Need suggestion for wireless rain sensor...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, May 11, 2005.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Being that I am from Oregon where it rains sparatically, we always offer a rain sensor as an option (upgrade) with every system we install. We had been using the Hunter mini-click for years but that doesn't work real well with the Rainbird ESP Controllers that we prefer to use. You have to jerry-rig the wiring, which is a little complex and not clean IMO. So recently we began using Rainbird's version of the mini-click. They sell one (I forget the name) that's pretty inexpensive (e.g. under $20 my cost) and it hooks right into the rain sensor screws inside the ESP Controller. So that has been working more smoothly.

    Well, recently, I saw an ad for the Orbit Wireless rain / freeze sensor (Orbit Irrigation - model 57271). Seems like a dream. I love the fact that it's wireless (saves tons of labor) and is pretty affordable (sells for $39.00). And I also love the handy gutter clip it has. Just easily attached to any gutter. It would install in literally 5 minutes. I start seeing $$$$ signs!!! Finally, Orbit tells me I can plug this sensor directly into the ESP controller screws for a rain sensor. No jerry-rigging the wiring.

    But I am not sure Orbit is the way to go. My experience with Orbit is low-quality homeowner crap. Not professional grade. Although they do put a 7 year warranty on it, which I like.

    Anyway, what I really want is a good, wireless rain sensor with gutter clip that is fairly inexpensive (under $50) that plugs right into an ESP controller. The rainbird rain sensors are too expensive. Anyone have any good recomendations? Should I try the Orbit?
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,213

  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Ummm. I thought I was in the irrigation section when I posted this. I don't know how that happened. I'll see if I can get it moved over there...
  4. Flatbed

    Flatbed LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 39

    Hunter also makes a wireless rain sensor. They are a big time saver. I won't install an irrigation system without a rain senor. My cost is around $54.00.
  5. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

  6. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Hey Jim--------

    I found this site a while back. The sensor looks quite similar to irritrol. Go to Will also show who distributes in your area. I've been considering going wireless also, to save on labor. I have been running a wired sensor thru some 1/2" conduit (buried), over to a fence. Everybody here (residential) has a fence. I don't like any exposed wire, i.e hanging, dangling, etc. Too tacky lookin'. I'm usually close enough, with the controller, to make it to the fence line, with the sensor. Would probably be a less PITA for me, with the wireless. Just wish the wireless was a liiiittle cheaper!

    See ya----
  7. johndarron

    johndarron LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I prefer the wireless rain sensor from Hunter.
  8. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223


    I think the sensor Irritrol is using is the R&D model out of Florida. Very inexpensive, but very cheap. I would suggest the Rain Bird or the Hunter for wireless, depending on which model your local supplier gives the better deal on. Unfortunately, we received a service bulletin from Rain Bird last week telling us all of their sensor products are on shipping hold until further notice. We don't sell a ton of them here in So Cal, but they make for a nice add-on. We price the R/B and Hunter to be about the same price, so Coke or Pepsi, choose your flavor and you are off and running. Hunter claims to shut-off faster, but I've never put it to the test. As for the Orbit, I know Hunter OEMs some other items for Orbit, but I don't know for sure on the sensor, plus Hunter is not currently offering the solar panel. This leads me to believe this might be an Orbit original, and I've never used or sold one.
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    See...that one's over $75 too. I might as well just use the Rainbird wireless rain sensor. At least I know the RB one is easily compatible with the two "sensor" screws inside the ESP controller.


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