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Irrigation/Rain Bird Controller Issues


I'm working with a system that is several years old/not used.  RB ESP 12 LX +.  I have stations 2-5 working properly.  Can station selection switch be replaced? When I select stations 7-12, 1-6 still run so I assume the switch is bad. Also, any hints to find valves.  System was unused for years when we bought the property (7 acres) and I'm not sure where all valves are. I know where some are but not the numbering.  If I replace the whole controller, is the new install relatively simple?  Finally, when I run station 1, no water at any sprinkler heads, but pump (from pond) is on and has pressure.  I assume valve is stuck closed.  Thanks in advance for any help, I know the list is long.


I don't believe you will be able to just get a replacement switch from Rain Bird, but you may find a local electronic repair company that may help you since it may just be a simple sodder repair.

Besides having a as-built/diagram of the system there are a few ways to locate valve locations.

1. Best way is with a locator, some local irrigation supply shops may rent them for around $50 per a day. With such a large property it will most likely take a few hours to locate all of them.

2. A chatter box but I don't think it would be effective on such a large property

3. Not sure if a metal detector would track the wire from the timer to the valves?

Zone 1

Usually when a zone will not fire up it is a electrical issue or it may be a diaphragm or if it has a flow control feature it may be turned down. Also that zone may have enough of a leak that no pressure is building up. But you do not want to run that zone for any period of time as you may create issues with the pump.

Replacing the controller will take a estimated 45 - 60 minutes for someone that has never replaced one. If you go this route let me know and I will give you a few pointers that will make it easier.

Please update me when you find out more information.


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Robert Diersing


I am able to answer any questions related to lawn irrigation systems and backflow devices. But pumps are not my speciality since they are not common in my area. Most of my product experience is in Hunter, Rainbird and Irritrol components.


I have been in the Irrigation Industry since 1998 with experience in everything from residential to athletic fields, commercial, industrial to complete Hospital campuses

Irrigation Association

I have been quoted in trade magazine articles.

Kent State University 12 CEU's per a year in Industry related classes

Awards and Honors
Irrigation Association Certifications: Certified Irrigation Contractor State of Florida Licensed Irrigation Contractor State of Florida Certified Backflow Tester State of Ohio Certified Backflow Tester EPA WaterSense Partner

Past/Present Clients
Hospitals, School Districts, National Franchises, Government Agencies

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