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Thursday, August 9th 2012, 6:37pm

Semi-compromised wire

A zone quit working so I called the repair man.

According to him, I have a bad wire that carries some voltage, but not enough to activate the valve. He said a tracer wouldn't find the break because it still transmits some voltage, so I either have to replace the valve with a separate, battery-operated unit, or dig a trench and run new wire all the way around the house.

I'm looking for a second opinion, because I don't like either of those options...

Thanks for you help.


Friday, August 10th 2012, 8:34am

There are devices that will locate the short. One is the Armada GFL3000. Problem is I don't know of anyone who rents them.
There are 3 places your wire could be failing. Two are easy: at the controller or at the valve connection. After that it's anywhere in the underground run from the controller to the valve. Hard to find.

If you have another valve closer than the controller you can use ADD-A-ZONE to regain control of the zone. You still dig but it might not be as far.


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Friday, August 10th 2012, 8:43am

You have what might be called an "intermittent" fault, and they are utterly maddening to locate. Strictly for the money, digging in a new wire yourself might be the cheapest way to go, besides its being a sure thing.

Someone who can mark out the entire wire path with a locator, might then employ a TDR (time domain reflectometer) to find the intermittent, but a TDR is not a common tool for irrigation pros.


Friday, August 10th 2012, 7:16pm

Okay. Thanks for your suggestions.

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