A Beginner’s Guide to Program Your Irrigation Sprinkler System

Irrigation Sprinkler System Advice, Home Garden Tips, Beginner’s Guide

A Beginner’s Guide to Program Your Irrigation Sprinkler System

2 September 2019

It’s easy to literally kill your plants by drowning them in water because of wrong irrigation settings. On the flip side, a well-programmed irrigation sprinkler system can save you thousands of gallons monthly.  The best part of accurately programming your irrigation is that you can set and forget it, but before you do that ensure you have carried out background research on the water requirements of your plants and soil.

With changing seasons and constantly developing plants, you will need to change the watering schedule from time to time to accommodate the changes. You also have to pay attention to seasonal changes in rainfall.  To get you started, we have written this beginner’s guide to program your irrigation sprinkler system with ease.

Let’s get to know the basic controller features of a good irrigation sprinkler system:

  1. The Stations: The stations are responsible for controlling the valves that release water into the garden or irrigation zones. It’s logical to have stations controlling the release of water because all emitters on a single sprinkler will emit the same amount of water.  Station water control allows for more efficient distribution of water.
  2. Start Time: the start time literally means the exact time that you want irrigation to commence on a specific valve.
  3. Duration: the duration or station run time is the time at which released water will run before it shuts down.
  4. Semi-Auto program: Modern irrigation systems come with a semi-auto system that allows users set programmable run times for different zones e.g. Zone A, B and C
  5. Stop or Off: This feature allows users to stop the programs from running until you toggle the system back on.
  6. Manuel Buttons: Manuel buttons for controlling specific valves are useful at releasing water for a set amount of time. This feature is important when you need to diagnose the irrigation system for leakages.
  7. Program Feature: The program is a feature that stores all of your irrigation settings. This feature allows you to set multiple programs, A, B and C to run various sprinkler valves at different times of the day.

Programming your controller to your needs

Follow these illustrative steps to program your sprinkler controller:

  1. Start setting the program by togging the “Set program” to the middle. After which you move the upper left corner of the controller clockwise until you are comfortable with the settings.
  2. Set the timers: Set the timers by adjusting the dial to locate the current time of the day. You will have to do this once to bring your timers up to speed. Use the +/- buttons to adjust the time to the current time, any day of the week.
  3. Next adjust valve run times by tuning the dial buttons towards the valves. Select the station and use the +/- buttons to enter the amount of water you need to be released via the valve to send water to a peculiar zone.
  4. Schedule the start time: After you have programmed the water you need released on each valve via stations, you need to program the start times. Do this by setting the +/- dial buttons to the time of the day you want the irrigation to start.
  5. Schedule irrigation days: Time to schedule the days for irrigation. To do this, turn the dial to “schedule” to allow you a set of reprogrammable features for days. As usual, mark use of the +/- buttons to set this up.
  6. Rinse and Repeat: The steps outlined above will suffice for one station/valve. Repeat steps 3,4 and 5 for each station or valve in your garden.

Sprinkler Programming Tips

  • Understanding the watering needs of different plants is key to rightly program your sprinklers. See TreillageOnline’s guide to Smart Sprinkler Controller for more useful tips.
  • Plants have different watering needs, so endeavor to set stations with the same frequencies at the same program to cater for their water needs.
  • Only use one start time for each program. Even if there are multiple valves or stations in that line, this will avoid confusion and the annoying need to constantly monitor the program.
  • Avoid overlap by entering different start times for different programs etc.
  • In cases of excessive runoffs, use multiple start times.

On that note

There are several variables you need to consider before setting your irrigation sprinkler system.  Get to understand the water requirements for the type of plant in your garden so that you correctly make adjustments to the sprinkler systems.




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