How To Wire a Sprinkler Irrigation Valve
This tutorial demonstrates techniques for wiring Irrigation Valves for DIY and professional sprinkler system installations. We have provide example illustrations for both wiring single valves in a succession of valves and wiring valves located together in a manifold.
Type of Wire Used for Sprinkler Irrigation Systems: Direct Burial Wire should always be used to wire underground Sprinkler Systems. Direct Burial Wire is specially designed to be trenched undergrdound wihtout the use of conduit around it. This make it possible to lay your irrigation wire at the same time as your main tubing lines and eliminated the need for further protection of the wire cables. 18 Gauge wire is most commonly used for Sprinkler Irirgation Installation and is commonly available with 2 to 12 conductors on a single cable.
Connectors Used For Sprinkler Irrigation Wire: Use Silicone filled weatherproof connectors for all Sprinkler Irrigatoin and Landscape Lighting wiring installations.
Steps to Wiring Irrigation Valves
1. Design Your Valve Layout
Prior to determining your wiring approach you must first plan the layout for your valves. As illustrated in our Irrigation Design tutorials many Sprinkler Irrigation systems are designed with a slightly larger header tube to which zones branch off from at various locations throughout the property. In this case you would determine the number of valves in the system and install the wire with the header tubing and the length of wire needed would be approximately equal to the length of your main header line. In other cases, a manifold may be used where several header lines branch off from a central location. In these cases you simply need enough wire to go from your Irrigation Controller to the Valve Manifold.
2. Determine Number of Conductors for Wiring.
Once you have determined the layout of your Valves for you Sprinkler System you can determine the number of conductors needed for your Direct Burial Irrigation Wire. You will need one conductor for each solenoid valve and another conductor as a common wire. For example if you have 5 solenoid valves in your Sprinkler System you would need to purchase 6 conductor (18/6) direct burial cable. You always need 1 more conductor than the number of valves in the system.
Alternatively if your valves are grouped in different areas you can consider using two different cables for different areas. For example if you have the same 5 valves but 2 are located in the front yard and 3 are located in the back yard you could use a 3 conductor cable (18/3) for the front yard and 4 conductor (18/4) for the back yard. You can then splice together the two common conductors from each cable at the controller for the same effect as havig one cable.
3. How To Connecting The Solenoid Valves.