Installing irrigation controllers for your lawn or garden can help conserve water and save money on your water bill. However, installing an irrigation controller can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve crafted this guide on the DIY installation of irrigation controllers. We’ll also share tips and tricks to make the process as smooth as possible.
Gather Your Tools and Materials
Before beginning the installation process, gathering the necessary tools and materials is crucial. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Irrigation controller (example: Galcon DC1S, Hunter X-core controller, Pump Start Relay-435)
- Wire stripper
- Wire nuts
- Electrical tape
- Drill and drill bits
- Anchors and screws
- Valve wire connectors
- Electrical outlet and extension cord (if necessary)
Choose the Right Location
Choosing the right location for your irrigation controllers is crucial to the success of your watering system. Here are the factors that need to be considered:
- Distance From the Valve Box
Irrigation controllers will need to be connected to the valves, so choosing a location relatively close to the valve box is crucial to minimize the length of wire required.
- Proximity to Power Outlets
Since irrigation controllers require power, choose a location close to an existing power outlet, or have an extension cord available.
- Programming and Maintenance
Make sure the area is easily accessible for programming and maintenance. This place could include a space that is easy to reach and has good lighting and where the controller is not obstructed by other objects.
Consider a location that is aesthetically pleasing and won’t detract from the appearance of your yard or garden. A discreetly placed area, such as behind a bush or in a corner, may be preferable.
- Protection from Elements
Choosing a place shielded from exposure to the elements, such as rain, sun, or extreme temperatures, is essential. A location under an eave or inside a shed or garage can offer added protection to the controller and extend its lifespan.
Shut Off the Water and Power
Taking a few safety precautions before installing your irrigation controllers is essential. First, turn the water and power supply off to avoid accidents or damage. To do this, locate the main water supply valve and turn it off to stop the water flow to the system.
Next, find the circuit breaker that controls the power supply to the irrigation system and switch it off. Always wear protective gear, like gloves and safety glasses, when working with water and electricity to avoid injury.
Connect the Wires
Once you’ve chosen the location for your irrigation controller and shut off the water and power supply, it’s time to connect the wires. This step can seem daunting, but following a few simple steps can easily connect the wires from the controller to the valve wire.
Step 1: Remove the Cover
To begin, remove the cover of the irrigation controller to access the terminal screws. The cover is usually held in place by a few screws or clips.
Step 2: Locate the Valve Wires
Next, locate the valve wires in the valve box. These wires should be connected to the solenoids on each valve and are usually color-coded to match the corresponding valve.
Step 3: Strip The Insulation
Using wire strippers, strip off about half an inch of insulation from each valve wire. This will expose the metal wire underneath.
Step 4: Connect The Wiring
Connect the common wire to its terminal on the controller. The common wire is usually white and connects to the terminal labeled “C” or “COM.”
Step 5: Connect the Valve Wires
Connect each valve wire to its corresponding terminal on the controller. The valve wires should be connected to the terminals labeled with the zone number (e.g., 1, 2, 3). Make sure the cables are secured tightly under the screws.
Step 6: Czech each Zone
Once all wires are connected, replace the cover on the controller and turn on the power and water supply to test the system. Check that each zone is working correctly and adjust the programming as needed.
Mount the Irrigation Controller
After connecting the wires, the next step is to mount the irrigation controller onto a wall or other surface.
Step 1: Ensure the controller is straight
First, choose a suitable location that meets the requirements discussed earlier in this guide. Once you’ve found the right spot, use a level to ensure the controller is perfectly straight. This is important to ensure the controller works correctly and prevent water from flowing in the wrong direction.
Step 2: Drill a Hole
Next, mark the position of the mounting holes on the surface where the controller will be installed. Use a drill to make holes at the marked positions, then insert the appropriate screws into the holes.
Step 3: Secure the controller in Place
Place the controller onto the screws and adjust it as necessary. Finally, tighten the screws to secure the controller in place. It’s crucial to ensure the controller is securely mounted to prevent it from falling off the wall or being knocked out of position.
Test the System
After connecting the wires and mounting the controller, it’s time to test the system to ensure everything works correctly.
First, turn the water supply back on and switch the power to the controller. Then, run each zone manually and check for proper water flow and coverage.
If issues are found, such as uneven water distribution or dry spots, adjust the sprinkler heads or change the system as necessary.
Installing irrigation controllers can save water and money on water bills. Following the guide’s tips, one can easily install and secure the controller. Safety precautions must be taken, and a suitable location must be chosen.
At Allabout Pumps & Pipes, we understand the importance of having a reliable and efficient irrigation system. That’s why we aim to source the best irrigation controllers to make it easier for our customers.