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Old 04-04-2013, 03:45 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,818
In response to GreenLight's comments:

Yah, the "next irrigation estimate" is to be totally ignored. Everyone at Rain Bird from my local rep. to the regional rep. to the guy who is in charge of the SMT division of the company has told me that's not at all accurate and they shouldn't have even put that on there. I'm not sure why they didn't get rid of that with the last firmware update they did last year. But everyone agrees, even at Rain Bird, that this should be totally ignored. It's not at all accurate since weather is usually changing.

You're also right that you have to "dial-down" this controller a little. We've installed probably a good 250+ of these and one thing I noticed after the first dozen or so was that the controller seems to over-water a little. There are several ways you can mitigate this issue. The way I do it is; Instead of dialing down the sun-shade settings, I just go into the advanced settings and dial the global E.T. adjustment down to 85%. That just decreases ALL of the watering across the board by about 15%. I find that to be a the most accurate way to do it.

From there, it's just minor adjustments. And I always spend time with my homeowner showing them how the "fine tune watering" portion of the controller works. Then they can fine tune the rest as needed.

I'll throw in another tip that a lot of people don't know; the BLUE section of the controller dial is for the contractor. I tell my client not to mess with that section. The Gray part of the controller dial is for the homeowner. Rain Bird has coded these areas this way on purpose. So they can mess with the stuff in the gray settings. But leave the stuff in blue for ME. That's what I tell every customer.

I also tell them the only thing they'll really ever need to mess with is the "Fine Tune Watering" section and the "Manual Watering" section. And those are the only parts of the controller that I go over with the homeowner. Everything else on the controller is interesting, but 98% off homeowners won't ever have any interest in those other sections.

Also, a lot of people don't know this but on this controller (along with any of the modern RB ESP models) you can leave the dial anywhere you want to and the system will still work. It doesn't have to be straight up in the "Auto" position to work (altough I think it's best to keep it there).
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon
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