sprinkler solenoid wiring - are irritrol 205 solenoid valve wires color-coded?

our home, now just over 2 yrs old, has rainbird ESP-6TM indoor controller and (four) irritrol 205T solenoid valves. the system is, starting a day or 2 ago, completely non-functional. the fuse (in the controller) is good, as is the 'standby battery, and the 'display' on controller appears fine (aka normal) in ALL respects and in _all_ functions. it even 'counts down' time remining per zone in the 2 minute test mode and in 'normal automatic' mode, too. however, NONE of the solenoid valves are allowing water to 'pass' (our house water in 'on', of course), making me think there's some problem with the 'common' from the solenoids to the controller, either where the four are spliced together before going indoors to the controller, or elsewhere. even reprogrammed it, tried 'manual start' and 'test' etc, but no luck - we get ZERO flow.
I could confirm a possible 'fault in the common' circuit _if_ I knew what color wire the irritrol 205 valves use for their 'common'. anybody know?
I'd just run another 'temporary' wire common wire from one valve to the controller and retest functionality-if it then worked, the suspect fault in the 'common' circuit would be confirmed. simpler than digging up four valves and all the wires inbetween...
is there an 'industry standard' for solenoid valve wire colors, maybe? I assume one is common, another 'signal' or 'latching', and the third ground. are they labeled on the valves themselves?(our valves are half-buried, down inside a 5 or 6 inch diameter PVC tubes/kinda dirty & dark down there). I'm only concerned, right now, of course, with the wire colors that are an integral 'part of' the factory-made solenoids themselves, _not_ with the colors the 'flunky' sprinkler guy installed in between....
ps-the irritrol website is useless for this info: no wiring specifics given in their entire site for this valve or _any_ others, no wire colors mentioned, nor is there an ' install guide'. sheesh.
thanks for your help,
dave
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I do not know of any standard for color coding of the conductors feeding sprinkler control valves. You could check the valves themselves to see which conductor is common to all of them or look at the sprinkler controller.
I have seen many wiring mistakes made by installers of sprinkler systems that led to premature failure of the system.
Using low voltage indoor wiring directly buried in the ground is one of them. The wire is subjected to moisture and the elements and the small gauge is less durable than regular household wiring. Also the distance from the controller causes voltage drop when the small gauge wire is used. The solenoids don't get enough voltage to operate. Rainbird compensates for this by using a transformer that puts out a slightly higher voltage than the standard 24 volts.
Another mistake I have seen is splicing the solenoid wires together with the control wires using indoor wirenuts or indoor electrical tape. The connections become corroded and the valve won't operate.
In the past I have wired sprinkler valves using 12 gauge Type UF conductors or installed PVC conduit and pulled 12 gauge wires through the conduit. I make my splices by twisting the wires together in line, soldering them, and sliding some sealant filled heat shrink tubing over them, and shrinking it down over the splice.
Has anyone been working in your garden lately? It is possible that the wires got broken from a shovel or other garden tool.
Try your own suggestion. Running temporary wires from the controller to the valves. If the valves work, you know you have a wiring problem.
In the meantime, if you need to water your lawn, there is usually a manually operated handle on the valves that can be turned to allow the water to flow.
I hope that this helps.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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One wire to an output at the programmer that goes to the solenoid, programmer set to activate that solenoid - then use that wire to test for voltage at the solenoid with a multimeter. If none, that wire is good (or both are bad), so hook wire to other programmer output and repeat to indicate which wire(s) are needy.
My friend had chipmunks chew through his sprinkler system wiring and telephone wiring. Conduit fixed his problem.
bill yohler wrote:

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