Imagine this scenario: it’s early on a warm Austin spring morning and you’re getting ready to water your lawn or garden. You turn on your irrigation system and suddenly discover that a group of sprinkler heads is not operating. What do you do?
Step 1: Check controller program
Go to your controller. If that group of sprinkler heads is scheduled to run and isn’t doing so, then you should assume that something is wrong with the valve.
Step 2: Open control box
Remove the cover for the control wires in the controller. This is usually located on the back of most units. If it isn’t, then check your owner’s manual to find the exact location.
Step 3: Run voltage check
Turn on the entire system and check the voltage in each connected wire with a multimeter set to the 200 volt A/C setting. Use the red probe on the positive terminal of each zone and the black probe on the ground wire for the system. If all the voltages are the same, your controller is working as it should.
Step 4: Locate and uncover all control valves
With the system turned off, turn each valve on manually. The simplest way to do this is to remove the solenoid. If the water comes on for each section, then the valve itself is not the problem. But if the water does not come on for one section, then the valve needs to be replaced. Reinstall all solenoids.
Step 5: Check voltage of wires at valves
Turn on the system manually. Use the multimeter red probe to check the red wire and the black probe on the black wire. You may need to remove direct bury connections to test this.
If the voltages are the same as they are they are at the controller, then the wires are OK. However, if the voltages are near or at zero, then the wires are damaged or cut and need to be replaced.
Step 6: Clean up
If the valve has pass all other checks, put the solenoid back on the valve.
Once you’ve run your diagnostic, you may also find it helpful to contact South Austin Irrigation Repair. We can double-check your system and make all necessary repairs to wires and valves. For the irrigation system service and advice more Austinites trust, contact us today!