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irrig8r
04-21-2007, 05:37 PM
I'm certified on the Weathermatic Smartline (just one installed so far.... monitoring it's reliability.) And just last week I took and passed the test online for the WeatheTRAK-enabled Irritrol Smart Dial.

I have a lot of ICCs and Pro-Cs installed on past jobs and I'm offering one homeowner a slight break on my labor for an ET System with her knowledge it's my first one... Any of you out there install one yet? Any tricks or points I need to pay attention to that i might easily overlook?

My plan is to set it on a post at about 6 feet off the ground in a shrub area that's pretty wide open to the sky, but not too conspicuous.

To do this I'll have to run the cable thru conduit under a walkway. Haven't even looked at the instructions yet, but I think I read that within 100 ft. of the controller is good. I'll probably run the cable through conduit the whole distance. Looks like part of it connects to a SmartPort, but also has a SmartPort coming from that same piece, and I'm guessing that's for my remote.

One zone is lawn with PGPs on a steep slope, another zone lawn with 570s that's flat in full sun. Two more lawn zones of 570s in shade. A handful of drip zones, 3 Xeripop zones, 3 zones of PGMs in ground cover on a slope (2 shade, 1 sun) etc., etc. .. so basically, a lot of variety.

Should be a good test case, but I'm thinking the hardest to figure out will probably be the drip.

Any advice is welcome.

I have one customer who calls me his "irrigation guru" and another that calls me the "McGuyver of irrigation" so I have a longstanding and hard won reputation to uphold :-)

PurpHaze
04-21-2007, 09:45 PM
I haven't used the Hunter ET system yet but was thinking about testing it out on my home system. Let me know how things go as you get the chance to see it in action.

bdb
04-21-2007, 11:11 PM
The WM controller is not true ET. WM is perfect for smaller residentials to keep it affordable. And it does a good job. I think the Hunter ET is a more precise unit. This is the better choice for the larger properties. IMO its a just too big to mount on a house within 100' of the controller. The Rain Bird and the Irritrol you have to subscribe to a service......are you kidding me. I'll sell you this cool controller for a more then a standard one and you, have to pay a fee every month to use it. Not to many customers want that!

zman9119
04-21-2007, 11:15 PM
The Rain Bird and the Irritrol you have to subscribe to a service......are you kidding me. I'll sell you this cool controller for a more then a standard one and you, have to pay a fee every month to use it. Not to many customers want that!

I looking into the Rain Bird setup last year. They had no providers in my area, so they offered to set me up as one...


I thought it would be nice until they gave me the price of 7,000$ for a weather station, broadcasting unit, and all the other junk. They say you can resell the broadcasting information, but who is going to waste their time doing that.


.z

Rotor_Tool
04-21-2007, 11:19 PM
The WM controller is not true ET. WM is perfect for smaller residentials to keep it affordable. And it does a good job. I think the Hunter ET is a more precise unit. This is the better choice for the larger properties. IMO its a just too big to mount on a house within 100' of the controller. The Rain Bird and the Irritrol you have to subscribe to a service......are you kidding me. I'll sell you this cool controller for a more then a standard one and you, have to pay a fee every month to use it. Not to many customers want that!

Depends on where you live as to whether or not you pay a service fee for the Rain Bird unit (ET Manager). I know in Utah, the state provides the signal for free to anyone that wants to use it; this is also the case for many of the large municipalities in Colorado. In other parts of the country, you must pay a minimal signal fee, but you do not have any onsite weather instruments to maintain. My distributor demonstrated the Rain Bird unit to me in comparison with the other ET based devices not long ago. The nice thing about the Rain Bird unit is that it works with any sprinkler controller and it does not manipulate run times which could lead to trouble.

Remote Pigtails
04-22-2007, 02:59 AM
The WM controller is not true ET. WM is perfect for smaller residentials to keep it affordable. And it does a good job. I think the Hunter ET is a more precise unit. This is the better choice for the larger properties. IMO its a just too big to mount on a house within 100' of the controller. The Rain Bird and the Irritrol you have to subscribe to a service......are you kidding me. I'll sell you this cool controller for a more then a standard one and you, have to pay a fee every month to use it. Not to many customers want that!

I agree with you completely. We've been pretty happy with the smartline. My supply house tells me they sell a lot of them but not nearly as many monitors. On the Hunter ET I was told cleaning the radiation shield regularly is really important. haven't tried it yet and doubt I will unless the positive feedback is overwhelming on this site. Except for the PGP I've always had a bias against Hunter. They seem to be popular with contractors on this site so I've tried a few of the products. Micro sprays didn't do much for me. Ck valve prs heads were okay but I'll stick with RB. Hate the seasonal adjust on their residential controllers. SRV valve has ruined any desire to try their other valves.

