FAQ

About Sprinkler Times

Q: What is Sprinkler Times?
Q: Why do I need Sprinkler Times?
Q: How will Sprinkler Times help me conserve water and save money?
Q: What’s the technology Sprinkler Times uses to create my customized sprinkler schedule?
Q: How does Sprinkler Times communicate with my current sprinkler system. Do I have to set up a system that adjusts my current sprinkler box or does Sprinkler Times just gives me the information and I change this manually?
Q: Can I use Sprinkler Times to water my vegetable or herb garden?
Q: What should I do if it starts to rain?
Q: How do I get started?

 

Timer Features

Q: What is a Timer?
Q: What if I have more than one Timer?
Q: Why would I want to edit my Timer’s name?
Q: What do Timer Features refer to?
Q: What is a Program?
Q: How do I know how many Programs my Timer has?
Q: What is a Start Time?
Q: How do I know how many Start Times my Program has?
Q: Why do you ask for my zip code?
Q: What if I am using Sprinkler Times for a location other than my home and I don’t know the zip code?

 

Zone Features

Q: What is a Zone?
Q: How do I determine how many Zones I have?
Q: How do I go back and add more Zones once I’ve already gone passed the Timer Features page?
Q: How do I go back and delete more Zones once I’ve already gone passed the Timer Features page?
Q: How do I determine which Plant Type option most closely resembles the plants in my Zone?
Q: How do I determine the amount of Sun/Shade exposure in a Zone?
Q: How do I determine which Soil Type option most closely resembles the soil in my Zone?
Q: How do I determine which Sprinkler Type most closely resembles the sprinklers in my Zone?

 

Watering Adjustments

Q: I have set the customized sprinkler settings and some areas of my lawn are turning brown. What should I do?

 

Programming Your Schedule

Q. Does Sprinkler Times have an adjustment for days of the week or times that you are not allowed to water?
Q. Why is the calculated schedule telling me to program more time on my Timer than I had on before?
Q: What does # of Days per Week refer to?
Q: What does # of Start Time per Day refer to?
Q: What does Minutes Between Start Times refer to?
Q. What is the best time of day to run the sprinklers?

 

Support

Q: What can I do if I have more questions along the way?
Q: Who can I contact with Sprinkler Times software questions?

 

ABOUT

Q: What is Sprinkler Times?

A: Sprinkler Times is an easy to use app that helps you program your sprinkler timer in a few simple steps. Upon your initial registration and purchase for $5.99, you will receive full access to one Sprinkler Times timer and up to 32 zones. Most homeowners only have one timer on their property, and will not need to purchase an additional timer program. However, if you have more than one, you always have the option to purchase additional timer programs.

 

Q: Why do I need Sprinkler Times?

A: Most homeowners are unknowingly over-watering their yards by more than 50%, wasting on average $50 to $300 annually. Aside from throwing money down the drain, they are also inadvertently contributing to the global water crisis. With Sprinkler Times, you can feel good about being green while actually saving money.

 

Q: How will Sprinkler Times help me conserve water and save money?

A: Sprinkler Times will provide you with a customized, monthly programming schedule for you to enter into your sprinkler Timer each month. Your schedule will be completely unique to your landscape, so you’re using the correct amount of water necessary to keep your lawn healthy.

Your water savings will be directly reflected in your monthly water bill. By using the Sprinkler Times schedule, homeowners can save an average of $50 to $300 annually.

 

Q: What’s the technology Sprinkler Times uses to create my customized sprinkler schedule?

A: Sprinkler Times takes the average ET (Evapotranspiration) for each zip code in the United States, based on 20 years of historical weather data for that zip code. It factors in other variables, such as Plant Type, Sprinkler Type, Soil Type, Sun/Shade exposure, and the number of Start Times and Programs on your Timer. Sprinkler Times uses these variables to calculate how much water each Zone needs and how best to use your Timer to meet these water needs. These calculations are based on the Irrigation Foundations nationally recognized formulas.

 

Q. How does Sprinkler Times communicate with my current sprinkler system. Do I have to set up a system that adjusts my current sprinkler box or does Sprinkler Times just gives me the information and I change this manually?

A. Sprinkler Times is an information tool that provides you watering times for each zone around your landscape that you manually input into your sprinkler timer box. Perhaps in future version of the app it will sync with a timer, but for now it’s a key information tool for homeowners.

