How to troubleshoot a timer not operating valves

Here is a guide to troubleshooting your system when the sprinklers aren’t turning on, even though the timer says they’re running.

There can be a few different possible causes when this issue occurs. First, we need to be sure the sprinkler wire from the valve(s) is fully inserted in the terminal. You will want to remove the wire and reinsert it. If your terminal uses screws, please make sure they’re tightened.

To ensure the wiring is well seated, try lightly tugging on the wire.

If this issue is only affecting one valve/terminal, try moving the sprinkler wire from that terminal to one of the others and test using that terminal to see if it works normally.

If you continue to experience an issue with the valves/sprinklers not running, you’ll want to make sure that your water is turned on.

  • If you have a master valve, manually open that and then try running the B-hyve device again
  • If you have a pump, make sure that is activating and allowing the water to flow through
  • Manually open a valve to check water flow

If your water is on, we’ll need to check the voltage at the device using a voltmeter. The device will send out 24 volts AC, so you’ll need to set your meter to AC volts.

1. Turn on the problematic station or if there’s more than one, turn on a manual cycle for any of them 

2. Insert one prong of the voltmeter into the common terminal, and the other into the station you’re manually running. Ensure the wires are inserted in the terminal when completing this step. You should get 24-30 volts AC. 

3. Repeat for any other affected stations

If your timer is sending the correct voltage out, you will want to test the voltage at the valve.

1. Make sure your timer is still running a manual cycle

2. Locate your valve box in your yard and identify the station that’s running

3. Attach the prongs of your voltmeter to the two wires coming off of the valve and you should get 24-30 volts AC.

If the voltage is getting to the valves, it may be defective. Check the manufacturer’s manual for the valve for steps to troubleshoot the issue.

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Tags: troubleshooting, underground-timer, wiring
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