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amartin725
07-18-2005, 09:30 AM
I had an 11-zone system installed in Oct of '03 and have had continuous issues with the Weathermatic valves. I've had no less than 20 solenoids replaced on the valves, all at the irrigation company's expense. At the end of last season, I forced them to replace every valve in the system with new ones. They only replaced the solenoids and agreed to extend my warranty on the system itself. Here it is in July and they are starting to fail again. I'm quite tired of coming home to find another Error on the controller (the controller is a Hunter Pro-C).

The owner of the irrigation company is baffled by my problems and did tell me that there we some issues with Weathermatic valves, but I have been unable to locate anything documented. Does anyone know of any design issues with them?

Al

doctor sprinkler
07-18-2005, 03:16 PM
You probably won't find any documentation on defective products fom the distributers. It's usually kept internal. I dealt with Weathermatic many years ago and found them to be of poor quality and will not buy any of thier products. The controller you have is excellent.
The number of solenoids you have going bad makes me wonder if there is an issue with the wiring of the system. Heres a way to check an individual solenoid to see if its bad. Hopefully the valves are accessible to you.
If you get a reading of a bad zone or solenoid, go to your manifold or valve box and disconnect the 2 wires that are leading into it from the controller. Now you should have the solenoid, attached to the valve with 2 wires coming out from it. With a voltmeter set at ohms at the lowest setting touch one lead to each end of the solenoid wire, you should get a reading from 20-50. If your in that range, the solenoid is fine, below or above it means a bad solenoid.
Good luck.

I understand the system is under warranty but you will know if the contractor is spinning his wheels repairing the wrong items.

jimbo
07-18-2005, 08:16 PM
Irrigation equipment can be regional. I have not heard of Weathermatic. Here in So. Cal. the big dogs are Toro, RainBird, and Hunter commercially, with Toro, Rainbird, and Orbit in the residential as well as all the Toro sub brands Rainjet, Lawn Genie, etc. K-Rain seems to be an east coast favorite but is sold here in the box stores.

In any event, repeated solenoid failure seems unusual. Diaphragm failure in less expensive brands in much more common, but even then not at the rate you are experiencing. Have you contacted Weathermatic to see what they say?

amartin725
07-19-2005, 05:06 AM
Near the end of last season I was actually beginning to take daily current readings of each zone after they all kept dropping out. I got too frustrated because it was still under warranty and I figured that since I paid for a service, I expected results (silly me). The ‘Owner’ came out and replaced all the solenoids and mentioned a possible ‘batch issue’ with the Weathermatics. I kept my fingers crossed but know that the problem will keep reoccurring.

This solenoid reads 10Ω, so there is something wrong with it. I’ve done my fair share failure analysis, so instead of making another frustrating phone call, I’ll dissect it on my own to see if I can find anything. I picked up a couple of new ones for cheap so I have spares.

I have not contacted Weathermatic, but will if I can find something relevant. I did contact an engineer at Hunter regarding an issue with the Pro-C controller. The ‘delay-between-zones’ feature would not work in automatic mode. It would work in manual, but not automatic. The flunky sent out by the irrigation company to check on it when I reported the issue could not understand the problem, even after witnessing it multiple times. I explained it very simply, I need this feature to allow my well to catch up between zones. He called the Owner and both decided I was being too unreasonable and would do nothing about it. Hunter sent me out a new controller directly, no questions asked.

Al

PEW
07-19-2005, 08:26 AM
Did you check the output voltage of the transformer?

Paul

amartin725
07-21-2005, 04:54 PM
Last year when I was watching the currents, I was keeping track of the power supply as well. I did not see anything out of the ordinary but didn't go so far as to pull my o-scope out to watch it. The multi-meter averages everything, so voltage spikes are difficult to catch.

Had another soleniod die this morning. That's two zones down within a week...again. This is just bull and I'm tired of it. What brand of valves do you guys recommend? I'm tempted to replace them all myself and back-bill the irrigation company...like that will get me anywhere :rolleyes:

Al

PEW
07-22-2005, 05:51 AM
Understand you are getting an rms reading. I was thinking along the line of running 12v solenoids on a 24v transformer.

Have you contacted Weathermatic's customer support?


Paul

amartin725
07-24-2005, 12:30 PM
I was taking resistance readings of all of the solenoids today and found 2 more that were low. I ran those zones and they died within minutes. That makes 4 in less than a week. I've called the irrigation company (again) and also contacted Weathermatic.

amartin725
08-02-2005, 05:49 AM
The irrigation company came out to look at the system (I was not home). They found and replaced 4 bad solenoids and explained that they had no idea why we keep having problems and we would not be billed for the service call. The technician said that he was going to discuss the situation with the owner.

