Author: orbitonline

How to Use Our Landscape Irrigation Planning Designer

Last week we discussed the initial prep work of putting in a sprinkler system. This week we’ll go further into the process by actually designing our plan. Before we start, we want to mention our amazing online sprinkler design tool: the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer. This tool allows you to create an online sketch of your property. Check back later for an in-depth look at the Orbit Sprinkler System Designer.

As you’ll see, the process of planning a sprinkler system can be a worthwhile challenge. It requires time and accuracy. We’ve seen countless times how a small mistake—a bad measurement, a misplaced head, or forgetting a feature of your garden—can result in a bad plan (which, if not caught before installation, can cost hundreds of dollars in supplies and labor to replace).

The Orbit Sprinkler System Designer (OSSD) can make this step very simple. Just upload a bird’s-eye picture of your property (which can usually be obtained online through Google Maps or similar programs) and then trace over it. You’ll only need to measure one item of your yard, like the width of your driveway, for scale and the computer does the rest. Once you’ve finished tracing and drawing (it usually takes about 30 minutes) the system will ask for the water flow information you collected in last week’s blog and, bingo, you’re done. The computer will do the calculations and give you a plan for placing heads, valves, and zones in ideal locations. OSSD will even give you a comprehensive parts and estimated price list of all the supplies you’ll need. You also are able to print a detailed, customized guide for installing the sprinkler system, down to the placement of every pipe, every sprinkler head, and every nozzle. Oh, and it’s totally, completely, 100% free!  Yeah, it’s a pretty great tool and we’re quite proud of it. We encourage you to give it a shot.

For those who are able to find success with the sprinkler design system, the rest of this post will be more about sprinkler theory and why things are done the way they are. For those going the old fashioned way, pay close attention to what follows.

Theory and Best Practice

Irrigation systems work in funnels; well, reverse funnels is probably a better description. At the top you’ve got your main water line connection. This usually comes from the municipal water system, but for some people a well is used or even, in rare cases, pumps from some freshwater source like a river or lake. But the Average Joe is connecting to his city’s water line.

From the water source, the water travels to your valve box containing a manifold and several valves. Of course, your water may be required by local code to pass through such things as a backflow prevention device, but the basic premise is water comes from the main line, passes through the manifold, and then flows out through a valve to the watering zone. Each zone contains a number of sprinkler heads, which is determined by your available water flow. Sprinkler heads are the mechanisms you see spraying the water on your lawn. There are various types of heads, each with a specific purpose, and we’ll get to that in a bit.

There are many approaches you could take in deciding the number of zones, type of heads, and watering means you will use, but the question that should guide all your choices is, “How can I effectively water all areas of my yard using the least amount of water?” This is where the savings will really come from, because no matter what kind of system you put in, it will generally pay for itself if you maximize efficiency. So, make watering efficiency and conservation your target and you’ll get where you need to go.

Head types

There are a plethora of head types used in irrigation systems. Let’s talk about each, their pro’s and con’s and where you might use them.

Medium Area Sprinkler Heads

The most common sprinkler head is the pop-up. They come in a number of sizes, but the basic premiss remains the same: the water forces the interior of the sprinkler to pop up and spray water in a pattern through interchangeable nozzles. Pop-ups are fabricated to spray at different distances, which you will choose based on your yard layout. Adjustable nozzles used on pop-up sprinklers can spray anywhere from 4–19 ft. They are great because they are inexpensive, reliable, and easy to repair. The nozzles screw on and off, letting you choose the one that best suits head placement. They are great for watering the average lawn and errors can be easily detected.

Pop-up sprinkler heads aren’t perfect though, and there are situations where they may not be ideal. Pop-ups are the carpet-bombing of sprinklers; they’re not precision instruments. Now, when you’re watering your lawn, this isn’t a big deal—in fact, it’s what you want—but for watering flower beds, gardens, trees, pots, or anything that doesn’t cover an expansive area of ground, pop-ups aren’t the best choice. The advantages of using pop-up sprinkler heads are the ease of use, even watering patterns, and affordability.

Large Area Sprinkler Heads (Rotors)

There are two types of large area heads, impact and gear drive. As their name implies, these sprinklers are effective in covering large areas of turf. Impact heads are familiar to us because of the recognizable ratcheting noise they make as they go back-and-forth.

