I have been replacing irrigation lines, switching from buried black poly lines to buried PVC pipes.


When I open Zone 1 (for sprinklers), the nothing happens. When I open Zones 2-5, then Zone 1 turns on. It seems like Zone 1 is "inverted." It seems like it is on by default on and only turns off when I activate Zone 1.

  • I have to turn the solenoid to "off" for it to turn on manually, and "on" for the valve to turn off.
  • When I manually turn on my master valve with no zones active, Zone 1 starts spraying.

After troubleshooting step 11 (below), when I turn on Zone 1, the sprinklers come up for a few seconds and then the line "kicks" and the sprinkler heads go down. It doesn't go back down with any other zone.

Is there a troubleshooting step I'm missing or something structurally wrong with my layout (9see below)?


  1. I verified that the wiring is hooked up properly
  2. When I turn on Zone 1, I see that the solenoid plunger retracts
  3. The Zone 1 solenoid does not turn on when I activate Zone 2
  4. I have an unwired zone (Zone 6), Zone 1 turns on if I activate Zone 6. [This makes me think its "always on" and the Mater Valve is masking that issue]
  5. I switched the solenoids for Zone 1 and Zone 2, no change
  6. I replaced the solenoid for Zone 1, no change
  7. I switched the bonnet/diaphragm for Zone 1 and 2, no change
  8. I replaced the diaphragm with a new one for Zone 1, no change.
  9. I opened the master valve manually and then opened Zone 1 manually (I have to turn it to "off" to get it to turn on and turn it to "off" to get it back on) and saw it turn on
  10. If I unscrew the solenoid enough, then it stops turning on at all times.
  11. I set the Master Valve to open 1 second before any of the other valves to build up pressure

Other Background Info:

Previous Layout (which worked)

4 Valves, Zone1/Zone2 were the first valves in the manifold.

Current Layout

I have these zones distributed between 2 valve boxes.

  • Master Valve -> Flow Meter -> Tee that splits the irrigation supply line for the 2 boxes. Box 2 is decently far away (~60-100ft) from this tee.
  • Box 1: Zones 3-5
  • Box 2: Zone 1-2

If I laid it all out flat, the valve for zone 1 would be the last valve in the system, the only thing past it is a small piece of capped off PVC.

I replaced most of the PVC but I did not re-lay the sprinkler lines. Zones 1-2 were left in the ground and I just connected the new valves to the existing pipes.


  1. Lawn 1: Connects to sprinklers
  2. Lawn 2: Connects to sprinklers
  3. Bushes: Connects to a pressure reducer then "spider valves"/drip tubing
  4. Trees: Connects to a pressure reducer then "spider valves"/drip tubing
  5. Garden: Connects to a pressure reducer then "spider valves"/drip tubing

Valves: Hunter PGV 1" Valves (RTL0502PGV101G)

Controller: Hunter Pro-HC Wi-Fi controller (PHC-600)

  • 1
    Point 9 appears to be the root of your problem - manually or electrically on is off and off is on, so something is backwards with that valve/actuator.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 9, 2021 at 13:18
  • 1
    Be careful unscrewing the coil on the valve, early in my career I pulled the coils on 2 valves while troubleshooting and at some point turned on the power to the coils, without the load it smoked both coils in just a minute. Today I will put a screwdriver in a coil if I need to pull power from the valve just in case the valve gets activated so it won’t go up in smoke.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 9, 2021 at 13:39
  • Hey Ed, next time you find a dead coil, strip the insulation on the wire to see if water has moved along the wire to allow internal rusting. Love your work. Jun 9, 2021 at 22:04

2 Answers 2


This configuration may also happen if:

Valve one is connected to two sets of wires

  • the master valve on the controller
  • and valve one wiring reversed.

Look at the controller, see if there is a short wire connecting two terminals. There often is supposed to be a short wire joining the rain sensor. Maybe this is connected to valve one by mistake.

In any case, try temporarily removing a short wire at the controller.

Another experiment would be to disconnect the wiring for the master valve, but turn the master valve on manually. Then try valves.


I would verify the output module it sounds like you have a NC output instead of a NO. I have installed sprinkler equipment and modules that have inverted outputs if the output module is a different color is the usual key indicator.

on larger systems the valve could be programmed incorrectly same issue programmed as a NO when it is a an NC so the instructions are reversed in the logic.

Verify the valve type in the code and the output module it could be either one is different than the programmed value, valves are normally closed so loss of power they close but the valve or output module being set as NO the logic may be reversed.

NO= normally open , NC= normally closed.

  • I looked through the controller and couldn't find any mention of NO/NC. I also switched wire to a different zone and it had the same behavior. Is there a hidden way on the valves to make a valve NO/NC like it I opened the bleed valve half way? I checked the PGV-101 instructions and didn't see anything there.
    – Xihion
    Jun 10, 2021 at 21:21
  • The valve is probably a different model, on some valves it can be as simple as the spring being on the opposite side of the spool (the metal slug that is moved by the coil) but there is usually a diaphragm on those , if all the valves are the same model one may be assembled incorrectly but the valve would be the only remaining possibility since you changed outputs.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 10, 2021 at 22:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.