A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set Up an Irrigation Timer

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Set Up an Irrigation Timer

Are you tired of having to maintain a constant vigil over your garden or lawn or frequently move a sprinkler to every corner of your garden? If so, then you should consider installing an automatic irrigation timer.

Thanks to technology, sprinklers now have automated features. Maintaining a green lawn and keeping your vegetation healthy has never been this easy. You just need to set a timer that goes on when you set it to and goes off after some time.

More and more people are moving towards solar irrigation controllers, as the irrigation timer market is expected to grow by billions by 2028. Why not join the movement and adapt an irrigation timer?

Our guide will focus on a step-by-step process on how you can set up a solar irrigation timer in your garden. Follow each step to successfully set up your solar irrigation timer.

Step 1: Do the Math

Before starting on anything, you need to first do the math. Figure out the dimensions of your solar irrigation system, its controller, the panel, and the battery. You don’t need to be good at math to handle this stage as there are numerous online calculators that can come in handy.

By doing the math, you will understand how many watts the irrigation system will need. Also, it helps know the correct duration to run the system.

The best thing about solar irrigation is that when it gets cloudy and the system does not receive enough sunshine to recharge, you won’t need to irrigate. Cloudy weather means less evaporation. Therefore, you can add between 3 and 5 days buffer in case of dull weather.

You also need to consider your battery choice. A sealed lead-acid battery tends to be an economical choice, while a Lithium-ion battery offers the best performance. Choose the right battery depending on your need and based on the math. Calculate how many hours you will need to fully recharge your battery on a sunny day. This decision is based on what you’re planning to plant in your garden.

Step 2: Start the Build

A very important decision is to find a suitable location. The best location is one that works properly with the set water lines to feed the pump. It should also offer an unobstructed view to ensure adequate sun rays.

Good placement is something they strongly recommend in this video:

Once you identify a good location, mount your solar panel. Remember there is a specific angle at which you should mount the solar panel to ensure maximum sun exposure.

When setting up the panel, it is vital to ensure that the battery and the controller are placed near the panel. The closeness ensures easy access and help the wire length remains short.

Step 3: Take Care of the Wiring

From the solar panel, wire the controller to the battery. The role of the controller is to charge the battery. You will need to wire the battery to the tiers controlling the relays separately. These relays will be turning on the solenoids and the pump on and off.

Therefore, you will have to set solar-powered irrigation automatic timers that control the entire irrigation process.

Here is an illustration of how the wiring should be done:

  • Solar panel Charge controller
  • Battery Timer Solenoid and Pump

Luckily, solar panel wiring is straightforward.

Step 4: Plumbing

Bury a polyline between the pump and rain barrels. Identify the lowest point and add a drain valve. The valve ensures the lines don’t freeze over the winter. It also helps you to quickly and easily empty the system.

Step 5: Set Up the Irrigation System

Similar to other irrigation systems, you need to do some sizing and calculations for each zone. You can use spray nozzles or drip irrigation, depending on your preference.

Divide the zones to ensure even distribution. Lastly, put all your fitting together.  You can now run the lines and turn on the system for a test.


Building a timer for your solar-powered irrigation system has numerous advantages. Timers are easy to install, and they will help reduce the hustle of manual irrigation. Follow the steps above and install your timer today.

Back to Top