Rain sensors..a shuck?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mike Leary, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,978

    I'm bothered by the hype over sensors & "ET based". We've tried sensors
    up here & had miserable results..do you have "torrential" rains in your markets to make the sensors workable & worth the effort to check to see the
    operation thereof? ET is a joke here because of our micro-climates. Weather
    stations will probably come down in price as internet-based systems grow.
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    That is why soil moisture sensors are preferable IMO. All you need is one type of sensor that gives you real data to work with. Water here when soil moisture levels reach this percentage. Stop watering when moisture levels reach this percentage.

    ET scheduling is really nothing more than predictive forecasting. In some cases it can be very effective and accurate (on-site weather station and mono crops), other cases it is hardly more than an educated guess (diverse landscapes).
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,978

    I agree..we carry moisture meters & use them weekly during the season,
    no service outfit should be without them.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,710

    Simple rain sensors can pay for themselves in water saved. Beyond that, they can stop the watering during a wipeout storm.
  5. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,978

    "Wipeout"..we used to play that song in the sixties. What you're saying is you
    DO have situations where the sensors work...we don't & welcome a additional
  6. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,911

    RS- work well up North in Taxachusetts....

    WE usually get slow rain for large portions of the day...Mini clicks work great up here....People save the $$ in less water on the bill there is no doubt...

  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Russ and Mike will agree with me. Rain sensors are useless when your climate drizzles every day but doesn't actually put down any water.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,710

    Drizzle stinks. I always try to explain that the thing is a brainless rain-catcher, and there are days without a lick of sunlight, with water falling from the sky all day long, and the rain detector does nothing, since the actual rainfall total is less than a tenth of an inch. Even the mfr descriptions have changed, to something like "prevents watering during a storm"
  9. Not even at the 1/8th setting? I've had fog shut off sensors at the minimun setting.
  10. Purp tells us soil moisture sensors suck so I don't consider them. Seriously though if you think microclimates exist in the weather (which they do) I believe their are even more micro soil moisture areas. It would take many sensors to properly monitor a yard and all the various root zones.

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