How to Program Your Gainesville Irrigation Timer Settings

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Rusty Thompson on July 3rd, 2013

How to program your Gainesville irrigation controller

You can save a lot of water in your Gainesville landscape, and save your plants from drought stress or overwatering, with the proper and timely adjusting of your Gainesville sprinkler system controller. The key is to not "set it and forget it". You need to change the watering schedules as plants become established, with the changing seasons, and when it rains (unless you have a Smart Wifi Hydrawise Controller or functioning weather sensor). Here's an easy guide to make setting your irrigation controller easier than setting your coffee maker. If you don't already know how much water your plants need, our Landscape Watering Guide will help walk you through the steps.

Basic Controller Features

  • Stations control the valves that release the water to the Zones in your yard and landscape. Put plants with similar water needs on the same station or zone. This allows for more efficient watering since all emitters and/or sprinklers on a single valve will run for the same amount of time. Multiple stations or zones allow you to customize watering amounts for different types of water needs (full sun vs. shade, turf vs. Plants), by allowing for different run times for different areas.
  • The Start Time is the time at which the first valve will open to irrigate that particular area of the yard, and then continue on through the rest of the program.
  • The Run Time is the time, in minutes, a specific valve will stay open and therefore water a zone. This is a major key to increasing/devreasing water to specific areas of your yard that are struggling. Off or Stop will stop programs from running until you toggle back to ‘Run’. Your programs will be saved. This is great during rainy periods (as long as you remember to turn it back on!).
  • The Manual button allows you to run a single valve or entire system for the amount of time it is set for. This is helpful when you want to tune-up your irrigation system and check for leaks, misaligned sprinkler heads, or clogged drip emitters or run an extra time during the week.
  • A Program is where you store all of your settings. It consists of a set of stations set to specific start times and run times. Here, multiple programs A, B, & C allow you to run different valves on different days with different run times. Make sure each program runs stations with similar plant water needs to maximize irrigation efficiency. We recommend only using additional programs once you have a complete understanding of the irrigation controller, as this is where controllers can be confusing.

Programming Your Gainesville Sprinkler Controller


For easy programming, first slide the "Set Program" (1) toggle to the middle, and then start in the upper left corner of your controller and move clockwise through the settings. Start with program A (2). Set the dial to current time and use the +/– buttons to locate the current time of day. Turn the dial one click to the left and use the +/- buttons to locate the day of the week. You only have to do this once (3). Turn the dial to the “valve run times to select a station and use the +/– buttons to enter the amount of watering time for that valve, which sends water to a particular zone in your yard or garden (4). Turn the dial to start times and use the +/– buttons to select time you'd like your irrigation to begin. You can have three different start times per day, but typically you only need one (5). Now turn the dial to “schedule” the days you want your irrigation to run or the numbers of days to skip in between watering. Use the +/- buttons to enter this information (6). Now repeat steps 3, 4 & 5 for each station/valve you are controlling, and program A is complete. Use programs B & C for other zones that require difference frequencies of watering, such as turf, Xeriscape, vegetable gardens, etc.


Programming Tips

Different plants have different watering needs. Use multiple start times if excessive runoff is a problem Remember… The controller controls the Gainesville irrigation system, but YOU control the controller.

  • Links to Gainesville Irrigation Controller Manufacturers

Here's a YouTube Video to make changing your Gainesville Irrigation Controller settings easier.