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Irrigation/Pump/Controller issues


QUESTION: I have an irritrol Kwik dial controller hooked up with a pump and 5 solenoids. Before I had the pump installed I there were 5 stations but now with the extra pressure there are:
Station 1 connected to 1 solenoid
Station 2 connected to 2 solenoids (previously stations 2 and 3)
Station 3 connected to 2 solenoids (previously stations 4 and 5)
I recently had a fuse issue and am trying to remove problems. I checked all wires and believed the issue was the controller which I have now replaced. In doing so I can get station 1 to work. Stations 2 and 3 won't work. However if I separate the solenoids (ie only have 1 connected at a time) then they work individually. The same happens with station 3 - won't work when combined but will when wired separately.
Please can you offer any suggestions.

ANSWER: Hey Greg, when you wire the valve solenoids together, are you using one hot wire from the controller, or two? Initially, if they were wired separately, each of those solenoids would have a common wire hooked one wire from each solenoid, and then a separate hot wire to the other lead of the solenoid. If you have not already done this, take both hot wires from the valves you want to wire together, and hook both hot wires up to the terminal at the controller, and then both hot wires to one lead from each solenoid. If it still doesn't work when you have two hot wires to two solenoids, then the wire size might not be big enough, because of the distance from the controller to the valves, and you might need to run a bigger gauge wire, normally you should be able to run two valves off the same zone from the controller with no problem. Good luck and have a great day Aussie!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the reply. This problem has just started. It was setup like this for 3 years so neither of your suggestions makes sense to me. If didn't work at the outset then maybe but why now after 3 years.

I think my next move is to replace the coils on each of the solenoids.

Hey Greg, you made it sound like you just re-wired the valves to each other, and now they are not working!! I did not realize they were re-wired 3 years ago, you must have had the pump installed 3 years ago? If the valves are working when you only hook one up at a time, then the valves are probably not the problem. The problem is, that you are not getting a full 24 volts at the valve solenoids themselves,  when you have 2 hooked together, and this is not allowing the plunger in the solenoids to be properly pulled up to turn the valves on. If the problem just started, then you might want to check your wiring from the valves to the controller. You can replace the solenoids, but normally if they are working with only one valve at a time hooked to the controller, then the solenoids are working properly. 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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