weather smart irrigation

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by tuffguy05189, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. savegreen

    savegreen New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    osx - you do need to hook it up to an existing controller but that is very easy to do and since you are a computer guy this would be a walk in the park. You can hook it up to nearly any controller so whatever you have will most likely work... you could take a dinosaur age controller from when irrigation started or the cheapest you can find and this will work and make it efficient.

    ---------------

    Bill - its not a matter of your lawn not being able to survive in the *climate that its in (people in kentucky with kentucky blue grass still have brown spots without irrigation), people want green lawns... perfect uniform green lawns and they will irrigate to get this. in fact an estimated 10,000,000 people in the US irrigate (including businesses)... so this device is for those 10 million that want beautiful lawns.

    People wont take that alternative of changing their grass because they will still get brown in the summer. Another alternative that I support however in synthetic lawn with the ET for indigeneous plants and gardens.

    What kind of grass do you have that you dont have to mow? or is it just tall?
     
  2. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Occupation:
    computer programmer
    Location:
    MN, USA
    *grumbles and bites his lip to prevent getting into an argument*

    :)

    It gets tall if I don't mow it.
     
  3. osx-addict

    osx-addict Software Engineer

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Occupation:
    Software Engineer
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Thanks.. I guess I must be about right about the rebates though.. Too bad since I kinda like this controller to a point.. Unfortunately, I can't justify that sort of expense at this point and don't have anything to worry about anyway since I'm not watering right now (the rain is doing that quite nicely) -- I might tackle my front yard which is small & easy but the backyard needs a major landscaping redesign -- something to do in the next year or two as time permits..
     
  4. savegreen

    savegreen New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    OSX - -

    I can get you the ET Manager for $500. That will save you a couple hundred and then you get the rebate as well.
     
  5. TANK

    TANK New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    ET controller debate

    I keep hearing one person try to over power everyone else with his implied wisdom. Many of his arguments are false yet one point he continues to rant stands out regarding the Weathermatic SmartLine using historical data. IT DOES NOT USE HISTORICAL DATA IN ANY WAY- IT ONLY USES REAL TIME, CURRENT WEATHER DATA.

    For those of us who respect logical debate or opinion from others I humbly offer the following thoughts. When is it ever better to gather weather information from a remote site verses the site being studied? That alone is a foolish argument no one really believes from tuff guy. On site weather info is the only way as proven by the Irrigation Associations studies, CIT Tests and more.

    Weathermatic's SmartLine gathers on site, real time weather info every 8 seconds and calculates the watering need by plant type, then it only distributes the amount of water the soil type can take, breaking it up in acceptable watering to avoid run off. The method WM uses is recommended by the very water districts and associations the tuff guy quotes. in fact WM has sold 10's of thousands more weather based controllers than anyone else in the world according to RB, Hunter, and Toro’s numbers recently printed in the trade journal. WM is the leading product of choice in the rebate programs he references.

    Yes, after tuff guy’s mean spirited comments I went back and did more research. Never intended to get into an argument, just providing my personal opinion. I have now installed 100's on both residential and commercial jobs; the water savings is real and averages 40% or better. All the arguments tuff guy offers are nothing more than distraction from the truth. Try it for yourself. purchase a Smartline by weathermatic for under $300, controller and weather monitor, install it at your own home and see if it works for you. I can assure you, no one I speak to wants an off site weather station over an on site monitor where you can see and read the input data when ever you want.

    Respectfully submitted
    Tank
     
  6. savegreen

    savegreen New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    very well put TANK - but I have to stand by what I said.

    You put in your zip code to get a solar radiation number for the ET formula in your weathermatic. Where does this number come from? the zip code tells your latitude and then your weathermatic takes a number thats stored in it. No solar radiation reading every 8 seconds but yet a stored one... thats where the historic data that i was talking about came from.

    The other arguement I had was that weathermatic doesnt account for wind or humidity. And you cant say that those two dont affect ET. So as far as that goes I still say that type of formula is flawed.

    Alot of ET controllers use that method of soil type and plant type but its still no good without accurate information.
     
  7. mikept

    mikept DIY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    CT
    I'm irrigating right now..and loving it!:D
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Absolutely agree!
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I would argue the time for developing regionally appropriate landscapes that need little or no supplemental water is here now.

    "Smart" irrigation is not a long term solution, "smart" landscape design is.
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I'd like to point out a couple of issues with both the controllers being discussed.

    RB ET Manager


    Regardless of how it collects data, or how much data it can collect, fact of the matter is, if your not measuring environmental conditions on-site, then your calculations will be off.

    Secondly, and most important, the ET Manager is severely limited in it's ability to effectively irrigate any site that contains more than two hydrozones. Furthermore as pointed out, it requires a standard controller, which increases the cost.

    Thirdly, you have to pay for the weather service data. Regardless of how much you can get and install the controller & manager for, the client never stops paying for it.


    WM Smartline

    This controller is limited due to the ET equation that I believe is used (Hargreaves-Samani equation).

    Contrary to what savegreen has stated, the WMSL does not use historical data assuming the Hargreaves-Samani equation is being used.