Gear drive sprinkler heads are a relatively new product in the sprinkler line-up. These are very quiet in their operation, and emit a single stream of water. Their superior area coverage means you don’t have to install as many sprinkler heads. These heads are adjustable, allowing you to adjust the spray distance (how far the water goes) and the radius (how wide the arc of the head is). Their closed case design resists clogging from grit, sand, and heavy grasses.

Remember, rotors aren’t ideal for small patches of land. They cost more and repairs can be a more intricate and may even require changing the entire head.  Finally, rotors require higher water pressure.  When considering rotor sprinklers it’s important to determine if your area meets these requirements   If so, you’ll be pleased with the outcome.

 

Eco-Stream Rotator (Rotary)

The pop-up Eco-Stream Rotator Sprinkler Head is a hybrid between pop-ups and rotors. Often called the rotary sprinkler, it looks like a popup, but behaves like a handful of gear drives being sprayed in a kaleidoscope pattern. Further, they offer the adjustability of rotors with the effectiveness of popups. Other benefits include use with lower water pressures where gear drives cannot be used. There is also evidence suggesting that rotary sprinkler water coverage is superior to popups. They are also easy to install and repair. These are best for medium sized watering areas.

 What head you use will be determined by the size of the watering area. For areas larger than 25’ x 25’, you’ll want to use large area sprinklers (either gear driven or impact heads). Areas smaller than 25’ x 25’ will use popups (either traditional or rotary). For flower beds, shrubs, ground cover, etc. you’ll want to use small area sprinklers, drip, or soaker lines.

The Garden

Gardens and flowerbeds require a different approach to watering. Pop-up, gear drive, and impact sprinkler heads work great for the lawn but they aren’t precision instruments. These will work well if you have a lot of ground cover, but what if your beds just have shrubs, flowers, etc.? For those plants, drip irrigation is an excellent choice because it’s easy to install and maintain, its flexibility in a changing garden is unmatched, and it’s efficient. We will talk more about this awesome option in a later edition of our blog, but be aware that using drip irrigation can save on your water bill and water your plants more efficiently and directly.

Head Placement

Head placement is perhaps the most important part of making sure your system is effective and efficient. A term to become familiar with is head-to-head coverage. This concept is demonstrated in the graphic below.  

This pictures shows excellent head-to-head coverage. Head-to-head coverage means the water from one head extends all the way to the next head. It provides even spacing and excellent water coverage of the area, ensuring no dead spots result. Now many have complained that this seems like double watering, but not so. The lawn in the example above will be watered efficiently without missing any spots, but below is an example of bad coverage which misses the center area (the part in red). Notice that there are no heads place along the center of the perimeter, but only in the corners.

Here’s our example yard where we’ve placed our heads:

And here’s what the spray patterns will be:

The Zones

Once you’ve placed your heads you are ready to create your zones. This part can be tricky and requires a bit of math. Group plant types into specific zones. By this we mean that grass, flowerbeds, growboxes, etc. should all be separated into their own zones. This is because each plant type has different water requirements.

Warning! Heads of different types (rotors vs. pop-ups) cannot be combined in the same zone. This goes for drip and shrub sprays as well. Things have to be the same because each type of head has different GPM requirements and output. If you combine different head types in the same zone, you won’t be able to evenly distribute water; some places will get over watered, some under watered.

You’ll need to know how much water is coming through your valve (which we showed you how to find in the previous blog). In this example, it’s 15 GPM. Next, you’ll determine the GPM of each head—this is determined by the head and nozzle—and write this information next to the corresponding head on your plan. When you’re done, it will look something like this:

 

Knowing these two things, you can begin to group your heads into zones. When mapping out the zones, it’s important to provide sufficient water pressure to each zone. All the heads in the zone combined must be using at or below the total available water flow (GPM). You might even want to step it down by 1-2 GPM just to make sure there is enough water in the case of a drop in pressure. Note how we’ve grouped the two zones on the right in the example above. They don’t exceed the total GPM of our main line (14 GPM and 13.35 GPM). We’ll do the same with the other zones.

Manifold Placement

Zones connect to valves, which are grouped together in a valve box, where they connect to the main water line. These boxes usually can hold up to four–six valves. Placement is a matter of preference, but there are few things to take into account when deciding where to put your valve boxes.  

 

First, grouping is a good idea so you can daisy chain the main line. The main line from your water source is the most expensive run of piping that you’ll lay, so it’s best to keep these runs short. Of course, we don’t recommend putting all your boxes in the front yard, but you don’t want to space boxes all over the yard either.