3 days later I get a bill and no phone call from anyone. Needless to say another call was made with more harsh words spoken. The bill was wiped out, but no one has a clue what to do for me. In the meantime, I have another zone that I feel is about to go down.

Yesterday, someone from Weathermatic responded to my inquiry. After several emails, this was the information passed on to me:



We had a problem in 2003 with some solenoids with faulty encapsulation allowing them to short out. The local distributor is aware of the problem and we have a replacement program to replace those solenoids with the new "monster style" M24E. It is called monster because the wires are larger in diameter than the prior solenoids. I am surprised your service company is not aware of the program to replace the solenoids. We will supply the solenoids to replace all of your solenoids with the monsters.

I suggest you go to www.weathermatic.com and click on Find a Distributor to locate the authorized distributor near you. Call them and advise them of the problem ask them to arrange for monster solenoids to go to your service company. If you want a recommendation for another service company, the distributor can provide that for you.

We apologize for the problem with the solenoids. Most have been found and replaced by now.


In Sept ’04, all of my solenoids were replaced with ‘Monster’ style ones, which I explained back to them. This was the response:



If you check the date codes on those solenoids, likely you will find that they are from March, April, May of 2004. There were a few failures from that period but after additional QC checks were put in place in the summer of 04, total returns have been less than 10 pieces for all reasons. We are thoroughly confident in the new Monster M24E. We know what the problem was and it has been solved. Make sure that your distributor gets you monsters that are dated 9/04 or later. We only had a total of 300 known failures in the first 8 months the monsters were in the field with more than 500,000 installed. Since the end of the summer of 04, with more QC tests in place, we saw the drop to less than 10 pieces since then with another 750,000 in the field. We would certainly like to see the ones that have failed. Ask the local WM distributor to return those to use for examination. They should also furnish you with warranty replacements


The one that is questionable has a date code of 8/04, 5 have date codes from 9/04 and the 4 that were just replaced have date codes of 6/05. At least now I am getting somewhere. Kudos to Weathermatic for their support.

Al

amartin725
09-01-2005, 09:32 AM
So much for being resolved..

Had 3 more zones go down this week, 3 bad solenoids replaced. I tried once again to contact the owner of the irrigation company and was thwarted once again by the "he's not in the office" syndrome. Maybe sooner or later all these $12 solenoids and $100 service call fees I keep getting credited for will turn on a light bulb in someone’s head. Until then, I'm done working on it myself, I'll just keep calling when it breaks.

Sprinkus
10-29-2005, 12:20 PM
Two things I would check at this point are the gauge of wiring that was run to the valves and the water pressure to the system.
Undersized wiring to the valves can cause this type of problem as well as excessive pressure at the valves.
16 gauge wire should be the minimum wire size for a small residential irrigation system, if the contractor used 18 gauge or smaller wire then there may be enough of a voltage drop when the solenoid is operating to cause damage to the solenoid.
Excessive water pressure at the valve will cause the solenoid to have to work harder to open, the increased amperage required to operate the solenoid can also cause damage to the solenoid.

amartin725
01-19-2006, 12:39 PM
Finally had a chance to look into this, have been too frustrated up until now. The wire running to the valves is 18 AWG, solid strand (measured .0405" Diameter). Additionally, there are no markings on the wires or cable jacket at all (UL, etc..). Cheap wire.

I switch between the well and street water at times. The well maxes at 60PSI, but I'm not sure what the street water pressure is. I'll measure to verify.

There is a high iron content in the water and even though I have a fine particle filter in the system, sprinkler heads stop rotating and need to be replaced too frequently for my liking. Time for a softener I guess.

amartin725
01-19-2006, 12:59 PM
This was listed as part of the technical specs for the Weathermatci valves installed in my system:


Wiring requires a single lead from the controller to each solenoid, plus a common neutral to all solenoids; type UF wire, U.L. listed, is recommended for all hookups.

It lists a max psi of 125. I know I am not putting that much pressure in the system.

Bob NH
01-31-2006, 06:09 AM
How many valves are on at the same time? How many are switched on at the same time? All of the return current through the neutral could be dropping the voltage so much that the solenoids don't pull in reliably.

You could check each solenoid by testing it to see if it will operate if it is the only solenoid on the transformer. If you can get a clamp-on ammeter you can check the current out of the transformer.

If the solenoid works when it is the only one connected, then you need to get bigger wire.

Also, check the voltage out of the transformer when the maximum number of solenoids are connected.

amartin725
02-01-2006, 10:37 AM
Only one solenoid operates at a time and there is a programmed delay between one to the next, so there is time between zones to prevent the in-rush current from overloading. That should not be an issue, the controller is designed to handle that.

