A sprinkler timer is used to turn a lawn sprinkler on and off automatically. If you just want to be able to have it come on at a certain time of the day and shut off again at a later time then an automatic sprinkler timer should do just fine. However, different areas of your lawn and garden have different water requirements.
Suppose that you need one part of your lawn watered every other day for twenty minutes and another part needs watered every day for ten minutes. This can be easily accomplished through programmable sprinkler controls.
Simple to Complex Controls
Before choosing what type of sprinkler control to install you should first consider what your needs are. Programmable sprinkler controls range from basic electronic devices that you hook up to your outdoor faucet to wall-mounted units capable of multiprogrammable circuits. With the latter type, each circuit’s frequency and duration of watering is run independent of each other.
There are many other types and models that fall somewhere in between. There are also many other features available. The price of each model is determined by the complexity of it’s function.
The most simple programmable sprinkler timers are battery powered and screw right into the faucet outside your house and the hose is simply screwed into it. They cost on average about fifty dollars. They are available with many of the following options. They may have an LCD screen. There is often a low-battery indicator light to let you know when the battery needs changed. They will have some sort of programmable clock with AM/PM settings.
You will be able to set the watering duration and increment. It should have a multiple day calendar for setting different frequencies and durations on a weekly schedule. It may also allow multiple watering per day.
Wall-mounted units can be indoor or outdoor mounted. They can be single-program, in which a certain number of circuits are run simultaneously the same number of times and the same number of days per week.
A multiprogram controller is capable of running any number of or combination of circuits independently and at whatever frequency or duration and on any day. This type of programmable sprinkler controller is connected to your electrical system of your house. They usually run on 110-volts.
Another useful option to look for is a back-up battery. This way if the house electricity should fail, the memory of your settings will be preserved. There are even some models that are solar-powered.
Another option that you may want to look for is a rain sensor. There are controllers that can sense if it rains, how long it rains and even measure the amount of rain that fell. They will then adjust the amount and duration of water to provide.
Many people use an automatic sprinkler controller to give the illusion that they are home when in fact they are not. If your sprinkler system goes on every day at the same time for the same length of time, it is not hard to figure out that you have a timer system set up. By using a programmable timer you can adjust the sprinkler to water at random times during the day. This will create a more realistic appearance of your presence.
Remote controllers are also an option today. They are useful when your control box is set somewhere difficult for you to reach it.
There are very sophisticated programmable sprinkler controllers that can be hooked up to be in-sync with or controlled through your personal computer or i-phone. You can program or change settings from a distance. Should weather conditions change simply log on and reset the program to fit the weather.
They can be joined with a local weather network. This will update your settings as the weather forecast changes without any involvement from you. They can be adapted to local water conservation orders, so programmable controllers conserve water. With so many advancements, watering your lawn and garden is not what it used to be.