Ask the Expert: 5 Resources for 2-Wire Troubleshooting

Last month, we shared a step-by-step how-to on troubleshooting a two-wire system with a multimeter. As we all know, troubleshooting can be frustrating and take valuable time away from other jobs. If the system is through a manufacturer you are unfamiliar with, sourcing the resources you need quickly can feel impossible. We’ve reconnected with Doug Armour, Central’s Commercial Irrigation Technical Manager, to share a quick resource library for troubleshooting specific manufacturers’ systems.

From Doug:

Over the years, I’ve collected documentation from manufacturers and other places to create sort of my own resource library. These documents have been extremely helpful when troubleshooting various brands of two-wire systems, and I reference them when needed. Check out these five insightful resources:

1. Multimeter Troubleshooting:

As I mentioned last month, when a watering zone will not activate, the best tool you can use for troubleshooting is a multimeter. It is a critical piece of equipment that every irrigation contractor truck should have. This step-by-step how-to should be your first resource for troubleshooting. It will walk you through various system issues and help you identify the problem quickly.

2. ACC Decoder System Troubleshooting Guide:

If you’re looking to troubleshoot a Hunter system, this guide will cover various issues from shorts and faults to no decoder function and programming issues.

3. ESP-LXD Controller Troubleshooting Guide:

This guide from Rainbird covers troubleshooting as well as basic programming, alarms, manual short finding and more.

4. The Art of Troubleshooting Two-Wire:

Tucor actually offers a couple references for troubleshooting their systems. This comprehensive guide covers various issues in-depth and includes a flow chart to help you determine what step is next. This short two-page document recaps basic troubleshooting without breaking the wire path.

5. Two-Wire Decoder Hotline, 1-844-WIRE-101:

When you’re in the field and don’t have time to try and read through a troubleshooting guide on your cell phone, Central’s 2-Wire Decoder Hotline is an excellent resource:

  • Troubleshoot wire breaks, nicks, damage, and shorts
  • Solve issues with wires, valves and locating decoders
  • Assists with set-up and product recommendations
  • Supports all 2-wire decoder brands including Hunter, Toro, Baseline, and Tucor
  • Accessible during regular business hours
  • Call 1-844-WIRE-101 or email


As mentioned earlier, troubleshooting can be very frustrating and not always straight forward. A system might have more than one issue. Rely on Central to help, whether it’s questions about troubleshooting or installation, showing you how to use specific equipment, or sharing insight and recommendations on the newest technologies. We stay at the leading edge of the industry and we’re ready to help you grow!

About Doug Armour

Doug Armour, Central’s Commercial Irrigation Technical Manager, is certified by the Irrigation Association as a Landscape Irrigation Water Manager, in addition he holds certifications with Hunter and Rain Bird, and has been factory trained with Tucor. He is an excellent resource for any technical questions about irrigation systems and for troubleshooting systems that are not working properly.