Transformer and coil voltages during use are not an issue, I've monitored these. At one point, I was documentating the coil resistance and coil currents daily. Just by looking at the trends, I could predict to the day which zone would have an error code when I got home from work. Why should I have to though? For all the money that I spent to not have to baby-sit my lawn, I do it more now than ever.

In the spring, I have a few more tricks to try. If they fail, I'm done screwing with it. It will be time to get someone else involved.

Merlin74
06-14-2006, 05:55 PM
Altough your post is old, i have all answer to your questions.

1. The contractor is giving a good service.
2. There is an issue with 2003 and maybe some 2004 solenoids.
3. There is new solenoid that have larger wires so i find them easy to recognize. They seem to perform good.

4. i disagree that weathermatic products are bad. I installed some valves in 1991, 1992, 1993, maybe 1994 and all valves still remain working without any failure. Ok a second time : WEATHERMATIC VALVES ARE WORKING WITHOUT ANY FAILURE FOR 12 TO 15 YEARS.

5. Almost every irrigation companies i know had batch problem one day...

Hope it answer all your questions. I think I've installed about 6000-7000 weathermatic valves plus the same quantity of another brand and tried all major brands.

amartin725
06-15-2006, 09:24 AM
How can you tell me that the contractor is giving me good service? He has NOT resolved the issue and has put forth ZERO effort to do so. He's an a$$hole, bottom line. He took my money and screwed.

The solenoids that I DO have are the newer one from Weathermatic that have supposedly been redesigned - they have the larger wires. They are STILL failing on a regular basis.

I never said Weathermatic products are bad, I just can't seem to keep a $3K irrigation system working for more than 2 days without a failure. I understand these systems need maintenance, but this situation is absolutely ridiculous.

amartin725
06-15-2006, 09:26 AM
Altough your post is old, i have all answer to your questions.

....

You did not answer any of my questions, nor did you succeed in resolving any of my issues.

peejmeister
06-28-2006, 08:19 AM
Back in August of '03, I had a 32-zone sprinkler system installed in my lawn. All Weathermatic valves. My installer has been out at least 15 times in the first two years replacing solenoids as they went bad. After about 10 service calls, he once mentioned that there was a 'bad batch' out there and he was going to replace all the solenoids. I'm not convinced he got them all, or if he did, the ones he replaced them with weren't much (if any) better.

This past weekend I had two more go out on me. One with a 6/04 (may have been 7/04, the arrow was between the 6 and 7) date on it and was all black plastic. The other one (didn't check the date before reinstalling it until I can get it replaced, allowing me to keep the main valve on and running the rest of the system) was black but the sleeve that the plunger rode in was a cream-colored plastic. I also didn't know at the time to note the wire size.

I, too, have only one valve on at a time and use a Hunter ICC controller. Many of my neighbors have the same system but I haven't heard of any of them complaining about solenoids.

What I'm wondering is if there is another brand of solenoid that I can use to replace the Weathermatic ones with so that I might get some extra life out of them. Home Depot sells 'universal' replacement solenoids that fit but don't operate properly. I'm not too hip on spending $12 a pop only to have to replace them again year after year.

amartin725
07-24-2006, 09:36 AM
Glad to see that I'm not the only one who has had problems, I wish you good luck with yours. Merlin74 never came back either, not that I am surprised.

I've been extremely busy and finally got the irrigation well back up and running and turned the sprinkler system on for the first time this season only just last week. Before I turned everything on, I went through all of the wiring. It was atrocious. My 4-year old could have done a better job. I trimmed back and reconnected every wire throughout the system and made sure that no connections would ever be under water. I also took an unused wire in the cable and doubled-up on the common throughout the system. I'm not convinced that is will solve anything, but only time will tell.

Al

hillman90
07-24-2006, 10:20 PM
Al, try this web site if you have not already:

http://www.sprinklertalk.com/forum/default.asp

there may be some people who can help. I bought a house with an existing system with weathermatic controller and valves and just had 2 solenoids replaced with the 24E's and now one of those zones is only functioning at about 50%.

jimbo
07-25-2006, 05:28 AM
Well, this might be a record...not for the most posts on a thread, but for the longest running post!

At this point, with all that has been said, if this were my house, I would have long since ripped everything out and replaced it with an inexpensive timer and Toro valves. Problem solved!

You can only lose so much sleep over your grass!

amartin725
07-29-2006, 08:10 PM
....At this point, with all that has been said, if this were my house, I would have long since ripped everything out and replaced it with an inexpensive timer and Toro valves. Problem solved!

