The sprinkler control valve is your automatic sprinkler system's most important element. The control valve is what tells the pipes in your sprinkler system to open and close, ensuring the right part of your landscaping receives water when you set it to. It regulates the pressure, turns the water on and off, and controls the zones that receive water. Knowing how the control valve works will help you should you ever need to repair it.
The valve box is where the series of pipes all come to connect. The valve box connects to the main control valve. When the timer signals to the control valve that a zone needs to be put on, the valve opens for the correct zone. The pressure is then sent through the water pipe to the sprinkler heads in that zone. Once the watering is completed, the valve shuts off and the water is stopped. The lack of pressure causes the sprinkler head to retract until the next time it needs to be used.
The control panel acts as the brain for the system. When you set your timers to automatically start and stop the sprinklers in different zones, this information is stored in the control panel. The control panel is what sends the signal to the control valves for the sprinklers to operate in the correct zone.