Lots of rain happening of late, thanks to El Nino! It has delayed any outdoor watering so far this year, which is great. If you happened to turn your irrigation system controller on before the rains came, hopefully you have a rain sensor (a.k.a. rain shut-off device) or other weather system that will prevent your sprinkler system from actually running while it’s raining. You don’t want to water in the rain! Let’s be honest, besides it being a waste of water, it really makes you look silly.
The Water Conservation program has been offering a rebate for rain sensors, freeze sensors, and other weather technology as part of our efficient irrigation rebate program for several years now. If you don’t have a rain sensor on your irrigation system, now’s the time to get one!
Now, a rain sensor like the one pictured, doesn’t predict when it’s going to rain. What it does is sense when rain is actually falling and stop the sprinklers from running if they are currently running, OR prevent them from turning on if they are scheduled to turn on shortly after the rain happens. Once the sensor dries out, it will allow the sprinklers to continue to operate according to its normal schedule.
There are sensors on the market that do predict, using live weather data, if it’s going to rain in our area, and prevent the sprinkler system from turning on. Those are slightly more expensive then the little one pictured above, but may be worth it to you. They use live weather data and your location (usually a zip code, address or GPS coordinates) to see if rain is expected for you and doesn’t allow the system to run if the chance of rain is greater than X percent. That X is usually a number you can adjust — like 30 percent. The irrigation rebate applies to this technology too.
So, install those rain shut-offs and let Mother Nature water the yard for you!
For more on rain sensors, watch my video!