We have a rainbird controller. The controller comes on at the times indicated but the pump is not turning on. it was working 2 weeks ago and we got a rainstorm and now the pump wont start but the inside controller reads like its running through the zones. Is it possible the rain sensor has it on a no water? The pump is only 2 years old.Once before there was a screw that was in too tight and kept it from coming on.

Hey Darlene, normally the controller sends out a current to a relay switch, that turns the pump on. First look in the back of the controller, and see if you have a wire that is hooked up to a terminal marked MV (mater valve) or PS (pump start). Now take a volt/ohm meter, and take the positive lead and touch it to the MV or PS terminal (whichever one the wire is hooked to), and put the negative terminal to the C (common) terminal. Now turn on a zone from the controller, and see if you are getting a volt reading from 22 to 26 volts. If you are getting a good reading, then the controller is working properly, and the problem is either in the wires that run from the controller to the relay switch, or the relay switch itself. If you are not getting a good voltage reading, then the problem is with the controller. If your controller has a rain sensor, it could be the rain sensor, so turn off the rain sensor function on the controller, or disconnect the rain sensor, this will determine  if the rain sensor is the problem. 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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