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Hard wiring the power controllers

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Dirty Water, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    In WA, you have to be a licensed electrician to hardwire a controllers power. We get around this by wiring up a pigtail and then just plugging them in (mounting them conviently close to a outlet helps :D )

    I've seen a lot of other irrigation installers fish wires through walls etc, which does make for a nice clean install, but it is illegal for them to do that.

    One way I've heard is to do the install and then have the homeowner connect the last wirenut, though I'm not sure if thats really legit either.

    What do you guys do for power for outdoor timers?
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,519

    Outdoor timers?
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I have the cust bring in an electrician to stub out an outside outlet where I need it then enclose the outlet in an outdoor approver plastic cover and mount the controller in a outdoor approved metal box I have mounted on a post.I only had to do this once though because the handy homeowners had installed the valves way..way..way away from any elect and had been using them manually and wanted them on a controller.Or I have the homeowner call an electrician to hard wire in the controller.Homeowners insurance wont cover if they find wiring obviously
    mickey moused in and if there is a fire from something going wrong with a wiring situation like that.... I can be held responsible.To me it just is not worth the risk.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,519

    The last outdoor-mounted controller I saw had a line cord plugged into an exterior outlet, the old kind without the proper "in-use" cover, and the power connections were made by simply twisting the stripped ends of the line cord around the wires hanging down from the controller, and wrapping some electrical tape around them - not even any wire nuts. Just about the most preposterous thing I ever saw in connection to a sprinkler system supposedly installed by 'professionals'
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Boots, almost every timer in this area is mounted on a outside wall. Rainbird and Hunter have outdoor models for a reasion :laugh:

    I know that your used to POC and timers inside, but over here in the warmer states...its not that way.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Quite common practice here.

    When it comes to my house, relatives or close friends I'll run the electrical. Other than that an electrician can run the wiring if an outlet isn't handy.

    I think you could still be in trouble if anything happens.

    We have electricians.
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I've complained ever since moving north out of DFW to here about the lack of code or licensing for irrigation and how backward Kansas can be. We have threads here about LV licensing and not being able to complete a hardwire connection without an electrician here and suddenly I am not quite so critical of living in a backward midwest eniviron.

    And yes, that means if it is the best choice, I hard wire controllers. Even ICCs to 230v.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,519

    Sure, I know about timer connections where there are no basements. Personally, I always valued having the ability to 'pull the plug' on any piece of electronic equipment. I'd rather add a weatherproof outlet and a line cord, rather than to hardwire a controller outdoors. But do not do any line power wiring if you can't do it dead solid perfect, by the book.

    There is a code requirement for a certain minimum space (electrical boxes usually have cubic inches markings) for making power connections. I've seen the transformer nipple on outdoor controllers threaded into a <a href=http://www.starnursery.com/images/items/940985.jpg>conduit coupling</a> and the line cord coming through the other end, secured with a romex clamp. That's secure enough, but I'm not certain it would have the necessary minimum space. A regular outdoor juction box (with weatherproof cover) probably costs about the same.

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