Issues with power, zones staying on, and possibly more

I’m been trying to troubleshoot various issues with my irrigation in prepping it for the season. I was working with beta hardware for a company over the winter and it was time to return it. I went back to my RainMachine controller but in having issues and troubleshooting I have since hooked up a Rachio.

For starters, the old power supply seems to have gone bad, so I’ve switched it out for another 24v supply. Although since doing so all my power readings are pretty much double at 49 on the multimeter. Not sure if that’s a root cause for any of the issues I’m about to describe, but here we go:

I’m in the process of redoing all my wiring from square one in attempt to find causes to some of the issues. So far I’ve identified Zones 2-6 of my 9-zone system. Zones 7-9 I’ve put off until I solve other issues, as those are driplines that will take a bit more to track down. Zone 1 is a head zone but I’ve not been able to identify it, same for the MV. I have a single wire that the Rachio is throwing a fault for that I’m unsure what it goes to. Could be the MV as I believe my MV solenoid is bad and I’m in the process of getting it replaced. So for now I’m just leaving it manually opened.

In checking some of my other solenoids, they will open when the zone is turned on, but will not close when the zone is turned off. Also, the multimeter is still reading power of the same zone even after it’s been turned off. This will be the case even when all of the other zone wires (including the MV) are not in a terminal.

I should also note I have 10-zone wires + the MV. The initial installation plan was to put in 10 zones, but at time of install they erroneously combined one at the end as the pressure was still fine. My assumption is that’s the reason for the extra wire as they just wired first and then didn’t remove the wire when reducing the zones. Regardless, I’ve always just kept the extra wire plugged into zone 10 when I was using the RainMachine.

I’m at a loss of where to go from here other than waiting for the new MV solenoid. Is it possible that would keep the power flowing to other zones even when entirely disconnected from the unit? Is my power reading being 49 potentially causing an issue? Any assistance on what to check for next would be appreciated. Thanks.

So I swapped the power supply again and I’m now getting the proper ~26 power readings that I should and it’s solved the issue of zones staying on / retaining power. Zone 1 solenoid is also bad and is visibly budging out of the casing. So once I get that and the MV solenoid replaced, I’m hoping that I’ll be in a good spot.

Sounds like your previous solenoid, one that kept the zones on, was a DC version; you need to make sure to use AC power with irrigation controllers (with exception of battery operated ones).

If you’re talking about the power supply, that’s entirely possible. It says its 24VAC on it and I don’t see any mention of DC on it anywhere, but the new one is working just fine regardless.

If you are talking about the solenoids. Those are all Rain Bird 24v AC solenoids that were professionally installed with the valves. I don’t see how the installer would have mistakenly put a DC one in.

Can you post a photo of the supply that didn’t work? Is it much smaller / lighter than an AC supply that works currently?

It didn’t sound like you had an issue with DC valves. They would still work for a limited time with AC supply, but your flow rate would be lower and they would be much louder.

In any case I’m glad you’ve found a solution. :cheers: