Hi, Ricardo. Most of the solenoid-type valves I'm familiar with include a means to open or close the valve. So we don't need power. Most of the time this manual valve renains closed and the solenoid valve simply bypasses it. Twist on the valve knob and the valve opens. I have 11 zones and don't want to go to three different control boxes in the yard to manually turn sprinkler zones on or off. Also, I like to water the lawn and plants at night when the sun is down and heat won't evaporate the water. We have high water pressure at night. Darned if I'll get up every 20 minutes starting at 2:00 AM to open and close valves.
This post of the RAIN BIRD controller really hits home in a big way. We had a HARDIE controller that performed well for about 15 years before finally giving up the ghost. It had six zone control with a processor, several switches, AND a big dial.
The "beauty" part of this HARDIE controller lied in the fact that even though it had two independently settable ON times (A & C, on one of the switches), you could override this at ANY time or day! So, here in west central Florida, where we are on water restrictions for once per day, once per week, IF the lawn care specialist applied the chemical treatment on an "off" day, it IS permitted to water in per their recommendation.
After the HARDIE unit failed, I purchased a RAIN BIRD @ the local LOWES, installed it & "programmed" it for the time, day, length, etc. However, it is far more "intelligent" & more "sophisitcated", so I cannot OVERRIDE it to accommodate the example described above. When I called the RAIN BIRD hotline, described the revised operation mode, I was politiely told, "Sorry, you can't do that!" IF ONLY I had my HARDIE again!!!! Wish I bought TWO of them 15 years ago!!!!!! I might just throw this one in the garbage & buy one of those "old-fashioned" time clock style sprinkler controllers. No brains!, but they did work forever!!!!
I read your post about watering @ nite. Here in Fla. the local water authority recommends AGAINST watering at nite on the basis that it can breed lawn fungus. They recommend that sprinkler systems be set for early morning watering only.
Not much fungus to worry about here in Utah where we have low humidity almost year round. The dryness and heat usually causes the lawn to dry completely within a few hours. Of course the local stores sell fertilizer with a fungicide in case someone thinks they have a fungus problem. (I couldn't find a map of lawn-fungus prevalence in the US.)
Earlier this week I received an Orbit 12-station slide-switch sprinkler timer from Orbit, a company in North Salt Lake City. It lets people set independent zone times with a slider control for each zone and a slide switch turns each zone on or off. I plan to use it to replace my RainBird timer this weekend and will report back with the results, probably in a separate blog. In the meantime, you can find more information here: http://www.orbitonline.com/products/Timers/02/01/10/700/
With average humidity here hovering in the range of 60% to 99.99% from mid-March thru mid-November, I can assure you that "fungus is among us"!!! In fact, IF you've seen some news reports, concerning weathre conditions in the "Liquid" Sunshine State, you're probably aware that our current patterns make us more akin to the monsoon season of S.E. Asia, than the U.S. of A. It's rained very hard at least twice a day now for the past two weeks. And, when I mean very hard, I mean VERY HARD, blindingly teeming rain that lasts for hours, not seconds or minutes!
The latest are "smart controllers" that take information like your location, soil type and what plants are in each zone then, based on weather information received via a satellite link, decide when and how long to run each zone.
I don't need that "smart controller" stuff though. All I want is a network enabled controller that I can store, recall and create new schedules through a GUI on any computer or control with an iPhone, iPad or Android mobil device.
I can't understand why Hunter, Rainbird or Toro haven't made that available yet. Seems like a logical step between a manual controller and those "smart controllers".
Jon Titus " I like gadgets as much as anyone, but they shouldn't stand in the way of getting things done as easily as possible." I agree. I went all out on a thermostat for my house...all programmable. Well last winter the unit screwed up on me and refused to let me raise the temperature in my house when it got really cold. Luckily I had kept my old unit and just put it back in place. Sometimes all the tech just gets in the way!
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