Frequently asked questions
How will installing “smart” controllers add value to my homes?
“Smart” controllers add value by saving homeowners money and making landscape irrigation easier and more convenient, while at the same time helping to ensure an ample water supply for the growing community.
Homeowners save money through lower overall water usage. Specific water savings will vary, but pilot studies have shown typical water savings to be in the range of 20%-40% annually, versus homes equipped with traditional sprinkler controllers (i.e., timers). Read about some of these case studies.
In addition, landscapes that are watered appropriately are healthier and less likely to suffer from fungal disease and insect infestations that can require costly treatment or replacement, potentially saving homeowners even more money.
“Smart” controllers also make landscape irrigation easier and more convenient. Traditional irrigation timers require manual adjustments every time the weather changes. “Smart” controllers automatically adjust the watering schedule based on local weather/site conditions. So, once the initial setup and monitoring is complete, there's no need for you or your clients to reset the controller. The “smart” controller makes adjustments automatically.
How much do “smart” controllers cost?
The cost of “smart” controllers varies according to the number of zones and features in the controller model selected. A general range is slightly more to three times that of a comparable conventional controller. In addition, some weather station-adjusted controllers require a small monthly or annual fee for transmission of daily weather information. Other, internal sensor-based “smart” controllers rarely require transmission fees. The value of the benefits derived from these controllers, however, more than justifies any additional cost.
How have these products been tested?
Manufacturers of “smart” controllers rigorously test their products before releasing them for sale. In addition, the Irrigation Association has developed an independent third party testing protocol specific to “smart” controllers. Review the results of these tests.
There have also been numerous field tests on various “smart” controllers. Read about some of these case studies.
Is there anything special I need to know about installing “smart” controllers?
The proper installation and initial setup of “smart” irrigation controllers generally require an in-depth knowledge of soils, precipitation rates, slope measurements and related factors. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you and/or your homeowners work with a certified irrigation contractor who is specifically trained and experienced in the installation of “smart” controllers.
I have licensed landscape and irrigation contractors on staff. Where can they get trained in the installation of “smart” controllers?
To find out about “smart” controller training programs in your area, contact your local irrigation distributors. Your local water purveyor may also offer specialized training. The Irrigation Association offers both training courses and professional industry certification programs. For more information, click here.