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Irrigation/Time settings on watering system keep changing


Hi Jim,
I have a Rainbird irrigation system, which is eight years old. My house is located in the desert area of California. This is not our permanent residence, so we are not always there. The system is 6 zones and we use 3 of them. I received a phone call yesterday that my back lawn was under water. When the watering times on the system we checked, watering of my back lawn was every half an hour starting  at 7:00 am until the next morning at 2:00 am. My question is: Can the system malfunction or is someone in my complex going around and doing this since I am not there all the time? My gardener will set his times and then they are completely changed.
Thanks in advance.

Hey Gerri, If the power goes out and comes back on, and the battery back up does not back up the program, the controller will reset to run at 7:00 am every day, but only one start time, not multiple start times. I believe someone is setting the times into the controller, and it is not a defective controller. Make sure when your gardener sets in a start time, that he is only putting in one start time, and not multiple start times. For instance, you have 10 minutes set in zone #1, 10 minutes set in zone #2, and 10 minutes set in zone #3. You only need to put in one start time, lets say 7:00am. At 7:00am, the controller will go to zone #1 and see that you have 10 minutes set into it, it will run zone #1 for 10 minutes, then it will go to zone #2 and see you have 10 minutes set into #2 and run it for 10 minutes, and then after zone #2 runs, it will go to zone #3 and run for 10 minutes, and after zone #3 it will go to zone #4 and skip zone #4 and #5 and #6 if they are set to zero. Again make sure your gardener only sets "one" start time and not multiple start times. Good luck and have a great day.


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Jim Schaefer


Any question regarding sprinking systems,installation,repair, and trouble shooting.


I have been installing and repairing sprinkling systems since I was 15 years old. Have owned my own sprinkler system contracting business for over 26 years. It is basically the only job I've ever done, except for being a paper boy when I was young.

High School diploma and 3 years college credits.

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