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Senior Member


Wednesday, June 4th 2014, 6:25am

Stations have a hard time staying on

For three years now I have had trouble turning on my stations. Some seem worse than others. I have a RIchdel control box. I push down the switch to manual, and the zone comes on, and then shuts off. I timed it today. Sometimes it took 3 seconds, and once it went 54 seconds then shut off. I finally got it running after 8 minutes of fighting it. More thanone zone does this.
I was sure that my solenoids were going bad. So I replaced all four. I was very surprised when the problem remained.
This stinks because it prevents me from programming the zone to come on automatically as they are never guaranteed to start on one try.
I am out of ideas, and past what I know about sprinklers to address this issue. Again it takes several tries, and a good chunk of time to get some zones running. Although last night it fired up after only a few attempts. It is mostly zone two. That is the most problematic. Zone three gave me some trouble this morning, but not nearly as much.
I sure could use some idea as to what has been going on.


Supreme Member

Posts: 448

Location: Houston, Texas


Wednesday, June 4th 2014, 11:42am

It sounds like a wire problem.
You may need to call out a pro.

This can be done by do it your selfers, but it can be tricky with out the right tools. It can be tricky even with the right tools.

But it can some times be very easy.

I know that is not much help.

Good Luck!

It is very important that all wire connections be made with a water tight connection, often installers try to save a dollar by not using good connections.

Some installers make splices at the controller to the field wires.

This is a good place to start checking or redoing the splices with good connectors.

If you know how to use a mulitimeter and check the wires with it at the controller, it can save you a lot of time and money.

:thumbup: :thumbsup:


Senior Member


Friday, June 6th 2014, 1:11pm

Just now zone one had a new problem. It would not shut off. Even when I unplugged the control box. I had to turn off the water since I was leaving. I will turn it back on now, and see where it stands. I did open the control box, and only two wire nut connections in there. Also in the valve box there are grease boots on all connections.


Senior Member


Saturday, June 7th 2014, 9:01pm

Not to discount what you say because it does make sense. Could the problem be the timer box itself? I can see where all connections are in timer box, and in valve box, and I think that I can follow those wires fairly easily the whole way from the timer box to the valve box. I am going to do this as soon as I have time to see if they are frayed anywhere, but I don't think there are splices between the two boxes. That said I was thinking when I posted this that the answer was going to be "It's your controller.."


Senior Member


Monday, June 9th 2014, 7:50pm

BUMP for added info and help

I opened the controller. I found one wire nut was loose. The ground wire is attached to the box but is not attached to anything else...see pic please....i have four wires connected in pairs by two wire nuts. My question is should the ground wire be tied into one of those wire nuts, and if so which one....?


Supreme Member

Posts: 448

Location: Houston, Texas


Monday, June 9th 2014, 8:48pm

Be very careful in the lower left part if the controller.
You can get shocked there.

That is high voltage.

The cable connected to the terminal strip should be tightly secured with the screws.

If they are loose that could be your issue.
:thumbup: :thumbsup:


Supreme Member

Posts: 4,951

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, June 10th 2014, 11:47am

Don't worry about ground wires. Sprinkler systems do just fine without them.

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