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Old 03-16-2011, 05:37 PM
 
929 posts, read 1,624,055 times
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Default Wire Repair for a Sprinker System?? Help!

I wasn't sure where to direct this question, so I thought this would be the best place. Well, I made a mistake, I think. I was digging up roots and I think I cut a wire that goes to the sprinkler system. The wires were black and they looked like they went to a sprinkler head but I really couldn't tell without digging more and I didn't want to mess it up any further. What is the best way to repair this? Should I turn on the sprinkler system for that area to check to see if it works? Or is that a bad idea because they could be live? I am trying to figure out what to do before I tell my husband about this.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,332 posts, read 11,283,030 times
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Wires do not run to the sprinkler head..!! The wires run from the controller to the sprinkler valve, no wires go to the sprinkler heads. The electronic timer controls the valves which open to allow water to flow to the heads.
How far from the valve are these wires? Perhaps they are running to the valves. I would located the controller, probably in the garage where it can be plugged in and protected from elements. Trace the wires from the controller down to the valves. You might have just dug up some old wires left by past workers..
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Apple Valley Calif
7,332 posts, read 11,283,030 times
Reputation: 4891
As far as sprinkler control wire being "Live", not to worry, they operate on 24 volts, so it isn't dangerous. There is a step down transformer in the controller that reduces voltage from 120 down to 24, so you can't get shocked.... IF it is a sprinkler wire.........
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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Ah ok. I wasn't sure but that is good to know, that does make sense.

The electronic timer, you are correct is in the garage. The problem is, and I will try to explain this as best as I can, the area where I was digging and cutting roots out has a sprinkler head in between a sidewalk and the garage in a flower bed. The controller is on the other side of the garage (we have almost an acre that is watered and there are 18 watering zones) so unless I jackhammer the concrete driveway, I don't know how I would trace the wire to this particular valve. I also have not dug deep enough to see any valves. This wire was not very deep, about 2 inches in the soil.

This leads me to another question, if the wire I cut goes from the controller to the sprinkler valve, then I am assuming that head will not work, correct? And if so, does it affect the other heads to that valve or just that one particular head? This head is in our front flower bed and there are about 8 heads throughout the bed. I hope I am making sense and not confusing you. Thank you so much for the info though, I really appreciate it.

I have a feeling I am just going to suck it up and let my husband know, lol.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:15 PM
 
21,440 posts, read 34,547,137 times
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There are inexpensive devices to help trace wires. Basically you hook part of the device to the cut wire and then use a receiver to trace back whatever needs bombe repaired. Big time / money saver...

If you are handy with this sort of thing this is not hard to fix -- typically the valves use 24v to open the solenoid.

Don't run the sprinklers -- muddy wet mess and possible shorts will result. Just trace the wires and get a "3M underground splice repair kit".

Even with the tracing devices this is not an expensive project...

http://www.hardwareandtools.com/Gard...r-6787691.html

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...&soloMode=true
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:10 AM
 
576 posts, read 719,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txtoal View Post
I wasn't sure where to direct this question, so I thought this would be the best place. Well, I made a mistake, I think. I was digging up roots and I think I cut a wire that goes to the sprinkler system. The wires were black and they looked like they went to a sprinkler head but I really couldn't tell without digging more and I didn't want to mess it up any further. What is the best way to repair this? Should I turn on the sprinkler system for that area to check to see if it works? Or is that a bad idea because they could be live? I am trying to figure out what to do before I tell my husband about this.
Just tell the old man about it and let him get out to fix it. If he gives you any grief just dig a little deeper and plant him with the flowers!
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,579 posts, read 20,171,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbiggs View Post
If he gives you any grief just dig a little deeper and plant him with the flowers!

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Old 03-17-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,070 posts, read 7,371,532 times
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Use an underground butt splice and it'll be fine. Heat shrink should run a fair length up both wires in each direction, not just covering the splice itself. Repair it that way and it'll be as good as new.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:18 AM
 
929 posts, read 1,624,055 times
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Lol, I know right? Funny thing was, he "warned" me about the valves and to be careful cutting and digging. My response, "Don't worry, I won't do anything, I'm not stupid". Yeah....

Anyway, everyone, thanks for the advice. Very very helpful and I really appreciate it. I am comforted to know that it can be fixed. I thought it would be something that would have to be outsourced and cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Good to know its not.
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