Irrigation systems have been used for years on golf courses to ensure that the course is watered regularly. An irrigation system for a home lawn or garden does the same thing, though usually on a smaller, less complex level. Golf course systems are capable of using the weather outside to determine the water needs for the course. The controller on this type of system is a desktop computer with special software to complete the calculations necessary. The average home system uses a small controller a homeowner can install.
Locate the mounting location for the controller. Irrigation controllers can be installed indoors or out, depending on the model of controller. Both types of controllers require a standard 120-volt house outlet for a power supply. The irrigation wires will need to be located, or relocated, near the power supply source.
Mount the controller. Each model of controller has different requirements for mounting. Refer to the owner's manual for the correct mounting procedure.
Remove the cover for the irrigation wire attachments. This is located in different area for different models; refer to the owner's manual for the proper location.
Strip the ends of each irrigation wire to reveal 1/2 inch of copper wire. There will be one wire for each control valve in the system. Small systems may have as few as one valve, while larger systems can have many more. Make sure the controller can handle the number of valves used in the system.
Attach one irrigation wire to each control terminal. Each terminal is labeled by the zone it controls. Refer to the owner's manual for the correct wiring requirements for the controller model.
Power the system and test. Once the test is complete, close all panels on the controller and program the controller. Refer to the owner's manual for the specific controller programming instructions.