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njitgrad

Active Member

Posts: 32

Location: NJ

21

Tuesday, June 4th 2013, 2:58pm

0.2 volts across the one-ohm resistor corresponds to a current of 0.2 amps, and that would indicate modern solenoids, and no issues with using any solid-state controller for a replacement.

The accuracy of this method depends on the precision of the resistor, and the accuracy of your voltmeter at the extreme bottom of its range. Since some of these meters could state "plus or minus two digits" or similar, when describing accuracy in detail, the values you measure may be more like ballpark figures. Still, if you were feeding two Imperial brass valves (master valve and zone valve) a current of more than an amp would be expected.

Good video. The setup was about what I'd have done. I remembered this shortcut from a long-ago exercise where the voltmeter was replaced by an oscilloscope, and the waveforms we observed were showing us the current in a circuit. You still might want to find an AC ammeter, to compare readings.

Of course, due diligence requires you get a reading for each zone, but I'd guess you're home free.
Awesome. I will check the current of the other zones tonight just to double-check. If all goes according to plan, its just a matter of finding a controller that suits my needs. I really want a controller to which I can add an afforable remote control system. Hunter's ROAM (non-XL version) is the only one that fits my needs (for the price). Still trying to figure out the difference between the 6-zone PCC-600i and 3-zone PC-300i (with addtional 3-zone PCM-300 module) other than the fact that the latter is modular. From what I read, I should stay away from the X-Core controllers. Do you have any advice on controllers? I understand you like the Rainbird ESP controller. I figure a Hunter controller and remote kit should cost me $250 ballpark altogether.

UPDATE: I am also going to change all of my wiring into the controller from the outside (to the extent practical). The original installer did a really crappy job (its really pathetic) and I want to correct this. I will post a video tonight showing you the wiring and I'm hoping you can give me some advice on how to make it look professional. I assume all of the wiring, conduit piping, electrical boxes, burial splice connectors and what-not I can purchase at Home Depot.

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "njitgrad" (Jun 4th 2013, 3:30pm)


njitgrad

Active Member

Posts: 32

Location: NJ

22

Tuesday, June 4th 2013, 11:33pm

As I indicated earlier that I would, here is a short video that I made in an effort to gain some feedback on how best to my update my existing wiring as part of the installation process of a new Hunter controller.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Bad Wiring Job

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,030

Location: Metro NYC

23

Wednesday, June 5th 2013, 7:54am

The most important thing revealed by that video is that you don't have any effective backflow prevention on that sprinkler system. The brass atmospheric vacuum breaker we see is just a pale imitation of the actual required Pressure Vacuum Breaker assembly.

The wiring fix for the outdoor sprinkler wiring would involve an outdoor junction box, with PVC conduit running from it down to a bit below grade. The outdoor valve wiring comes up through the conduit into the new junction box, and is spliced to the new wiring coming from the new controller in your garage.

As for controllers, I'm not seeing anything wrong with the X-Core controllers, outside of their tiny size that has them looking a bit toy-like. They don't share the limitations of the original XC controllers, which was Hunter's idea to nudge people towards more expensive models.

njitgrad

Active Member

Posts: 32

Location: NJ

24

Wednesday, June 5th 2013, 9:01am

Here is a followup video containing some ideas I have for fixing the wiring. Let me know what you think.

re-wiring plan

The backflow device I'll address in my next post.

njitgrad

Active Member

Posts: 32

Location: NJ

25

Wednesday, June 5th 2013, 9:16am

Tell me more about the backflow device. What exactly needs to be done? This system has been like you see it now since the original owner bought the house in 1982. Below is pic of the inside connection from the water supply.


njitgrad

Active Member

Posts: 32

Location: NJ

26

Wednesday, June 5th 2013, 9:16am

And now the outside of the water connection.


njitgrad

Active Member

Posts: 32

Location: NJ

27

Wednesday, June 5th 2013, 9:17am

Let me know what you think of my re-wiring plan after you watch the video I posted this morning.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,030

Location: Metro NYC

28

Wednesday, June 5th 2013, 12:05pm

My impression of the rewiring ideas are mixed. It is good that the sprinkler wiring and the power line get separated. As for adding conduit in the garage, the power wiring is what belongs inside conduit. Where the power comes down from the ceiling, leading to the box with the switch and outlet, that should be in conduit, as should the power leaving that box, on its way to the outdoor outlet. Also, any (new) power receptacles in the garage should be GFCI protected. All that comes from electrical codes in effect today.

As for the low-voltage zone wiring, conduit is optional, but I can understand a desire to hide those black cables. That's one reason behind my idea to have an outdoor splice box at the location where the wires currently exit. The box would not be one of those "pull elbows" seen in the video. It would be an outdoor box much like what the outdoor power receptacle is using, but with a plain cover, of course. From the controller to this additional splice box, you can run a much thinner thermostat cable, which can be simply stapled to the garage drywall.

Speaking of the outdoor receptacle, I'm not sure why you wouldn't just have it on a box attached to the foundation, as per popular custom, if you want to feed it from the basement.

njitgrad

Active Member

Posts: 32

Location: NJ

29

Thursday, June 6th 2013, 8:39am

Based on suggestions I got from various sources, I have revised my re-wiring plan. Below is the link to another video explaining the new plan. My biggest obstacle is going to be drilling a 1-and-1/4 inch hole in cinderblock for the pull elbow for the sprinkler wire. The existing electrical box (which I've already removed from the ground) is going to be mounted on my siding and the hole for that will be made through my sill plate at the same height that my garden hose bib is at.

revised re-wiring plan

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,030

Location: Metro NYC

30

Friday, June 7th 2013, 6:46am

One thing you may not have considered is how a system remote control will affect your operating the system. The controller in the garage is not the convenience it once was, when you can stand outside with a remote control and operate the sprinklers.

Again, the pull elbows are not needed. In fact, they are never actually intended to serve as splice boxes. Use an outdoor box, only this time, use the kind of cover they sometimes call "lampholder." Those have a 1/2-inch thread on them, where you can install the Hunter remote receptacle. Like with the power box, the opening in the back gets used to run the control wire through the foundation wall.

An important reason for looking again at the controller location, now that you intend to have a remote control, is that they almost always get located against an exterior wall, because of the distance limitation between the controller and any remote receptacle. There is a special shielded extension version of remote receptacle and cable, that gets you to about 20 feet of separation.

As for the GFCI outlets, no worry having more than one on a circuit, if they aren't series connected.

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