How to Program Your Controller

Controller Basics

The part of the system that receives signals from the controller telling it to open and close, allowing irrigation. Valves are often on the side of the building or in a valve box in the ground.
On the controller itself, the term "station" refers to the valve that is being controlled.
In most situations 1 station = 1 valve.
The region that gets watered is typically referred to as the "station" on a timer. Most landscaping guides will refer to the actual area that's receiving the water as the "zone."
- For example: A flower bed might be considered one zone, and a large expanse of turf another.
- It is best to map out the valves and the zones they water prior to programming the controller.
1 station is controlling 1 valve that is watering 1 zone!
Most timers have three programs available, and they are typically named Program A, Program B, and Program C.
These programs hold the actual settings that control which days and how ling each station is watered. Each Program (A, B, C) has its own Start Time, Run Time and Days.
Use the programs to separate the zones that need different watering days or multiple start times.
For example: Program A waters all lawn zones 3 days per week. Program B waters native zones 1 day per week.
Start Time
The start time feature on a controller allows you to specify a time of day for a Program (A, B, or C) to start.
Once it starts, it will begin irrigating the stations or zones that are associated with it. Once it works its way through all the stations or zones that are associated with the Program, the controller stops watering.
You can schedule multiple starts to reduce runoff on slopes.
Start Time
Run Time
(aka Station Duration)
Run time is the time, in minutes, that a valve will remain open.
If you set a time for 15 minutes, the valve will stay open and water a zone for 15 minutes.
If you have a run time of 15 minutes and two start times, that zone will be watered twice, for a total of 30 minutes.
Station Time