Technology

Rain Sense and Sensibility

Hunter's Rain Clik

In general it’s difficult to motivate people to be passionate about landscape irrigation.  However, there is one event — when the sprinklers come on and it’s raining — that really gets people going.  Adding a rain sensor to your current irrigation system might be the most sensible thing you can do to conserve water.  It can save water, money, and more importantly, keep your neighbors calm.

Due to increased focus on water conserving products, manufacturers have created several new irrigation solutions to help your system reach peak performance for a surprisingly minimal investment. Most rain sensors can be purchased for less than $100 and you need one sensor per controller. These new products will help you save money, improve landscape health, and contribute to the betterment of the local environment.  Rain sensors have been around for years, but recent gains in technology have created a wireless rain sensor allowing you to place your sensor in an optimal location to detect rain.

Rain sensors can be mounted anywhere — on gutters, posts, walls or conduit.  The rain sensor communicates with your system’s controller and is designed to override the cycle program, stopping the system during rainfall, and keeping it off for a while after rain has fallen.  Irrigation will resume once the sensor dries out.  Location of your sensor is critical because mounting the sensor in a sunny southern location can cause the sensor to dry out quickly. Conversely, mounting in a shady northern exposure will cause the controller to stay off longer.  Stay away from extremes when determining a mounting location.

Hunter makes a wireless rain sensor called Rain Clik.  Rain Clik has a unique Quick Response™ feature, which can command a controller to shut off immediately — not after a quarter or a half-inch — but right when it starts to rain.  Derres Catalano, Product Manager at Hunter Industries recently told me, “Rain sensors save money and reduce water waste by eliminating irrigation during rain events.  They also protect turf and plants from overwatering, and allow the user to avoid fines and/or take advantage of local rebates offered by their water authority.” Check local laws.

Rain sensors can be purchased anywhere irrigation products are sold, or – better yet – can be won on this blog.  They can be installed by the do-it-yourselfer or irrigation professional and will save water, money and, in some cases, improve relations with your neighbors.

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Richard Restuccia

Richard Restuccia is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. Richard is a spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees. Currently he serves on the Irrigation Association’s Board of Directors. As a board member, Richard serves in a variety of capacities, including government/public affairs. He is the liaison between the board and its marketing committee on the best ways to promote water efficiency and educate industry professionals on new technologies, products and services. Richard is also a regular contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine.

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COMMENTS (37)

  1. Wednesday, 10:45 Gary Tungate

    The state of Florida mandates the use of rain sensors for our irrigation systems, is that not a requirement for the water deprived states in the west and southwest?

  2. Wednesday, 8:21 Richard Restuccia

    Since AB 1881 passed in California, moving forward rain sensors are required. Other western states do not require them.

  3. Monday, 12:26 Martha Golea

    I thought I was the only one who flips out over sprinklers running in the rain; thanks for confirming my sanity, Richard. In Central Phoenix it always seems to be commercial buildings that make this mistake. Would it be considered vandalism if I snuck around after dark, installing rain sensors on all of these buildings?

  4. […] one of 100 winners who won’t be running your sprinklers in the rain this coming wet season and reaping the benefits.  Everyone else – get on board and let the water savings pour in! Saving water doesn’t have to […]

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  21. Friday, 2:46 Bill Jones

    With all due respect to Hunter’s sponsorship, everybody knows that the Toro/Irritrol rain sensor is better…more reliable, easier to use, more effective.

  22. […] those of you who are faint of heart, consider installing a rain sensor to at the very least make sure your sprinklers aren’t running when it’s […]

  23. […] Rain Sense and Sensibility […]

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  35. […] To improve water conservation install a rain sensor, it turns off your irrigation when it […]

  36. […] time the writers have not determined how to weave in smart controllers, pressure reducing valves or rain sensors, but we have been assured by sources close to the development team that they will be included in […]

  37. Wednesday, 12:55 Pepper

    Thanks for being on point and on taetgr!

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