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Are smart sprinkler controllers worth the money?


SPOILER ALERT: Smart sprinkler controllers are absolutely worth it.

Yes, installing a smart sprinkler controller to your sprinkler system can be quite an investment, depending on how many you need installed, but it’s actually a smart move-and we’d like to congratulate you for doing your research!

Before we give you the reasons why smart sprinkler controllers are awesome, let’s define what they are.

What IS a smart sprinkler controller?

Also known as smart irrigation systems, smart Wi-Fi sprinkler controllers, or smart sprinkler systems, smart sprinkler controllers are categorized as Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers (WBICs).

A smart sprinkler controller is sort of like a thermostat for sprinklers. Rather than controlling your irrigation system with a pre-programmed schedule, smart sprinkler controllers can adjust your lawns watering duration based on real-time weather data that it receives via Wi-Fi.

Real-time weather data? From where?

One of the leading smart sprinkler controller brands, RainMachine, gets its weather information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It also has access to data from the internet and local weather stations.

Why smart sprinkler controllers are great–

Evapotranspiration sensitivity

Evapotranspiration is a combination of water evaporating from the soil and the release of water vapor from a plant’s opening, or stoma (transpiration).

Simply put, evapotranspiration determines how much irrigation your lawn needs.

It’s common knowledge that a lawn’s survival is based largely on the weather. What you may not know though, is that units of evapotranspiration measure the weather’s influence.

A smart sprinkler controller accurately monitors soil moisture by calculating the ET rate. Without one, you’d have to measure the daily ET to achieve a cost-effective and zone-specific irrigation schedule for your lawn.

Even small irrigable zones require this. Fortunately, some smart sprinkler controllers cater to smaller lawns, like Rachio’s Generation 2 8-Zone model. It can precisely target and water 8 irrigation zones.

Notable Savings

Assuming that it is properly installed and programmed, a home equipped with a smart sprinkler controller can save you up to 8,800 gallons in water consumption every year, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Not just that – an average household that spends $1,000 per year on water can save up to $380 by installing a smart sprinkler controller.

The one thing you’ll save the most on is time. Once you’ve activated the system (by downloading the appropriate app or through web interface-integration), you’ll be free to spend that time doing something else.

That doesn’t mean that you can forget about it completely, though. Periodic checks are still necessary.

More savings

There are still rebates being offered for EPA WaterSense-certified smart sprinkler controllers today.

The amount of your rebate will depend on the brand as well as your location.

Residents of Renton can get a $100 rebate just by switching to Rachio – both Generation 1 and Generation 2 8-zone or 16-zone models.

So, are smart sprinkler controllers worth it? You tell me! Call today, and we’ll be happy to install your system.

Andy Tran