The irrigation controller, or time clock, is the brains of your irrigation system. It controls when and how long your system operates, and understanding it is essential to proper care of your lawn. Improper operation of your time clock can waste water and harm your lawn – too much water can cause an increase in disease, weeds, and pests.
Florida law requires that “any person who purchases and installs an automatic sprinkler system after May 1, 1991, shall install, and must maintain and operate a rain sensor device or switch that will override the irrigation cycle of the sprinkler system when adequate rainfall has occurred” (F.S. 373.662). Some counties and local communities have laws requiring all systems have them. Rainfall shutoff devices do just what their name implies; they shut off the irrigation system when they detect rainfall.
Proper understanding of your time clock, installation of a rain shutoff sensor, and calibration are all important aspects of a well-functioning irrigation system. However, maintaining that system is also crucial. Clogged sprinkler heads and kinked hoses, for example, can waste water and decrease the efficiency of your system. Below are several things that you can do to ensure your system operates effectively.
Knowing how much water your irrigation system applies to your landscape is crucial to its efficient operation, and conserving water. Properly setting your time clock requires knowledge of your system’s application rate - the amount of water the system applies over a specified period of time - to ensure the proper amount of water is applied. Follow the steps below to calculate your system’s application rate to ensure your system is giving your landscape the correct amount of water.