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Irrigation/Irritrol RD-600 zone not working


Irrigation box
Irrigation box  

Our Irritrol RD-600 system is about 25 years old.  Two years ago, zone 4 stopped working. To turn on a specific zone, I normally set the timer for a number of minutes, then press "Manual."  When I do this for zone 4, the display immediately switches back to "OFF."    When I swap the wires, say, between zone 3 and 4, the problem follows the wire (problem moves to zone 3).  Last year, I replaced the controller with a brand new one - same problem.  So, I'm thinking there is something wrong in the junction box in the ground.  This junction box is what has me puzzed.  There are four wires, with wire nuts on them.  And, there is a single PVC water supply coming in, and a single one going out.  I can't understand how the system can work if there is not a "junction" of sorts, with one water pipe coming in, and 4 (or 6 - however many zones there are) coming out.  Do you have any suggestions for possibly switching the wires in the box in the ground, or should there be another box, perhaps?  No one knows how to find it. I wouldn't think it would be buried any deeper than the one I see.  Maybe this is how these systems were designed 25 years ago, and I just don't understand it.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hey Melani, so the picture you showed me is just a manual turn on valve, and the wires are just spliced in the box. Your problem is that either the solenoid for valve # 4 is shorting out, or the wires running to valve #4 are crossed and are shorting out. More than likely, you have a defective solenoid on valve #4, and you need to replace it. You need to find your automatic valves. I cannot tell you that they were put in a valve box, or they were buried directly in the ground, in that everybody installs systems differently. To find the valves, we use a wire locator (valve locator). This device is hooked up to a wire(s) inside the controller, that run from the controller to the valves. The locator puts out a signal into the wire, and with a locator wand, you can follow the wires out to where the valves are located. You will either have to rent a wire locator, or hire someone with a wire locator, to trace the wires to where your valves are located. 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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