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New Member


Tuesday, June 11th 2019, 9:24am

two solenoids wired together but work correctly

I apologize in advance because I think this must be really stupid. I am new to sprinkler systems, having just moved into a house in Colorado with an existing system.

Couple problems:
1. one valve/zone does not work because I think the wire from the controller is broken somewhere.
2. the solenoids on two of the other valves/zones are wired together. ie. the two hot wires are wired nutted together and the neutrals are also wired together, as they should be. The valves operate independently. I think this is impossible, and yet, there it is. This IS impossible, right?

I have some pics I can post once I figure out how to do that.


ok, here are the pics. The valve in the middle is dead. The ones on the right and left are wired together. It's hard to see, but there are only three wires into this valve box -- orange and red, at the top of the pic (I can't get a signal from either of these.) and a light green one at the bottom, which is wired to both the left and right valves. Thanks for any help.


This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "kirbybo" (Jun 11th 2019, 10:58am)



Posts: 2,467

Location: USA


Tuesday, June 11th 2019, 10:06pm

You need to clean up all the wiring. Cut the wires so the solenoids aren't hooked up to anything. Clean up all the wires from the controller so that nothing is hooked up to them. Then go from there. Hook one wire from each solenoid to the common wire. Is it white on the controller or green?

I question what's going on with that orange wire nut. What's that extra white wire?

I had a job once where the wiring was so screwed up, similar to yours, that the valves were doing crazy stuff. Like two coming on at once then one coming on. I never figured it out. I just started over as described above and all was well. But it sounds like you have two bad wires which need to be fixed or replaced.


New Member


Wednesday, June 12th 2019, 8:32am

Thanks for your reply, Mr. Fixit. Yeah, I know it needs to be cleaned up. I just didn't wanna go in there cutting things up when it is kinda sorta working, and an actual fix will probably require some trenching and new wires. Eventually we'll probably just replace the system, but we're planning some fairly extensive landscaping; I'd like to keep this old monstrosity limping along until all that is finalized.

I'm assuming the neutral is the small white wire which runs into that suspicious orange wire nut, and the hot wire is the light green that goes into the waterproof connector tied to the white wire which goes into the yellow wire nut and then two different solenoids. I say I'm assuming because somewhere between the controller and the valve box, the wiring was extended and the wire colors changed. I think the original system was just 3 valves in the front (no valve box, just buried valves) and then was extended with 6 valves in the back yard in two boxes.

So, you're right: it's a real mess. I may have a leaking manifold, too, on top of everything else.

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