Would You Mount A Thermostat For Your House In The Back Yard?

No? You wouldn’t? You think it would be a little inconvenient to put on your robe and slippers and trot out there in the drizzle to crank up the heat a few degrees?

Well the same idiotic logic applies to every do-it-yourselfer that thinks for some reason they need to install a sprinkler controller in some hidden recess of their basement. You’d think it had some launch codes hidden in it somewhere. There’s nothing more I love than a system where none of the valve boxes are located and I have to check out the zones from the controller hidden deep inside the home. I inspect the zone for coverage, breaks, clogs, etc. Then to the porch, remove the muddy boots, trot down the carpeted stairs through various hazards of children’s toys and stacks of National Geographics, squeeze into narrow closets, crawlspaces, etc. Advance station. Repeat.

Look at the photo above. The version of hell I wish upon the soul responsible involves an eternity in a waiting room with only one copy of Highlights, and all the hidden pictures have been circled. The displays on Hardie Raindials are hard enough to see in dim light, but here we have to get a step stool and then try to wedge one’s head and a flashlight between floor joists. Look at the messy control wires, all loose with the jacket strip string still hanging out.

Controllers should be mounted on inconspicuous exterior walls. The next best place is the garage or storage shed. Make sure there is a clear path to the controller. The controller should be mounted around 5 feet off the ground to accomodate most adult human being’s eye level. A happy sprinkler guy is a focussed and effective sprinkler guy who will want to spend his time making your system a great system, and happily return year after year.


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