Another consideration is making sure your boxes are easy to access. When you’re having problems with your sprinklers—which will inevitably happen—there’s nothing more frustrating than having to poke around in difficult to reach places behind rose bushes or under trees. A better option is to have the boxes in a clear location where you can work in them with ease. Admittedly, the caps can clash with the aesthetics of yard but options, such as faux rocks, can blend the boxes with your landscape.  

So, there you have it. We’ve covered the basics of sprinkler theory, sprinkler head types and placement, as well as manifold placement.

Visit us next week to learn more about pipe layout, digging trenches, and timers.

It’s in Everyone’s Nature to Nurture

child with dog

Welcome to the New Orbit and B-hyve

In the fall of 2019, as we were contemplating our future as a brand, we began to look at ourselves – and you, our customers – a bit differently.

In a world of products, and parts, and pieces, we aspire to provide you with solutions and inspiration and in turn, we knew we’d continue to be inspired by you.

For more than forty years, we’ve been humbled to play a small role in the lives of millions of families around the world and in 2020, we wanted to celebrate you and your family and the beauty you create around you using Orbit and B-hyve products.

This year, we’re going to continue that celebration, and we’re also:

  • Exploring the science of being outside, including cutting-edge research showing that connecting with nature doesn’t just make you feel better. It makes you think better and more creatively.
  • Discovering the power of surrounding yourself with beauty – whether that’s a weekly bouquet of flowers, a patio garden or a neighborhood vegetable patch. In a stressful world, where lots of people are surrounded by cement and speeding cars and ambient noise, it’s important that each of us find our own little patch of green in the world.
  • Celebrating the power of DIY and DIT (doing it together) – everything from growing your own homemade salsa garden to building an underground irrigation system.
  • And last, but certainly not least, we’re introducing many new products, kits and end-to-end solutions that are designed to make it easy for you to surround yourself with beauty.

We’re thrilled to introduce the new www.orbitonline.com to you today, and we hope you’ll join us on this journey. We believe it’s in everyone’s nature to nurture, in both good and challenging times.

Cheers,

Your Friends at Orbit and B-hyve

The Gift of Water: A 100 Foot Long Moat

B-hyve Smart Hose Watering Timer (with WiFi Hub and without)

 

B-hyve Smart Hose Watering Timer (with WiFi Hub and without)

If you’re using a B-hyve smart hose timer when you water your lawn, then you’re potentially saving 46,000 gallons of water a year.

That’s a lot of water. Think of what you could do with that water like:

Build a 6-foot wide, 100 foot long, 3-foot deep moat around your house, fill it with piranha and keep the neighbor kids out.

Or:

Buy a B-hyve smart hose faucet timer, save water, time and money and Orbit will donate $5 per timer purchased to water.org. You save water and help water.org, which has empowered more than 25 million people with access to safe water. 
This holiday season give the gift of water.

How to Make a Plain Garden Hose Smart With Our Faucet Timer

I am a hose.

A garden hose.

I was never really that special. I watered stuff; lawns, gardens, trees. I filled kid’s pools and team coolers. I’ve washed cars, bikes, vinyl siding, motorcycles. I have occasionally cleaned off front steps, walkways, and sidewalks. 

I am useful. Utilitarian one may say. Some may find my deep forest green coloring appealing but, you’d never think of me as a fashion accessory or a dinner guest. I’m just too ordinary, too work-a-day, for that. Believe me, I know.

Sometimes, I would get lost daydreaming when watering the lawn, and the next thing I knew I was being yanked by the neck and tossed onto the driveway as the patch of green I was supplying with life-giving water had flooded.

There were days when the precious gardens I was entrusted to sprinkle upon turned into mud puddles deep enough to lose a horse in. I just didn’t know any better. Just water, keep watering, never stop watering.

It’s not my fault, I would plead to my loudly cursing owner, I dozed off, my mind wandered. I’m not that bright, I would scream, I’m just a simple garden hose, not a light bulb. But, to no avail. I would be cursed and kicked and coiled up by the side of the garage, left to wonder if I’d ever be trusted, ever employed again.

And so went life. Pulled out, stretched to my limit, choked in the hand of a disgruntled man who would rather be inside watching the game, playing with his family, going on vacation, but he was trapped holding me by the neck and watering his lawn for hours at a time.