I've had that thought more that once, that is for sure.

Had another zone go done the other day with another on it's way out as well. I made another change to the system and think that it is finally resolved. I'll feel better in a week. If it works out, I'll post what I did.


You can only lose so much sleep over your grass!

That is true!!


Had an interesting discovery today. My neighbor's recently moved to a new neighborhood and I stopped in for a visit. They have an irrigation system installed by the same company that did mine. They have the same Weathermatic valves as mine, and the solenoids are the older ones with the smaller wires. They have no problems and the system runs without issue, the difference is that their system has a Weathermatic controller, mine is the Hunter Pro-C.

brady_h
09-01-2006, 07:12 AM
I just found this forum and this post in particular. I too have had numerous WM solenoid failures over the past 2 years. So far, I've replaced on my own about 20 of them and changed 6 out of 12 valves out for Orbit brand valves. The Orbit valves so far are hanging tough and have given me 0 problems. The Orbit valves are cheap, so my expectation level was rather low for them. Does anyone know if these are any good?

Also, I have 1 Weathermatic valve that I just changed the solenoid out for one of the newer M24E (Monster) versions and am now having a small problem with. The valve will turn on just fine however it will not turn off without me shutting the water off at the backflow. Is it possible that I installed the Solenoid incorrectly? or maybe have a bad one already? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Brady H.

brady_h
09-05-2006, 01:30 PM
Well, I solved my solenoid problem this weekend. Turns out, I cross threaded the new solenoid badly on the new valve and damaged the threads to the point that they would not bite into the valve housing. This was causing the solenoid to blow off the valve each time pressure was applied. I put the old one back in place to temporarily shut the zone down until I can fix the threads or buy yet another new solenoid.

peejmeister
09-06-2006, 08:12 AM
Originally Posted by jimbo
At this point, with all that has been said, if this were my house, I would have long since ripped everything out and replaced it with an inexpensive timer and Toro valves. Problem solved!
If I didn't have a 32-valve system in my 1.5 acre lawn, I might have done that myself. Up until recently, my installer had been pretty good about changing out the bad solenoids at no charge. Unfortunately, I haven't seen him back out lately and I now have 3 bad solenoids.

Following an earlier posted link to the WM site, yesterday I entered a Technical Support note on their Contact Us page. Today I recieved a call from WM stating they would have an irrigation company come out and replace ALL of my solenoids at no charge to me. The rep seemed genuinely concerned and wanted to assure me that WM stands behind their products.

I'll continue to post updates as things progress. I was given the name and number of the irrigation company that is to be contacting me shortly.


Originally Posted by amartin725
Had another zone go done the other day with another on it's way out as well. I made another change to the system and think that it is finally resolved. I'll feel better in a week. If it works out, I'll post what I did.
amartin725, let us know what change(s) you made that you think solved your problem, I'm all ears! Incidentally, I have a Hunter ICC controller.

amartin725
09-06-2006, 09:36 AM
I have not had a solenoid go down in weeks, and I was having them go at a rate of 1-2 a week. I had one that was failing and was within a day or so of going, and it is still alive. I sent you a PM.

TGreenway
09-26-2006, 04:41 PM
I have not had a solenoid go down in weeks, and I was having them go at a rate of 1-2 a week. I had one that was failing and was within a day or so of going, and it is still alive. I sent you a PM.

First, I new to the forum, but the way I found it was via a "google of "weathermatic irrigation valve problem".....so I'm having the same problem as you experienced. I have 9 zones with a Hunter Pro C installed in March 2005, and have had nothing but issues with the valves. Not too bad the first year, I believe I had 3 replaced, but since May 2006, my system has not run more than 2 weeks without a problem (valve issues). Last issues were 4 valves in 3 weeks.

If you have a fix/suggestion I would very much appreciate hearing of it.

Thanks

amartin725
10-26-2006, 09:40 AM
I survived the entire season without a single failure. What I did was to plug the 24VAC wall transformer into a Variac and I set the main supply to the Controller to 18VAC while under load (zone running). I had no degradation in any of the solenoids, and 2 that were on their way to failing never did.

The system will actually run down to 10VAC with a zone running, but that isn't enough to get the solenoid going to open the valve. Being an EE, I over-designed a solution. I use the Master Pump Relay output from the Controller to fire a 15 second timer. While time timer is active, the voltage to the system is 24VAC, once the timer times out, the voltage folds back to about 14VAC. During normal operation and standby, the voltage is lower; the voltage only goes up during the first few seconds after a zone turns on. So instead of a huge Variac mounted to the wall in my garage, I have a relay and small auto-transformer. I probably could have gotten away with an 18, 20, or 22VAC wall bug, but that wouldn't have been as much fun to set up ;)

I sent a detailed message to Weathermatic explaining all of my issues, past experiences and learnings. I was basically blown off and told that their valves don't fail. OK, fine by me, but I've had at least 12 of the 'Monster' ones replaced on my system that have failed. What the irrigation company did with them I don't know.

