If you are tired of watering that lawn by hand, you might be ready to dig some trenches and put in an in-ground sprinkler system. Although you might assume that one sprinkler controller is just as good as the next, some systems offer helpful features that can save you time and money. Here are three controller features that can make all the difference.
1: Expandable Zone Capacity
That two-zone sprinkler system might work great for your yard now, but what if you want to add a garden or a flowerbed in the future? If you think that your watering needs might change, that simple two-zone system might need to be upgraded to accommodate extra lines.
Unfortunately, not every sprinkler controller allows you to do this. Some systems aren't expandable, which might mean that you need to replace your entire controller after you run that additional line. When you shop, look for a system with an expandable zone capacity—especially if your yard isn't 100% finished.
2: Multiple Run Times
When the weather gets hot, some people split their daily watering times into multiple run times just to keep their grass from scorching. However, if your system only allows a single run time, you might end up soaking that lawn and then watching it burn day after day.
As you look around for a sprinkler controller, check to see how many run times the system has. Keep in mind that "watering times" and "run times" are different. Watering time is the actual amount of time the system runs water at each specific zone, while run time is the cycle. Try to find a system that has at least two run times, so that you can split up your watering if you need to.
3: Rain Sensors
If your city is under water restrictions, you might be prohibited from using your sprinklers the day before or the day after it rains. Unfortunately, if you forget to jog outside and disable your sprinklers, your irrigation system might run on its own, putting you at risk for fines or annoying secondary water shutoff notices.
To save water, some controllers work in tandem with rain sensors. These sensitive gauges are typically mounted in areas where they wouldn't be touched, such as on the top of your fence or your roof. These sensors contain sensitive disks that expand when they are subjected to water, which signals to your controller to stop watering. In addition to keeping you inline with city water restrictions, sensors can help you to cut down your water bill.
By investing in the right sprinkler system installation, you ca enjoy a beautiful lawn without making constant adjustments.