Landscape Irrigation Controller Maintenance
- Verify proper operation of the controller. Confirm the date and time are correct. Be sure the back-up battery is functional.
- Adjust your watering schedule seasonally. The landscape will not require as much water in the Spring and Fall as in the heat of the summer.
- Spring (March – May) and Fall (October) the schedule can be ½ of the summer requirement.
- Winter (November – February) turn the irrigation off. Water manually as needed.
- Install a rain/freeze sensor. Rain sensors prevent irrigation systems from running when it is raining and right after rain events when irrigation is unnecessary. Rain/freeze sensors add the ability to stop irrigation when temperatures approach freezing to prevent ice on landscapes and hardscapes. These devices can reduce irrigation water usage up to 35 percent and help extend irrigation system life. Sprinkler systems should never run in the rain, and rain sensors can put an end to those wasteful and embarrassing situations.
- Weather-based controllers actually adjust irrigation schedules based on local weather conditions. These climate-based systems gather local weather information and some even factor in your exact landscape (types of plants, soils, slopes, etc.) to make irrigation run-time adjustments so your landscape always receives the appropriate amount of water. There is a wide range of products in this category with various weather input options and landscape-specific adjustment factors. The water savings can be substantial and the convenience of these self-adjusting controllers is another great benefit.
- Sensor-based controllers rely on soil moisture sensors placed below ground in the root zones of lawns and landscapes to determine if and how long to water. Soils may be maintained between lower and upper target moisture levels for optimal plant health. Alternatively, a simpler decision is to schedule the regular irrigation program to run based on the soil moisture. Weather-based and sensor-based control products are available as stand-alone controllers or add-on devices to existing controllers. Each has been shown to reduce irrigation water usage up to 70 percent without sacrificing the quality of your landscaping.