View Cart Checkout
 

Order within 0hrs 0mins for same-day shipping!
*Not available with backorder/drop-ship items. See Shipping Policy


You are here: Home > Sprinkler School™ > Parts and Components > Controllers or Timers and Remotes > Controller Programming

Programming your controller...

A program is the information that the user enters into the controller’s memory that determines when the sprinkler system will water. A simple program for an automatic sprinkler controller contains three essential pieces of information: what days should watering occur, what time to should watering commence, and for how long should each zone water.

Each brand or model of controller may asks for the same basic information to be entered, however the steps and the methods vary from unit to unit. You should refer to the instructions in the owner’s manual (if available) or the instructions printed inside the controller cabinet door.

In determining a watering schedule for your landscape that can be converted into a program to be entered into the controller, you need to consider each of these "magic questions" carefully.

HOW LONG DO YOU WANT TO WATER EACH ZONE:

This question must be answered for each individual zone. So you could say it is several questions in one. Consider the area the zone covers: What type of plant material is used? What is the soil type? Is the area flat or sloped? Is the area shady or sunny? Is the area watered by high-application rate sprays or low-application rate rotors?

In a typical landscape, zones rarely all have the same programmed run time due to the differences in the areas they cover and the types of sprinklers used.

For more specific calculations you can perform to determine the optimum run time for each zone in your system, visit the Determining How Much and How Often To Water section.

WHAT TIME OF DAY DO YOU WANT TO WATER:

Most professionals say that early morning is the best time to water. Water left on plant leaves or turf overnight can invite fungus problems. Early morning watering will assure that the sun will have ample time to dry out the surface of plants and soil to reduce disease problems. Ideally, the last zone of the sprinkler system would be going off as the sun is coming up. There is no truth, however, to the popular myth that daytime watering will cause damage to plants or their leaves!

HOW OFTEN DO YOU WANT THIS WATERING DONE:

The City of Austin requests watering every five days. This should be ample for areas that can retain water within the soil layer. Deeper soils can retain water for much longer and plants growing in them will survive with weekly or every 10 day cycles even in the hottest driest weather. Plants or grass growing on rock, with little soil within the root zone, may be dry before the watering day is over. Check your soil depth and composition, take steps to improve it if possible.

For more specific calculations you can perform to determine the optimum watering frequency for your system, visit the Determining How Much and How Often To Water section.

 

 
   
  .