Controller recommendations

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by craniac, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. craniac

    craniac New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I have an Irritrol Total Control that came with the house. It is not sending 24VAC to the terminals, but power is coming from the transformer. There are no error messages to speak of.

    I have six stations in my sprinkler system and am looking for recommendations for a controller that won't bankrupt me. Any installation tips are welcome as well. Bonus points if I can buy it at a big box hardware store or my local plumbing supply store.

    Thanks,

    MC
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    You don't get the good controllers at those retail outlets. A Hunter SR-600 is a good entry-level controller with six zones.
  3. Schulze

    Schulze New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hunter Pro-C
  4. FredC

    FredC New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Craniac,
    I am an engineer homeowner that just designed his own 30 station system to irrigate 2.5 acres of lawn. Your Irritrol is top quality, but industry favorite is the Hunter. AT six stations you have multiple choices from Orbit, Toro, Rainbird, and a host of others, but the standard is Hunter. I just got my dad a Hunter SRS to replace a Rainbird and stayed under $75. Stay away from the Home stores. Look in the big yellow book for irrigation and find a Ewing spot, they are in just abot evry state west of the Mississippi or south of the mason-dixon. Otherwise check on-line at Sprinklerwarehouse or Evergreen.
    Easyfix for cheap, but get the good stuff.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I'll put a plug in for Hunter as well, but personally I wouldn't consider anything less than a Pro-C.

    I'll also put a plug in for the WeatherMatic Smartline. A good entry level ET controller that is ideally suited for residential applications at a competitive price point (Fimco would be proud of me Boots)
  6. Mr_Pike

    Mr_Pike New Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Without sounding like a schill, I too will recommend the Weathermatic Smartline over the rest. Being an installer, I prefer the ease of programming over the Hunter. I have a lot of older clients, and the 1 button run manual program is an invaluable feature. I also like the seasonal adjustment by month. This allows me to turn on a system in the spring, and set up a standard program, then adjust the percentages of times run by month. I normally run 45% in April, 65% in May, 90% in June, 100% in July, 120% in August and then 65% again in September. You would insert your weather percentages as needed.

    There are 2 different base units for the Smartline series, the SL1600 which is in a large outdoor rated cabinet, up to 16 zones, and the SL800 which is a smaller thin clock with an external transformer. It is capable of operating 8 zones.

    Both are almost identical in features, including a built in valve buzzer (locator) and fault testing.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2007
  7. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    If your going to run the system manually then why even bother with an ET controller?
  8. Mr_Pike

    Mr_Pike New Member

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Just out of Curiosity, have you ever taught 80+ year old people to program or even operate a sprinkler clock? :D

    There are other ease of use features specific to the Smartline, that put it in front of other clocks, even the same manufacturers products.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Messages:
    87
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Plenty of 60 and 70 year olds, maybe a few 80 year olds, but then that is why they hire me, to schedule the controller. :)

    IMHO, the majority of homeowners have no business in the controller because they just don't understand plant water needs or how to schedule to meet those needs. Typically the most I will ask a homeowner to do is turn the controller on or off, or make changes to the season adjust (non-ET controllers). These are very simple operations for the majority of the controllers on the market that any 6 year old could figure it out.
  10. miner49er

    miner49er New Member

    Messages:
    7
    i still like rainbirds RC-4Bi, RC-7Bi, RC-1260Bi series. but they are discountinued, sadly.
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