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zwillinge
03-14-2006, 08:15 AM
i am about to have an irrigation system installed. i was impressed the the weathermatic controller but do i actually need it? the hunter pro c seemed good as well. any suggestions? my yard is about 6000 square feet with 6 trees 6 bushes 3 beds. i have gotten quotes between $2100 and $3100. am not sure how to decide. thanks. chris:confused:

Grassmechanic
03-14-2006, 09:27 AM
Stick with the Hunter....or Rainbird, if they will install it.

Flow Control
03-14-2006, 09:31 AM
From a homeowners standpoint what impressed you about weathermatic?

Az Gardener
03-14-2006, 09:34 AM
Hunter-Hunter -Hunter-Hunter -Hunter... did I mention Hunter?

Ground Master
03-14-2006, 09:47 AM
which weathermatic controller are you talking about? Is it the smartline controller? if so, i'd go with it.

as far as your quotes, how do they compare as far as number of heads,valves,pipe etc.?

ESprinklers
03-14-2006, 10:43 AM
The Weathermatic Smart Line Controller SL1600 is sweet. Probably more available options on it than your average homeowner would really need, but if your like me and a gadget freak, then you'll love it.

But on the contrary, Hunter just introduced a new smart controller in February too. Haven't gotten my hands on it yet to really check it out, but from what I'm hearing it's supposed to be nice as well. Still no update on pricing yet for it though. Hopefully we will have it in stock shortly.

zwillinge
03-14-2006, 11:26 AM
what impressed me?
it sounded like i don't have to do anything at all. also i would allow for irrigating the various zones for multiples times during one watering.
58 heads don't know about zones yet.

Flow Control
03-14-2006, 11:41 AM
what impressed me?
it sounded like i don't have to do anything at all. also i would allow for irrigating the various zones for multiples times during one watering.
58 heads don't know about zones yet.

Was the entire system quoted weathermatic or just the timer? Actually when I am in the market to buy something I will purchase from the company that I feel the most comfortable with unless their is a huge difference in quality of product. Myself I would prefer the Hunter components but also that is what my experience is with since it is the popular brand in the area. Why is it the most popular? It could be because of quality OR it could be because the company is more aggressive in marketing and incentives to contractors for using the product. Just my two cents.

zwillinge
03-14-2006, 01:00 PM
it seemed that it is the controller only. the guy gave me two bids the lower one for the hunter controller ($2600) and the higher one for the weathermatic ($3,100). he explained things well but i did not like the way he kept saying to me "you don't do anything, the controller knows when to water etc.". i also did not like the fact that he mentioned his subcontractors wanted to hurry to the next job since they are paid commission. made me think "are they going to hurry my job too". the references i got were good, both clients i called liked the job and/or fixing if something was not ok. none of the other companies have used this weathermatic in their bids. thanks for all you input. chris

Az Gardener
03-14-2006, 02:11 PM
I would be hesitant to rely on any of these "smart controllers" just yet. They are very new to the market, some rely on information from weather stations to program which means an ongoing cost. Others rely on sensors in the soil to suggest water frequency. I have been told by someone that is a specialist in these types of controllers that most of the sensors are not reliable yet. He has done some independent testing as he deals that 1% of the wealthiest clients out there. Spend 500 on a rain dial or the new hunter pro -c and wait for the dust to settle. 3-5 years a winner should emerge, but not yet.

Dirty Water
03-14-2006, 08:31 PM
I don't see a need for a smart controllers on residential systems. Thats just me though.

ESprinklers
03-14-2006, 09:09 PM
Some of the smart controllers out there, do have the option of being controlled by sophisticated satelite controlled weather stations, but this is rare and generally only used on very large systems such as golf courses. Your average residential, wealthy customer or not, has no use for the information these controllers can formulate. The Weathermatic weather station only cost around $100.00 and gives control variables such as rain, wind, freezing temperatures, etc. The controller price itself is very reasonable as well.

Hunter just introduced a new smart controller. Are people supposed to buy it just because Hunter is the manufacturer? Are should people stay away from it as well? If nobody buys smart controllers, how is anybody ever to evaluate their functionality and performance?

I would suggest not letting fear of the unknown shy you away from making an intelligent decision. I can tell you though that hiking the price up by $500.00 just to go with the Weathermatic is rediculous. He's price gouging! You could by two Weathermatic SL contollers and weather stations for that price.

But this is just my opinions, and should be taken with a grain of salt.

PurpHaze
03-14-2006, 10:15 PM
I would be hesitant to rely on any of these "smart controllers" just yet. They are very new to the market, some rely on information from weather stations to program which means an ongoing cost. Others rely on sensors in the soil to suggest water frequency. I have been told by someone that is a specialist in these types of controllers that most of the sensors are not reliable yet. He has done some independent testing as he deals that 1% of the wealthiest clients out there. Spend 500 on a rain dial or the new hunter pro -c and wait for the dust to settle. 3-5 years a winner should emerge, but not yet.

