View Full Version : several station on at once

04-05-2007, 05:57 PM
Hello everyone. I got a 6 zone controller with 5 zones in use. I put the system in last year and it worked great. Now I turned the controller back on and had to reset it to tell it a pump was there. Got that solved and now have a problem with several stations on at the same time. I have checked and am getting 24 volt at each station at the controller. So that tells me that it is working fine. I am reading about 45 ohm across the wires coming from the valves (station to station). I have tried each station on manual and here are the results.
station 1 zone 1,2,4 on
station 2 zone 2,3,5 on
station 3 zone 3,4,5 on
station 4 zone 3,4 on
station 5 zone 3,4 on
station 6 zone 3,4 on (nothing connected at controller or valve?)

I just went out to check the results and even with all valve wires disconnected from the controller I still have zone 3 and 4 coming on when I put station 1 on manual. Very perplexed. Can anyone help?

04-05-2007, 06:19 PM
Is there a master valve in the system?

04-05-2007, 08:03 PM
Wet boots

No. I only have 5 valves in the system.
Thanks for the reply. Whats your thoughts.

Bob NH
04-06-2007, 06:38 AM
Check with the power removed from all of the valves and water pressure on the system. Maybe some are stuck open. They are pilot operated valves and are susceptible to failure.

04-06-2007, 07:04 AM
Valves that stick open, when the solenoid wires are completely disconnected, are mechanically stuck open. If a thorough resistance check of the wiring doesn't turn up anything wrong, then look at the valves. Have a new valve on hand, and swap out parts with a faulty one. Depending on what brand you have, and your water source, various reasons exist for stuck-open valves.

The reason I asked about a master valve, is that a valve that is stuck open will usually stay stuck open, until you shut off the valve that feeds the system. Absent a master valve, multiple zones activating could be a controller flaw.

If the valves and controller are home center cheapies, you may continue to have problems with them.

04-07-2007, 08:02 AM
Thanks for the info.
The controller is a Orbit #5704. I had a short in the first one I had in the system and they sent me a new one that worked all last season. When I first turned it on this season the pump wouldn't run. After tracing all the wire to the pump, relay and controller I found that I had to tell the controller that a pump was there. I thought that I lost the programs due to a storm and maybe the batteries were low. Batteries check good and the controller still had all the programs but lost the pump setting.

After getting the pump running I tried the system and it seems that no matter what station I turn on I always get station 3 and 4 with it. I disconnected all wires going to the valves and still had 3 and 4 running. So that makes me think I have a bad valve. Then after I reconnected them and tried again the pump started then quit. The controller is supposed to tell you if you have a short with the valves, but the display has looked normal the whole time. So is it valves, controller or both? By the way, I have Hunter PGV valves. I live in Springfield, IL where the temp was 70 the last couple of weeks and 20 this week.

If I need to replace the controller what would you suggest? I bought the Orbits because it is what they sold locally. There was a mix-up when I bought all the other equipment online.

04-07-2007, 09:46 AM
Is this a pump from a well point? Or a booster pump from city water? A well point pump system can run you into no/low pressure problems upstream of the zone valves, with them not wanting to shut down. Zone valves with flow controls can be essential on well point systems, unless you actually set up a small pressure tank and pressure switch control (and lose the pump control relay) in order to maintain some upstream pressure in the system.

04-07-2007, 11:31 AM
This is set up with a 1.5 hp Myers pump to a pond without any tank. I have a 2" pipe from pond to pump and 1.5" to the valves. I pulled the line out of the pond and cleaned the foot so it is clean and I was getting water. I have checked the voltage at the controller and it was putting out 24v. to the pump.Everything at the controller checks out but I have had trouble with the pump starting (had to set it at the controller), I have had stations on with other stations, and now the the pump shut down. I know with electronic things can check out fine but still have a problem. Do you think I should replace the controller. This one is less then a year old but if it's junk I don't want it.

04-07-2007, 11:49 AM
You may have valve problems that stem from water quality. Your standard valves are not designed to run on lake water containing algae and other crud. The timer wouldn't be an issue here.

04-07-2007, 01:37 PM
There was algae build up in the filter that I cleaned several times last summer.

I figured that when I bought the system that the guy would provide the correct components since he knew I was pulling from a pond and he did the design.

If I pull the valves apart and fine algae what valves should I replace them with.

04-07-2007, 03:40 PM
Standard valves are not algae proof. You might have to filter the water with a 100 mesh strainer to eliminate valve problems, at which point you might have to clean a strainer every ten minutes. The most (not entirely) algae-proof valves are constructed from brass, and can cost ten times the price of a standard valve. So don't knock an installer for not providing them, since it's a tough upgrade to sell. If it were up to me to provide the most bullet-proof control valves for murky pond water, I would use hydraulic valves, with a city-water connection for the control water. But this is really advanced. One plastic valve that I hear praise for is a Rainbird PESB. It has some ability to scrub away crud that might interfere with valve operation. Not cheap. If your existing valves do not have flow controls, you might as well plan on getting something different.

04-14-2007, 08:05 AM
Just wanted to drop a line and say thanks to Wet Boots for all your input.

Well would you believe it was all operater error. Apparantly when I shut down the system last year I must have turned the flow control knobs on the valves for 3 and 4 zones. By the time the pump kicked off I was so frustrated I walked away for a few days. Good decision. When I came back with a fresh look I first checked the circuit breaker for the pump and it had kicked. Pump fixed. I then moved on to the valves, check ed all the wires and voltage at the controller. Everything ckecked out so I moved to the vavles themselves. I pulled apart the valves on zone 4 and the diaphragm looked good (no debris) and so did the solenoid so I put it back together. I tried the system again and still had a problem with zone 3 and 4 coming on with the other zones. I went back to the valves and for some reason turned the flow control (at least that's what I think it is)on valve 4 while the system was on and the zone turned off. Did the same with zone 3 and now everything is working fine.

I downloaded the specs from Hunter but it shows the 2" valves but not the 1" valves and they are a little different.

Like I said this is the second season for me having the system. I installed it myself with the help of Rick from DIY Irrigation (lawnh2o.com) so I am still going through the learning curves.

Thanks again for all your help.