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Thread: Frying Transformers...

  1. #1

    Question Frying Transformers...

    I recently replaced some old metal pipe that ran from the water supply to two sprinkler valves for my lawn with PVC. I also replaced the valves with two new ones and wired them to the existing automatic timer/controller. Everything worked fine for a couple of days, then one of the valves stopped turning on. I was in the middle of a project and didn't have time to investigate, so I just ran that one manually for a few days. Then they all (6) stopped working.

    I measured the voltage coming from the transformer that powers the system and found that there was none, where there should have been 24 V. I replaced the transformer with a new one. Again everything worked fine for a couple of days and then the new transformer went dead.

    Can anyone tell me what they believe is causing these transformers to fry?

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Are all of the heads on at the same time? COuld the new ones take more current than the old ones, and are overloading the transformer? Do you need a larger transformer? I've never worked with sprinklers, so keep that in mind!
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default transformer

    If there is a short circuit and the controller does not have an overload button it it, that will destroy a transformer.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member captwally's Avatar
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    At the risk of stepping over the line as far as brands/manufacturers, and potential advertisers to this website, for which we could get in trouble discussing, could you tell me what brand of sprinkler/irrigation timer you are using? That could tell a lot....
    Measure Twice, Cut Once
    Wally

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default timer

    Not usually a factor since all of them have transformers that will operate the panel and at least two valves simultaneously, even though good practice puts only one valve on a circuit.

  6. #6
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Most timers have the capability to operate a pump start relay or a main valve in addition to one zone valve. But there are some wimpy transformers on the market, so it is important to check the milliamp rating.

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