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Rainbird ESP-Me Controller

I have 4 zones, 2 heads per zone. Just installed a new ESP-Me controller. Got everything hooked up correctly, set the time/date and manually ran the system. Everything worked fine in the manual mode. Then ran "test all stations" for 2 minutes - zone 1 ran for two minutes - shut down and zone 2 ran for two minutes - shut down and zone 3 ran for two minutes - shut down and zone 4 ran for two minutes and shut off. Set the watering start time for 3:00 p.m. for 30 minutes a zone and set the clock for Auto. At 3:00 p.m., zone 1 comes on and runs for 30 minutes - shuts down AND THAT IS IT. Zone 2, 3 or 4 never come on. I only have time on Program A (B-C-D are empty). What did I do wrong??? Steve

Posted by Anonymous on

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 8 Answers

SOURCE: Sprinkler control box appears fine, but sprinklers to not open

If all zones do not open, I would check the water supply first. Verify that the water is indeed on. If you have water at each valve location, then I would check at the wiring at the controller. Use a Multi-meter & check the resistance (ohms) between the common wire terminal and the wires at the terminal for zones 1 through 6. If you get an open loop (O.L.) reading on all zones, I would think the common wire is cut or disconnected. Also look for a rain sensor that could be wired into the common wire. If it is faulty or stuck, it could cause an O.L. in the wiring. If a rain sensor is wired in at the controller, disconnect it from the common wire path and connect the common wire directly back to the common terminal. If it works now, then you have a bad rain sensor.
A normal reading should be 20 – 60 Ohms from the common terminal to any zone wire. If you are in that range, the only other thing it can be is the output voltage from the controller to the valves. Use a Multi-meter & check the voltage at 24VAC terminals where the external transformer is connected. You should have 24-30VAC. Next, open zone 1 and check the voltage between the common wire terminal and the terminal for zone 1. You should have the same reading as you got for the transformer. If you have nothing or a large difference, then I would suspect the controller might be damaged.
Remove the power & 3 volt lithium battery and wait 2-3 minutes, then reprogram the controller and try again. Good luck!

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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If all zones do not open, I would check the water supply first. Verify that the water is indeed on. If you have water at each valve location, then I would check at the wiring at the controller. Use a Multi-meter & check the resistance (ohms) between the common wire terminal and the wires at the terminal for zones 1 through 6. If you get an open loop (O.L.) reading on all zones, I would think the common wire is cut or disconnected. Also look for a rain sensor that could be wired into the common wire. If it is faulty or stuck, it could cause an O.L. in the wiring. If a rain sensor is wired in at the controller, disconnect it from the common wire path and connect the common wire directly back to the common terminal. If it works now, then you have a bad rain sensor.
A normal reading should be 20 – 60 Ohms from the common terminal to any zone wire. If you are in that range, the only other thing it can be is the output voltage from the controller to the valves. Use a Multi-meter & check the voltage at 24VAC terminals where the external transformer is connected. You should have 24-30VAC. Next, open zone 1 and check the voltage between the common wire terminal and the terminal for zone 1. You should have the same reading as you got for the transformer. If you have nothing or a large difference, then I would suspect the controller might be damaged.
Remove the power & 3 volt lithium battery and wait 2-3 minutes, then reprogram the controller and try again. Good luck!

Jul 27, 2009 | Hardware & Accessories

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