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Irrigation/Imperial Valet Timer Volt readings


I am having trouble getting the timer to turn on the sprinklers as programmed. I have water to the system and can turn the zones on manually at the zone valves. I have about 19 volts o the terminal strip at all four zones. My question is that I get a volt reading of 19 volts at each of the zones whether the timer is set to that zone or not. They appear to be hot all the time. Zones 1-4 are wired up while zone 5 and 6 are not wired ( or used) zone 5-6 have no voltage on them. It almost seams that power is back feeding from the zone valves. Wouldn't the valve always be on of they are getting power? Is 19-20 volts not enough to open and the DC power source is bad? Looking formdirection before I replace the whole timer as everything else seems to work well.

Hey Bruce, first thing to do, would be to un-hook the wires from the terminal strip (#'s 1,2,3,and 4 and also the common wire C). Put the switch in auto, and make sure a pin is in for the day you are on, and then turn the small dial for #1 zone and give it some time, and then rotate the big dial so it clicks and rotates to zone #1. Now check your voltage by putting the volt/ohm meter leads on the #1 terminal screw and the other lead on the common (C) screw. Your voltage should be between 22 to 26 volts. Now  take the lead off #1 terminal screw, and put it on the #2 terminal screw. If you are still getting voltage on the #2 screw, and the timer is on the #1 zone, then you have a short somewhere in the timer. If you are only getting voltage on the #1 terminal screw, then the reason you were getting a reading on all 4 terminals, is that you have wires crossed out in the field somewhere. If with the field wires un-hooked, and you are still only getting 19 volts showing on the volt/ohm meter, then you need to replace the transformer on the controller. It sounds as if the wires are either crossed somewhere out in the field, or are not properly hooked up to the solenoids on the valves. Has anyone been digging or trenching lately? Check these spots first. Good luck and have a great day.


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Jim Schaefer


Any question regarding sprinking systems,installation,repair, and trouble shooting.


I have been installing and repairing sprinkling systems since I was 15 years old. Have owned my own sprinkler system contracting business for over 26 years. It is basically the only job I've ever done, except for being a paper boy when I was young.

High School diploma and 3 years college credits.

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