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Irrigation/Orbit timer, pump not activating


QUESTION: Hello, I have an Orbit timer and the problem I am having is related to the pump start section of the timer. When apropiate, all the zone's valves start as expected, but the pump does not. I used a multimeter and measured the volts from the common and pump. I got 24v, but when I connected the cables to the relay the voltage dropped to 1v. Do you have any idea which electronic component (transistor, diode, etc) inside the timer is broken/burn? Thank you very much. (Sorry for my english). Peter.

ANSWER: Hey Peter, the first thing I would check, is the voltage at the wires, out at the relay. Disconnect the wires at the relay, and then turn a valve on, and see what voltage you are getting at the end of the wires. If you are getting 24 volts, then the problem is probably the relay itself. If you are only getting 1 volt, then the problem is not in the controller, but in the wires running from the controller to the relay. If you are getting 24 volts at the controller, when the wires are disconnected from the terminal, then the controller is good. It sounds like the problem is either the wires from the controller to the relay, or the relay itself. Good luck and have a great day.  

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

QUESTION: Thenk you for your answer!! I would like to tell you that I ve already checked the relay, and it works ok, so the problem is not there. The strange thing is that I get 24v from the pump terminal, but only when it is not connected to any load, as soon as I connect the cables to any load ( relay, small 24 v light, etc) the voltage drops to 1v. So, it's as if the pump terminal doasen't mantain the 24v when it is required.
, the other terminals work ok; I even tried to activate the relay using a station terminal, and it worked ok, so the problem is on
on the pump terminal only, quite strange!!!Thank you very much in advance for any help on this!!! Peter.

Hey Peter, it sounds like you have it figured out. I do not know much about controller repair, but Orbit is not a very quality brand, normally controllers, once they go bad, are not repairable. What I would suggest, is install either a "Irri-trol" Rain dial controller, or a Rainbird "ESP" series controller, if they are available in your area. Both of these controllers are of very good quality, will last a long time, and are repairable if they start mal-functioning. 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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