Troubleshooting Hunter Sprinkler Controller Quick Fixes for Common Issues

Troubleshooting Hunter Sprinkler Controller: Quick Fixes for Common Issues

Introducing the topic of troubleshooting Hunter sprinkler controller, it is important to acknowledge that these user-friendly devices play a significant role in managing and maintaining your irrigation system. With several features and settings tailored to efficiently water your landscape, your Hunter controller keeps your lawn and plants in top shape.

From time to time, challenges may arise with the controller, such as wiring issues, failure to water, or miscommunication with sensor data. As a user, your ability to troubleshoot these issues effectively and promptly can save valuable resources and ensure your system operates smoothly. Through this article, you will learn practical troubleshooting tips, identifying common issues, and the necessary steps to resolve them.

Understanding Hunter Sprinkler Controller Basics

Understanding Hunter Sprinkler Controller Basics

When it comes to managing your irrigation system, a Hunter Sprinkler Controller is an essential tool. This controller ensures the efficient and proper watering of your landscape, while also helping you conserve water and save on your utility bills. In this section, we’ll cover the basic functionalities and programming of your Hunter Sprinkler Controller.

To get started, know that each controller can operate multiple zones, with each zone representing a specific area of your landscape. Typically, your irrigation system will have a specific watering program, which consists of settings that determine the start times, run times, and watering days for each zone.

Programming your Hunter Sprinkler Controller involves setting up these parameters for each zone. This will help you effectively tailor the watering schedule to match the needs of your landscape. Your controller’s display will provide you with information on the system’s current status and operation. Keep the following key functions in mind while programming your controller:

  • Program: Your controller can have multiple programs (usually labeled A, B, C, etc.), each with its own set of start times, run times, and watering days. This allows you to customize the watering of different zones to match specific requirements, such as shaded areas versus sun-exposed areas.
  • Start Time: This is the time when a specific program begins running. You can set multiple start times for each program, allowing you to water multiple times per day if needed to maintain optimal soil moisture levels.
  • Run Time: The run time is the duration for which a specific zone will be watered. It is important to calculate the appropriate run times based on factors like plant type, soil type, and weather conditions to avoid over- or under-watering.

When programming your Hunter Sprinkler Controller, you’ll want to ensure that the start times and run times are optimized for each zone. Keep in mind that certain zones might require more water, longer run times, or different schedules compared to others.

In addition to programming, your controller also has features for manual operation. This will allow you to temporarily override the programmed schedule for any additional watering or maintenance tasks. You can either manually run a specific program, zone, or run all zones in sequence.

By understanding these basic functions of your Hunter Sprinkler Controller, you’ll be better equipped to effectively manage your irrigation system and ensure a healthy, vibrant landscape year-round. Don’t hesitate to consult your controller’s user manual for further guidance on programming and operation.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting Hunter Sprinkler Controller

Common Issues and Troubleshooting Hunter Sprinkler Controller

Display and Error Messages

If you notice an “Err” message on your Hunter sprinkler controller display, it might signal an electrical problem, such as shorted wires or defective solenoids. Use the Hunter Quick Check™ feature to diagnose these electrical issues quickly. In case of a blank display, try pressing the reset button or verify if the transformer is working properly.

Incorrect Watering Schedule

Sometimes, you could face issues with your irrigation system watering off-schedule or having incorrect watering start times. First, inspect your controller’s active program, watering days, and run times to ensure they are set accurately. If you experience off-schedule watering or flashing sprinkler icons, check and reset your controller’s station repeats and watering duration times.

Electrical and Wiring Problems

Wiring issues can prevent your sprinkler system from functioning properly. Check your solenoids, common wire, and other wiring connections for continuity and watertight junctions. If you find any shorted or damaged wires, replace or repair them. In case of voltage problems, ensure that your controller has the right electrical specifications for the pump relay, and don’t exceed its rating.

