Environmental practices that return your investment…
Jim B. in Nashville, Tennessee writes:
“…my pastor told me that he saw my irrigation system running while we were away on vacation. The problem was it was also raining. We are gone a lot, and certain times of the year the rains are unpredictable. I’ve heard of a “rain switch”, do they work and where can I get one if they are effective?”
Irrigation Essential's Response:
Yes there are a number of “rain switches” on the market. They come in different configurations, but are basically a simple, adjustable sensor that when sensing a level of rain above a minimum you have set, inhibits the controller programming by “breaking the common” wire connection to all the irrigation valves. The devices are such that they will “dry out”, and turn themselves back on as well.
With most controllers this is a global interruption of irrigation. So if you have plantings under eaves, in an atrium, etc. they will not be irrigated. The second is the critical issue with any sensor is that they be located in a good spot to get an accurate “reading” of what they are supposed to sense. In this case – mounted where rain can land on the sensor. Also that it be located in a place where you can easily, and periodically inspect the device and confirm its functionality.
eMail us back with the make/model of your irrigation controller, and tell us whether it is mounted inside or outside, and we’ll be able to recommend a specific solution. Also, I see by your zip code that you are near a professional irrigation supply vendor Ewing Irrigation, located at 118 Park South Ct., Nashville. Their phone is 615.244.8870. We strongly recommend that you purchase your irrigation gear from them instead of the big box hardware stores.
Answer these questions, and we can further help you save money on water and have a beautiful garden!
Many times, seemingly simple questions have answers that span several disciplines (design theory, installation practices, horticulture and soil science issues), and can become burdensome for someone to try to take in all at once.
To facilitate understanding, we group our information in three broad categories:
System Management — Irrigation scheduling. Hitting the “moving target” of plant water need as it changes throughout the growing season.
Delivery System — Spray heads, rotors, emitters, etc. We try to explain the principles behind how they function, and make sense out of the many look-alike products on the market.
Soil Biology — Living soils and horticultural practices play a very significant role in how effective irrigation can be, and the viability of the landscape. Think of growing roots, not plants! Healthy roots will ensure a beautiful garden!
Most irrigation schedules waste water. Learn how to get the most out of efficient irrigation scheduling!
Subsurface Capillary Textile Irrigation: A new class of hardware offering the highest distribution uniformities available today.
Intelligent Irrigation combined with a diverse and robust soil biology encourage root growth. The result is healthier plants that are more drought tolerant and less vulnerable to disease.