Your sprinkler timer will be the brain of your entire irrigation operation. Having a timer can ease the burden in ensuring that your lawn and garden always look their best. With the right tools, you can install a timer yourself.
Create a Manifold
The manifold will have a grouping of control valves all connected. Use PVC pipe to create this grouping. Water will be supplied to the manifold from the supply lines.
You will have the option to either mount the manifold in a covered box or bury it underground. Keep in mind that an above-ground manifold will be easier to maintain.
Dig a Trench
Dig a trench for the pipe at least 8 inches deep. Try to keep this level and straight as it will make laying the pipe much easier.
You will need to get in to the water supply. You can do this by tapping in a tee along the main water supply line or under the water meter. Make sure you install a valve that has an emergency shut off!
Install standard shut-off valves a little farther down the line. Make sure you have a way to drain the lines for winter so you don’t end up with any frozen and burst pipes.
Once you have the valves in place, run piping to the manifold.
Install an anti-siphon valve in the control panel. This will prevent any potentially contaminated water from reaching your home's water supply.
Lay the Pipe
Next, lay the pipe in the trench you dug earlier and connect the lines.
Program the Timer
Make sure both the water and power are turned off for the location of your timer.
If you are using a battery-operated timer, you can just connect this to the water line feeding the system. These are the simplest models to use, but they can be less convenient than the type that is hardwired into the system.
With a hardwired system, you will see several connections on the back of the timer. These will be marked on the timer itself so you will know which wires to connect. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for installing your new timer.
Finally program your timer and test the new system.