the great advice. give me a few days to get it dug
out, and I may have more questions. BTW: I do have a gopher/mole
problem, so that may very well be what happen, them tunneling into the
valve box.

Paul

wrote:

>Yes! That's the first thing to do - clean everything up and dry it out.
>Check all the connections and waterproof them using gel caps (from Home
>Depot in the sprinkler section). Then check the fuse on the control unit
>and replace if needed and test.
>
>From:pak
>eckerpw@yahoo.com
>
>> When on turned on control unit in the garage (had been shut down for
>> winter) all seemed fine, programed it like I do each spring, except
>> when I used the control unit to activate a sprinkler head, the unit
>> went dark. So I went outside and opened the box in the ground where
>> the wires are hooked to the valves. What I found is somehow the box
>> had filled up with wet dirt and covered all the valves and wires.
>> Could  the wet dirt have caused the inside unit to short out?  Do you
>> think if i dig out the valves and let them dry out the inside unit
>> might work again?
>>
>>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> The control heads are so cheap that it rarely pays to repair it
>>> unless it's a simple problem.
>>>
>>> From:pak
>>> pak.ecker@comcast.net
>>>
>>>> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about
>>>> automatic sprinkler system control unit repair?
>



Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


> thanks to all for the great advice. give me a few days to get it dug
> out, and I may have more questions. BTW: I do have a gopher/mole
> problem, so that may very well be what happen, them tunneling into the
> valve box.

Gophers love lawn grubs.  Put down chemicals to control grubs and the
gophers will go away.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota Florida 34231
877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


says...
> When on turned on control unit in the garage (had been shut down for
> winter) all seemed fine, programed it like I do each spring, except
> when I used the control unit to activate a sprinkler head, the unit
> went dark. So I went outside and opened the box in the ground where
> the wires are hooked to the valves. What I found is somehow the box
> had filled up with wet dirt and covered all the valves and wires.
> Could  the wet dirt have caused the inside unit to short out?  Do you
> think if i dig out the valves and let them dry out the inside unit
> might work again?

One way the box fills up with wet dirt is when a gopher tunnels along your pipe
trench and moves the spoils into the valve box. I have seen them sever the wire
flush with the solenoid body. They could also have created a short circuit,
which
would trip a breaker or blow a fuse in your control unit.

Clean out the dirt and verify that the connections are sound. Perhaps also
measure
that solenoid at the control box to verify that the resistance is comparable to
the other solenoids, I think in the range of 20-50 ohms. (Put ohmeter between
common and valve when watering is not active.)


Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair



> One way the box fills up with wet dirt is when a gopher
> tunnels along your pipe trench and moves the spoils into
> the valve box.

Great analysis!  It always amazes me when someone with experience can look
at a situation and know, right off the bat, what the trouble is.  Any ideas
on how to gopher-proof a sprinkler installation (not included "Caddyshack"
sorts of solutions! (-: )

--
Bobby G.




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


wrote:
> on how to gopher-proof a sprinkler installation (not included "Caddyshack"
> sorts of solutions! (-: )

Use hardware cloth to wrap 5 sides of sprinkler boxes before burying.
won't last forever, but it helps.  Hardware cloth is heavier than
chicken wire, so does last longer.

Wires...  conduit is the only way, and usually not worth it.

sdb

--
Wanted:  Omnibook 800 & accessories, cheap, working or not
sdbuse1 on mailhost bigfoot.com


Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


> Any ideas on how to gopher-proof a sprinkler
> installation (not included "Caddyshack"
> sorts of solutions! (-: )

I already answered that a few days ago.  Put down chemicals to kill lawn
grubs and the gophers will depart for ...er, grubbier pastures.  No kidding,
friend.  That's what we did and we haven't had a gopher hole since.

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota Florida 34231
877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


> I already answered that a few days ago.  Put down chemicals to kill lawn
> grubs and the gophers will depart for ...er, grubbier pastures.  No
kidding,
> friend.  That's what we did and we haven't had a gopher hole since.

It works, I've done it. Keeps both the gophers and moles away. A .22 with
short rifle ammo tends to reinforce the point. (They sound like a loud air
rifle, but much more effective)

-John O




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair



> It works, I've done it. Keeps both the gophers and moles away. A .22 with
> short rifle ammo tends to reinforce the point. (They sound like a loud air
> rifle, but much more effective)

Heh, so do the spiked guillotine traps.

Grub management presents it's own difficulties in that insects, worms and
the like are useful in helping keep the soil healthy.  But given Bob's in
Florida I'm sure he's got a whole different set of issues than I've got up
here in DC.




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


> Grub management presents it's own difficulties in that insects, worms and
> the like are useful in helping keep the soil healthy.  But given Bob's in
> Florida I'm sure he's got a whole different set of issues than I've got up
> here in DC.

