Wiring and grounding, house ground, lightning protection etc

Comments and suggestions on the EZFlora irrigation controller

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Wiring and grounding, house ground, lightning protection etc

Postby mwallyg » Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:29 pm

I have a number of EZRain units and have a couple of questions:

1) I have a 1000mA Rainbird 24VAC transformer with a ground wire. Can/should I connect the ground wire to the EZRain, like at the COMM connection? The transformer, of course, has a three-prong plug.

2) Regarding surge/lightning protection and grounding in general, how should I be hooking up the EZRain to earth ground to protect it? There are no real instructions in the EZRain manual.


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Postby simplehome » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:13 pm

The EZRain uses a 3-prong plug, with the ground pin serving as earth ground. As long as you connect it through a 3-prong grounded outlet, you should be OK.
No, the ground wire of your transformer does not need to be connected to any of the terminals on the EZRain valve/transformer connector. Most transformers for irrigation controllers only have 2 wires for connection to the controllers. There is a potential of 24V AC between them.

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Postby mwallyg » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:46 pm

Sounds reasonable. That being said, all the EZRains I have are plugged into 3-prong outlets etc etc. Thus far in the first year of use I've had two of them fail. I don't *know* it was lightning-related, but suspect it in at least one case. In the other case, something internally burned up and left a nice little brown, slightly warped/melted spot on the back side. I suspect lightning but perhaps it was a simple component failure. It's just disturbing that two out of three have failed and I want to make sure there is nothing I'm missing on the wiring side.


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Postby grif091 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:37 pm

A little off target but I lost a RainBird irrigation controller last summer due to lightening. With low voltage cable running around the yard from each valve box back to the controller, a close lightening strike can be a problem. In my case, the pump control circuit shorted causing the pump to run without any zone valves being open. Nearly destroyed the irrigation pump. I added a pressure relief valve to avoid that issue in the future. The installation guide I followed even suggested running extra low voltage wires in case lightening damaged a cable. I keep a few value solenoids on hand just in case. I looked for lightening grounding blocks, like you install in coax cable or that the phone company uses where the phone line enters the house, but found none for irrigation systems.

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