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moisture sensors

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Ground Master, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Anyone have experience with moisture sensors?
  2. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Only the old Aqua Miser ones that had 2 probes you had to bury. I quit using them.

    I'd liketo know aboutthe newer ones that look like they have an absorption block making them simpler.

    Problem is, to use these effectively you need to set your controller to run every day ad let the sensor take control if when to water.

    If you are in a area where they watering restrictions/regulations like we do here it just can't do its job.
  3. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    A long time ago (almost ten years now) we installed some on several valves (rotor zones) at a regime where several units backed up on a very large lagoon and it was always a big problem mowing during period of moderate rainfall.

    I can't recall the name of these, do remember they we very flimsy and not constructed very well. The "disc" had what appeared to be a ceramic type coin in the unit with very cheap speaker type wires leading to the unit which controlled the setting. Perhaps someone else remembers these?

    Anyway, the first thing that happened was a lightning strike (you could count 2-3 a year on this property) and it smoked everyone of them. Well after allot complaining about replacing them, they decided to do it, we modified the wiring with 14ga, made shunts to put in-line on the station/common wires. A few weeks latter, got a report of dry areas past this lagoon, upon hooking locater up found we could not track the station wire thru this area. We ended up cutting the common to each one of these sensors to find the valve, then DBY all the sensors back in........

    Well would'nt you know it another lighting strike and it was a good one. Had to replace the wafer and rotary switch in the Toro pedestal clock, but surprisinly, only one of the soil sensors was fried and no solenoids. Well, the shunts did their job. But, frankly I'm truly not sure the sensors were really not that effective. This area, really did not need irrigation because of the water table. And upon our monthly inspection of the system, they never did run unless we defaulted the units.

    Months later we lost the service agreement to a start-up and I don't know what transpired since then. But based upon that experience alone, I would not be inclined to install one. But, 10 years has passed and there have been improvements and it might be worth tinkering with them again, at least in a controlled situation. I do think with the presence of solid state clocks, the need is greatly diminished (thank god we're not doing repairs to mechanical clocks anymore!)

    If you were looking to try, I suspect the AG side of our industry has some made the improvements and the place to research possible options. with regards... devildog
  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    That there is not an independent research publication not tied to advertising revenue to check stuff out. There is Consumer Report and Power Boat Reports that do objective research and reporting.

    Problem I see getting it off the ground is, so many of the minds in this industry are so closed that they'd never pay $50/yr for good info.

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