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The last 10 posts

Thursday, January 5th 2012, 6:24pm

by projectfilly

Woo hoo!

Okay, I spent today re-wiring the valves and found that almost all of the connections were completely corroded. Once I re-connected everything, replaced the float and turned on the flow control on those two on the right side, everything works perfectly!

I can't thank you enough for your help!


Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 8:36pm

by projectfilly

Thank you!

Yeah, on closer inspection earlier, I found that the black wire on the far-left valve that was supposed to connect to the red timer wire looked like it had been cut straight through. I stripped it a bit and crimped it to the big red wire and then plugged the timer back in and tested. Sure enough it looks like zone 1 will trigger now.

You answered my question about the two older ones on the right, I'm assuming they control the back yard, but I couldn't get zones 3/4 to work at all. I'll open the flow control and see if I can't get it to work. I'm going to Lowe's tonight to pick up some grease caps and wire and tomorrow I'm going to sit out there and fix all of it. I noticed that there are two common wires right now. The big wire controls the left two, the 18ga wire controls the right two, and they're both stuck in the Common terminal on the timer. Is that a big deal? I can re-wire it tomorrow while I'm cleaning everything up, but if it doesn't make a difference I could probably just leave it.

Again, you are CRAZY helpful. I appreciate it so much!


Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 8:30pm

by mrfixit

You crack me up. =)

Someone had a field day with the glue. I love gardeners, they get me work all the time.

First off the two valves on the right. The Orbit valves, the flow controls are turned off. That's why there's no water coming out of them. That's the X looking thing. Turn them counter clockwise to open them up some.

The valves on the left are new. I can see the new style solenoids and the date code of 2011.

Oh, yes you want those levers in the Off position for normal operation.

I think you have two sets of wires. The two valves on the left are using the big white wire as their ground wire. Then each one should have a big red wire hooked up to it. I'm going on the assumption that all the wires are intact from the timer to the valves.

The wires on the right look like they're hooked up correctly. Two solenoid wires hooked up to the white/ground and one each for the other two wires.

I always wire the valves from left to right. 1-2-3-4. You'd have to see what wires are hooked up where at the timer to do that. This isn't necessary and I may have complicated things. Skip this unless you want to tackle it.

You'll definetly want to clean up the connections. Use waterproof wire connectors. Silicone filled wirenuts are fine.

If everything works with the timer after you do all that then you're set.

Good Luck!

P.S. Thanks for the pictures!

Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 6:21pm

by projectfilly

Okay, I might be onto something. Still totally confused, but the sun might be peeking through the clouds. I'm now confident everything is correct on the timer. I've reset it and re-programmed it according to Orbit's instruction manual. So that's taken care of. Now, I'm noticing that the far left valve has two wires coming out of the top. Only one of them is connected to anything. According to this - - one wire is supposed to be wired to the other valves, and one goes back to the timer. Yes? I'm still pretty baffled, but maybe this is part of my problem.

Thank you so much again for your help. This is a fantastic forum!


Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 5:47pm

by projectfilly


Grr. Mr. Fix It....can I ask for some more help? Okay. First question. Are all of the valves supposed to be in the on or off position. I would think "on", but my boyfriend's father tells me that "on" is the manual override that is supposed to make all sprinklers controlled by the valve turn on. That under normal conditions, they should be "off" and the timer handles the rest. Here's my setup.

What a freaking mess. Anyway. When I turn the far left one on (this was the one missing its float), the sprinklers in the front yard pop up. When I turn the 2nd from the left on, the drip waterers in the flower beds in the front yard turn on. When I turn the two on the right to "on", they do nothing whatsoever. Except leak a little. Which probably doesn't count. None of them seem to turn the backyard sprinklers on, or the sprinklers in the rear flower beds. The timer in the garage, apparently, does nothing but sit on the wall and mock me for being a failure. I've tried putting it in manual mode, it won't do anything but turn zone 2 (front flower bed drippers) on/off.

Even without knowing anything about sprinklers, I know that the wiring is REALLY effing bad. I don't know what the wires are supposed to go to, but some of them are shoddily capped, some are taped off with....medical tape? I dunno. But honestly, paying our current yard guy to fix them (if this is what his work looks like) is totally out of the question.

oh, and by the way. What the HELL does this do? I spent 20 minutes bailing water out of the hole to find out what was in there. Another valve. Yipee.

Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 3:53pm

by projectfilly

Haha, I figured the garden gnome did it.

Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 2:53pm

by Wet_Boots

float weevils :D

Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 2:19pm

by projectfilly

Wow, you are the MAN! I figured out the problem. It's not that the float is's that the float is MISSING. Opened the cap on the one that doesn't leak....there's the float. Open the cap on the one that DOES float. Makes me wonder about the integrity of our lawn guy, since he was the one that put those in last year (according to our landlady), and now generously offered to come and fix the problem for about $100.

Thank you SO much for your help, and for being patient with me! I'm going to go pick up another float now, since when I switched the float over to the one that I was having the problem with and put the cap back on, everything worked great.

Thanks again!


Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 3:51am

by mrfixit

Ok this is a simple fix. You'll have no problem. Unscrew that vent thing. Inside there is a float with a rubber washer on it. The float's probably white in color. See if the black washer is cracked or off center or missing. Also look for debris keeping the float from moving freely inside the vent thingy. The float may also be installed incorrectly. It needs to go inside that hole in the middle of the vent thing.

You may wind up going to the store to replace the washer or float. You'll have to go to an irrigation supply house such as Ewing. Take the float with you.

Just be careful when you unscrew the cap/vent. You don't want to snap the pipe. Use two pairs of channel locks if you have them.

Good luck!

Wednesday, January 4th 2012, 3:30am

by projectfilly (Guest)


that's the one...or at least, that's it's twin. Right now, the knob on top of the valve (where the wires are) is turned to off. Despite there being 4 zones on our sprinkler system and four valves on the side of the house, with that one off the only zone I can get to function is the one that waters our flower beds in front and none of the yard sprinklers will work. Anyway, long story short, when I turn that one valve even a tiny bit towards "on", I get Old Faithful pouring out from the black vent on the front.

My explanations probably suck, and for that I apologize. Like I said, I'm totally sprinkler stupid.

Thank you for responding!