I'll agree here. SMART technology is on the rise and will get more reliable. From what I read I believe that in the future there will be state laws that will require ET-based SMART controllers on all new systems.

I have never seen a potentiometer sensor in the ground worth its beans yet.

PurpHaze
03-14-2006, 10:18 PM
what impressed me? it sounded like i don't have to do anything at all.

And one day you'll look out there and your entire landscape will be fried or resemble a swamp. :laugh: (JK)

YardPro
03-16-2006, 06:56 AM
from my experiences the hunter is a muche better system than weathermatic.
here weathermatic is the "cheap" system.

Hank Reardon
03-16-2006, 08:01 AM
RainMaster! Complete with the Evolution Central System!

:drinkup:

Az Gardener
03-16-2006, 09:32 AM
Check out www.humbear.com then click on the acclaim system then the "water on demand" I am meeting with a fella today to show me a system he has installed. There is also one going into a project I just bid. He just sold them this system and a 10-K $ injector system that reads the Ph of the water and then adjusts the release of nfuric(sp?) acid to lower the water coming out to 5.5 very spendy. Yes this is on a residence, just the clients I like. He swears by the sensors on the acclaim system, This design makes more sense to me than the others I have seen. I'm just glad for once it's not me out there pushing the latest new thing and my reputation on the line.

skurkp
03-16-2006, 07:56 PM
zwillinge,,, the only thing that I would suggest is that you stay with the same manufacture through out the entire system. What you will find is that on manufacture will say the problem with the system is not their component but the other manufactures component. If you install Hunter stay with hunter valves and heads, rain bird and all others the same. Each manufacture designs their products to work correctly with their products. the second thing that I would be asking if your quotes are from different companies is how much water will be used, this will allow you to determine monthly costs and are you going to get matched precipitation rates. You should be concerned that pipe sizing is correct to help to prevent water hammer later, this will cause heads to pop off and pipes to break. Make sure that there is a permit being pulled and that the back flow is inspected. In Austin the water meter will be removed if the backflow is not inspected upon installation and annually. Just my opinion. I am in Texas and install irrigation and certify back flows. So I hear the restrictions coming down the pipe line.

YardPro
03-16-2006, 08:30 PM
zwillinge,,, the only thing that I would suggest is that you stay with the same manufacture through out the entire system. What you will find is that on manufacture will say the problem with the system is not their component but the other manufactures component. If you install Hunter stay with hunter valves and heads, rain bird and all others the same. Each manufacture designs their products to work correctly with their products. the second thing that I would be asking if your quotes are from different companies is how much water will be used, this will allow you to determine monthly costs and are you going to get matched precipitation rates. You should be concerned that pipe sizing is correct to help to prevent water hammer later, this will cause heads to pop off and pipes to break. Make sure that there is a permit being pulled and that the back flow is inspected. In Austin the water meter will be removed if the backflow is not inspected upon installation and annually. Just my opinion. I am in Texas and install irrigation and certify back flows. So I hear the restrictions coming down the pipe line.

i totally disagree with this..
I have never had a manufacturer blame the failure of thier componet on another componet from another brand...

I agree with sticking with the same brand for a particular item ( all one brand spray head, or rotor, ot valves, etc...). but there is no need to use all one brand throught the entire system.

gusbuster
03-16-2006, 08:33 PM
I'll agree here. SMART technology is on the rise and will get more reliable. From what I read I believe that in the future there will be state laws that will require ET-based SMART controllers on all new systems.

I have never seen a potentiometer sensor in the ground worth its beans yet.

OK, since we are talking about the same system that I installed(Hunter valves, 4"institutional bodies and 4" 1800 s.a.m.s with the weathermatic timer and weather station)in my own home, the cabinet, the only thing that I didn't like is if you want to or required by code to hard wire to your electrical, you had to cut the end off (plug) as the cabinet is already weather proof.

The features that come with this unit, as was said earlier, kind of overkill for a residential clock, but I went with this unit for the potential water savings.

In my particular city(Manteca, Ca), the newer homes, if irrigation is installed, there is a requirement for the newer smart timers. Also, a couple surrounding cities require this now.(as of 2006) Why? Ca does have a water problem just like AZ, CO,NM and other western states. Just too many people moving here and not enough storage capacity regarding water.(lets not forget about the water for Salmon either)

One thing that I will say about the weathermatic company, great tech support. I had a problem(I somehow shorted a module). They were quick to help me diagnose my problem.

