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Sunday, December 28th 2014, 8:44pm

Need Assistance with Diagnosing multiple zones not coming on


First off, I would like to thank anyone who takes the time out to assist me with trying to diagnose what could be wrong with my home sprinkler system. It is much appreciated.

I recently moved into my this house (built in 2005) and it has a total of six sprinkler zones, 2 of which have controller valves/solenoids on the left hand side of the house and the other 4 zones are controlled from valves/solenoids on the right hand side of the house. Recently, the four zones controlled from the right side of my house stopped working. I have done quite a bit of research on how to diagnose the issue and have gone through testing the control box and solenoids using a multimeter. Every appears to be working fine from an electronic perspective. I find it very unlikely that all four solenoids would have gone bad at the exact same time. Could it be that somehow the water coming into the valves is at fault? How would I diagnose this? I am very inexperienced with sprinkler systems and to be quite honest have very little experience at all at being a handy-man. Should I go out and buy a new solenoid just to see if that fixes one zone or would it be better to test it some other way?

Again, I really appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks!



Supreme Member

Posts: 5,292

Location: Metro NYC


Monday, December 29th 2014, 11:07am

Why not put your "everything seems to be working from an electronic perspective" into terms of measurements of continuity and resistance for each zone? Measuring voltage means very little in many cases of faulty field wiring.

Also, try system operation on a non-electric basis, by using the manual operators on the zone valves (and the master valve, if there is one)




Monday, December 29th 2014, 2:27pm

I have tried to manually turn them on and that doesn't work either. I am trying to figure out if I am even getting water to that zone. Maybe I am jumping too quickly but between all four solenoids going down at the same time and the manual turning on of the solenoids not working either I am starting to think it is an issue with water. Although what makes that strange is the two zones on the other side of the house work great. Not sure what could be causing the water to all of a sudden not get over to the other side.


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,292

Location: Metro NYC


Tuesday, December 30th 2014, 7:13am

Confirm whether you do or do not have a master valve.


Active Member


Tuesday, December 30th 2014, 8:31am

Did you measure the continuity with your multimeter by..

Removing the common wire from the timer, setting your meter to 200 ohms, and testing between the common and each station on the circuit board? If the timer is putting out voltage, you probably have a broken common wire. You would need to measure for ohms to determine this, like Wetboots brought up. This test is different than measuring voltage. This video isn't the best but explains how to do the different tests:

If you are wondering whether water is getting to that side of the house, you need to turn them on manually at the valve. This is done by either turning the solenoid counterclockwise or your valve may or may not have an on/off lever under the solenoid that would need to be turned to the on position.

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