Rotor_Tool
04-22-2007, 02:15 PM
I agree with you completely. We've been pretty happy with the smartline. My supply house tells me they sell a lot of them but not nearly as many monitors. On the Hunter ET I was told cleaning the radiation shield regularly is really important. haven't tried it yet and doubt I will unless the positive feedback is overwhelming on this site. Except for the PGP I've always had a bias against Hunter. They seem to be popular with contractors on this site so I've tried a few of the products. Micro sprays didn't do much for me. Ck valve prs heads were okay but I'll stick with RB. Hate the seasonal adjust on their residential controllers. SRV valve has ruined any desire to try their other valves.

I heard some noise about a bill that was to be heard by the Senate in TX requiring these smart controllers on every irrigation system in the future, any news related to that?

I've heard some stories from friends in the business in MI and other parts of the Midwest that have experienced complete failure with the Hunter ET Systems. A few have had to provide complete landscape replacements (including turf) because the weather sensors had failed. I didn't think this system was even for sale yet because of these issues. I have another friend in Dallas that installed 30 of these things in a development and the management of the development made the installer take the product down because the "weather stations" are such an eyesore. Besides these things, if you don't have a Hunter controller with a smart port (and why would you?) you have to replace the controller to work with the ET System.

I've read other posts concerning the WeatherMatic Smartline product on this site, where guys have mentioned plant water requirements. The WMatic, Hunter, Toro-Irritrol-Hydropoint, products all adjust run-times vs. frequency. So, if ET took .15" away yesterday the controller will put back .15" today. How is that satisfying the plants water needs? It seems that the unit is teasing the root structure of the plant.

Remote Pigtails
04-22-2007, 02:53 PM
I heard some noise about a bill that was to be heard by the Senate in TX requiring these smart controllers on every irrigation system in the future, any news related to that?

I've heard some stories from friends in the business in MI and other parts of the Midwest that have experienced complete failure with the Hunter ET Systems. A few have had to provide complete landscape replacements (including turf) because the weather sensors had failed. I didn't think this system was even for sale yet because of these issues. I have another friend in Dallas that installed 30 of these things in a development and the management of the development made the installer take the product down because the "weather stations" are such an eyesore. Besides these things, if you don't have a Hunter controller with a smart port (and why would you?) you have to replace the controller to work with the ET System.

I've read other posts concerning the WeatherMatic Smartline product on this site, where guys have mentioned plant water requirements. The WMatic, Hunter, Toro-Irritrol-Hydropoint, products all adjust run-times vs. frequency. So, if ET took .15" away yesterday the controller will put back .15" today. How is that satisfying the plants water needs? It seems that the unit is teasing the root structure of the plant.

If you want to see the guidelines of the future I'd suggest Frisco, TX
http://www.friscotexas.gov/.../Comp_zoning_ord_92701/IV-02-Landscape_Requirements.pdf
The current philosophy seems to be a move away from infrequent heavy run and soak watering to frequent ET based watering. They say now that 80% of water and nutrient absorption occurs in the top 2-4 inches of soil and all this effort to encourage deep root systems is wasted water. My attitude is learn to recognize plant symptons and water accordingly.

PurpHaze
04-22-2007, 02:56 PM
So, if ET took .15" away yesterday the controller will put back .15" today. How is that satisfying the plants water needs? It seems that the unit is teasing the root structure of the plant.

To better understand ET-based watering you should hone up your knowledge skills because there are a LOT of interrelated aspects to it... from available water holding capacity (often referred to as field capacity in the ag areas), soil texture/structure, root zone depth, irrigation system efficiency, plant crop coefficients, plant transpiration and soil moisture evaporation, system precipitation rates, etc. There are literally thousands of resources on the internet that can explain it from the simple layman concept to highly technical and mathematical papers.

An easy-to-understand resource is http://www.hunterindustries.com/Resources/PDFs/Technical/Domestic/lit263w.pdf and most other irrigation manufacturers that sell ET-based components usually have explanatory informational resources available for downloading.

A college background in Plant Sciences, Soils Technologies and Irrigation Designing/Consulting doesn't hurt the knowledge curve either.

PurpHaze
04-22-2007, 02:59 PM
If you want to see the guidelines of the future I'd suggest Frisco, TX
http://www.friscotexas.gov/.../Comp_zoning_ord_92701/IV-02-Landscape_Requirements.pdf


Bad URL on my end. Have another one? :)

Never mind... I went in through the front door and found it.

Remote Pigtails
04-22-2007, 03:03 PM
To better understand ET-based watering you should hone up your knowledge skills because there are a LOT of interrelated aspects to it... from available water holding capacity (often referred to as field capacity in the ag areas), soil texture/structure, root zone depth, irrigation system efficiency, plant crop coefficients, plant transpiration and soil moisture evaporation, system precipitation rates, etc. There are literally thousands of resources on the internet that can explain it from the simple layman concept to highly technical and mathematical papers.

An easy-to-understand resource is http://www.hunterindustries.com/Resources/PDFs/Technical/Domestic/lit263w.pdf and most other irrigation manufacturers that sell ET-based components usually have explanatory informational resources available for downloading.

A college background in Plant Sciences, Soils Technologies and Irrigation Designing/Consulting doesn't hurt the knowledge curve either.

Too much to know! Know your plants and recognize symptoms is my M. O. I tell customers let some air get back in the ground to try to get them to quit over watering. Over watering not under watering is my biggest problem with customers. I'm convinced they see watering as a form of nurturing and a way they can make up for their low gardening IQ.

Rotor_Tool
04-22-2007, 03:04 PM
To better understand ET-based watering you should hone up your knowledge skills because there are a LOT of interrelated aspects to it... from available water holding capacity (often referred to as field capacity in the ag areas), soil texture/structure, root zone depth, irrigation system efficiency, plant crop coefficients, plant transpiration and soil moisture evaporation, system precipitation rates, etc. There are literally thousands of resources on the internet that can explain it from the simple layman concept to highly technical and mathematical papers.

An easy-to-understand resource is http://www.hunterindustries.com/Resources/PDFs/Technical/Domestic/lit263w.pdf and most other irrigation manufacturers that sell ET-based components usually have explanatory informational resources available for downloading.

A college background in Plant Sciences, Soils Technologies and Irrigation Designing/Consulting doesn't hurt the knowledge curve either.


I also found this to be helpful.....

http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/controllers/etmanager_tutorial.htm

Remote Pigtails
04-22-2007, 03:07 PM
Bad URL on my end. Have another one? :)

Never mind... I went in through the front door and found it.

Okay but I'll post for others

www.ci.frisco.tx.us

type landscape codes in search

PurpHaze
04-22-2007, 03:14 PM
Too much to know! Know your plants and recognize symptoms is my M. O. I tell customers let some air get back in the ground to try to get them to quit over watering. Over watering not under watering is my biggest problem with customers. I'm convinced they see watering as a form of nurturing and a way they can make up for their low gardening IQ.

Then I'd carry a stack of the Texas equivalent of Sunset's "Western Garden Book" and sell it to them. Then they can read up on plant diseases and weeds that are caused by over-watering and you can make more money. :laugh:

Remote Pigtails
04-22-2007, 03:20 PM
Then I'd carry a stack of the Texas equivalent of Sunset's "Western Garden Book" and sell it to them. Then they can read up on plant diseases and weeds that are caused by over-watering and you can make more money. :laugh:

I'll even sign it at no extra charge. Actually a friend of mine and I are thinking of putting an easy to read watering book together for N. TX.

PurpHaze
04-22-2007, 03:23 PM
I'll even sign it at no extra charge. Actually a friend of mine and I are thinking of putting an easy to read watering book together for N. TX.

Why reinvent the wheel? There may already be one. University extensions are great at doing all the work for you and then publishing the results. After all... your tax dollars pay for the research. :)

irrig8r
04-23-2007, 01:26 PM
California finally shifted into a water conservation mode in the early 90's, after a four year drought.

Some interesting stuff has been produced by state agencies.

http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/docs/irrigation_controllers_0903.pdf

http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/docs/wucols00.pdf

http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/docs/water_efficient_landscapes.pdf


This model ordinance isn't specific about "smart" or "ET based" controllers because neither the technolgy nor the jargon was widely used in 1992 when it was written.

http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/docs/ModelLandscapeOrd.pdf


But recent follow-up legislation makes it clear that newer technologies should be used and evaluated and a report made back to the legislature no later than January 2011.

http://www.owue.water.ca.gov/docs/WCN-winter-07.pdf

bumper
04-23-2007, 01:42 PM
Many folks in these parts will pay for a system that is hands off, they don't want the headache of manipulating their system. Some of the water districts were and are oferring rebates for Smart controller installation but other parameters have to met in order to get the rebates. Bottom line the entire system mgiht need a retrofit etc.

Some other water management agencies are oferring rebates for both commercial and residential applications of MPR's. With litlte rain in the southland, with June Mountain shutting down half way through the ski season and Mammoth operating with man made, the writing on the wall is clear. We've also heard rumblings that sod installation will be regulated to 1/3 of the sq. footage available for landscaping, all rumor at this point.

PurpHaze
04-23-2007, 11:46 PM
Some of the water districts were and are oferring rebates for Smart controller installation but other parameters have to met in order to get the rebates. Bottom line the entire system mgiht need a retrofit etc.

Very True! Without having a system audited and showing a high degree of DU (distribution uniformity) the best ET system in the world will not work proficiently and do what it's supposed to do... save water.

irrig8r
04-24-2007, 03:25 AM
Very True! Without having a system audited and showing a high degree of DU (distribution uniformity) the best ET system in the world will not work proficiently and do what it's supposed to do... save water.

I just printed an order form for catch cans and ring stands from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's Irrigation Taraining and Research Center (ITRC).

$ 3.50/ can, 2.75/stake, or 6.25/ pr.

http://www.itrc.org/classes/lwmclass.htm

Catch cans and ring stands can be purchased directly from ITRC - call to place your order using a MasterCard or Visa, or print out this form and send with payment. Ring stands are a form of scholarship fund for the students at the university. The income from the construction of the stands goes directly to the student club to help fund their activities. ITRC has purchased about $35,000 in equipment from the student club since 1996.

They say the money raised goes to the student club. My daughter graduated in Nutrition Science there last year, and my younger son is transferring there to major in Industrial Technology in the fall, so I guess I have a certain loyalty...

But man I searched and searched via Google for various combinations of "audit", "irrigation", "catch-can", and this was the only source that came up besides the Irrigation Association of Australia.

I just wonder how expensive these are compared to other sources if anyone has them..

bicmudpuppy
04-24-2007, 08:36 AM
Cheap rain guages work about as well. If you can catch the right deal, you can get a rain gauge with a built in spike for about a buck :)

irrig8r
04-24-2007, 12:57 PM
Yeah... but do you have a source?

Cheapest rain gauges I could find online were 2.79 ea., but they're glass. Not practical. All the rest were over 6.00 ea. (Some with metal stakes $10.00 or more...)

I'm going to place my order w/ ITRC tomorrow unless I hear of a substantially better deal. Seems to me supply houses like Ewing, Horizon, JDL, etc. should carry them... but they don't as far as I can tell.

I just called my local Ewing branch and the manager says he'll look up a source's number and get back to me... we'll see.

bicmudpuppy
04-24-2007, 07:33 PM
http://www.promotional-items-inc.com/catalog2/thermometers_rain_gauges.shtml
http://www.easypromo.com/mor_845.htm

Both links to gauges for less than $3 each in quantity and you can have your logo printed on them too.

At the $6+/ can set, how many were you going to order?

The first link is for a quantity of 150 @ $1.79 each so, $270 for 150 units all w/ your logo. 50 cans at $6 each is $300.

The second link is for 100 @ $2.25 each so, $225 for 100 units with your logo.

I didn't search very hard, I just hit the Yahoo search bar for "promo rain gauge". I didn't try google, etc. or look for other options.

irrig8r
04-24-2007, 11:20 PM
I am truly impressed with your search skills. Nice finds.

Thanks for the reminder how Yahoo and Google come up with different results.

For instance if you go to Yahoo and type in "sprinkler repairs, Los Gatos" or "landscape lighting, Saratoga" I usually get two of the top ten non-sponsored hits. But with Google I'm more like 3 or 4 pages further down the list.

Anyway, whether or not i use these for catch containers, I think they'd be a good promo item.

rwp
04-27-2007, 02:29 AM
I run several icc contollers and put the et system at my home as a test.It seems to do a good job.On slopes it cycles and soaks and uses specific crop coefficients for each station.But it offers poor monitoring and self test capabilities.If hunter offered a data logging capability I would reccomend it as it's reduced water consumtion 20-30% and some plants are doing better.
For now I'll look and wait for an et product that is upgradable to pc based at an affordable price.[I like the onsite et calculation as the weather here is extremely variable] Aloha rwp

PurpHaze
04-27-2007, 09:28 AM
Aloha... My partner and his wife are headed your way in June. Take good care of them. :)

Mike Leary
04-27-2007, 12:54 PM
Something I'm researching for our larger "micro-climate" systems is a
weather station to run the clock(s). called "Weather-Link" for Vantage Pro 2.davisnet.com