Everyone has software gremlins in their computer occasionally but when that software runs a large irrigation system even stranger things happen. On Sunday night around 7pm I received a strange call that the irrigation was running on #13 green? Even stranger this happened 12 hours after a large spring snow storm. People were thinking what is going on?
Well we had just started charging up our summer laterals earlier that week, so most holes were charged and operational. Our irrigation clocks in the field have three different modes OFF, CENTRAL and STAND ALONE. In the off mode the power is on in the clock, but the software is in a sleep mode. In Central mode the clock is controlled by the computer and in Stand Alone mode the internal software runs the clock. All 32 clocks were in off mode except three holes #13, #5, #7 they were in stand alone? So in this mode the clocks will run the last program that was downloaded, all the way back from our last irrigation cycle in November 2012.
So at 7pm on Sunday evening the irrigation started on those holes that were in stand alone mode, thinking the central computer was down! The Toro irrigation clocks in the field have a fail safe, they will store the last program downloaded indefinitely in case your central computer goes down. With this fail safe you will still be able to water the golf course.
After gathering all the data and information on Monday morning we figured that the all the clocks were in the OFF mode on Thursday evening, but some irrigation maintenance was done on those three holes Friday morning, and the clocks were not turned back to the off mode. Lesson Learned!
Thanks to everyone who noticed the water was on and recognized that is shouldn't of been!
Now that's how you winter water!