Whether you’re considering the health of your grass, or the health of your wallet, managing your water usage is an important part of maintaining your lawn.
An underground sprinkler system that runs on a timer is great way to conserve water compared to dragging hoses and running water manually. If you already have an underground sprinkler, you can further improve your watering efficiency with a few inexpensive system add-ons. A rain sensor, flow meter, and a smart timer can greatly reduce water waste.
Rain sensors work by detecting rainfall. Many models will shut down your sprinkler system as soon as rain is detected, while others will collect a predetermined amount of rainfall, and then turn the system off. Smart rain sensors can work in conjunction with your sprinklers timer to monitor rainfall and ensure your lawn receives the correct amount of water.
Rain sensors are normally mounted on a gutter or fence. There are hardwired and wireless version of these devices available, and they do require compatibility with your irrigation timer.
Rain sensors typically use either an expansion disk, which swells as water is collected, or a collection cup, which fills to a certain level as it rains. Expansion disks are most common found on residential and commercial systems.
Expansion disk are a cork material, smaller than a dime, that can simulate the moisture in the soil. When it swells, the sensor will interrupt the communication signal on the “common” wire through the system and not allow current to enter the “field wire path”. Once there has been enough evaporation/heat the cork will dry and allow the switch to raise and resume normal irrigation cycles. This is one of the most effective tools to help your lawn get the proper amount of water, without waste.
Most sprinkler systems will irrigate early in the morning and during the humid and hot months you can get pressure systems that build up overnight and will rain after you go to bed and before you wake up. A half inch of water on the lawn before your system adds another half inch of water during regular irrigation can lead to lawn disease, erosion, mosquito habitats, and that stinging feeling you get when the water bill arrives. Nothing irrigates likes rain fall no matter how well your heads are adjusted, so make the most of it when you can, and enjoy the gift!
Smart Irrigation Timers
Smart sprinkler timers allow you to connect to the system using a smart device and an app. You’ll be able to control the system, adjust timers, turn the system on and off, get push notifications, etc. Being able to make adjustments on the fly, even when you aren’t at home, will allow you to reduce water waste, and optimize your watering from any location.
Many of smart times utilize features that are so extensive that it can be quite overwhelming. For examples, several models allow you to grant access to a contractor they do not have to be on-site to handle repairs. Some will pull milliamp data to do a health check on the current and solenoid strength of the valves in the system to ensure any failures are instantly reported.
Many smart controllers are also able to access weather data based on zip code. The system can adjust automatically if it is likely to rain.
Water Flow Meters
Another devices that may help reduce your water bill is a flow meter. When installed, these devices allow you to get push notifications for anomalies in the system, i.e. leaks. The device can terminate watering until the issues is assessed, which could save a lot of water.
These meters are designed to monitor water flow throughout your irrigation system. If your system has an unusually high or low flow, it will warn you. In the event of a leak, the meter will know where in the system water isn’t flowing correctly. The meter also allows you to see reports on how much water is used in each zone.
If you’re interested in reducing water waste by upgrading your sprinkler system in the Wichita, KS area, give us a call. Our technicians can help you find the best devices for your system.