Two irrigation tools that every professional contractor needs in their arsenal is a quality volt/ohm meter and a wire/ground fault locator. Electrical control problems are second only to piping problems when it comes to troubleshooting an irrigation system. Bad solenoids, and skinned wires have caused more frustration when trying to solve an irrigation system control problem.
Here is a brief description of what these tools do and how they can benefit the user and save time.
1. Volt/Ohm meter. It is amazing how many contractors do not own this simple low-cost piece of equipment. A volt/ohm meter can be used to check the voltage output of a controller and to check the resistance of a solenoid. It can also be used to check continuity. The best part is you can get a decent volt/ohm meter for $30.00 to $50.00.
2. The second piece of equipment contractors should have access to, is a wire/ground fault locator. This piece of equipment is a lot more expensive with a price tag of $700-$800. Ground fault locators can be used to find nicked or broken wires. The wire locator function can be used to find solenoid valves. This is particularly helpful when trouble shooting a system that you did not install.
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