The addition of a timer to a sprinkler system is normally a standard option in the initial installation. Sometimes the system is designed to be run off a garden hose bib, and for those systems, a timer can still be installed to control the time the system comes on and goes off. The process for adding a timer to a hose bib controlled system is simple, but the process for replacing a controller on an existing system is more complex.
Hose Bib Timer Installation
Make sure the water is turned off.
Disconnect the hose from the faucet.
Connect the timer to the faucet. Then connect the hose to the timer valve.
Program the timer according to the manufacturers instructions.
Disconnect the power supply from the controller. Most controllers are plugged into a home outlet.
Remove the panel to access the wires to the control valves. The panel cover is commonly where the wires come into the box.
Place a numbered piece of tape on the wire pairs for each zone. The zone numbers are where the wires are connected to the controller.
Disconnect the wires from the controller. Most controllers use Phillips screws, however, some use straight-blade screws. Remove the controller.
Mount the new controller in the same location. This may require moving mounting screws. Connect the zone wires to the proper zones for the new controller. Reprogram the controller per the manufacturers instructions.