ANyone with direct exp with a rainbird moisture sensor?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by grassman177, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    Was curious, I had always heard of mixed reviews on accuracy with moisture sensors. I just learned of the smrt-y from rainbird. Looks nice, easy to install, and claims to be super accurate despite pH, EC, temp etc.

    Thoughts? I would like to use these to ensure water savings because most just leave the irrigation on and it overwaters creating many issues.

    Thanks for any thought and comments from exp.
     
  2. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,750

    I have one that I was given as a sample but never installed it. It's a buyout from a company called Acclima who manufactures an entire line of controllers based on the same sensor technology. From what I have read they are supposed to be pretty accurate and fairly reliable. I would think though that you would need several sensors on a typical landscape just to get an accurate representation of all of the different microclimates.

    http://acclima.com/wd/
     
  3. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,413

    Do you mow and/or apply? I do both plus irrigation so I understand you issues about customers not adjusting to conditions. From my experience the best and only real solution is for you to take over the controller. For instance I adjust my customers each mowing visit. Devices such as moisture sensors and ET devices may work as advertised but still need attention to some degree. I've beat my head against the wall long enough trying to educate customers but only 1 in a 100 will get it. Another thing, ET devices are engineered with a properly designed system and the majority aren't. So a lot of tweaking is involved. In the end there may be decent equipment but they are only as good as the one operating it.
     
  4. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    I was just told this today in fact from our sales rep on an inquiry about the pricing and availability.
     
  5. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    Yes, we do it all so the problem is the same as yours. There are many who try and turn off when not needed, and or may have a rains sensor, but it only goes so far. It is crazy to see watering happen after a couple days of rain and you are supposed to mow somehow:dizzy:

    There are so many systems I manage that have ultra poor design, and never thought about its effect on the use of one of these moisture sensors(duh!) However, I think in the end, it would still be better overall once dialed in for each property to save water and money.

    I am getting one for free to try out on my place before i sell them or recommend them to customers.

    Anyone else? experiences installing, using, setting them?
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    soil moisture sensors have been "discussed" in great detail on this forum. :rolleyes:
     
  7. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,795

    I never like old news, i want fresh ideas and experiences. sorry to disapoint
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,009

    Anyone ever use the old Toro moisture sensor that had the installer basically pouring a block of plaster to surround the sensing unit?
     
  9. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,750

    I don't trust anything that includes Toro and any type of irrigation control solution or system.
     
  10. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,413

    I really think the best thing for you is to install a rain sensor and take over the controller. You're there weekly, right? Maybe a small charge for this service but I don't simply because it makes my life easier.

    The thing about moisture sensors is they only represent one part of the lawn. Most lawns have different moisture levels in varous places.
     

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