I have my sprinkler system set to run from 9PM to 11PM (no other
time). The control box is NOT set to come on at any other time.
Today a neighbor told me it's been coming on during the night (3 or 5
Any ideas on what I could check?
I'm considering connecting an electronic buzzer on a long pair of
wires (I already have the wires) connected to the "master valve"
output (not otherwise used) of the sprinkler controller. This would
be an alarm that would sound it the controller became active during
Already done that last thing. The controller (Hunter SRC) has 3
programs (called A, B C) each of which has 4 places to set start
times. Only A1 has a setting other than "off' (9PM).
I have seen such a device with a clock that was exactly 100% fast.
That is, it could say 9PM at 9PM but also at 9AM (9AM would show at
3AM and 3PM). However, this does not fit the symptoms (it waters for
the normal amount of time not the 50% you'd get with a fast clock, and
it's correct at multiple times of day).
It may still be a controller that needs replacing. I suppose it's not
too hard to get a new one that works (the valves need 24VAC, I think
the current is around 250mA).
I just posted in another thread how smart my mother was, but there was
one time she wasn't so smart. We had a self defrosting refrigerator,
bought around 1953. She was supposed to set the clock for the current
time, but she thought she was supposed to set it for the time she
wanted it to defrost. So if it was noon and she set the clock to
2AM, the fridge thougght it was 2AM then and it defrosted an hour
later, 1PM, which it thought was 3AM. If she set it to 2AM at 6PM,
it thought it it was 2AM then and it deforsted an hour later, at 7PM,
which it thought was 3AM. My mother didn't pay attention to when she
set it, only that it defrosted during the day instead of 2AM like she
wanted it to. So she never figured it out until I read the
You left out the explanation, and the alternative.
Nothing's perfect. Evening watering gives the water more time to soak
in before it evaporates in the sun (it's been really sunny here
Apparently my system is NOT coming on. A neighbor's (on the other
side) IS. I haven't talked to the one who complained yet, maybe she
got confused by the runoff (the other neighbor's runoff passes in
front of my house because it's on a hill).
Wouldn't it be wunnerful if all things got solved as easily as that?
Nonetheless, you showed good technical thinking when you pondered
putting a audible alarm on the control system's output to rouse you if
it came on in the wee hours.
I'm doing that now, despite the fact that it's probably unnecessary.
Anyway, it's time to reprogram for less watering (in Texas, the
weather has gotten more fall-like recently).
However, I do use the less-restricted version of the above. Resetting
(removing power if no other way) is a general solution to any device
containing state-dependant components (including anything
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