Rainbird ET h2o manager

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by FIMCO-MEISTER, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. If you carefully scrutinize posts and still have your long term memory intact in spite of prolonged exposure to glue you will know that I'm involved in a project involving a water smart bed and irrigation system at the Dallas Arboretum. Anyway we definitely wanted it to be an ET based watering system. After much thought and due to generosity we are going to install the Rainbird ET manager on the whole timer not just the bed zones. We are going to include a tipping rain gage to monitor on-site rainfall as well as local weather station data. Any feedback is welcome. it looks great on the site but I have no experience with this product and would like to appear some what knowledgeable.
    http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/controllers/etmanager_tutorial.htm
     
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    One of our local water districts, Donala Water, has water restrictions starting this year. They also have a program where if you have them install this same ET manager, you are exempt from the restrictions. I don't know if they charge for it. Probably, but not sure how much. One customer had it installed 2 weeks ago. Well guess what, they loosened one terminal for one of the stations and it didn't water until I got there the other day, and that zone is crispy crunchy now.
     
  3. That sounds like installer error right? I do know their is a monthly fee involved. It acts as a break in the common but each zone is entered into it if I'm understanding it right.
     
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Oh yeah, they installed it and everything was fine when I was out there a week prior adding and moving heads.

    Not sure of fees and such for it. Haven't looked at it much. Actually that was the first time I'd seen one and I know squat about it.
     
  5. Well I'm fixin to get a real education so i'll keep posting tidbits as i learn them.
     
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    IMHO, if your not hooked into an on site weather station those ET controllers are a waste of money, especially if your forking out for the service. You can basically do the same thing as those controllers with historical data, proactive scheduling, and a regular controller. In my area, my ET schedules only need to be adjusted 3 times a year.

    A link to some scheduling software if anyone is interested.

    http://www.irrisoft.net/wr/insite.cfm

    Given it is an arboretum, I would look into irrometers as a potential solution.
     
  8. I would have to strongly disagree with you on the ET controller issue. having used the WM smartline at my house fot past 1.5 year I would say it has adjusted far more often than three times a year. Where would you put the irrometer? You would need 100s installed for an accurate water management system at an arboretum.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Placement of the irrometers would largely depend on zoning and the diversity of plant water requirements in that zone. If we assume a homogeneous soil and plantings are grouped based on water requirements, exposure, etc.. then you may only need one location per zone that represents the happy average.

    The number of irrometers at that location would depend on what type of irrometer your using and what depth(s) your interested in monitoring.

    My three times a year is based on my region and the ET schedules derived from the above software based on historical data (vs. real time) and is split as follows.

    1) Late spring/early summer
    2) Summer/early fall
    3) Winter (system off)

    Winter is the only time it rains, the rest of the year there is no rain.

    I am fortunate enough to have a full blown Ag weather station within 5 miles or less of most all my irrigation locations, so that data is extremely accurate.

    I also use ET data and water requirements on a per species basis where that data is available, which is something that controller (nor any ET controller to my knowledge) does.

    If your just using the controller without a on-site weather station, your depending on the closest monitoring station, which may be 50-100 miles away.

    In any event, I'm not saying they are worthless, just that you can essentially do the same thing in some cases (i.e. no on-site data) with a regular controller.
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

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