I do see more and more cities, specially here in CA and other western states requiring by code the use of smart timers because of the water situation.

I will be offering the choice of a pro c timer or this weathermatic timer. I can see why they are charging a little more (because of running an extra wire), but $500 is a little steep,maybe $300 more for the weather module and the extra time to run the extra wire.

cenlo
03-18-2006, 06:41 PM
i totally disagree with this..
I have never had a manufacturer blame the failure of thier componet on another componet from another brand...

I agree with sticking with the same brand for a particular item ( all one brand spray head, or rotor, ot valves, etc...). but there is no need to use all one brand throught the entire system.

Using different manufacturers on the same job is like using different trtades on the same job! You're just more likely to face conflict.:hammerhead:

Dirty Water
03-18-2006, 06:46 PM
Using different manufacturers on the same job is like using different trtades on the same job! You're just more likely to face conflict.:hammerhead:

What, thats a load of BS.

We use Rainbird 1800 Sprayheads and Hunter rotors. Why? Because we have found that combination to be the most reliable and cost effective for us.

Your a manufacturers best friend buddy.

cenlo
03-18-2006, 07:01 PM
What, thats a load of BS.

We use Rainbird 1800 Sprayheads and Hunter rotors. Why? Because we have found that combination to be the most reliable and cost effective for us.

Your a manufacturers best friend buddy.

There is more to a system than sprayheads and rotors. What about a commercial application of a mini weather station conflicting with a controller or ???????? If the Manufacturers are the same it is a no brainer, but if they are different............good luck:)

Dirty Water
03-18-2006, 07:04 PM
There is more to a system than sprayheads and rotors. What about a commercial application of a mini weather station conflicting with a controller or ???????? If the Manufacturers are the same it is a no brainer, but if they are different............good luck:)

We mix Hunter rain sensors with Rainbird ESP controllers.

However, I do agree with you that on a complicated control setup its best to use a "kit" instead of mixing and matching.

However, just because someone uses a weathermatic SMART controller, doesn't mean they should also use weathermatic valves.

I see you are backpeddling on your original point before everyone disagree's with you. I've talked to lots of hunter and rainbird fanboys that refuse to mix and match to come up with a superior combination.

gusbuster
03-19-2006, 06:37 AM
There is more to a system than sprayheads and rotors. What about a commercial application of a mini weather station conflicting with a controller or ???????? If the Manufacturers are the same it is a no brainer, but if they are different............good luck:)

Lets just start off on this point, on a complicated\more advance timer, I wouldn't mix controller with a different brand weather module or rain sensor.

However, a 24 volt valve is a 24 volt valve. A 4" spray body is a 4"spray body. Some are superior,some are just junk. Knowing whats good, and where to buy that good product, but most important, knowing what is interchangeable is how you make money off of the parts you buy. That's what is part of running a business.

Flow Control
03-19-2006, 07:56 AM
There is not a brand on the market that makes the best of everything. At least in my opinion. Are any of you guys split on the products you install? Meaning you find more then one product that you are happy with and out of convenience or another factor is the reason you use what you use?

PurpHaze
03-19-2006, 10:37 AM
Are any of you guys split on the products you install? Meaning you find more then one product that you are happy with and out of convenience or another factor is the reason you use what you use?

In our case it's so we don't have to carry every product on the market on our trucks. :waving:

Flow Control
03-19-2006, 10:59 AM
I understand that given your situation.

jerryrwm
03-19-2006, 12:21 PM
There is not a brand on the market that makes the best of everything. At least in my opinion. Are any of you guys split on the products you install? Meaning you find more then one product that you are happy with and out of convenience or another factor is the reason you use what you use?

Gotta agree with you on this. Every manufacturer has something that doesn't perform up to standards.

If one wants to be brand specific and have to put up with the problems, so be it. People learn to adapt to the various short-comings and things work well.

If the different product lines are available, then it is easy to use one brand of spray heads, one brand of rotor heads, maybe a different manufacturer for valves, and then another for a controller. It all depends on what works the best for your situation. You will learn which weather station will work with which controller, rain switches swap with no problem (except for the wireless which are another problem altogether).

As for carrying all brands in the truck, if you are consistant in all the installations, then you will only need those products in your truck. If you use PGPs, 1804, 2500 valves, and Weathermatic controllers, then that's what you carry in the truck to service your installs. Not a problem.

Now some other company may service the system sometime down the road, and he may not carry those particular brands on his truck. Well guess what? Who cares? I am not in the business of taking care of every other service company out there, and if the customer chooses to go with another company for service, then they have to pay the piper so to speak. They just need to put on their 'big boy pants' and deal with it. (Just a little cynical today.)