Hope this info helps others.

Al

TGreenway
10-26-2006, 07:36 PM
First off, (the good news), is that I really appreciate your reply.

Next, (the bad news), is that I'm not technically capable of doing the fix.

More bad news is that my installer, has stopped returning my calls and/or gone out of business.

I do plan on contacting Weathermatic for some type of assistance... just hoping they can help me out.

Again, thanks for you reply, and I hope your solution continues to work....maybe they'll listen

TGreenway
11-30-2006, 07:28 PM
My installer showed up a couple of weeks ago and replaced all of the Weathermatic valves with Hunter valves. I had time to cycle it 2 or 3 times and it worked great. I guess the real test will be next summer.

I had sent him a "to the point" letter and attached a print of the threads from this forum. He showed it to his supplier and got "about $300.00 worth of free stuff", (I guess including my new valves).

"Thank you" to this forum and the nice people in it.

piocon@tctwest.net
05-22-2007, 10:28 AM
[QUOTE=Sprinkus]Two things I would check at this point are the gauge of wiring that was run to the valves and the water pressure to the system.
Undersized wiring to the valves can cause this type of problem as well as excessive pressure at the valves.
16 gauge wire should be the minimum wire size for a small residential irrigation system, if the contractor used 18 gauge or smaller wire then there may be enough of a voltage drop when the solenoid is operating to cause damage to the solenoid.
Excessive water pressure at the valve will cause the solenoid to have to work harder to open, the increased amperage required to operate the solenoid can also cause damage to the solenoid.[/QUOTE

Although the voltage drop may not be the only problem with the Weathermatic valves, I certainly agree with the concept of the gauge wire being too small for the length used. I would only add that the gauge must be decreased (larger wire) as the length is increased between the controller and the valve solenoid. The key is to measure the voltage across the solenoid, as close to the solenoid as possible, while energized. Then measure the voltage at the output of the controller while energizing that same solenoid. The difference between the voltage at the controller and the voltage at the solenoid is the "voltage drop" or loss due to the length and gauge of wire. A 5% voltage drop MAY be tolerable (check with valve mfgr), but the less drop, the more powerful the solenoid action will be. To be told to use any particular gauge wire with no consideration of length is ridiculous, but is a common mistake made by many installers, system designers and, sorry to say, even some EE's. EXAMPLE: 18 gauge copper wire, at 20 degrees C, has a resistance of 6.385 ohms per 1000 feet. That means that in a distance of 500 feet (2 wires = 1000 ft) from controller to valve, using a 20 ohm solenoid that your voltage drop will be, simplistically, [(6.385 ohns/20ohms)(24 volts)] = 7.662 volts, or about 32% (7.662volts/24volts)..... way toooo much! I realize that a 500 foot run is likely not too common, but just use the same math for any distance you may have using 18 gauge wire. If that 32% is not reduced to less than the mfgr's specification for adequate operating voltage AT THE SOLENOID (not at the controller), then you will have to increase the size (decrease the gauge) of the wire or some how increase the voltage at the controller for only the high resistance (long) wire runs. 16 gauge copper wire is 4.016 ohms/ft and 20 gauge is 10.15 ohms/ft, both at 20 degrees C. Hope this helps.

piocon@tctwest.net
05-22-2007, 10:56 AM
Although the voltage drop may not be the only problem with the Weathermatic valves, I certainly agree with the concept of the gauge wire being too small for the length used. I would only add that the gauge must be decreased (larger wire) as the length is increased between the controller and the valve solenoid. The key is to measure the voltage across the solenoid, as close to the solenoid as possible, while energized. Then measure the voltage at the output of the controller while energizing that same solenoid. The difference between the voltage at the controller and the voltage at the solenoid is the "voltage drop" or loss due to the length and gauge of wire. A 5% voltage drop MAY be tolerable (check with valve mfgr), but the less drop, the more powerful the solenoid action will be. To be told to use any particular gauge wire with no consideration of length is ridiculous, but is a common mistake made by many installers, system designers and, sorry to say, even some EE's. EXAMPLE: 18 gauge copper wire, at 20 degrees C, has a resistance of 6.385 ohms per 1000 feet. That means that in a distance of 500 feet (2 wires = 1000 ft) from controller to valve, using a 20 ohm solenoid that your voltage drop will be, simplistically, [(6.385 ohns/20ohms)(24 volts)] = 7.662 volts, or about 32% (7.662volts/24volts)..... way toooo much! I realize that a 500 foot run is likely not too common, but just use the same math for any distance you may have using 18 gauge wire. If that 32% is not reduced to less than the mfgr's specification for adequate operating voltage AT THE SOLENOID (not at the controller), then you will have to increase the size (decrease the gauge) of the wire or some how increase the voltage at the controller for only the high resistance (long) wire runs. 16 gauge copper wire is 4.016 ohms/ft and 20 gauge is 10.15 ohms/ft, both at 20 degrees C. Hope this helps