 

Q: Can I use Sprinkler Times to water my vegetable or herb garden?

A: Sprinkler Times should NOT be used on vegetable or herb gardens.

 

Q: What should I do if it starts to rain?

A: If it starts to rain, turn off your sprinkler timer so you are not watering in the rain. Turn it back on once it has stopped raining and resume your Sprinkler Times program

 

Q: How do I get started?

A: Sprinkler Times is available for the iPhone, iPad and Android phone, or you can purchase an online version that can be accessed via any computer with internet capabilities. To purchase Sprinkler Times for any of these mediums, please visit the links below:

After registering your Sprinkler Times account, you will have the option to watch an introductory video to help you get started. If at any phase of your setup you have questions, press the Help & Video button located at the bottom of each screen for informational video or text for that screen.

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TIMER FEATURES

Q: What is a Timer?

A: A Timer (also referred to as a clock or controller) is the device used to operate automatic irrigation systems such as lawn sprinklers and drip irrigation systems. Typically, Timers have a means of setting different Programs, watering days, watering Start Times, and run times.

 

 

Q: What if I have more than one Timer?

A: If you have multiple Timers (two or more separate sprinkler control boxes), you can add more by selecting Add Additional Timer. Additional timers can be purchased for $5.99 each.

 

 

Q: Why would I want to edit my Timer’s name?

A: If you have more than one Timer, it may be helpful to edit the names to give you a clear description of what each Timer is. For example, if you have two Timers at your home you could name them “Front Yard” and “Back Yard.”
If you are using the Sprinkler Times app, you can edit your timer name by selecting the Edit button in the upper right corner on the Timer screen.

If you are using the Sprinkler Times online program, you can edit your timer name by entering a name into the space provided on Step 2: Timer Features.

 

 

Q: What do Timer Features refer to?

A: Timer Features refers to the various settings your sprinkler timer offers. This includes number of Programs, number of Start Times per program, and the total number of Zones (stations or circuits) your Timer has.

 

Q: What is a Program?

A: Programs are used to water different plant types in your yard. For example, one Program will water all the grass in your yard and another will water all the shrubs in your yard. Most commonly, there are two to four Programs per Timer. Programs are normally marked with the letters A, B, C, D or numbers 1, 2, 3, 4.

 

Q: How do I know how many Programs my Timer has?

A: The average Timer has two to four Programs. When looking at your Timer, you should be able to tell how many Programs you have because they are typically named alphabetically (A, B, C, D) or numerically (1, 2, 3, 4). They are usually visible on the Timer’s face plate by a knob or on the screen.

As you can see on the Timer to the right, these Programs are named alphabetically. This particular Timer has 3 Programs.

 

Q: What is a Start Time?

A: A Start Time is when a Program will start watering your yard. The Timer will water the first Zone on that Program, followed by the next Zone, and so forth.

 

Q: How do I know how many Start Times my Program has?

A: Most Programs have between three and eight Start Times. Start Times are usually located on a dial or a button. Start Times are also commonly referred to as cycle start times or program start times.

As you can see on the image to the right, this Timer is on a dial/button and has X Start Times. (Picture)

 

Q: Why do you ask for my zip code?

A: Sprinkler Times will determine the average monthly weather data by factoring in 20 years of historic weather data for your exact zip code. The weather data is then used to determine how much water the plants in your landscape need.

 

Q: What if I am using Sprinkler Times for a location other than my home and I don’t know the zip code?

A: If you are using your iPhone or Android phone, you can use the GPS feature on your phone to determine your current location’s zip code by pressing the Find zip code of current location button on the Location screen.

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ZONE FEATURES

Q: What is a Zone?

A: Zones are also referred to as stations, valves, or circuits. A Zone is a group of sprinkler controlled by a single valve that waters a designated area. If designed correctly, each Zone should only water one plant type or plants with similar watering needs.

 

Q: How do I determine how many Zones I have?

A: Your Timer will have either a dial or a button that allows you to see (usually one-by-one) all the Zones (schedule or circuits) that are available on your system. The example to the right shows how to find the number of Zones on this particular Timer. (Picture)

 

Q: How do I go back and add more Zones once I’ve already gone passed the Timer Features page?

A: To add one or more Zones, select the Back button in the upper left corner until you reach the Timer Features screen. Your information will not be lost when you leave a page, so you have the option to go back and edit any of your entries at any point. Once there, you can edit the total number of Zones you originally entered.

