Why and How to Upgrade to A Smart Sprinkler Controller?

Haven’t you switched to a smart sprinkler controller yet?

Then it should be the right time to do so. These controllers are the most advanced, modern, intuitive and effective way of watering your lawn.

Upgrade to a Smart Sprinkler Controller

Now, you should be wondering that your current system is working just fine, then why should you make the switch?

There are many reasons actually. Why don’t you ask yourself why do you switch to the latest model of phone or car? Cause, they are loaded with tons of new features.

The smart sprinkler systems have been designed to be the only device that you will ever need to water your back lawn. They are so great that, once you set them up, you will never need to change anything and the controller will take care of everything all by itself.

Here is a list of reasons that should convince you to make a switch to a smart controller.

Top Reasons to Get a Smart Sprinkler Controller

Many people have already made the switch and our review article has played a role behind it. There are many things about these sprinkler systems on our best smart sprinkler controller buyer’s guide of 2017.

This article is just an elaboration of the things that we have mentioned on the article. Okay, here are the reasons for you.

It’s one of the products that you can get for free!

Yes, these controllers are literally being given away for free on some states. Have you heard about EPA Water Sense? A part of their mission is to save water and when they found that typical sprinkler controllers are a prominent source of wasting water, they have been encouraging people to get a smart sprinkler controller.

What could be the best advertising than giving the product for free or on huge discounts? This makes the smart controllers, one of the very few products that you can get for free from online.

When you buy one, you can ask for a rebate and someone from the EPA will come to inspect your lawn and depending on your state and the area that you are going to cover with your sprinkler controller, you will most probably get at least a 25% to 50% discount on the controller or if you are too lucky you might get a full return of what you pay for the sprinkler controller.

We should mention here that, you only will get the discount after you buy the product. In order to avail the discount you have to pay for it and then the discount will be sent to your account later on.

The Product will Amaze You with Their Smartness!

These sprinkler controllers have the tag ‘smart’ on their name. These controllers are in some cases smarter than you. Many technologies and features have been introduced to them.

Have you noticed that there has been a revolution in the manufacturing and functionality of modern appliances and devices? They are getting their tile from automatic to smart. Some modern products have become more intuitive and smarter than ever.

The mechanism of a sprinkler controller should not have been a complex design. Your older or current system should be evident for that but modern manufacturers as Rachio, Rainmachine, Skydrop and all others have introduced some really great technologies that are super complex and flourished than ever that really creates a new era of combining hardware, software and different networks. All these things ensure the maximum smartness of the sprinkler controllers.

Sensors, Sensors and More Sensors –

Sensors are the souls of a smart sprinkler controller. They are the components that allure them the most. A controller has got sensors all over for sensing and detecting the humidity of the soil, the presence of water, weather, WiFi and GPS signals, internet, infrared and other wireless features.

Sensors, Sensors and More Sensors

All these sensors make the whole unit really great. These sensors draw the line of difference between automatic sprinkler controllers from the smart ones. You see, you won’t find most of the sensors in all the previous models of sprinkler controllers that have been available before 2016, the year that was a breakthrough for the product.

Connects Better with You –

The smartness of the smart sprinkler controllers are not only limited to their internal mechanism but they are better communicators that keeps you updated through the phone via WiFi network or over the internet.

They feed you tons of information on the situations of your lawn, weather and watering data and many more things.

With your old controller unit, you had to go to the basement or the place where the unit is located to make new watering arrangement and change the settings. With the smart sprinkler system you won’t have to do that as the while thing can be operated by only a few touch on your cell-phone.

The smart models give you numerous data on, for how long they have watered, how much water they have used and even they store all these information so that you can analyze them later and make necessary changes if you have to.

Customizable Mobile Application –

We think that this is one of the most important features of a smart sprinkler controller that seriously enhances your experience of the controller. The addition of the mobile application has made the job of watering the garden really fun.

Source Code

The fun does not end here. These controllers open a new playground for the nerds. If someone wants to do a little programming and develop the application, the manufacturers won’t have any problem. This does not only mean a change in the UI of the mobile application.

If you are good with programming, you can even integrate the unit other home controlling devices and also add new things to keep you updated. With proper knowledge, you can turn the whole thing to a piece of toy and have fun with it. For some, this was the sole reason to make the upgrade.

Saves water, Lots and Lots of Water –

The smart sprinklers can save a lot of water as they have been developed to save more water comparing to the automatic sprinkler controllers. Basically, they are the best way of watering you lawn by using minimum water.

Saves water, Lots and Lots of water

You will even know how much water you are using and how much water you are saving. Like, on a summer day or in a rainy or snowy day the amount of water really varies a lot. The smart controllers know the weather, the condition of the soil and the variety of the plants that it has to water.