TGreenway
05-22-2007, 06:34 PM
Just an update....been running with the "Hunter" valves for two months and not a single failure....I'm not sure what the problem was, but replacing the Weathermatic with Hunter seems to have fixed it.

Wet_Boots
05-23-2007, 05:53 PM
The Weathermatic company went through some struggles after their founder died, so figure their solenoid woes as one indication of this. Supposedly, the solenoid failures were connected with accumulated hours of valve operation, which made for some confusion, as valves in areas with wet weather, and reduced hours of operation, weren't seeing the failures that other parts of the country were.

Their valves were always considered to be among the best, before this problem cropped up. Too bad, since they'll be awhile living this one down.

Mr_Pike
07-03-2007, 02:19 PM
I must have gotten into the WM valves after the problems in 03. Only solenoid failures have been on the 'Silver Bullet' economy type valves.

Please don't take this as gospel as far as WM valves being the best out there, they all have problems.

I would never ever install a Toro valve after their debacle with the flowmatics. Ask any independent irrigation guy which valve he hates the most!

The old irritrol valves are the ones that fail in the open position, which is darn unhandy if you ask me.

I have had WM solenoids fail at my own home. Do I still put them in the ground with my name on them standing on a 5 year warranty? Yes.

peejmeister
08-23-2007, 09:28 AM
Sorry to post on so late after my initial post last year.

I had an irrigation guy out last fall to replace all of my solenoids (32) at WM's expense. When he came out and saw how my system was wired, he told me that was why I was having so many problems and that he'd seen it before.

His explanation was that the wire to the solenoid (not the common, but the other) should have been 'terminated' at the valve and not connected to the ongoing lead down the line, as the common wire must be. So he clipped the one side after the solenoid on all the valves.

This seemed to have made a signficant difference. The rest of last fall was dry and I ran the system regularly without problems....

However, this spring and early summer have been excessively wet and hence I haven't had to run the system up until now. After the first week or so of use this summer, I have had two solenoids go bad on me, one that stuck with the valve shut, the other with the valve stuck open.

It's too early to tell, still, but this does not make me as comfortable as I was at the end of last season. The guy who replaced my solenoids said to call him back if I had any further problems and left me with several extra solenoids. I replaced them but have not had any success keeping the one solenoid threaded in place, so I think I'll have to have him come back out.

The saga continues....

amartin725
08-31-2007, 12:09 PM
It's been a year later and I have not had anymore solenoids fail since I performed my 'modifications'. Unfortunately, with having one of the dryest August's on record, my well gave out so even though the irrigation system is ok, I still can't water. Town water is just too expensive. :(

amartin725
08-31-2007, 12:23 PM
I actually just wanted to post a follow-up to some of this. Weathermatic actually dropped me a note in reference to my issues and here was my response:


My problems never went away, I designed a solution around it. As each zone turns on, the voltage is 24VAC. After a short time, I fold the voltage back. I haven't had a solenoid failure in over a year since doing this. I can guarantee that they will fail within days if I remove my 'solution.' Honestly, I think part of the problem lies with the fact that the irrigation company used a Hunter controller with your valves and also wired the system with non-UL approved wiring. It's difficult to keep blaming Weathermatic on the problem when it can't be completely confirmed that it is 100% of Weathermatic's issue.

Did I resolve the actual issue? Probably not, I fashioned up a band-aid and it keeps me happy as I don't have to come home and cringe everytime I look at the Controller as I walk through the garage.

Al

jimbo
08-31-2007, 03:37 PM
In case no one else is keeping track, this thread has been running since July of 2005 !!!!

Wet_Boots
08-31-2007, 04:38 PM
By the time it gets sorted out, it might be 2015. Sad, really. amartin's modification is interesting, to lower the operating voltage of the valves. (some diodes wired in series could have done it more simply) Lower voltage would reduce the buildup of heat, which may have been a contributor to the solenoid issues.

amartin725
08-31-2007, 07:42 PM
Well, it does go a little bit farther. The controllers are intelligent and monitor current through the solenoid. Variances in voltages lead to variances in current sensed and it trips the controller showing Err on the zone. I compensated for this, but I can't give away all of my secrets ;)

Wet_Boots
09-01-2007, 03:54 AM
What controller are you using?

amartin725
09-03-2007, 05:44 PM
Hunter Pro C.