 

Q: How do I go back and delete more Zones once I’ve already gone passed the Timer Features page?

A: To delete one or more Zones, select the Back button in the upper left corner until you reach the Timer Features screen. Your information will not be lost when you leave a page, so you have the option to go back and edit any of your entries at any point. Once there, you can edit the total number of Zones you originally entered.

 

Q: How do I determine which Plant Type option most closely resembles the plants in my Zone?

A: There are six different Plant Types for you to select from in this section: Turf Grass: Normal Water, Turf Grass: Less Water, Shrubs and Trees, Shrubs: Drought Tolerant, Annual Flowers, and Newly Planted.

  • Turfgrass: Normal Water should be selected for Kentucky Blue Grass, Rye Grass, Fescue Grass, and other similar grasses. This type of grass grows upright and has a relatively fine texture. They are typically called Cool Season Grasses because they tolerate cooler weather before they go dormant. This type of grass normally thrives in the top half of the United States but can also grow in the South.
  • Turfgrass: Less Water should be selected for Bermuda Grass, St. Augustine Grass, Kikuyu Grass and other similar grasses. This type of grass has more horizontal growth with coarse grass stems that grow laterally. They are commonly called Warm Season Grasses because they tolerate warmer climates better, and are rarely found in areas that get snow. In fact, they are most common in the Southern parts of the United States. They will require on average 15% less water than other Turfgrass selections.
  • Shrubs should be selected for zones with both shrubs and trees within the zone. If your shrubs are not native to your area, they will need your help growing and thriving there. You may find you will need more supplemental irrigation water here, so keep an eye on your shrubs and use the Watering Adjustment feature on the Schedule page if needed.
  • Shrubs Drought Tolerant should be selected for shrubs and trees that are native or native-like to your area, or more drought-tolerant than most irrigated shrubs in the area. This type of shrub is accustomed to the climate of your area so they do not need as much help growing. You will still want to watch them and adjust accordingly with the Water Adjustment feature on the Schedule page.
  • Annual Flowers should be selected for annual flower beds which typically require frequent watering to keep the soil moist but not soggy. This selection should not be chosen for woody ornamental shrub types with flowers, like roses or azaleas. It should be chosen for flower beds with herbaceous type flowers.
  • Newly Planted should be selected for zones that have new plants. These plants are just establishing their roots into the soil, so they need more water than established plants. Be sure to mark your calendar to adjust their watering schedule once they are established and have roots in the soil. This generally takes two to three months. Once the new plantings are established, change your selection to the proper permanent setting

 

Q: How do I determine which Sprinkler Type most closely resembles the sprinklers in my Zone?

A: There are five different Sprinkler Types for you to select from in this section: Sprays, Rotors, Multi-Stream Rotors, Drip, and Bubblers.

  • Spray Heads water in a fan shape, put down water fast, and are marginally uniform or efficient. (Picture)
  • Rotor Heads shoot water in a single stream, rotating slowly in a circle, and are usually very efficient. (Picture)
  • Multi-Stream Rotor Heads distribute water in multiple rotating streams that resemble multiple fingers. They tend to put water down very slowly, with good uniformity and efficiency. (Picture)
  • Drip Emitters connect to flexible tubing and distribute water slowly through small holes that sit at the base of the plant. It is not uncommon to have several emitters on a single plant. (Picture)

 

Q: How do I determine which Soil Type option most closely resembles the soil in my Zone?

A: There are three different Soil Types for you to select from in this section: Clay, Loam and Sand.

  • Sand soil is light, breaks apart easily, and is made up of large soil particles. It is silky texture allows water to pass through it very quickly. (Picture)
  • Loam soil is a medium mixture of sand, clay and silt, with a combination of small, medium and large soil particles. Loam has a medium texture that fractures easily and is easy for roots to grow through it. (Picture)
  • Clay soil is a heavier soil with very small soil particles that hold together tightly when wet and are hard to split apart when dry. Water does not pass through clay soil easily. (Picture)

If you are unsure of your Soil Type, we recommend choosing Loam since it is an average ground soil. You always have the option to edit your settings later.

 

Q: How do I determine the amount of Sun/Shade exposure is in a Zone?

A: There are three different sun exposure options for you to select from in this section: Full Sun, Partial Shade and Full Shade.

