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Old 01-25-2013, 09:51 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,818
Wow. This is an old thread....

Yah, I believe I've been in the last 2 versions of that catalog. Lucky I guess.

We've probably got over 300 of them installed now. Over the last two years, we've got our 2 service techs involved in installing them as well. Whenever they're at a service call and they come across a system that has an older controller, they will try to upsell the client on the SMT. So we'll often install 4-5 controllers a week just from these guys upselling, not including whatever installs we have going on that week.

As far as having issues with them, not really. I mean they are a little difficult to get used to. They're a little more complicated than RB likes to say they are. I've just learned how to program everything properly and tweak the settings to where they work really well. Once you get them really dialed in they are great. But I find most contractors don't realize there are a lot of things on there you need to tweak a little to get it really dialed in right. And that either has to come from a lot of experience or from learning from someone else who has worked with them a lot.

It's not the controller for everyone. But I find our customers love the concept of them and are willing to pay top dollar if we can install something that will lead to substantial water savings. The trick is just knowing the controller well enough to where you really do save them a lot of water. Because there is a lot that can go wrong with that controller if you just get a couple things wrong.

There's also a lot of education you have to do with your clients when you install this type of controller. Because if you don't, some customers will freak out when it comes on 2 or 3 times in the same morning, because they've never heard of Cycle & Soak and their old controller didn't do that. Or because zones 1, 3, and 7 came on and they're freaking out that the other 4 zones didn't come on. Stuff like that. So education is really important on this controller too. I made an 8-page booklet that we print out for our clients to help get them used to the new controller and how it differs from their previous controller. That seems to help a lot.
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon
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