Mr_Pike
10-03-2007, 01:58 PM
Replaced another failed solenoid off of the same system I have had 2 other previous failures on. Looks like water got wicked into the body somehow, rust was seeping from where the wires meet the body. This was on a Weathermatic Silver Bullet valve, and had square solenoids. No failures so far on the same system with the round replacement solenoids.

This was a system installed 3 years ago.

Overheatprotection
10-18-2007, 07:07 AM
i have been using irritrol valves they seem to be the longest lasting valves on the market. and its the only valve I install. I give an unconditional replacement guarantee. Out of about 1000 I have installed I only had to warranty about 8 of them. that valve seems to last about 15 years,
I have been in business over 25 years and the only products I use are the ones that last the test of time. When I cut this style of valves out of the sprinkler system I have pulled some out that were over 20 years old when they finally broke. And yes irritrol has not produced this valve for 20 years but the style has been around I think for about 26 years under different names the original company has been bought out several times by different companies and improvements have been made to it. Even Rainbird solenoids seem to last only about 8 years or so.
Never cheep out on valves because you don't want to do the job twice.

miner49er
10-18-2007, 08:42 AM
i use toro, rainbird valves. toro/k-rain heads. no problems to this date.

miner49er

PJ Flocker
10-27-2007, 07:19 PM
Well...I have to say, this is the longest post I have seen on one subject!! I just joined this forum to enter my comments. I was just surfing the web to find a place in PHX, AZ for replacement solenoids for the WM valves and I ran into Terry's forum here. Thank you Terry for creating this!! I have had my system for a little over 3 years and it has been fine until recently. I have three WM valves and an Irritrol controller..this has not been an issue. I just want to replace two solenoids for now and see if I have any further issues before I decide to replace the valves. It looks like I have a 1" Silver Bullet 12000 w/flow controller. I have not been able to find replacement solenoids in the Phoenix, AZ area or on line. Anybody have any recommendations please??:cool:

Thanks!
PJ

Wet_Boots
10-29-2007, 05:49 AM
The valves should be fine, if they've been working so far. As for solenoids, I've seen old W*M brass valves with Irritrol solenoids, so maybe that can work on your plastic valves, if you can't locate W*M replacements, although, around a big city like Phoenix, there should be a source for W*M.

Irrigation Oldtimer
12-14-2007, 07:06 AM
Weathermatic experienced a problem with the M24E solenoid relating to water penetration. They have replaced the M24E with the S20P solenoid. All of the reports I have heard on this solenoid are excellent. I recommend that you contact the company's tech service department if you are still having problems. Have you tried the Weathermatic SmartLine controller? This is a really cool product. It adjusts watering times based on the weather. They have a site about the product called www.smartline.com. A lot of water providers are giving rebates for installing a product of this type. Many of these rebates are listed on the Smartline site.

Wet_Boots
07-12-2008, 09:32 AM
Well, I ran into a system that had an 06 date on the failed W*M solenoid. Replaced every one of them from my stock of 20th-century M24Es - I wonder if W*M will ever tell the entire truth about this debacle, or whether they even understand all that transpired.

jimbo
07-12-2008, 03:31 PM
Well, we are 6 days away from the 3rd year anniversary of this thread. Going for 4!

Wet_Boots
07-13-2008, 11:59 AM
W*M bailed on the M24E. At least they were aware enough to know how thoroughly they poisoned the market with their incompetence. The new solenoid is named S20P.

peejmeister
07-14-2008, 12:54 PM
Can't let this thread die now!
When I turned my 32-valve system on early this summer, as I expected, I started losing solenoids again.
I contacted Weathermatic and they touted their new S20P solenoids and sent me a box of 32 of them, no charge. I've been putting them in as the old M24Es die. I've only had the S20Ps out there for a few weeks, but none of them have failed yet.

:confused: My biggest problem now--assuming these S20Ps really last--is replacing the solenoids without cross-threading them. You do that once and you have to replace the valve cover to get another solenoid to stay in.
Now that the new S20P is narrow enough to access the screws on either side of it, I may resort to pulling the cover, installing the new solenoid in plain site, outside of the valve box, then screwing the cover with the solenoid on as one unit, unless anyone has a more sure-fire way to get them in snug enough to operate without making that fateful last twist that ruins the valve.

