I have a question about sprinkler wiring. The sprinkler timer is located on the front wall of my house (this was done by the previous owner) and I should run a wire from there to a sprinkler valve located in the backyard. I was thinking of running the wire along the exterior wall, stapling it right below the roof. Then, when I read the articles of sprinkler wiring, most suggest to bury them under the ground. I am curious if it is ok to have over-ground wiring. The total distance is about 70 ft.


  • 1
    I think most people would rather have the wire hidden in the ground rather than stapled to the house since the final destination is a valve in the ground anyway. I personally wouldn't want anything stapled to the house.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 21:09
  • The problem is that the ground between the controller and the valve is asphalt...
    – DSKim
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 21:12
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    Is there a crawl space under the house? Or can you snake the wire up the wall into the rafter area and across the house to the back side?
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 21:33
  • DSKIM what happens if you get a tornado, high winds or a really bad hail storm? Won't that damage your wires? Commented May 29, 2019 at 14:54

2 Answers 2


Ensure that the sprinkler wire you select is rated for UV exposure and a suitable temperature range for your region. Buried wire is generally protected from these elements by virtue of being buried.

You may also consider placing a UV rated conduit the protect the wire above ground.

Either way, sprinkler system wiring is considered low voltage and there are very few codes governing the installation. Being above or below ground shouldn't be a safety concern.


Running the wire above or under ground is not the issue. The most important concern is to make sure the wire won't get cut or damaged by any means. Burying the wire is recommended, since it is hidden and not subject to damage from garden shears, nylon string trimmers, vehicle tires, foot traffic, etc. (I have the timer in the garage; the valves are in two zones, one on the back of house, other are on the side.)

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