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Troubleshooting Your System

Troubleshooting Your Existing System

Irritrol Timers
The most frequent problem we have is related to the timer, and its relation to the rain sensor. A system will not operate from the timer if the rain sensor has told it to remain off. The manual function on the timer will not override the rain sensor. The sensor makes and breaks the common to the remote valves, and if it is tripped, the valves can't open electrically. This would be the same as turning off a switch to a light bulb. It won't illuminate until you turn the switch back on. To water in this case, it will be necessary to physically bypass the sensor. This can be done by removing the cap from the sensor. Refer to the sensor manual if you have any questions.

Lots of timers are wired to GFI outlets. Most homeowners should be familiar with these. If the GFI outlet has tripped, it will cancel power to the timer. Just because the LED display is active doesn't mean the timer has power. The battery backup will run the LED display, and all of the timer functions. It will not operate the system, as the timer needs 120 volts to the transformer, and 24 volts inside the timer. The battery is only 9 volts, and is there to keep the time and memory current. Check the rain sensor first, then the power source if your system fails to run. You can always tell if the timer has power by removing the battery. If this kills the display, there is no power to the transformer, or the transformer itself is bad. Try plugging the transformer into an extension cord from an outlet you know works if you have any doubts.

All of the timers we use are multi program. The timer is meant to run all three or four programs simultaneously. If you write an A and a B program, they will both run, even if you leave the ABC switch in C. The ABC switch is only there for writing the programs, and is not meant to be a program selection switch. You may not need more than one program, but if you do, it is important that the start times do not overlap. In other words, you can't write an A program that is three hours long, start it at 3:00AM, and then start a B program at 4:00 AM. In this case, two separate valves would be open simultaneously, and the water pressure would not be enough to run both. To run properly, you would have to wait until the A program was over at 6:00 AM, and then run the B program. Timers will all open more than one valve at a time, and in most cases, the water supply won't drive two zones at once.

Hunter Timers
In 2001 Blue Sky Irrigation started to use the Hunter Pro-C timers. This change was made because we felt that a timer had finally been built that exceeded the Irritrol timers we had been using without deviation since @ 1988. The Hunter timer functions are a little different, with some added features. The following is a brief description to help you out if you are having trouble.

The Pro-C timer has non-volatile memory, meaning that all times and programs are retained in a power failure. There is no need for a battery backup. When the power is out, the LED display will die to save power. It also has a perpetual calendar, so it will automatically compensate for leap years, and daylight savings time. On this timer, the manual functions will override the rain sensor, negating the need to physically bypass it.

The Pro-C also has a rain sensor bypass switch, allowing you to run programs even when the rain sensor is tripped. Lots of timers are wired to GFI outlets. If the LED display is not active, but the power is on, check the GFI's in your garage or basement area. If in doubt, plug the timer transformer into a cord from an outlet you know works. When writing or changing programs, make certain that you are in the program you want, IE; A, B, or C. This is changed by toggling the "Program" button on the timer face. This timer has stackable programs, meaning that A takes precedence over B, and B takes precedence over C. If you wrote an A program that was four hours long, and started at midnight, and also wrote a B program that was four hours long, stating at 2:00AM, they would overlap. The timer would hold the B program from running until 4:00AM, when the A program finished. This prevents two zones from running at once. All information that you write into the timer is entered by turning the main dial back to "Run", which is the 12:00 o'clock position. You can change multiple settings in any part of the blue section, and then enter by turning back to "Run".

If you are having trouble, try reading the manual first. If all else fails, please feel free to give us a call. We spend quite a bit of time on the phone helping homeowners with their timers, and are happy to help out.

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