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You are here: Home > Sprinkler School™ > Sprinkler System Basics > Sprinkler System Design and Installation > How To Wire An Irrigation Valve To An Irrigation Controller
How To Wire The Valves To A Controller

How To Wire An Irrigation Valve To An Irrigation Controller

Valves - Parts and Components

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Once the valve or valve manifold is installed you are ready to wire each valve. The bundle of wires will need to be run to the area where you plan to install the timer.

For each manifold location you will need the following supplies:

Wire Bundle
  • A bundle of wires which consists of multiple color wires and one white wire know as the common wire.

    Note: Use 18-gauge wire, this is the gauge that is approved for underground usage.

  • Waterproof connectors called "Grease Caps".
Grease Cap

"Grease Caps" are waterproof connectors. They are filled with a silicone substance or "grease". These waterproof wire connectors protect the wiring from possible water damage due to plumbing or valve failure.

Attach a separate color coded wire to one of the leads on each of the valve solenoids.

NOTE: It does not matter which wire lead is chosen on the solenoid.

You must connect the wires using waterproof grease caps. Waterproof grease caps are filled with a silicone which will seal the wires from moisture.

The other lead from each valve will be attached to the common white wire. Once again use the grease caps to make the connection. If a wire is too short to reach you can simply splice another piece of common wire by connecting the wires together with the grease caps.

Now you will run the bundle of wires under the irrigation pipes. The wires will be put on the bottom of the trench. The pipes will be installed on top of the wires. This will add extra protection for the electrical wiring from being damaged by yard tools such as shovels, hoe blades, etc... Install the irrigation pipes and secure the wires to the pipes with electrical tape. Leave the wires untrimmed until you are ready to attach them the controller.

Note: Wires must be buried at least 6" deep.

Note: Wires that run up the side of a structure to reach the timer should be secured with plastic electrical staples.

Wiring Valves to a Sprinkler System Controller

Refer to the illustration shown above to wire the valves correctly. The color coding of the wires makes it easier to identify at the controller/timer.

Wiring Summary:

Use a grease cap for each connection. The common wire will connect from the controller to one lead from each of the valve solenoids. A separate colored wire will connect from the controller to each of the remaining leads in the solenoid on each valve. Remember it does not matter which of the two wires from the solenoid is chosen. However, remain consistent and use the same side (on each valve) for color wire and the opposite side for the white common wire.

Below: Samples of different types of waterproof wire connectors (Grease Caps).

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