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Monday, July 18th 2016, 8:57am

Unknown problem - Ghosts in the sprinkler system

I have a Rainbird system with 5 zones. About a month ago I had a zone (#3) that came on and stayed on even when the program was finished. I turned the water to the system off and called my sprinkler service company. They came out, turned the water on, and everything worked fine. They took the diaphragm apart to check for debris and reassembled it.

Since then, zone 3 has not worked at all either during a program or when manually advanced. When a program is running and it gets to zone 4, zone 2 comes on. If I manually advance it to zone 4, zone 4 comes on as it should.

The fuse in the controller has blown twice. I replaced it and then the transformer blew tripping the surge protector. The company came back out, replaced the transformer and rewired all of the common connections in both valve boxes. No longer having fuse or transformer issues, but problem is still not solved.

They were convinced it was the controller. When they moved zone 4 wiring to zone 6, zone 6 worked during a program and when run manually. I bought a new controller (RainMachine) and installed it. It behaves exactly the same way as the old one. Zone 3 is not working at all. Zone 2 comes on when zone 4 is running during a program. Zone 4 works fine if manually advanced.

The company is coming back out this afternoon, but I know at this plint they have no idea what is going on.

Anyone have any suggestions of what I can try or tell them to check?


Advanced Member

Posts: 111

Location: Omaha, Nebraska, USA


Monday, July 18th 2016, 10:24am

Sounds like some crossed wires somewhere.



Posts: 2,319

Location: USA


Monday, July 18th 2016, 1:56pm

Maybe call a different sprinkler guy. You could call the local irrigation supply store if you have one and ask them who they recommend for your area.

Something fishy's going on. From what you've said about valve 2 coming on when 4's supposed to but if you manually advance it to 4 then 4 works.

Just on a hunch, check the solenoid on valve 3.

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