    Solar radiation is a calculated value per the following:

    Rs = (KT)(Ra)(TD)^0.5

    where TD = maximum daily temperature minus minimum daily temperature (0C) for weekly or monthly periods;
    Ra = extraterrestrial radiation (mm/day); and
    KT = empirical coefficient

    Based on the above formula, I suspect the input zipcode corresponds to an appropriate KT and Ra values. (See the above linked paper for full discussion.)

    Secondly, the controller is worthless IMHO without the weather station, which increases the cost.

    Thirdly I feel they need to do a better job on their implementation of the landscape coefficient method and they need to remove that silly weather station requirement to access advanced settings.



    I do agree the more data collected the better, however if your not going to fork out for a Calsense, IMO your most cost effective solution (short and long term) for residential/light commercial is the Smartline with the weather station and optionally combined with a soil moisture sensor.

    This of course assumes your not going to use regionally appropriate landscapes, which is the preferred solution in all cases. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2008
  11. riccet

    riccet New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    There is no way I could trust this kind of technology where I live. Half of the time the weather service says it's raining, but when I look outside I only see clouds.

    Why don't you sell something that checks the actual moisture content of the soil in several spots on the lawn, and water based on that info? That would probably be much cheaper and less prone to error. You could even bump up the cost by making it wireless. Then you could add a couple of rebates just to make us feel like we're getting a really goood deal.
     
  12. Kiril

    Kiril New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    SMS (soil moisture sensors) are by far the best approach if done correctly. Personally, I feel the best over all design will incorporate both ET and SMS.

    As far as cost goes, I wouldn't count on it being cheaper unless your only throwing in one SMS for your entire property.
     
  13. TANK

    TANK New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Tank

    Since all these posts were made I have a great real world experience. One of my jobs that I did a retro fit on is a large commerical property, 120 irrigated acres of sport fields, 500 zones, 27 controllers in Plano Texas. The water bill was averaging $130,000 annually give or take 15% swing with weather. We installed the SmartLine by Weathermatic and reduced the water usage by 53% in the first year. they calculated the pay back to be about 6 months.
    Every system mentioned in the above emails made a presentation to the property. I am sure many could deliever great savings and are fine products. the difference makers for SmartLine are and were affordablity, simplicity and accuracy. the cost was in most cases 1/3 of the other options, the installation was nothing more than taking down the old timers and putting up the SmartLine controller with a weather monitor. The grass and plants are healthier than ever before and the water reduction speaks for itself.

    This is the same type of results I'm having on residential property's, my own home, HoA's we maintain and have changed out as well.

    I would urge anyone who is looking for a great option to consider the SmartLine by Weathermatic.

    Tank
     
  14. TANK

    TANK New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Wireless weather monitor

    Wow!!! I Just Had An Amazing Experience. Just Installed My First Weathermatic Slw 15 Wireless Weather Monitor To My Smartline Controller. We Were Doing An Installation At A Large Property Managers Industrial Park.

    The Property Mgr. Has Already Installed Over 200 Slw10 Wired Units And Is Saving About 35% Of His Water Usage Over The Past 2 Years. We Are Now Installing Another 50 Or So Units Now With The Wireless Unit Slw15. Man Is It Nice.

    The Time To Program And Install The Controller And Wireless Weather Monitor Was About 15 Minutes. With No Wire To Run To The Wireless Weather Monitor, The Install Is Super Simple. What Is Even More Amazing Is The Weather Monitor Has A Minmum 10 Year Battery Life. With A Real Time Clock On The Controller And The Long Life Battery In The Monitor, It Simplifies Installation So Much, With Continuous Power Outages And Never Having To Reprogram The Controller Or Turn It Up Or Down For Weather Or Never Having To Correct The Time/date..

    Our Company Is Sold About 8 Upgrades To Maintenance Accouts This Week. Beautiful New Business Segment.

    Hope You All Try It Once.

    Good Luck.

    Tank
     
  15. h20saver

    h20saver New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    lower cost smart controlllers...

    Several posters have made excellent points on this thread.
    My thoughts are that ET controllers are overrated for consumer application. If you have expert installers and programmers, and very large areas, they are most likely worth it, especially if the government subsidizes i(ie. rebates).

    The savings figures from ET companies are usually grossly distorted due to the fact that the original application was providing way too much water in the first place and the landscape most likely would have done fine if they had just reduced the application rate using the existing controller. The claim is that the ET factor reduced the application rate when the reality is that an expert came in and set the base levels correctly, or the seasonal control provided by a more modern controller better matched the application to the environment.

    Soil moisture sensors are available from Irrometer. They are cost effective ($100 to $200 for Waterswitch) and have been used in ag for 30 or more years. If you can dedicate a program or cycle from your controller to the moisture sensor zone then it would seem that employing these sensors would provide a good cost effective solution.

    A solution that might be interesting for consumers who have always on Internet and want most of the benefits of smart control is LawnCheck (http://www.lawncheck.com) The service provides seasonal and weather dependent scheduling and control for a relatively low cost. It most likely is not as optimal of a solution as one that employs lots of on-site sensors, but it may provide 80% of the savings for 20% of the price and so might be a good value for consumers who want to save water, but don't have an acre to irrigate.:cool:

    h20,
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2008
  16. speedbump

    speedbump Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Occupation:
    Water well and pump tech.
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    What's wrong with the Hunter Mini-Click? You could save hundreds of dollars.

    bob...
     
  17. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    Mini-Cliks pull their weight.
     
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