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Starting Member


Friday, September 9th 2011, 8:00pm

One zone not working

(please forgive my technical terminology)
We have a Rainbird system (ESP - 6si, if it matters) and one of the zones (3) doesn't work. We did a little research and decided to replace the solenoid. New solenoid in place, and still not working.

However, when I was rewiring everything back together, I accidentally wired the new solenoid to another valve wire. The zone that was not working started up like a champ. But, another zone (2) stopped working. Upon realizing my error, I rewired everything correctly and now the original zone (3) isn't working again.

We have a cheap little voltage tester, but I haven't been able to get it to read anything. I tested it in an outlet and it lit up just fine. Perhaps I am not testing the correct wires? I touch one prong of the tester to the valve wire and one to the solenoid wire and I get nothing. By "valve wire" I mean each valve has a white wire coming out of it that connects to one of the solenoid wires.

This all might be moot as the more research I do, the more it seems to me that that valve is not getting power. If that is, in fact, the case, how do we go about repairing it? Thanks so much for any help or wisdom you can offer.

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 371

Location: Central Minnesota


Friday, September 9th 2011, 9:06pm

I think you're testing the wrong wires.

You should be touching one prong to the common wire (in your case i'm going to assume white wire) and the other to the colored zone wire. I would recommend using a multimeter that you can test resistance with, though.

Activate zone 3 at the controller.

Test voltage at the valve with all connections tied together the way they were. It is important to test voltage under a load (selonoid attached) in order to get accurate readings.


New Member

Posts: 5

Location: Atlanta, GA


Tuesday, September 13th 2011, 6:27am

The problem could be that the port for zone 3 is not producing power for the valve. Try taking the wire out of zone 3 port and put in, say zone 2, and turn on zone 2. If valve works then it is the controller. If it does not work then you most likely have a broken wire somewhere on zone 3 wire.
Russell Hulsey, CIC

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