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Thread: Issue with Rain Bird ESP-me controller

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member aguaman's Avatar
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    Default Issue with Rain Bird ESP-me controller

    Hello,
    just got an irrigation system put in with a Rain Bird ESP-me controller. I have 4 zones with zone 4 set up for a future veg garden so it's not in use. The controller is programmed to run 5 minutes every day starting at 8 am. The issue is this: I noticed that it goes on 5 minutes in zones 1 thru 3 and then back another 5 minutes zones 1 thru 3 and another 5 minutes for the 3 zones. It is programmed to run 5 minutes so why is it really runnig 45 minutes in total?

    This is very puzzling to me. I reset the controller twice and programmed it all from scratch but still runs a total of 45 minutes.
    Any help with this is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    You have probably confused run times with start times. For prog. A, set each individual station with the run time you want for each (5min.) Then go to program start times and assign just ONE start time. Each zone will run in sequence one right after the other until done. Start time 2 and 3 should be "off".

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    You have to read the setup instructions and understand them, to be able to follow them. Once you understand it, it's fairly simple to do.
    In most cases, these timers are much more than what homeowners actually need. Some of the features are never used, but they are there.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    You have to read the setup instructions and understand them, to be able to follow them. Once you understand it, it's fairly simple to do.
    In most cases, these timers are much more than what homeowners actually need. Some of the features are never used, but they are there.

    You mean read the Manual ?

    What a concept.

    Good Luck if it is in plain English, Now a Days.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    You mean read the Manual ?

    What a concept.

    Good Luck if it is in plain English, Now a Days.

    Haha, it's true...

    I have helpers, to whom ENGLISH is not their first language, but they manage to read, understand and execute instructions.

    Ah, I forgot, the instructions have a Spanish version on the other side.

  6. #6
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    this is ALWAYS an operator error

    pro controllers never start a zone, they start a program - the error comes when someone mistakenly believes they have to assign a start time for each zone of the system

    only one start time - cancel the second and third start times

  7. #7
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet_Boots View Post
    this is ALWAYS an operator error

    More like Operator Overlook.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member aguaman's Avatar
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    Re-reading the manual and based on BRD's comments, I see that the SET WATERING TIMES is to program the starts times of a PROGRAM (or PROGRAMS) and NOT the zones. I had 2 and 3 thinking them as zones but the controller took them as programs 2 and 3. After 1 ended, program 2 would start and then 3. That's why it ran 3 times. I set to OFF the PROGRAMS 2 and 3 and sure enough it only run a total of 15 minutes (5 minutes per zone).

    It is running fine now as I wanted it. Thanks for all the replies and to BRD for hitting the nail in the head.

  9. #9
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aguaman View Post
    Re-reading the manual and based on BRD's comments, I see that the SET WATERING TIMES is to program the starts times of a PROGRAM (or PROGRAMS) and NOT the zones. I had 2 and 3 thinking them as zones but the controller took them as programs 2 and 3. After 1 ended, program 2 would start and then 3. That's why it ran 3 times. I set to OFF the PROGRAMS 2 and 3 and sure enough it only run a total of 15 minutes (5 minutes per zone).

    It is running fine now as I wanted it. Thanks for all the replies and to BRD for hitting the nail in the head.

    Cool Beans. Thanks for the report.


    Enjoy.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member Recon0321's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Cool Beans. Thanks for the report.


    Enjoy.

    This seems to be explained in a confusing manner. The station start times have to be set according to your desired start times for each station to run. It seems the simple answer to aguamans question would be to ensure that you only have one program running (A or b or c).

  11. #11
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recon0321 View Post
    This seems to be explained in a confusing manner. The station start times have to be set according to your desired start times for each station to run. It seems the simple answer to aguamans question would be to ensure that you only have one program running (A or b or c).
    THERE ARE NO STATION START TIMES!! THERE ARE ONLY PROGRAM START TIMES!!

    Repeat this until you are certain you will never spread misinformation about this aspect of lawn sprinkler controller programming.

  12. #12
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recon0321 View Post
    This seems to be explained in a confusing manner. The station start times have to be set according to your desired start times for each station to run. It seems the simple answer to aguamans question would be to ensure that you only have one program running (A or b or c).

    Sorry to have disappointed you with my post.


    I think the problem has been solved.


    I Love when that happens, thanks to www.terrylove.com.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aguaman View Post
    Re-reading the manual and based on BRD's comments, I see that the SET WATERING TIMES is to program the starts times of a PROGRAM (or PROGRAMS) and NOT the zones. I had 2 and 3 thinking them as zones but the controller took them as programs 2 and 3. After 1 ended, program 2 would start and then 3. That's why it ran 3 times. I set to OFF the PROGRAMS 2 and 3 and sure enough it only run a total of 15 minutes (5 minutes per zone).

    It is running fine now as I wanted it. Thanks for all the replies and to BRD for hitting the nail in the head.
    Good stuff.

    For the future, when you do have your vegetable garden planted, you will want to water it less often - maybe only once or twice a week. That is where you can set up your system so that Zone 4 (veg garden) runs for, say, 30 minutes every Sunday, and program this in Program B (assuming the rest of the lawn is watered in Program A). That's the beauty of having multiple programs -- you can run a zone, or several zones, on a different schedule from the rest. You may already know this.

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