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Moisture Sensor per zone

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bobw, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    Anyone ever retrofit a system to have a moisture sensor on each zone? I have a condo complex looking for this solution (21 zones on 3 separate controllers). I don't know who their original contractor was (neither does the condo board); everything appears (can't see it run...blown out for winter) to be ok materials (Hunter ), although the Hunter distributor around here sells to anyone (i.e. almost any hack job one step above Home Depot will be Hunter materials, not saying that all Hunter installs here are done by hacks though).

    My supplier catalogs are blank for moisture metering gear; all that normally gets done around here is rain sensors. Any thoughts?
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,158

    First of all, buy a 10 yard dump truck & have the homeowners fill it with cash.
    Then you are ready to proceed: Remove & junk the comtrollers, they cannot
    handle so many meters. Now go down to the sprinkler store in town, (the
    one located next to the Mercedes dealer) & check the specs & prices for
    either Rain Master or Calsense clocks. I don't have my Calsense spec book,
    I'm sure Kiril will hop in, but Rain Master can handle 12 sensors, these operate via the 12 programs available. While you're at it, buy a weather
    station so you can balance ET & wind with the moisture sensors. Then, budget
    a entire season, at least a hour a week, to getting these very tricky parameters adjusted & proven. Having a Rain Master or Calsense remote is
    a given. Throw in a Data Industrial flow sensor to protect the system while
    you're at it & lastly, take pics & let us know how many years it will take to
    amortize the cost vs. monitoring with a standard moisture probe & adjusting from those readings.

    :rolleyes: Oops, forgot..buy the central system software & the baddest computor available.
  3. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    hmmmm that wasn't the answering I was looking for...lol

    No one manufacturers a probe that can sit in the ground and be wired into a valve? Think of a rain sensor..just need a probe and wire one into each valve instead of the common.....
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,158

    Think about it..the valve would have to have a "window" of operation, unlike
    rain sensors that short the common for the entire system, you would have
    to have separate commons for each valve..with no water flow after being
    shut down, the solenoid could (& will) fry...get the dump truck.:)
  5. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    maybe I'm missing something here...

    Instead of shorting the common, why not short the control line?
  6. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,158

    Try this, I'm losing my patience.www.dynamax.com
  7. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    Here is the say all end all...

    After whatever price you tell them will will then decide not to have moister sensors on all the zones.

    U won't find any moisture sensors that far north in stock. Sell them on the benefits of having an ET based system.
  8. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,158

    I do like the Weather Matic SL w/weather station, but if you've got three
    clocks...$$$$$ also.
  9. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,193

    sounds expensive.
  10. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    3 clocks because 3 major buildings.... I haven't figured out why the original contractor didn't install one clock and design for phasing the installation. Would certainly simplify matters substantially.

    One of the things that challenges us "northerners" is how our length of day varies. By mid-summer, we don't have sunset until 10:30 pm. Southern and western exposures need wildly varying water amounts depending on the month. I've pretty much given up training customers to bump up the water by 50% on those areas for July/August. North and East exposures don't have nearly the variation in water requirements because it is normally so damned chilly in the morning. I would love to see ET clocks become common here.... would solve a great deal of headaches...

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