What is an irrigation solenoid valve?

Irrigation solenoid valves are essentially automated taps that control the water flow to a given area (called a “zone”). The input to a solenoid valve is the water supply and the output is the piping that connects to the sprinklers or drippers. Each solenoid valve has 2 wires which attach to wiring that then connects to an irrigation controller.

The irrigation controller is responsible for turning the solenoid valves on and off so that all zones are watered for the users preset duration. Using the controller, the user can turn zones on/off manually or via a schedule (e.g. turn on every day at 9am for 10 minutes).

The irrigation controller is one of the most important aspects of an irrigation system and should therefore be chosen carefully. Unfortunately, many systems (especially the cheaper options) come with strict limitations. The most notable of these include a restriction in the number of zones and limited scheduling capabilities.

One of the main issues with conventional irrigation controllers is that they are extremely limited in the number of solenoids valves that they can control, thereby limiting the number of zones that can be watered. This is an issue because separate zones are essential for plants that need different waterings (i.e. lawns need infrequent long watering, but veggies/seedlings/shrubs might need several shorter waterings during a hot day). Furthermore, most users start with a set number of zones and later expand and/or change their garden layout.

Unfortunately, too many installers do not discuss these limitations with their clients, who end up with a system that is hard to use and disappointingly limited.

To get the most from your irrigation system, you need to ensure that you have considered what your landscapes needs are now and in the future. For example:

    • How many areas need to be watered?
    • What type of waterings do the various plants require?
    • Do you plan on expanding your garden in the future?
    • Is water savings an important consideration?
    • Do you have a water tank?

Only after knowing these details can you make an informed decision and invest in a system that can control enough solenoid valves to cover all the zones in your garden (now and in the future).


Send us a message to learn more about our smart modern controller that does not have any frustrating limitations, is easy to use and simple to schedule.


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