Experiences with Acclima Moisture Sensor Systems?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by mangusta1969, May 11, 2008.

  1. mangusta1969

    mangusta1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    After many searches on this informative site and reading everything I can on moisture sensor based systems, I have been thinking of experimenting with an Acclima SC12 12 zone controller or an Acclima SCX add-on controller. I want to see if their moisture sensor technology is mature enough for several carefree residential installations that I am responsible for.

    Acclima's lower end product lines appear to use the same buried sensors as their higher end 20+ zone commercial controllers. For their residential controllers, the retro-installation efforts and costs would also appear to be pretty reasonable, especially for a sensor-based system that also supports soak cycles.

    I would appreciate any feedback (good or bad) on your experiences with Acclima moisture sensor based products. Answers or comments in the following areas would be appreciated:

    Reliability and longevity of the buried sensors? Obviously, this is really important...

    Sensor accuracy in measuring moisture content over time?

    Controller reliability?

    Actual water savings experiences?

    Time and effort required to "dial-in" installations with 12 or fewer zones?

    Thanks for your feedback!
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    Um, a link would be handy, we're lazy here.
  3. mangusta1969

    mangusta1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

  4. troc

    troc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I used Acclima on a couple systems about 4 or 5 years ago when searching for a good moisture sensor/2 wire system. I never had a sensor fail in the time they were in the ground, although I must say I yanked them in favor of another product after 2 seasons. Controller was different back then so i can't say much about that. The sensors seemed to yield good data and were pretty responsive.
    I've tried a few different systems so if you need some info, let me know.
  5. mangusta1969

    mangusta1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20


    Thanks for your info on Acclima. That is good to hear that you didn't have any sensor problems over a usage period of a couple of years.

    Was Acclima using the same basic design for its TDT sensors 4-5 years ago? What type of system did you use to replace the Acclima systems? Were there user complaints or programming problems with their older systems?

    I would appreciate any recommendations that you have on smart controllers, ET systems or buried moisture sensors.
  6. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    Are you putting different sensors in different planting areas and different sun/shade areas? I'd be interested in how you lay out the sensors.

    Peter, I might want to pick your brain about what you did with the SL and a baseline sensor. Still having good luck with it? I'd like to add one at my house.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334


    Messages: 18,668

    Actually the sensor went haywire on me and I have to troubleshoot it. Got a couple of error messages and it has quit performing its duties.
  9. mangusta1969

    mangusta1969 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20


    Since I have some sunny and some shady areas, my plan was to put one sensor in each type of area and then "tie" other sunny or shady areas to the representative sensor location.

    From my reading of the Acclima manuals for the SC6 and SC12 controller systems, any sensor can be tied to any zone, and that arrangement can also be changed if the initial setup didn't work out very well. The external SCX controller system only allows the use of a single sensor, so it is not as flexible in setup and operation.

    The SC6 and SC12 systems also allow any zone to be controlled as a regular timed zone, but that configuration sort of defeats my goals in saving water and having the system auto adjust itself as the season changes from cool to warm to hot and then back again. Neither the SC6 nor the SC12 controllers appear to have a water budgeting mode for the timed zones, a big drawback in my opinion.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    If the zones are linked to a sensor, you won't need the water budget option.

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