Valve and Solenoid Failures

A valve solenoid failure can stop your sprinklers from working. To troubleshoot a valve solenoid issue:

  1. Locate your control valve box and disconnect the wires of the faulty solenoid.
  2. Unscrew and remove the damaged solenoid.
  3. Inspect the water supply valve and ensure it is open.
  4. In case of faulty valve solenoids, replace them with new ones.

Rain Sensor and Weather-Related Issues

Rain Sensor and Weather-Related Issues

Rain sensors and weather-related problems can also cause issues in your sprinkler system. If your rain sensor isn’t working correctly, do the following:

  • Verify if the sensor is properly connected to the irrigation controller.
  • Test the sensor’s functionality by wetting it or using the manual override key.
  • Ensure the bypass switch is set correctly (not in bypass mode during rain events).
  • Inspect weather sensor for damage and replace if necessary.

By following the aforementioned troubleshooting tips, you can identify and resolve most of the common issues with your Hunter sprinkler controller and ensure the smooth functioning of your irrigation system.

Maintenance and Preventative Measures

Maintenance and Preventative Measures

Regular maintenance and preventative measures are essential for ensuring the optimal performance of your Hunter irrigation controller and sprinkler system. By following the steps below, you can minimize malfunctions and prolong the life of your system.

  1. Inspect the irrigation system at the beginning and end of each watering season. Pay special attention to the valves, solenoids, and wiring. Look for signs of wear, corrosion, and loose connections, and address any issues promptly.
  2. Check the water supply to the irrigation system periodically. Make sure the main water supply is turned on, and the master valve is functioning correctly. Ensure all isolation valves are open, allowing water to flow to each zone.
  3. Verify the watering start times programmed in your irrigation controller. It’s essential to set appropriate watering times to avoid over or under-watering your plants. Adjust the times as needed, based on weather conditions and your landscape’s specific needs.
  4. Clean and maintain your rain sensor regularly to ensure it’s working correctly. A faulty rain sensor can cause your system to water unnecessarily during rainy weather, wasting water and potentially damaging your landscape.
  5. Test the zones in your sprinkler system, one at a time, to make sure each valve and solenoid is activating properly. This will help you identify any issues, such as a malfunctioning valve or wiring issue, before they cause more significant problems.
  6. Examine the wiring connections and make sure they are secure and watertight. Damaged or exposed wiring can lead to short circuits and other electrical issues, negatively impacting your irrigation controller’s performance.
  7. Monitor the transformer to ensure it’s providing the correct voltage to your irrigation controller. A faulty transformer can cause various issues within the controller, such as the system not starting the watering cycle.

By taking these preventative measures and regularly maintaining your Hunter irrigation controller and sprinkler system, you can avoid many common issues and keep your landscape looking its best. Remember, a well-maintained irrigation system not only saves water but also helps prolong the life of your landscaping investments.


Why are my sprinklers not watering? The most common reason your sprinklers are not watering is because the rain sensor is active. If you have a rain sensor on your sprinkler system, slide your sensor bypass switch into the “BYPASS” position. On properly wired systems, this will override the rain sensor and allow watering.

How do I set up multiple start times on my Hunter controller? Hunter controllers allow you to setup multiple Start Times to run programs more than once a day. At each Start Time, the controller will cycle through all the Station Run Times on that given program.

How do I eliminate start times on my controller? You can eliminate Start Times using the arrow buttons and finding OFF in between 11:45 PM and 12:00 AM or midnight.

My display is blank or showing weird symbols, what should I do? If your display is blank, unreadable, or if it is showing symbols that do not make any sense, try troubleshooting the display. Some common solutions include checking the power supply, replacing the controller’s internal battery, or resetting the controller to its factory settings.

What should I do if my controller is inactive? If your controller goes inactive, first try to check the power supply and wiring connections. If the issue persists, consult the controller’s user manual or contact customer support for further assistance.

Remember, when in doubt, always refer to your Hunter controller’s user manual or contact customer support for assistance. Keep your sprinkler system running smoothly by staying informed and proactive with your maintenance tasks.

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