Sprinkler Controller Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Sprinkler Controllersprinkler controller
The brain of an automatic irrigation system is the controller.  The sprinkler controller is sometimes called the timer and it must be running efficiently for the the irrigation system to perform properly.

Most problems with sprinkler controllers that are not related to programming issues can be traced back to poor wire connections or a shorted wire.  When inspecting and making wire repairs, it is important that the circuit breaker controlling the system is off.  The wire connections at the sprinkler controller, the master control valve and the zone valves should be checked for faulty connections.  A common cause of malfunction is water in contact with a bare wire.  Make sure connections are properly sealed and waterproofed with grease cap fittings.  You may have to dig up part of a malfunctioning zone if it is not readily apparent near the valves.

The ideal tool for tracking down bad wiring connections in your irrigation system is a multimeter. Basically, a multimeter will allow you to see if there is voltage present in a circuit and if there is continuity between the electrical components.  This device can save you the time and energy required if you have to do some exploratory digging.  A professional irrigation contractor will use a high powered tracker that makes pinpointing valves and locating buried wires very efficiently if more professional intervention is needed.