Programing your sprinkler controller

A PDF file of this post can be downloaded by clicking on this link: programmingguide

One of the most common questions we get is: “How do I program my sprinkler controller/timer?”

Before we get into this, let’s get some disclaimers out of the way. This is a generalized guide based on the general water restrictions in the Jacksonville area. Please check with your water authority to confirm the schedules in this post. Also, we are generalizing here, your system may be different. Without a service call to check your system, we cannot say for sure that this guide will be right for you. If you need us to come and check your sprinkler system and customize your programming, please let us know by scheduling service.

In general, Florida counties follow the following sprinkler ordinances:

Daylight Savings time

AKA SUMMER (Second Sunday in March to First Sunday in November)

  • No more than 1/2″ water applied at one time
  • Do not water between 10am and 4pm
  • Odd # home addresses: Water only on Wednesday and Saturday
  • Even # home addresses or no address: Water only on Thursday and Sunday
  • Commercial Addresses: Water only on Tuesday and Friday

Eastern Standard Time

AKA WINTER (First Sunday in November to Second Sunday in March)

Daylight savings time schedule is mandatory, however the following schedule is strongly recommended.

 

  • No more than 3/4″ water applied at one time
  • Do not water between 10am and 4pm
  • Odd # home addresses: Water only on Wednesday
  • Even # home addresses or no address: Water only on Thursday
  • Commercial Addresses: Water only on Tuesday

The goal of the “winter Schedule” is to save water by reducing the watering times by half. Following our program by reducing the seasonal adjustment actually saves more water. To keep it simple for you, we would suggest just keeping the “Summer Schedule” and adjusting your Seasonal Adjustment according to the table below. As of 5/18/15, this is acceptable, but remember to check with the county, State and your water authority for changes they may enforce.

So, how long to you set each sprinkler zone or station for?

  • Spray zones: 25 minutes per run day
  • Rotor Zones: 45 minutes per run day

In case you do not know the difference, here are some pictures of the different types of sprinklers. Remember, if you have a mixed zone ( a zone that has both sprays and rotors on the same zone) you will need to program for the rotor zone times. This means that you are over watering on the spray heads and therefore wasting water, but if you don’t, you will be under-watering the rotor areas and stressing out your grass.

 

Spray Heads
Spray Heads

Rotor Head
Rotor Head

 

Once each sprinkler zone is programmed for the correct times, you need to utilize the “seasonal adjust” feature of your sprinkler controller to further maximize your water usage. Below is a table for the general settings in the Jacksonville, FL area. Note that this is generalized and your site may need adjustments to deal with abnormal conditions.

 

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Seasonal Adjust % 40% 47% 68% 84% 96% 97% 100% 92% 77% 64% 46% 40%

 

For specific instructions on how to program the controller, please see your controllers owners manual. If you do not have an owners manual, Google is your friend here 🙂 We cannot provide over the phone help with your controller, but we will be more than happy to schedule a service call to instruct you and program your controller.

For any additional help you need, please give us a call at 904-503-9600 or you can schedule service here.

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