PurpHaze
03-19-2006, 01:40 PM
Now some other company may service the system sometime down the road, and he may not carry those particular brands on his truck. Well guess what? Who cares? I am not in the business of taking care of every other service company out there, and if the customer chooses to go with another company for service, then they have to pay the piper so to speak. They just need to put on their 'big boy pants' and deal with it.

A good irrigator should be able to read performance tables and know what would swap out for another brand and still perform well within the zone and system if they don't have the exact model/nozzle to replace.

(Just a little cynical today.)

Too cold up there??? :laugh:

cenlo
03-19-2006, 04:57 PM
[QUOTE=Dirty Water]I see you are backpeddling on your original point before everyone disagree's with you. /QUOTE]

It's called a discussion!:)

YardPro
03-19-2006, 05:07 PM
Using different manufacturers on the same job is like using different trtades on the same job! You're just more likely to face conflict.:hammerhead:


that's a load of bs.
as for weather stations, and etmonitoring controllers, i can see that, but as for valves and heads, it's a load of BS.

the controler valves and heads have no "conflict" with each other

we use the best products from several lines to build a superior system.

Hunter I-20 heads, rainbird 1800's, etc.....

cenlo
03-19-2006, 05:50 PM
that's a load of bs.
as for weather stations, and etmonitoring controllers, i can see that, but as for valves and heads, it's a load of BS.

the controler valves and heads have no "conflict" with each other

we use the best products from several lines to build a superior system.

Hunter I-20 heads, rainbird 1800's, etc.....

You're a little late with the BS statement......but WOW good originality!:clapping:

YardPro
03-19-2006, 06:02 PM
you're just being pissy because you sounded foolish with your origional comment and were called out on it. take it like a man.... you were wrong....

jerryrwm
03-19-2006, 07:10 PM
A good irrigator should be able to read performance tables and know what would swap out for another brand and still perform well within the zone and system if they don't have the exact model/nozzle to replace.



Too cold up there??? :laugh:

Excellent. My point exactly. If an irrigator is worth his salt, he can make it work properly with a little effort, but it's not really my place to make his life easier.

And actually the weather is great up here today. In the high 40's - low 50's. Melted all the snow, but the ground still has frost so we're not ready yet. Quite a change from South Texas!!

Dirty Water
03-19-2006, 07:18 PM
Excellent. My point exactly. If an irrigator is worth his salt, he can make it work properly with a little effort, but it's not really my place to make his life easier.

And actually the weather is great up here today. In the high 40's - low 50's. Melted all the snow, but the ground still has frost so we're not ready yet. Quite a change from South Texas!!

Maybe I missed a thread, but you went from owning your company in texas to working for someone else in Wisconsin? Or did you move your company???

Thats a pretty radical change.

cenlo
03-20-2006, 06:34 AM
you're just being pissy because you sounded foolish with your origional comment and were called out on it. take it like a man.... you were wrong....

Again......it is a discussion. It is my opinion, relax it's all good.:) That is just what I believe.

jerryrwm
03-20-2006, 07:15 AM
Maybe I missed a thread, but you went from owning your company in texas to working for someone else in Wisconsin? Or did you move your company???

Thats a pretty radical change.

Actually, it was a radical move at this stage in my life. But it was the right move.

I was at a turning point in Texas. Take the plunge and expand to grow the business to include more installations, or stay the same in a rapidly dwindling market. It was dwindling not for lack of construction and new housing, but more from the added competition. There are more and more clowns being turned out by the schools and passing the test than you can shake a stick at. They are everywhere, and just happy to work for wages. If they make $100.00 clear on a job after paying themselves $12.50 an hr for doing the job, they are happy as hell. When they are bidding the installs at less money than we were 20+ yrs ago, it's not even on the same playing field. Makes it tough to keep giving prices for installations. And the service rates are dropping like a Wisconsin thermometer. They're giving the service away for $40.00/hr and less, plus parts. Makes me look stupid when I come in at $65.00/hr. So, a decision had to be made. I was actually looking to move up closer to the DFW area, and open up the business there.

Then this job came along. I was contacted and spoke to the powers that be with this company. We had several phone discussions, many emails, etc. in the beginning. Then a plane ticket to Milwaukee and a sit-down face to face. After several more calls and a little negotiating, I accepted the position as Irrigation Department Manager. The package offered was too attractive to turn down, and my wife and I had been talking for several years about moving back to the land of four seasons. So here we are. I sold my customer list to a friend in the business, sold my mowing equipment and contracts to another
friend, and packed up and moved north.

So, here I am in SE Wisconsin, enjoying life and living large. Just waiting for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw so we can get on with the business of irrigation.

Flow Control
03-20-2006, 07:24 AM
How did you hook up with the company?