Depending on the calculated data that it gathers, it determines the minimum amount of water and spreads it all over the lawn. The biggest thing here is that, you won’t have to do a thing to save the water and the controller takes everything under control.

On the 21st century when everyone is talking about protecting the environment and going green, this can be a really effective solution to save water. Saving water has its benefits and positive impacts on the environment.

You see, there are so many reasons that make the smart controllers better than the automatic controllers. So, you should make the switch before the next summer strikes. Trust us! It’s something that you are in serious need of.

Now, the second part is for those who have already brought home a smart sprinkler controller. But, we know that, you have read so far means that, you will eventually bring home one. That’s why you should be prepared with the installation process of a smart sprinkler controller.

How to Install Your Smart Sprinkler Controller?

Okay, let’s begin by giving you a head’s up that, the installation process is not an easy thing. Let’s discuss the whole thing from two different stages. ‘The first time installation of a sprinkler controller’ and ‘upgrading the sprinkler controller’

First time installation:

If it’s your first time installing a sprinkler controller then you should probably seek professional help as the first step is to install the sprinkler system which can be a bit tiring a tricky. We should note here that, the sprinkler systems are not the same as the sprinkler controllers.

First time installation of A Smart Sprinkler System

The system refers to the sprinklers that spray water and their PVC pipe network. Modern sprinklers come with rotors meaning that they can sprinkle water all around. We would recommend you only to use the rotor sprinklers as they will give you a better control.

The first thing to do is to make a watering map of your lawn and decide how many sprinkler heads you are going to need. Make the system in a way that they don’t come across any solid ground or obstacles. You can draw simply with pen and paper.

Now, you should take your decision whether you are going to get yourself dirty and do it for yourself or you can seek professional help. There are sprinkler systems that you can buy online or from local gardening supply store. Then only the installation waits.

Once you are done setting up the sprinkler system, connect it to the water and electricity line. Then take the electric wires to a suitable spot where you are going to set up your sprinkler controller. Don’t forget to divide the wires on zones and try to keep the number of zones within 12 or a single unit won’t be able to cover the whole lawn.

Installation of Sprinkler System

You can either use wires of different colors for different zones. This can be a real pain. So, you should take a surgical tape and put numbers on the head of the wires then pull them all to the place you are going to plant your controller.

The next step is to take the controller box and screw it inside the wall. Screwing the unit on a wooden platform is better as they are easy to drill. Take the wires inside and there will be ports for them to go in. The ports should be numbered by zones and you should match the wires with the ports and install them in.

Then plug in the whole thing to an outlet and it’s good to go. Here are some links that should give you a more detailed discussion on the installation of sprinkler system and controller. Source – a. Lowes b. Rachio

Upgrading to A Smart Sprinkler Controller:

If you already have a sprinkler controller then things should be really easy for you as you already have the sprinkler network and system installed. Now, you can also upgrade the system if you want.

Upgrading your Smart Sprinkler Controller

Newer sprinkler controllers are better than your old one. If you think that your old system won’t match with the new controller or won’t be able to deliver proper performance then you should probably make the switch.

Installing the smart controller is only about changing the old one and the most crucial part of the changing is connecting the zone wires properly. Then, you should screw the controller on the wall; you may need to drill new holes for it. Plug it in and you are good to go.

Setting Up the Smart Sprinkler Controller:

Once you are done installing the unit, the next part can be a bit tricky. Here are some points to guide you through the process of running the controller for the first time.

  • Once you plug in the unit, it may take a few minutes to turn on.
  • After you plug in the controller, they will check the zones by themselves and in this point almost all the controllers are programmed to run all the zones and make sure that they are fully functional.
  • If there are any fault in the start up, you should check the zones, heads and the wires.
  • The later part is to introduce your controller with the home wi-fi network. We recommend you to keep the wi-fi open for the first time and make the set up easy.
  • Then you should download the mobile application for your controller.
  • You then have to connect the mobile app with the unit. There should be a unique code for this connection.
  • Once connected, you have to feed a lot of information to your sprinkler controller. These information may be related to your location, size & type of lawn, plants, and everything else. Take your time and insert all the info as accurately as you can. Remember, if you want your sprinklers to water properly and save water at the same time then this are something that you must do carefully.
  • From this point you can either customize everything or leave everything on automatic mode. You can manually select the amount of water, time of watering, and select the zones that need watering.

Done Installing A Smart Sprinkler Controller

  • If you care too much then you can put enough thoughts and select everything manually. If you think that you are not going to get in the hassle then you can select the nearest weather station and location and your controller should cross match the information with the type of plants and water the lawn in the most suited way.
  • Once you do it, you are done. Now, you may forget everything and your lawn and garden would be watered everyday and you won’t even feel that the unit is not even there. (although the controller will notify you, when it starts and finishes watering)

We hope that you would find this article on the installation and set up of your sprinkler controller.

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