  • Select Full Sun if any part of the Zone is exposed to direct sunlight all day.
  • Select Partial Shade if the entire Zone has some shade throughout the day.
  • Select Full Shade if the entire Zone is completely shaded from the sun the entire day.

When selecting your sun exposure, make sure to select the highest sun exposure that any part of the zone gets. Sprinkler Times wants to account for the most amount of sun possible for the subject zone.
If, for example, most of your zone is in the shade, but some of it does get full sun exposure, select Full Sun. You may use a little more water this way, but your exposed plants won’t go dry. Unfortunately, you will always need to water for the worst or most problematic condition.

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WATERING ADJUSTMENTS

Q: I have set my customized sprinkler settings but some areas of my lawn are turning brown. What should I do?

A: After observing your Sprinkler Times programmed schedule for a couple weeks, you may notice an area of your yard that looks stressed. If this happens, go to your Schedule page and select the Watering Adjustment feature. This feature allows you to increase (or decrease) the amount of water for any individual zone by 10%.
Select Back to save your changes and then recalculate your schedule. Your new schedule will take into account the percentage of water you’ve increased (or decreased) your program.
Please note that Sprinkler Times will remember the Zones you’ve used the Water Adjustment feature on for future months, so each subsequent month will reflect the water adjustments you made in previous months.

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PROGRAMMING YOUR SCHEDULE

Q. Does Sprinkler Times have an adjustment for days of the week or times that you are not allowed to water?

A.We are looking to add this feature (water restriction days) to our future release, but for now recommend using the following calculation to determine how many minutes to water per day if you are in a restricted watering area.

As an example, if you are allowed to water 2 times a week, but your Sprinkler Times calculation recommends that you water 4 times a week, we recommend taking the following steps to determine your watering time:

Sprinkler Times Recommendation for Zone 1:
-5 minutes
-2 start times per day
-4 times per week

Calculation: 5 minutes x 2 start times x 4 times a week = 40 minutes of watering per week
40 minutes divided by 2 (Restricted watering days) = 20 minutes per day
So with 2 start times that would be 10 minutes per watering cycle.

 

 

Q. Why is my customized schedule telling me to program more time on my Timer than I had on before?

A. Due to variations in your landscape and sprinkler system, it is possible for Sprinkler Times to calculate more time than needed. Make sure all the Zone information is correct. On each Zone setting, press the Water Adjustment button to lower the water requirements in 10% increments. The goal is to lower the water as much as possible until you reach that point right before the plants start to stress. This is where you will maximize your savings.

 

Q: What does # of Days per Week refer to?

A: # of Days per Week refers to how often you should run each zone in that program. Be sure to spread out the days per week. In other words, do not water in consecutive days if you do not need to. Also, for lawns, schedule the timer to water the morning after a mowing event and going forward spread the watering days throughout the week as practical.

 

Q: What does # of Start Time per Day refer to?

A: # of Start Times per Day tells you how often each zone should be watered per day. This allows you to water for shorter periods of time while giving the water time to soak into the soil.

 

Q: What does Minutes Between Start Times refer to?

A: Minutes Between Start Times refers to the number of minutes you should wait between run cycles. This time allows the water to soak into the ground before you start the next watering cycle. This is primarily based off of the soil you selected. For example, water needs more time to soak into clay soil, whereas sand soil absorbs water very quickly, so there is minimal runoff.


Q. What is the best time of day to run the sprinklers?

A. We recommend that users water during the early morning. Take a look at your “Schedule” page and determine the total watering time (minutes) that it will take to run through your entire cycle for that day. Then calculate backwards from 7am to determine when you should start your run cycle.

Having your watering completed by 7am in most regions will allow for the water to saturate fully into the soil as well as help prevent disease.

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SUPPORT

Q: What can I do if I have more questions along the way?

A: At the bottom of each screen is a Help & Video section. If you have questions about the particular page you are on, just click on the Help & Video button and you will be taken to a help section where you have the option to read the help text or watch a short help video about that specific screen.
You can also visit the User Manual and Forum pages in the Support section of this website. For additional questions, send us an email at info@sprinklertimes.com and our staff will be happy to assist you.

 

Q: Who can I contact with Sprinkler Times software questions?

A: If you are experiencing software issues, please contact support@sprinklertimes.com, and a Sprinkler Times technical support member will assist you.

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