The single most water-wasting error when programming Hunter Irrigation controllers is putting in multiple start times within a program. Each Program; A, B, or C only needs one start time per program. If the controller is programmed for 4 start times under program A, then program A will run through 4 times. This is 4 times more water than you need. I think that people mistakenly think that each station needs a start time which is not the case. If one thinks of the programming like a family tree diagram then it might make it easier to understand. A,B, and C are at the bottom most part of the trunk and each program has the ability to run all 4 stations. When we give Program A one start time it cycles through all the stations that have minutes on them under Program A.
Let’s say I have a 4 station controller. If I want to water established lawn I would put it on Program A and run stations 1 and 2. Then a newly planted area would be on Program B and run stations 3 and 4. This way we can separate the two areas that need to be watered differently. Also, a new planting area can be watered twice per day by adding a second start time under Program B for the summer. Then when it cools down or the plants are a little more established, the second start time can be eliminated.
I like to use a black sharpie to mark the top of each sprinkler valve with numbers 1,2,3, and 4 and make them correspond to the station numbers on the controller. One can see the color of the wire that is attached to each sprinkler valve and match that up at the controller where the wires attach into the bottom of the controller. Use silver sharpie on black valves or a yellow crayon which is also used on wet surfaces. Yellow crayon can be purchased where they sell other items for marking brick pavers or concrete.
I also use an Excel spreadsheet to lay out all the information in an easily understood format and hang it by the controller which is usually in a garage. Its not necessary to put the controller in the garage and that’s usually the most inconvenient location. Outdoor controllers have a box built around them that is waterproof and has a key. Remote control units are very easy to use and cut down on running back and forth from the sprinkler area to the controller.