The heart of every sprinkler irrigation system is the irrigation timer, which is basically a computer that controls the different zones that the irrigation contractor has set up. In many cases the irrigation system contractor or landscaper will install the timer within the garage of a single family home or townhome. On commercial buildings they will often be located in either an electrical or building sprinkler room here they cannot be tampered with.
Irrigation system contractors set up irrigation zones based upon the size of the property as well as the types of turf and plants in planting beds. Since turf and plants need varying amounts of water depending upon the species, it is critical that the irrigation system be able to moderate the amount of water that each zone receives. An irrigation timer has the ability to moderate the amount of water each zone receives, as well as the day and time. The way that the water is moderated is by the length of time the zone receives water. The computer in the timer will open the valve to the zone at the specific time and for a set duration. Then the computer will shut off the valve supplying the water to the zone. This process is repeated as the timer moves through each zone that has programmed into the irrigation timer.
The irrigation system contractor has the ability to customize the date, time and amount of water that each zone will receive depending upon the needs of the turf and plants. While these irrigation timers are generally very “user friendly’, it is typically best to allow a qualified irrigation contractor program in the zones, as well the ideal days, times and duration that the system operates. As a part of the ‘spring startup” of the system, the contractor will verify that the timer is correctly programmed. They understand how critical it is for both turf and plants to receive the ideal amount of water!