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SprinklerNewbie

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1

Tuesday, July 23rd 2013, 2:11pm

Toro 212 Controller, with Jar-Top Valves - One station won't turn on

Hell Gents and Ladies,

I am attempting to self-diagnose my Toro Sprinkler system. I have one station that fails to turn on (station 1) using the controller. I have no way to test wires, so I decided to start with the things I could test/replace.

At the valve for this station, if I manually turn it on, the station functions fine. I have been manually turning the station on an off this week to water that area of my yard. :) My first "guess" was the silanoid, so I ordered a replacement. This did not fix the issue, same behavior. In my toro controller, I have 6 Zone Modulars in the controller, each one has 2 wires going to it expect for the last one (which station 6 hole is empty). I moved the wire that runs station one over to station 6, enabled station 6 on the controller to test to see if the issue might be with the zone modular. This did not correct the problem either. I put the wire back into station 1.

My next question is about the value diaphragm; if I can manually turn on the water at the valve and have it work, would this eliminate the chance that it's a bad diaphragm? Does manually turning on the valve circumvent the diaphragm? Or does the diaphragm only work in conjunction with the Silianoid? Should I try replacing the diaphgram?

I'm really hoping this is a mechanical issue and not an electric one. :)

Thanks for any advice!

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

2

Tuesday, July 23rd 2013, 4:38pm

Step one is to stop being frightened of electrical problems in your sprinkler system. Since the controller is fed from a UL-listed Class 2 transformer, everything in the system is low voltage. Same voltage as your thermostats. A tad more voltage than the toy slot cars a generation of baby boomers grew up with. Not. To. Worry.

What make and model of zone valves do you have?

SprinklerNewbie

Unregistered

3

Wednesday, July 24th 2013, 9:10am

Toro 212 Controller, with Jar-Top Valves - One station won't turn on

Hi Wet_Boots. Thanks for the quick reply. Well, it's not that I'm afraid of the voltage or anything, I just don't have any tools to measure voltage. I don't own a voltage meter currently, and although I know they are probably handy to have around, I just didn't want to spend the money to buy one AND figure out how to use it until I had to. I figured I'd wait to cross that bridge once I eliminated the other (easier in my opinion) possible causes first. I am a complete novice with sprinkler systems, but I "guessed" that the most likely piece of equipment to fail (with this particular behavior I'm seeing) would be a Silanoid, which I why I started there. I work on computer systems all the time, and wires (in my business) is rarely a cause of issues/failures. I just took that same methodology with Sprinkler systems. :)

I'd have to check to get you the exact model of values, but they look exactly like this one, so I assume that's at least close.
Toro Jar Tops


As mentioned previously, I can manually turn the valve on and the station works fine. By doing this, am I circumventing the diaphragm functionality? Does being able to turn it on manually eliminate the diaphragm from being a possible cause?

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mrfixit" (Jul 24th 2013, 12:54pm)


SprinklerNewbie

Unregistered

4

Wednesday, July 24th 2013, 9:13am

Toro 212 Controller, with Jar-Top Valves-One station won't turn on

Sorry that link doesn't appear to be working

"Toro 150 psi In-Line Jar-Top Valve" on home Depot site is where that should take you

mrfixit

Moderator

Posts: 1,461

Location: USA

5

Wednesday, July 24th 2013, 1:08pm

There's a good chance you have this valve.
2400

Turn on the station. Go out to the valve. Unscrew the solenoid. Is the plunger depressed into the solenoid? Is it buzzing?
Take that white plastic thing off. Get rid of it. Pull on the plunger. Does it come right out or is it being held into place electrically?
Ok it falls out. There's no power to the valve.

If it has power, change the diaphragm if cleaning the valve doesn't cure the problem. Look at the ports for blockage.

Is there a spare wire at the controller which leads to the valve?

Is there a valve next to it that works that you can borrow the wire from to test the valve with?

If you have power there's either a blockage in the valve or the diaphragm is bad.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,061

Location: Metro NYC

6

Wednesday, July 24th 2013, 1:18pm

There are two ways to manually open one of those jar-top valves. One is by the large lever that is on the valves, just below the solenoid. That way is best, because it better simulates what is happening when the solenoid is activated. (the other is by the bleed screw, that releases water and/or air, which gives it its name)

For less money than a new solenoid, you could fit yourself with a new multimeter from the Harbor Freight store. They are even known to give them away on special event days.

About the only thing you haven't done is to activate the zone in question and unscrew the solenoid to see whether or not it is activated. (turn off the water supply first)

It doesn't take long to realize that avoiding the electronics questions involves a lot more work and expense than getting that multimeter and putting it to good use.

SprinklerNewbie

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7

Wednesday, July 24th 2013, 11:14pm

Excellent, thanks for the tips gentlemen. I'll give those steps a try. Appreciate the help.

SprinklerNewbie

Unregistered

8

Thursday, August 8th 2013, 9:50am

There are two ways to manually open one of those jar-top valves. One is by the large lever that is on the valves, just below the solenoid. That way is best, because it better simulates what is happening when the solenoid is activated. (the other is by the bleed screw, that releases water and/or air, which gives it its name)

For less money than a new solenoid, you could fit yourself with a new multimeter from the Harbor Freight store. They are even known to give them away on special event days.

About the only thing you haven't done is to activate the zone in question and unscrew the solenoid to see whether or not it is activated. (turn off the water supply first)

It doesn't take long to realize that avoiding the electronics questions involves a lot more work and expense than getting that multimeter and putting it to good use.
Well guys, it appears that it was a bad wire after all. Luckily for me, I only have 5 stations and the wire set had six run to that box, so there was a spare. I swapped over the wire on both ends, and the station now works correctly. Thanks for the tip on unscrewing the solenoid to see if it's activated; this was an easy way to test the wire without buying a meter. :)

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