Not really.  I just send a monthly check to the lawn maintenance outfit and
it's their problem.  :^)

--

Regards,
Robert L Bass

=============================>
Bass Home Electronics
2291 Pine View Circle
Sarasota Florida 34231
877-722-8900 Sales & Tech Support
http://www.bassburglaralarms.com
=============================>




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


What is broken?  A device model number might be needed along
with failure symptoms.  My local OSH store carries parts
for the Lawn Genie controller.

> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about automatic
> sprinkler system control unit repair?


Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


it's a Hydro Rain HR 6000-1, not sure how old


>What is broken?  A device model number might be needed along
>with failure symptoms.  My local OSH store carries parts
>for the Lawn Genie controller.
>
>> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about automatic
>> sprinkler system control unit repair?



Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


I saw one (don't recall the brand) that would also go completely brain dead
if the backup battery went bad.  But it sounds like you should clean out
around the values as a first step...


> it's a Hydro Rain HR 6000-1, not sure how old
>
>
> >What is broken?  A device model number might be needed along
> >with failure symptoms.  My local OSH store carries parts
> >for the Lawn Genie controller.
> >
> >> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about automatic
> >> sprinkler system control unit repair?
>
>




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


OK, got the valve box all cleaned out. There are 5 valves, each with a
colored wire and a black wire which I guess is the common. All the
connections in the valve box that were under dirt are just connected
with wire nuts, but all wires seem intact and still connected. The
fuse in the control box is blown.
The advice here  was to check all connections and then waterproof with
gel caps. Can some one explain how gel caps work or what I do with
them? are wire nuts sufficent for this application?
Also George suggested " measure that solenoid at the control box to
verify that the resistance is comparable to the other solenoids, I
think in the range of 20-50 ohms. (Put ohmeter between
common and valve when watering is not active.)

Could you explain that a little further? I assume all the control
valves are soleniod operated. Not sure how to measure soleniod at
control box. Am I looking to see if one of the valves has shorted out?
Need a little more qdvice on the trouble shooting path.

Thanks
Paul

 



wrote:

>I saw one (don't recall the brand) that would also go completely brain dead
>if the backup battery went bad.  But it sounds like you should clean out
>around the values as a first step...
>
>
>> it's a Hydro Rain HR 6000-1, not sure how old
>>
>>
>> >What is broken?  A device model number might be needed along
>> >with failure symptoms.  My local OSH store carries parts
>> >for the Lawn Genie controller.
>> >
>> >> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about automatic
>> >> sprinkler system control unit repair?
>>
>>
>



Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


The gelcaps are plastic tubes filled with a waterproof gel. You stick
the wirenutted connection into the gel and close the top. That keeps
water out of the connector. There may already be corrosion in the
wirenuts so replacing them (cutiing back the wires beyond the corrosion)
will give you a clean, tight connection.
 To check for shorts from the control box, put one test lead on the
common terminal and then touch the other lead to each screw terminal. If
you read 0 ohms there's a short in a solenoid.

From:pak
eckerpw@yahoo.com

> OK, got the valve box all cleaned out. There are 5 valves, each with a
> colored wire and a black wire which I guess is the common. All the
> connections in the valve box that were under dirt are just connected
> with wire nuts, but all wires seem intact and still connected. The
> fuse in the control box is blown.
> The advice here  was to check all connections and then waterproof with
> gel caps. Can some one explain how gel caps work or what I do with
> them? are wire nuts sufficent for this application?
> Also George suggested " measure that solenoid at the control box to
> verify that the resistance is comparable to the other solenoids, I
> think in the range of 20-50 ohms. (Put ohmeter between
> common and valve when watering is not active.)
>
> Could you explain that a little further? I assume all the control
> valves are soleniod operated. Not sure how to measure soleniod at
> control box. Am I looking to see if one of the valves has shorted out?
> Need a little more qdvice on the trouble shooting path.
>
> Thanks
> Paul
>
>
>
>
>
> wrote:
>
>> I saw one (don't recall the brand) that would also go completely
>> brain dead if the backup battery went bad.  But it sounds like you
>> should clean out around the values as a first step...
>>
>>
>>> it's a Hydro Rain HR 6000-1, not sure how old
>>>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> What is broken?  A device model number might be needed along
>>>> with failure symptoms.  My local OSH store carries parts
>>>> for the Lawn Genie controller.
>>>>
>>>>> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about
>>>>> automatic sprinkler system control unit repair?




Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


Understand, one more question or two, if I find that there is a short
in the solenoid, is it  best to replace the  valve or can I repair?
Does the control unit need to be powered up to check for shorts?

wrote:

>The gelcaps are plastic tubes filled with a waterproof gel. You stick
>the wirenutted connection into the gel and close the top. That keeps
>water out of the connector. There may already be corrosion in the
>wirenuts so replacing them (cutiing back the wires beyond the corrosion)
>will give you a clean, tight connection.
> To check for shorts from the control box, put one test lead on the
>common terminal and then touch the other lead to each screw terminal. If
>you read 0 ohms there's a short in a solenoid.
>
>From:pak
>eckerpw@yahoo.com
>
>> OK, got the valve box all cleaned out. There are 5 valves, each with a
>> colored wire and a black wire which I guess is the common. All the
>> connections in the valve box that were under dirt are just connected
>> with wire nuts, but all wires seem intact and still connected. The
>> fuse in the control box is blown.
>> The advice here  was to check all connections and then waterproof with
>> gel caps. Can some one explain how gel caps work or what I do with
>> them? are wire nuts sufficent for this application?
>> Also George suggested " measure that solenoid at the control box to
>> verify that the resistance is comparable to the other solenoids, I
>> think in the range of 20-50 ohms. (Put ohmeter between
>> common and valve when watering is not active.)
>>
>> Could you explain that a little further? I assume all the control
>> valves are soleniod operated. Not sure how to measure soleniod at
>> control box. Am I looking to see if one of the valves has shorted out?
>> Need a little more qdvice on the trouble shooting path.
>>
>> Thanks
>> Paul
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> I saw one (don't recall the brand) that would also go completely
>>> brain dead if the backup battery went bad.  But it sounds like you
>>> should clean out around the values as a first step...
>>>
>>>
>>>> it's a Hydro Rain HR 6000-1, not sure how old
>>>>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> What is broken?  A device model number might be needed along
>>>>> with failure symptoms.  My local OSH store carries parts
>>>>> for the Lawn Genie controller.
>>>>>
>>>>>> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about
>>>>>> automatic sprinkler system control unit repair?
>



Re: lawn sprinkler control unit repair


No, check for shorts with the power OFF!  Changing the solenoid is
simple. Clip the wires and just unscrew it (turn the water off). The new
one (available at your local home center) just screws in and you hook up
the wires (it's 24 VAC so there's no polarity to worry about).  If the
same brand as your valve is not available, that's OK as they're
interchangeable. Rainbird, Toro, Orbit, Lawn Genie, etc. all use the
same thing. Bring the old one with you just to be sure. Remember, if you
find a short from the panel it might be the wiring rather than the
solenoid. If you find a short, disconnect the wires to the solenoid and
check the soleniod and the wires to see where the problem is.

From:pak
eckerpw@yahoo.com

> Understand, one more question or two, if I find that there is a short
> in the solenoid, is it  best to replace the  valve or can I repair?
> Does the control unit need to be powered up to check for shorts?
>
> wrote:
>
>> The gelcaps are plastic tubes filled with a waterproof gel. You stick
>> the wirenutted connection into the gel and close the top. That keeps
>> water out of the connector. There may already be corrosion in the
>> wirenuts so replacing them (cutiing back the wires beyond the
>> corrosion) will give you a clean, tight connection.
>> To check for shorts from the control box, put one test lead on the
>> common terminal and then touch the other lead to each screw
>> terminal. If you read 0 ohms there's a short in a solenoid.
>>
>> From:pak
>> eckerpw@yahoo.com
>>
>>> OK, got the valve box all cleaned out. There are 5 valves, each
>>> with a colored wire and a black wire which I guess is the common.
>>> All the connections in the valve box that were under dirt are just
>>> connected with wire nuts, but all wires seem intact and still
>>> connected. The fuse in the control box is blown.
>>> The advice here  was to check all connections and then waterproof
>>> with gel caps. Can some one explain how gel caps work or what I do
>>> with them? are wire nuts sufficent for this application?
>>> Also George suggested " measure that solenoid at the control box to
>>> verify that the resistance is comparable to the other solenoids, I
>>> think in the range of 20-50 ohms. (Put ohmeter between
>>> common and valve when watering is not active.)
>>>
>>> Could you explain that a little further? I assume all the control
>>> valves are soleniod operated. Not sure how to measure soleniod at
>>> control box. Am I looking to see if one of the valves has shorted
>>> out? Need a little more qdvice on the trouble shooting path.
>>>
>>> Thanks
>>> Paul
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, 23 Apr 2005 18:53:51 -0700, "AZ Woody"
>>>
>>>> I saw one (don't recall the brand) that would also go completely
>>>> brain dead if the backup battery went bad.  But it sounds like you
>>>> should clean out around the values as a first step...
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> it's a Hydro Rain HR 6000-1, not sure how old
>>>>>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> What is broken?  A device model number might be needed along
>>>>>> with failure symptoms.  My local OSH store carries parts
>>>>>> for the Lawn Genie controller.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Wondering if this is the right group to ask questions about
>>>>>>> automatic sprinkler system control unit repair?




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