It’s difficult to motivate people to be passionate about water management. However if your sprinklers come on when it is raining you wont believe how passionate your neighbors become about you needing to save water. Adding a rain sensor to your current irrigation system might be the most sensible thing you can do to conserve water. It can save water, money, and more importantly, keep your neighbors calm.
Rain sensors are low cost
Due to increased focus on water conserving products, manufacturers have created several new irrigation solutions to help your system reach peak performance for a surprisingly minimal investment. Most rain sensors can be purchased for less than $100. You need one sensor per controller. These new products will help you save money, improve landscape health, and contribute to the betterment of the local environment. Rain sensors have been around for years, but recent gains in technology have created a wireless rain sensor allowing you to place your sensor in an optimal location to detect rain.
Easy to install
Rain sensors can be mounted anywhere — on gutters, posts, walls or conduit. The rain sensor communicates with your system’s controller and is designed to override the cycle program, stopping the system during rainfall, and keeping it off for a while after rain has fallen. Irrigation will resume once the sensor dries out. Location of your sensor is critical because mounting the sensor in a sunny southern location can cause the sensor to dry out quickly. Conversely, mounting in a shady northern exposure will cause the controller to stay off longer. Stay away from extremes when determining a mounting location.
Rain sensors can be purchased almost anywhere irrigation products are sold. Some require a specific amount of rain before they shut off, so these could actually go off while it is raining. I prefer models that turn off immediately when any rain is detected. Rain sensors are really one of the easiest water management improvements you can make to your home and still it is my experience less than 10% of all irrigation controllers have a rain sensor. Also, if you do have a smart controller remember most of these also need a rain sensor. The controllers are programed to water a specific amount. If you need .25 inches of water today and it only rains .10 inches your sprinklers are coming on. The controller may be correct, but you will have a hard time explaining to your neighbors why you are correct. If you enjoyed this article please consider subscribing or following me @H2oTrends.