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Smartline Controller-Anyone using it?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by villagegreenlandscape, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. villagegreenlandscape

    villagegreenlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I've been installing the Weathermatic Smartline Controller with its weather station. I've had pretty good luck with it but since it's still pretty new I'm a little nervous about long term problems. Is anyone using this controller and what kind of luck have you had out of it?
  2. I've had great success. No luck required. What makes you nervous?
  3. For me standard installed timer was the pro-c, but at my own home I use the Smartline timer.

    The only problem that I have ever had with it was I forgot to change the 9 volt battery on the weather monitor which threw everything for a loop(never new Manteca can have 5 straight days of 125 degree weather)

    When I first installed it, I did have some problems but after contact with my supplier, the techs from weathermatic were calling me within a couple of hours of me calling my supplier. They solved the problem over the phone promptly.(bad module)

    Other than the battery episode which was my fault, the timer has been very reliable so far(plus 2 years installed). Heck, my wife can program and run the timer.
  4. villagegreenlandscape

    villagegreenlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I have a friend who has used Rainbird for 25 years (I've had my license for just a little over a year) and he keeps saying the Weathermatic is too new, too complicated and too unproven plus everyone knows the quality problems the company had in the past. I've installed 15 or so Smartlines and haven't had a problem but before I install too many of them I wanted to see if anyone else had issues with them.
  5. WM has had problems. I'm a 27 year veteran of Dallas Irrigation and know all about the ups and downs of WM but they have hit a homerun with this clock in my opinion combined with the monitor. The only clock we install now. Did you take the training course? Do you have horticulture education for proper programming? Do you make sure the system is up to snuff first?
  6. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,976

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head! Plant knowledge is the overlooked
    part of our gig...the only way to go toe to toe with the "designers" is to
    have plant growth needs in our heads & remind them of the the different
    water needs of the plants that you (LAs, designers, homeowners) have put
    into this same zone for "impact". Jeez, hydrangeas & lavender in the same
    zone? NOT, you're going to get lavender "leggy" & become a pest 'cause the
    hydrangea wants water. Hope would-be designers would help us out.:cry:
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,976

    Wow, a contractor that has a sprinkler system? Amazing.:laugh:
    I always advised would-be clients to delegate WHO operates the clock, I've
    made too much money on service calls because "DAD" decided to adjust the
    clock. The adding start times on each of the programs for all the zones was
    my favorite $$$$$$$.:dizzy:
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,694

    I always had a "This ain't a VCR." speech at the ready when the phone call came about the sprinkler clock that 'won't stop watering'
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,976

    When I was at IA years ago, I suggested to the reps they give us a switch to
    disable the multiple program operation.:hammerhead: A contractor friend of mine told me he
    was thinking of epoxying the program switch.
  10. villagegreenlandscape

    villagegreenlandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 69

    I'm a newbie in irrigation but I know plants. I've spent a huge amount of time with the support people at WM learning how to program the controller down to adjusting for shade and crop coefficients. I've been very impressed with the controller, I just haven't installed enough to know if they have service issues that I wasn't aware of. My old school irrigator friend keeps warning me that they're too new and it's too risky to install something that new and complicated. The fact is though that he has trouble checking his email so he's not likely to warm to anything technical. Personally I like that it's complicated because the fact that I can install and program it sets me apart from most irrigators.

    The only service issue I have had was yesterday I had to replace a weather monitor that WM told me was bad. That and they have a batch of monitors with cheap chinese 9v batteries instead of expensive chinese batteries and those have gone bad within a couple of months of installation. Short of that they've worked flawlessly and the WM support has been great.

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