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New Member


Sunday, September 1st 2013, 11:59am

Newbie here - need help with wiring


We bought a home that has a Rainbird system installed, and forgive me for not knowing correct terminology, but it has four Irritrol anti-siphon valves installed in various places. Far as I can tell, there are at least five different sections set up.

Recently, one of the solenoids was making shorting noises outside our window, so replaced a solenoid since it looked pretty old and ratty. That didn't fix it - and on further inspection I found we had rodent damage to the wires and they were shorting. So, I spliced in a new section of wire. I replaced all four solenoids since there were issues all around. Initially I thought this was a fix since the shorting sound stopped and I heard the section watering outside the window going off. I then went on vacation....

Upon our return, we discovered that the section watering the plants down the driveway was on all the time and that there was run-off from over-watering. I turned off the valves all the way around but the water kept flowing. The only thing to stop it was to shut off the spigot for the water feeding the two valves outside the window (where the short was).

Yesterday I checked my connections and found that the old red wire where I did the splice had broken. The wires are very old and brittle. So, I redid the splice hoping that was the fix, but NO! Water still on
all the time unless I turn off that spigot!

Now, I did have to tug on the old wire to get enough of it out to do the splice. It is threaded through pvc pipes along the ground around the house from the controller, I guess to protect from rodents.

Is the problem because the solenoids left the valves in the open position? Did I wire the solenoids wrong when I replaced them? Or is there a break somewhere else in the old wiring somewhere along the line due to tugging? Until someone hands me an answer, I will go out and follow the wires around and see if I can find a break somewhere...

But what would allow water to flow when even the controller is turned off?

Thanks in advance!




New Member


Sunday, September 1st 2013, 12:59pm


I figured it out! When I unwired the whole thing and had the water on, the circuit was still open, watering the trees...So, I figured maybe the solenoid was bad, even though it was a new one! So, swapped in another one and sure enough, that did the trick! So, if anyone has a similar problem, think bad solenoid. I thought it behaved like it was stuck open, but since this was a brand new solenoid, I thought wiring instead...this was an easier fix to be sure!




Posts: 2,440

Location: USA


Sunday, September 1st 2013, 10:01pm

There's a white plastic retainer which hold the plunger into the solenoid. I've seen that keep the plunger from closing on five or six seperate occasions.
If that's the case with you then swapping out the solenoid again would have fixed it.
I always take the solenoids off and pull that plastic thing off and throw it away when I install new valves or a new solenoid.
It doesn't do anything to help the valve function. It only keeps you from losing the plunger when you unscrew the solenoid. The older solenoids didn't have the plastic piece.

Perhaps you didn't have the solenoid all the way clockwise and the valve couldn't shut off.

Maybe you need to turn the flow control down a bit to help the valve shut off.

It also sounds like you probably have a fifth valve somewhere.

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