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Monday, June 22nd 2020, 7:54pm

Rain Bird ESP-6 puzzle!

Until 2 days ago, our 12 year old system was working fine. Despite the last 2-3 months' "Err 5" message. 2 Programs, one 7 days/week (Bonsai Garden) and the other 2 days/week (lawn, city restriction, adequate watering.)
Then, it stopped working.
I pushed the "MAN START/ADV" button and the Err 5 went away.
I checked all the settings for time, watering times, etc, all correct.
"Run Test Program" went off at all stations x 2 minutes apiece.
Replaced the backup battery (why not?)
Puzzled over the unconnected white wire in the Controller (its 1/2 inch tip with both bared copper wire and a smidge of white insulation was separate, to the right under the solenoid, while the curled white wire was tucked under the L side of the solenoid, near a green wire which went back behind the transformer to the junction box- was it meant to be connected to the screw to the right of the ground?)
Puzzled why there is no wire attached to the "MV" - just the "COM"?
No neighbors with the same system. Local Home Depot plumber earnest, unable to figure out, suggested this Forum.
So, at this point, I'm lost - is there an electrical glitch somewhere? Why - if the test program runs, won't the system run as programmed?
And yes, I called Rain Bird's 800# - they said they're too busy and call back (unless I want a new system, which I can order online)!
Thanks for your thoughts!!
So, thanks if there's someone with an idea to salvage this system!!??



Posts: 2,450

Location: USA


Monday, June 22nd 2020, 9:06pm

Maybe the solenoid on 5 is going bad. Maybe it takes longer than 2 minutes for the err to appear.
Could be bare wires touching each other intermittently.
Check the connections of the solenoid wires at the valve. There isn't a solenoid inside the timer so I'm not sure what you meant there.
Make sure the number 5 terminal is snug.
Many times there will be a spare wire inside the controller. Sometimes they've been stripped a bit.
There isn't a wire hooked up to MV because you don't have a master valve.
You could swap wires at the valves. Supposing number 5 is blue and the valve next to it is red. Swap the blue for the red and see if the err changes numbers. If the err stays on 5 it's probably the wiring. If it moves to a new number then it's the solenoid.
On a rare occasion it will be the controller. But it does happen. Saw it recently on a Raindial. You could run the program with the number 5 wire disconnected from the controller to see if you still get an err. That's not a sure thing but it's a possibility.
It wouldn't be so complicated if I was there in person. Should be a quick diagnosis for a pro. 2 to 15 min.

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