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screaming

New Member

Posts: 8

Location: Charlotte, NC

1

Friday, June 17th 2011, 6:52pm

Fun with Lightning

We had a close lightning strike a week or so ago. Fun stuff. Fried intercom, fried DVD player, fried garage door operators, fried irrigation system controller.

I've replaced the controller now--a Toro TMC-212-OD--and it works fine. The problem is that as soon as I plug the controller in, one of my 7 zones (zone 6) turns on, and will not turn off no matter what I do, short of unplugging the controller. The only zones that work properly are zones 1 and 7. All other zones (2, 3, 4, and 5) are completely dead.

I know next to nothing about these systems, and absolutely no information was left for me by the builder/landscaper (you've gotta love it). What is likely wrong? Fried solenoids?

hi.todd

Supreme Member

Posts: 417

Location: Houston, Texas

2

Friday, June 17th 2011, 7:06pm

It would have been great if you could have taken a picture of your cables in their configuration of the old timer. Then you would have some information that we could use.

Or we can just speculate.

You may have two common wires and have only connected one of them. 65% chance of success!
Fried solenoids 20% chance of success.
Something else 15% chance of success.
This is a guestimate and I refuse to be held accountable. A pretty good guess.
Good luck it is hot out there :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
:thumbup: :thumbsup:

screaming

New Member

Posts: 8

Location: Charlotte, NC

3

Friday, June 17th 2011, 7:12pm

Sorry, didn't think the wiring would be relevant. FWIW, I was very careful to wire everything as it was before.


Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

4

Friday, June 17th 2011, 10:02pm

Just making sure you have a Rain sensor and a Master Valve because you have those wired in....

To me- If you Plug in your controller and a zone kicks on as soon as you plug it in
It's either

1) You wired a common wire and zone wire wired into the Rain sensor ports- As this is a constant supply of 24 V -- this will kick on a zone.

2) The controller is faulty and is sending power out the the zones

Read through your manual

screaming

New Member

Posts: 8

Location: Charlotte, NC

5

Friday, June 17th 2011, 10:52pm

I do have a rain sensor. I know the rain sensor is wired properly (and that nothing else is going where the sensor should be). Obviously not 100% sure the controller isn't faulty, but it is brand new...

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

6

Saturday, June 18th 2011, 9:14am

bust out a multimeter and start testing

screaming

New Member

Posts: 8

Location: Charlotte, NC

7

Saturday, June 18th 2011, 12:49pm

Found the problem. It was the expansion modules--the things the zone wires plug into. I had reused the old ones because they only give you 2 expansion modules (model number TSM-02), but I needed 4. So I figured, "Duh, why not use all 4 of the old ones?" There was a voice in the back of my mind warning me about it at the time, but I had forgotten it.

Oh well.

The two new TSM-02 modules make all the zones work. Now I just need to get a couple more of them.

I guess weird things can happen when those modules get fried.

Lesson learned: GET WHOLE-HOUSE SURGE SUPPRESSION INSTALLED, AND PUT THE IRRIGATION CONTROLLER ON ITS OWN STANDALONE SURGE SUPPRESSOR!

Thanks for the replies.

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

8

Saturday, June 18th 2011, 3:27pm

Well there isn't too much that you can do when it comes to a nearby lightning strike on an irrigation system. The craziest I've seen is All the solenoids completely exploded and the controller exploded too

screaming

New Member

Posts: 8

Location: Charlotte, NC

9

Saturday, June 18th 2011, 4:15pm

Well, for most strikes, a whole-house surge suppressor combined with a point-of-use surge suppressor will help. I do realize that they aren't absolutely effective. My area is under a severe thunderstorm warning as I type this (I'm shutting down very soon!), and before coming in I unplugged the controller. Unplugging is the best protection. Who knows, maybe the solenoids could still get fried but at least the controller will be OK... Unless it gets hit directly, which would almost be funny enough to make it worth it.

In other news, as I was out there unplugging the shiny new controller, I found that some bird saw fit to leave a nice turd right on top of it. I guess someone's not impressed with my handiwork.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,088

Location: Metro NYC

10

Saturday, June 18th 2011, 5:25pm

All the suppressors in the world don't mean diddly when a ground strike nails a system's field wiring

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