Installing a Controller- FAQs
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- How do I connect to A/C power?
- If the controller has a plug-in transformer, just stick it in any outlet. An outdoor controller may need to be wired with cable or conduit all the way from a junction box to the controller. Be sure to ground the controller according to the instructions.
- Where should I locate the controller?
- If it is outdoors, locate it out of the weather as much as possible. look for an area sheltered by bushes or a large overhang. If you are mounting the controller indoors, the garage is a popular location, although anywhere is good as long as it is convenient to access. Consider installing the controller in an interior closet or utility room, especially in a one story home where you can access the attic over the controller location.
- Should I get an "outdoor" or "indoor" controller?
- Indoor controllers have a transformer located on the end of a low voltage cord. they require a nearby outlet, and must be installed indoors. Outdoor controllers are wired directly with 110V wire and have an internal transformer.
- Does it make sense to install an "outdoor" controller indoors, or vice versa?
- We often recommend installing outdoor controllers indoors to take advantage of the hidden internal transformer for a cleaner looking installation. It is probably never appropriate to install an indoor controller outdoors. Note: Virtually all residential controllers are for indoor installation only.
- How do I get the valve wires through the wall to the controller?
- If the wall is wood, just use a large wood bit to drill a hole. If it is brick or stone, you may need to rent a hammer drill and bit, or use a carbide chisel and hammer.
- What should I do with unused stations?
- If you think you may modify landscaping later, run a wire from the unused station to the appropriate place in the yard. Be sure to extend the ground wire also. You can use stations to fill ponds, drip irrigate potted plants and water gardens.
- What do I do if I don't have enough stations on the controller?
- Some controllers allow you to add expansion modules, or you can install a "doubler" to add an extra valve on an existing wire. The "doubler" works by sending the signal to one of two valves, alternating the first signal to the first valve, and the second signal to the new valve. The controller thinks it is sending every instruction to a single valve, when in reality two valves are receiving every other instruction. You program the controller to use multiple start times to address both valves.
- How do I connect a rain switch or moisture sensor to the controller?
- Your controller may have special connection points in the cabinet for a rain switch, or you can just splice it into the common line near the controller.
- How do you program the controller?
- This varies a lot with the type of controller. Check the manufacturer's web site for on-line programming instructions.
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