Hunter Sprinklers

Getting Familiar with Hunter Sprinklers

Hunter Sprinklers
XCore Controller

I became familiar with Hunter Sprinklers and heads when they became easier to find then Rainbird products. Years ago, it was hard to find anything other than Rainbird sprinklers at my local Home Depot stores. I was reluctant to replace my old sprinkler heads with another brand, not because I loved Rainbird, but because I was not familiar with any other brands. Other brands of Lawn Sprinkler Systems. Replacement heads have their own settings and it can be confusing learning a new way of setting them up every time you need to replace heads. I am no longer intimidated by non-Rain Bird brands. IN fact, Hunter replacement heads are easy to use and last just as long if not longer than the other 3 or 4 brands I’ve tried, including Rainbird. Besides my own favorable experience, there is another good reason to trust the Hunter brand.

History of Hunter Sprinklers

Hunter is not just another sprinkler company spin-off. The company was founded in 1981, making sprinkler systems and products for commercial, irrigation, landscaping and sporting events industries and its own irrigation system. The original owner, Edwin Hunter was a pioneer, inventor and innovator of Hunter irrigation and lawn sprinkler systems since the 1950s. You can see from Hunter Industries website, that their line of innovative products, including Hunter Lawn sprinklers is equal if not superior to any other name in sprinklers. If name and reputation are concerns for choosing an entire sprinkler system, Hunter has you covered. While I am not personally in the market for an entire sprinkler system, I’ve been replacing parts of my old rain bird system with Hunter. Now, that I am about ready to make the next major investment in a new controller, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this brand name once again.

Time for a New Sprinkler Controller?

My old Rain Bird sprinkler system controller came with the house about 22 years ago. Needles to say, the unit is rather antiquated, if not a complete dinosaur. Don’t get me wrong, it still works as good as it did when it was new, but residential sprinklers controllers have improved quite a bit in the last 22 years. For one thing, my sprinkler controller has no back up system, so after a power outage the entire settings need to be re-set. For a yard with multiple zones and drip systems this can be a rather daunting task. The other problem with my old Rain Bird controller is that it’s analog settings is unnecessarily complicated, confusing and time consuming. There are numerous dials to learn and separate switches for each time settings. Also, the old beast is not very flexible. For example, there are only 6, 12, 18, 24, 30 and 60 minute increments of watering times, with no way to choose anything in between. What if I want to water for 11, 15 or 17 minutes? Also, there is no way to choose watering programs by day. It is only possible to choose every day, every other day or every 3 days for watering. This doesn’t work too well for most of us, which is why I began considering a new sprinkler systems controller.
Well, that and the fact that I can get a far superior sprinklers controller to my old one for under $100.00.

Hunter Sprinklers X Core 8-Way Controller

Hunter Sprinklers XCore
XCore 8-Way

While I was at Home Depot looking for some accessories, the X Core 8-Way Controller by Hunter Sprinklers caught my eye. By merely looking at the X Core display model, I had already figured out how to program it. What could be simpler? There is one dial with 8 settings, Plus 1 To run the entire program:
Hunter  X Core 8-Way Settings

  1. System Off
  2. Manual One Station
  3. Solar Sync Settings
  4. Seasonal Adjustment Percentage
  5. Current Time Day
  6. Start Times
  7. Run Times
  8. Water Times

Don’t get overly excited hunter sprinklers fans: There is one more dial to learn: a mere cursor, with side-to-side and up-down arrows for changing the values. Now, I ask: What could be simpler than that? Personally, I probably wouldn’t use the Solar Sync which requires an additional accessory. The Seasonal adjustment percentage sounds interesting and I could see that being very useful. Best of all, the entire system is backed up in volatile memory. Even after a power outage, you’ll never have to worry about losing any of your program settings. As it’s name implies, the XCore 800 Controller controls up to 8 stations – that’s more than enough for my big yard with multiple areas, including gardens, shrubs, front and back lawn. If you’re still not completely sold on the Hunters sprinklers brand, it comes with a full, 2 year warranty which is better than the standard 1-year that comes with most consumer products. I’ve had enough experience with Hunter Sprinklers products to know that this is the controller for me. If the X Core 800 is not quite right for you, I bet they have one that is. Hunter Sprinklers makes around 20 different controllers, though the majority of them probably go beyond the typical needs of a residential sprinkler system. The X Core 8 Way controller is perfect for most homes. For under $100, I’ve got another reason to buy from Hunter Sprinklers.