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Thread: Lawn sprinkler timer recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Lawn sprinkler timer recommendations?

    I want to replace my Irritrol Slim Dial Series timer that loses ~7 minutes a week with something more reliable. Any suggestions?
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  2. #2
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    Is it called an Irritrol because it irritates all its owner?

    If that is the only problem, why not just advance the timer 28 minutes on the first of every month until it dies and has to be replaced?

    The clock in these usually have no way to be adjusted. You might complain to the maker and they might be able to provide you with a better solution at no charge.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    I want to replace my Irritrol Slim Dial Series timer that loses ~7 minutes a week with something more reliable. Any suggestions?
    You'll have to describe the Irritrol a little. If it's an old-timer (no pun), the trigger voltages won't match the newer stuff. So you either get another older (used) unit, or you might have to replace your master switch/solenoid as well.

    As I recall: Our old unit (circa 1970s) sent out 24V signals. The new stuff works with millivolts. The master solenoid did not react to the new, "weak" signal and had to be replaced as well.

  4. #4
    When we put in a new lawn in the back yard after some septic work I purchased an Orbit sprinkler timer and once I figured out how to program it it worked great.67c14102-7f90-4c46-822e-f04631d85287_300.jpg It kept time all summer long and never failed to turn on and off when it was supposed to.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Angrisani View Post
    You'll have to describe the Irritrol a little. If it's an old-timer (no pun), the trigger voltages won't match the newer stuff. So you either get another older (used) unit, or you might have to replace your master switch/solenoid as well.

    As I recall: Our old unit (circa 1970s) sent out 24V signals. The new stuff works with millivolts. The master solenoid did not react to the new, "weak" signal and had to be replaced as well.
    I could’ve been more informative. I’m looking for an indoor electronic timer. I have 3 stations – 2 lawn and 1 drip system. The Irritrol Slim dial (see pic) is about 8-10 years old and was installed when I had the sprinkler system installed. It has always lost time but otherwise it works fine. I could reset the time once a month and that’s basically what I’ve always done, but sometimes I do forget. We have pretty strict water police around here and watering at the wrong time of day gets you in trouble. Hence, I need a more reliable timer.
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    Last edited by Bruce Page; 04-09-2013 at 7:03 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I've used cheap-o Orbit and Toro branded timers from the borg with no issues. You should be able to get one for under $20.
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  7. #7
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    Orbit has many styles. Look at HD.
    We use one for vacations, that turns a hose/sprinkler on for my Wife's plants.
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  8. #8
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    I have had an Toro GreenKeeper for years. It handles 6 zones. I change the 9V backup battery for the programming each spring and fall. I haven't programmed it in years. I leave it plugged in year round and just manually shut off the irrigation water at the manual waste/drain each fall when I have the sprinkler system blown out. In the spring, I just turn the cutoff valve back on.
    Last edited by Ken Fitzgerald; 04-09-2013 at 6:58 PM.
    Ken

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fitzgerald View Post
    I have had an Toro GreenKeeper for years. It handles 6 zones. I change the 9V backup battery for the programming each spring and fall. I haven't programmed it in years. I leave it plugged in year round and just manually shut off the irrigation water at the manual waste/drain each fall when I have the sprinkler system blown out. In the spring, I just turn the cutoff valve back on.
    I also have the Toro. Mine is called a Lawn Master which will handle up to 12 zones. I like it because of the programming options, including the ability to isolate zones. Best of all, I've never had any problems with it. I've never had an Orbit timer, but have experienced ongoing problems with the Orbit brand valves. Invariably they start leaking. I've been replacing them as they go bad. I have two left -- both are leaking and will be replaced this week.
    Last edited by Larry Whitlow; 04-10-2013 at 12:59 AM. Reason: typo stuff

  10. #10
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    I have used an Orbit from HD as a temporary timer. So far temporary has been six years. No problems and it keeps time just fine.....six stations. I use it with Rainbird valves and heads, not too much luck with Orbit valves or heads. I have a nice Rainbird timer........haven't put it in yet.

    Rick Potter

  11. #11
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    I like Rainbird components, their timers tend to be really good.

  12. #12
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    I have a Rainbird 6 zone controller at my house, and I replaced a controller at my son's house with a Rainbird 4 zone controller. I bought these at Lowe's and I am well satisfied with them. Easy to program and are very dependable.

    They are "user friendly".......
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  13. #13
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    I use Nelson in my greenhouses. They work fine. I also use a cheap little orbit in another house. The one that i have in longest service, 20 years is a Richdel.

    check out hummert . com . They have a lot of info.
    Last edited by Joe Mioux; 04-10-2013 at 11:29 PM.
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  14. #14
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    www.SprinklerWarehouse.com is a good internet source for these things, I highly reccomend.

  15. #15
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    Now that I know this is an electronic timer, my inclination would be to call the manufacture and see if they have a fix.

    Being of the technical type, if the manufacture is of no help, it might be my choice to try and adjust the clock frequency. Electronic clocks usually have a crystal and capacitor to set the clock. Some use a variable capacitor to adjust this at the factory. If not, an electronics tech could tweak the circuit to adjust the timing. It might take more than one tweaking to get it perfect unless they have a very accurate frequency counter.

    Here are two examples of a timing circuit:

    Crystal Oscillator.png

    The parallel lines with the arrow indicate adjustable capacitors.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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