If difficulties occur when installing or maintaining a LEIT 4000, X, or XRC system, please review this online LEIT Troubleshooting Guide. It contains useful information designed to help identify the specific cause, as well as step-by-step instructions that may help to correct the problem.

The LEIT irrigation control system is a series of connected components consisting of an ambient light powered irrigation controller, LEIT Key, LEMA actuators, hydraulic control valves, and field wires/splices. It is best to troubleshoot this DC system (like an AC system) by a process of elimination; the goal being to determine which component(s) has failed. The following facts and tips may be helpful to eliminate certain components and facilitate faster troubleshooting. It is assumed that these are installed controllers that are receiving the proper amount of light. Keep in mind that the problem may be with more than one component.

Issues that may effect the LEIT Key

    The LEIT Key is used to enter any LEIT controller

  1. Use only name brand, alkaline, 9-volt batteries If in doubt about the battery, install a new battery, or test the key with a multi-meter by holding the probes into the metal holes, voltage should be at least 8-volts DC
  2. Weak batteries in a good LEIT Key will result in no display, or a CHARGING PLEASE WAIT MESSAGE.
  3. If the LEIT key works in one LEIT controller but not on another, the key is ok and the problem is with the controller.
  4. The LEIT Key will work with all current and discontinued SOLATROL, ALTEC, and current LEIT controllers.

Troubleshooting the LEIT Controller

  1. When a “good” LEIT Key is installed in a LEIT controller, a screen with “PRESS YES WHEN MOST READABLE” (English or Spanish) should appear on the display within a few seconds. If a “good” LEIT Key is inserted into a controller and there is no display, you may have a problem with the LEIT key connectors, the controller LEIT Key connector or the controller. First make sure the LEIT Key is pushed all the way in the socket.
  2. If a LEIT Key is installed and the display reads “CHARGING PLEASE WAIT” the controller probably has a problem with the PVM or a radio enabled XRC is in a shaded area or it is to early or to late in the day
  3. If the LEIT controller is not holding the current day/time, the problem may be within the controller hardware.
  4. If the display is scrambled or showing unrecognizable characters, the problem is may be with the controller software or the LCD display.
  5. If one or more of the keypad buttons are sticky or non-functional, the problem is with the controller keypad.
  6. To test a controller’s output, connect a “good” LEMA 1600HE or 1520 actuator directly to the terminal strip, and initiate a temporary manual run with 1 minute to the station in question and zero minutes on all other stations. Verify that the plunger retracts and extends or you hear the sound of the plunger latching inside the solenoid. If it does not retract or make any sound, the problem is with the controller.
  7. LEMA 1600 series actuators will not work on station #1 on LEIT 4000 controllers SW version 7.8 or less.
  8. ALTEC Dash 4 or LEMA 1600 actuators cannot be used on expansion controllers.
  9. If the controller functions properly doing a temporary manual run, but is not running valves automatically by program, the controller is probably incorrectly programmed. In SETUP SYSTEM check active programs, sensor & MV/P settings. In SETUP SCHEDULE, make sure no programs are overlap.
  10. LEIT controllers will only function with LEMA actuators series 1500 and 1600 HE.
  11. If rain sensor is used, compatible sensors are the HUNTER MINI-CLIK or RAIN BIRD RSD. The SKIT 8821-4 sensor adapter must be used with any sensor.

Troubleshooting the LEMA Solenoid Actuators

  1. Verify that the proper model number solenoid actuator and series is being used for the controller in question.
  2. Verify that the white wire is connected to the common wire, and the red wire is connected to the “hot” wire, and that these splices are tight, and corrosion free.
  3. Verify that no water is leaking near the adapter, stem, or bonnet.
  4. Verify that all “O” rings and/or rubber sleeves are in place. If in doubt, check manuals.
    • To test a LEMA actuator, remove the actuator from the valve and disconnect the hot and common wires. Verify the actuator functions with a 9-volt battery by holding the wires to the positive and negative contacts. Reverse polarity if nothing happens. Plunger should retract. Reverse polarity to close, (plunger should extend).
    • If a LEMA actuator does not function with a 9-volt battery, the problem is with the actuator, and it should be replaced.
    • NOTE: Never use a high power source, such as a car battery to test a LEMA 1500 or 1600 solenoid actuator. If a 9-volt battery is used, briefly touch the solenoid wires; do not attach the battery to the solenoid for a long period of time, If applying power for more then half second, it can damage the solenoid actuator.
  5. If the LEMA actuator functions properly with the battery but not through the controller, remove the solenoid actuator from the valve and connect the LEMA actuator directly to the controller terminal strip and institute a temporary manual run. If it functions, the problem is with the field wires/splices or the hydraulic valve.
  6. If the valve is weeping or not closing completely the adapter may be loose, cross-threaded, missing an “O” ring, the adaptor sleeve is damaged, or the valve diaphragm could be in need of cleaning or replacement.
  7. If the valve is not opening completely, the adapter being used may be too tight, the adaptor sleeve may be damaged, or the valve water passage down stream may be plugged and in need of cleaning. The LEMA solenoid actuator operates only with 2-way normally closed valves.

Troubleshooting the Hydraulic Valves

Verify that the valve opens and closes with the manual bleed. If it does not, the problem is with the valve (valve repair should be done by others).

  • Verify that the static mainline pressure at the valve is below 150 PSI and above 10 PSI.
  • Verify that the valve size is correct for the flow rate of the system.
  • LEMA actuators should be installed only on normally closed 2-way valves (check catalog or web-site for compatible models).
    • For all brand name valves with internal manual bleed lever, make sure the lever is in closed position. Do not move the lever after installing the solenoid with the valve adapter. If the manual lever on the valve is used, it can damage the adapter or the sleeve causing the valve to stay open.

Troubleshooting the Field Control Wires

  1. Verify that the proper actuator series are being used for the controller in question.
  2. Verify that the common wire (usually white) is connected to the common terminal and that the wire screw is tight.
  3. Verify that all hot wires are in the proper terminals and the screws are tight.
  4. Verify that all common and hot wire splices at the valves and splice boxes are tight and made with waterproof connectors.
  5. 12 and 14 AWG direct burial single strand solid core irrigation wires are recommended, 18 AWG multistrands are not.
  6. Sometimes it may be prudent to run temporary wires above grade to the valve to verify a problem with the wire.
  7. The latest LEIT X software can detect wire faults.
  8. Wire problems are not the responsibility of DIG Corp.
  9. If the same color hot wires are run to all valves, the wires should be identified and tagged with numbered stickers.
  10. When using an Ohmmeter to measure resistance in a station wire, the actuator must be disconnected and the hot and common wire spliced together, otherwise the reading will change continuously because of the capacitors in the actuator. The resistance reading on the meter should be less than 8 ohms.