Heater63
07-26-2008, 01:13 PM
Well, after discovering this thread, I'm not going to let it die either! I have a small Weathermatic system, in place for 12 years now, and I just had my first M24 failure; it is dated 1996 and the side case is finally cracking from heat cycles. I have not had a valve failure yet. I have a WM controller, and although I kinda hate it, I have learned to use it. The LCD did go bad after the warranty period, and when I contacted WM, they sent out a whole new controller, they were very very good; this was about 2000. my 2 cents on WM. Kudos to aamartin for not going postal at some point and figuring out a voltage patch.

TGreenway
09-15-2008, 10:23 AM
Last post was May, 2007...it's now Sept 2008, and I haven't had a single failure since my installer replaced the WM valves with Hunter valves....I guess if the valves continue to work as long as this thread, then I'll be happy.

GeekZero
06-20-2009, 02:01 PM
Thanks all for the information here; our builder put in Silver Bullets in the summer of 2004, and since then we have replaced a lot of solenoids. I just put in the first S20P, let's hope that is the real "silver bullet"

jimbo
06-20-2009, 04:02 PM
Well, we are 6 days away from the 3rd year anniversary of this thread. Going for 4!

Well, we are now just a few days short of the 4th anniversary on the post that won't go away!!
Not as many posts as the whirlpool water heater, but excellent staying power!

Kuhlman5
07-06-2009, 05:55 PM
I was out testing my nine zone irrigation system over the weekend here in New Jersey where we had 20+ days of rain in June. The system was not responding to controller commands 100% of the time. This morning the controller said I had a short in the master valve. After disconnecting the master valve solenoid (the new replacement version S20P) and manually opening the valve (Weatermatic 12000 Series - Silver Bullet) the system work flawlessly. The irrigation system was installed late in 2007 (Oct/Nov.) worked well in 2008 and the master valve solenoid failed at the beginning of 2009.

Gene Johnson @ Weathermatic offered to sell me a replacement under a special program for $6.30 + 9.90 S&H.

I can't say I'm impressed.

samson smith
09-30-2011, 09:23 PM
I had an 11-zone system installed in Oct of '03 and have had continuous issues with the Weathermatic valves. I've had no less than 20 solenoids replaced on the valves, all at the irrigation company's expense. At the end of last season, I forced them to replace every valve in the system with new ones. They only replaced the solenoids and agreed to extend my warranty on the system itself. Here it is in July and they are starting to fail again. I'm quite tired of coming home to find another Error on the controller (the controller is a Hunter Pro-C).

The owner of the irrigation company is baffled by my problems and did tell me that there we some issues with Weathermatic valves, but I have been unable to locate anything documented. Does anyone know of any design issues with them?

Al

If you have garden and you want to make it more beautiful then sprinkler is the best option for this purpose. Sprinkler controllers helps you how to control the water system. It also helps to make water system easier and helps to save the water. Sprinkler valves are the most important part of the sprinkler water system. It is helpful to control the water.

dcj99b
10-01-2012, 12:02 PM
Hi all you guys, I've really found this thread useful, helped me fix the problems out here in Mallorca at my friend's house.
Two points I need to share.
Water Pressure : I think those points are barking up the wrong tree. The valve is help shut by THE SPRING in the solenoid. The solenoid just pulls the spring.

Back EMF (as we call it in UK) has not had a mention. On DC solenoids one would fit a diode and capacitor close to it solenoid.
I'm not sure about AC solenoids, but there are voltage dependant resistors and even two 50V( say) zeners anode to anode across along with a .01uf capacitor should shift and spikes. The programmer should have that protection anyway, but that can be a significant distance away from the valve.
Do keep this thread alive.
Warmest regards, Derek

PMcCool
10-10-2013, 03:54 PM
Okay I am going to help keep this thread alive. In 2006, I had an 11 valve system put in using WM valves and a Hunter C Pro controller. The last 7 years I have replaced selenoid after selenoid after selenoid. At the same time as that installation, I had two additional WM valves put on an existing 6 valve Rainbird system. I have never had any problems with the existing Rainbird vavles or the two new WM valves on the Rainbird system.

I read this post from beginning until the end because I am troubleshooting and open valve. The common theme I saw was that the Hunter C Pro with WM valves had more problems than having a WM Controller or in my case a Rainbird controller.
I was considering changing out each valve but perhaps the controller may be a better route. I do believe I need the updated selenoids as well though since I have been using the generic ones from Lowes. Thoughts anyone?

Wet_Boots
10-12-2013, 05:35 AM
the WM valves aren't an issue at present - the bad M24E solenoids have all died and been replaced by the new round solenoids, and the valves keep on working