sprinkler coming on at the wrong time?

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I have my sprinkler system set to run from 9PM to 11PM (no other time). The control box is NOT set to come on at any other time.
Today a neighbor told me it's been coming on during the night (3 or 5 AM).
Any ideas on what I could check?
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111 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 16:53:17 -0500, Mark Lloyd

Does it also come on at the scheduled time? If not, the clock's off.
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Sorry, that part was a victim of overediting. YES it does come on at the scheduled time.

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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 17:41:02 -0500, Mark Lloyd

Is that when your water softener starts a backwash cycle?
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No. There is no other device in this house that would be changing it's use of water at that time.
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

Your neighbor's wristwatch?
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 18:38:48 -0400, Jeff Wisnia

I'm considering connecting an electronic buzzer on a long pair of wires (I already have the wires) connected to the "master valve" output (not otherwise used) of the sprinkler controller. This would be an alarm that would sound it the controller became active during the night.
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111 days until the winter solstice celebration

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Mark,
I'd start by sitting up one night and checking whether the sprinklers come on. So far you have nothing to go on.
Dave M.
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 23:30:39 GMT, "David Martel"

How about turning the main valve off so it can't water and asking the neighbor if it is anyway?
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 23:30:39 GMT, "David Martel"

If you can't stay up that late, sleep in the yard. The sprinklers will wake you.

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4-6 am would be a better time.

Verify with your buzzer idea. If so, the controller is broken. Replace it.
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Rich Greenberg N Ft Myers, FL, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 239 543 1353
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Controllers fail. I had one that did this. Do check that you don't have a second "program" active.
Bob
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Already done that last thing. The controller (Hunter SRC) has 3 programs (called A, B C) each of which has 4 places to set start times. Only A1 has a setting other than "off' (9PM).
I have seen such a device with a clock that was exactly 100% fast. That is, it could say 9PM at 9PM but also at 9AM (9AM would show at 3AM and 3PM). However, this does not fit the symptoms (it waters for the normal amount of time not the 50% you'd get with a fast clock, and it's correct at multiple times of day).
It may still be a controller that needs replacing. I suppose it's not too hard to get a new one that works (the valves need 24VAC, I think the current is around 250mA).
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On Tue, 05 Sep 2006 16:53:17 -0500, Mark Lloyd

I just posted in another thread how smart my mother was, but there was one time she wasn't so smart. We had a self defrosting refrigerator, bought around 1953. She was supposed to set the clock for the current time, but she thought she was supposed to set it for the time she wanted it to defrost. So if it was noon and she set the clock to 2AM, the fridge thougght it was 2AM then and it defrosted an hour later, 1PM, which it thought was 3AM. If she set it to 2AM at 6PM, it thought it it was 2AM then and it deforsted an hour later, at 7PM, which it thought was 3AM. My mother didn't pay attention to when she set it, only that it defrosted during the day instead of 2AM like she wanted it to. So she never figured it out until I read the instructions.
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wrote:

My grandmother thought that when you set the alarm on a digital clock, that messed up the current time setting (because the display changed).
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

Early morning is better for the grass. Have you tried taking out the battery, shutting off the breaker and resetting the time?
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wrote:

You left out the explanation, and the alternative.
Nothing's perfect. Evening watering gives the water more time to soak in before it evaporates in the sun (it's been really sunny here lately).

Apparently my system is NOT coming on. A neighbor's (on the other side) IS. I haven't talked to the one who complained yet, maybe she got confused by the runoff (the other neighbor's runoff passes in front of my house because it's on a hill).
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

Wouldn't it be wunnerful if all things got solved as easily as that?
Nonetheless, you showed good technical thinking when you pondered putting a audible alarm on the control system's output to rouse you if it came on in the wee hours.
Jeff
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wrote:

I'm doing that now, despite the fact that it's probably unnecessary. Anyway, it's time to reprogram for less watering (in Texas, the weather has gotten more fall-like recently).
However, I do use the less-restricted version of the above. Resetting (removing power if no other way) is a general solution to any device containing state-dependant components (including anything microprocessor-controlled).
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On Wed, 06 Sep 2006 11:19:49 -0500, Mark Lloyd

It's amazing how in Maryland the weather changes on the first couple days in September. Did it again this year. Rained after almost no rain for months (when it usually rains here every month.)
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