Leak Diagnosis and Troubleshooting (w/ Leak Detection)

Symptoms:

  • Error 3 on controller/High AFR in Data menu
  • Visible Leak
  • Portion(s) of nozzle circuit not misting adequately
  • Insecticide’s fluid level runs empty faster than expected

Record Info and Run Troubleshooting Tests:

1.  Before running ANY mist cycle, record the AFR that caused the Error 3

  • The AFR value can be found by going to the “DATA” menu and looking for “AFR”.
    • AFR stands for the Average Flow Rate (per nozzle) during a mist.
  • Run a short inspection mist cycle until all nozzles are misting, then stop the inspection by hitting the red “MENU” button.
  • Run a manual mist cycle by holding down the “UP” and “DOWN” arrows simultaneously while in the main menu.
  • After completion of the manual mist, check and compare the new AFR to the original AFR that caused the error 3.
    • If the AFR remains the same/caused another error 3, proceed to Test 2.
    • If the misting unit no longer displays error 3 after a mist AND the AFR goes down by at least “10”, then proceed to our article on (Line-Fill Leaks Article Link).

2.  Visually Inspecting Nozzle Circuit To Find Leak

  • Run an inspection mist cycle.
  • Walk around and inspect nozzle circuit while unit is misting.
  • Look for difference in mist intensity between adjacent nozzles or sections of nozzles that are misting poorly/not misting at all.
    • You can also use an in-line pressure tester to check for noticeable drops in pressure between adjacent nozzles/branches to help determine the location of a leak.
  • Check for and fix any leaks in tubing or fittings around these areas.
  • Run a manual mist cycle.
    • Observe mist intensity of nozzles now that a leak has been fixed.
    • If error 3 returns once the manual mist cycle is complete, that would indicate that the nozzle circuit contains at least one more leak.
  • Double check the AFR in the DATA menu after the manual mist and compare to the AFR from Test 1.
    • The AFR should at least have gone down after fixing the first leak.
  • Repeat Test 2 as necessary until error 3 no longer appears after a manual mist and the mist intensity of the nozzles meets expectation.
  • If there are no obvious visual differences in performance between nozzles, proceed to Test 3.

3.  Segmenting Nozzle Circuit Branches To Find Leak

  • Choose a branch or section of the nozzle circuit to temporarily remove for testing purposes.
  • Block off the chosen branch of the nozzle circuit using a plug.
    • Make sure to adjust the controllers original nozzle count by the number of nozzles on the plugged test branch to match the number of actively misting nozzles, otherwise this test will be inaccurate.
  • Run a manual mist cycle.
    • If error 3 returns once the manual mist cycle is complete, that would indicate that the nozzle circuit likely contains a leak in another branch.
  • Double check the AFR in the DATA menu after the manual mist and compare to the AFR from Test 1.
    • If the AFR has gone down, then there is a leak in the current branch that was removed for testing.
    • If the AFR saw minimal (less than 5) or no change, then there is no leak in the current branch that was removed for testing.
  • Re-add the “test” branch to the nozzle circuit, run an inspection mist, and fix any leaks found.
    • Adjust the controller’s nozzle count back to normal once the test branch is re-added.
  • Repeat Test 3 as necessary by choosing other branches until error 3 no longer appears after a manual mist.

4.  Replace Buried Tubing With New Tubing Above Ground

  • This test is ideal for nozzle circuits that have only a small amount of tubing that runs underground.
  • Choose a section of tubing that is underground and disconnect from the rest of the nozzle circuit at each end.
  • Run a new line of tubing in its place above the ground.
  • Run a manual mist cycle.
    • If error 3 returns once the manual mist cycle is complete, that would indicate that a different buried section of the nozzle circuit has a leak.
  • Double check the AFR in the DATA menu after the manual mist and compare to the AFR from Test 1.
    • If the AFR has gone down, then there is a leak in the current buried branch that was removed for testing.
    • If the AFR saw minimal (less than 5) or no change, then there is no leak in the current buried branch that was removed for testing.
  • Fix any leaks or replace the chosen buried line with new tubing.
  • Repeat Test 4 as necessary at other sections of the nozzle circuit that are buried until error 3 no longer appears after a manual mist.