Because I was just a hose. A garden hose. An ordinary, dumb garden hose.

Then, one day my life changed. I was shown a new path. I was given a new chance to please my owners and make their lives better. One day, I became a smart hose.

Becoming smart

I’ll never forget the day my life changed forever. It was the day I was linked up with the Orbit B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer with Wi-Fi Hub.

It was a Saturday, late morning in early June. I was, as usual, coiled by the side of the garage wondering if I would be used that day, wondering if I still mattered in the world. When I was pulled from my coil rest and detached from the outdoor faucet. 

Detached. 

I felt sick. Both ends of me left open and vulnerable to the elements. No connection, no water flow, no use. Was that it? I wondered. Was this how it ended? I would be tossed into that field at the far end of town that’s filled with old tires and abandoned shopping carts. I would spend the rest of my days trying to avoid bully kids who set tires on fire and would jump at the chance of adding a simple hose to their blaze. How could I avoid them, I have no legs, I’m a hose.

I was sad. The remnants of last weekend’s garden work and charity car wash dripped from my mouth. I was done. I no longer had purpose. I was no longer needed. Then I heard a voice in my head whisper to me:

“Hello friend,” the chipper voice, with the slight technologically tinged tone in my head said, “we’re going to be partners.”

Next thing I knew I was being connected to this box that the voice had come from. Something changed immediately. I felt different. I felt stronger, more focused, I felt … smart.

A perfect team

The B-hyve smart hose faucet timer with wifi understood my full potential and helped me become the hose I am today.

On my own, I’m just a garden hose, a tube of rubber, but when you connect me to a B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer, something truly miraculous happens … I become smart.

Together we are an unstoppable team No more puddles and floods in the yard. No more winter stocks of vegetables drown on the vine because I was daydreaming. Nope, none of that happens anymore. With my B-hyve buddy, I can now be programmed. Yup, I’m suddenly pretty dang high-tech.

The B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer allows you to set watering schedules, calendars, and timers so that you’re in complete control of the water flow in your yard. And, you don’t have to be standing there, holding me by the neck to do it any longer.

With B-hyve you can download a free app for Android or iOS, and with the touch of a button, you can turn me on or off. From anywhere you are with your smartphone. That’s right, I hang with the smartphones now.

The B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer with Wi-Fi Hub can also check the weather, and if it looks like rain, it tells me to lay low and hold the flow so that I don’t end up overwatering the lawn when it doesn’t need it.

Go ahead, we’ve got it covered

Now that I’m smart, my owners have a lot more freedom. They used to be angry because they had to stay home weekends and water the lawn. Now, with me and my Orbit B-hyve buddy, they can just let us do the work. I see them hop in the car and go away for the weekend and feel good knowing that I will water just the right amount and then shut off. I and the timer have got it down to a science.

Speaking of science, you won’t believe what this B-hyve smart hose faucet timer with Wi-Fi can do. It can send reports right to the app about the weather so that I’m not working when the rain is doing the watering. It will also report on how much water you use, how much you save and, it lets you start and stop me from anywhere you are; on vacation, at the office or even from your bed when you’re trying to catch a few extra zs one morning. It’s science, it’s amazing and it’s made me smart.

The family really does more stuff together now. Weekend trips, vacations, Sundays watching the game together, Saturdays going to soccer games, pool parties and cookouts. No more staying home to make sure the lawn gets care. When you’ve got a smart hose like me and a sweet piece of technology like the B-hyve Smart Host Faucet Timer, your world opens up to all kinds of possibilities

Do some good

Another good thing about being a smart hose is that I actually conserve water now. Yup, I cut my people’s water bill almost in half. I can save so much water when I’m working with my B-hyve timer buddy. And, since I’m smart, I’m thinking more. You know what I’m thinking?

I’m thinking all the water that I save now will be water that can do some good elsewhere. Maybe all the water I save can inspire the neighbors to make their hoses smart and we can save even more water.
And I understand stuff that I didn’t before. Stuff like right now, if you want to make your garden hose a smart hose and you buy a B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer, Orbit will donate $5 for each timer purchased to water.org. I’ve learned about all the good water.org does.

Smart made simple

I used to be simple but now I’m smart. Making me smart is actually really simple.

Simply get yourself a B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer with Wi-Fi Hub and attach it to your outdoor faucet, you know the one on the side of the house, attach your hose to the timer and just watch what you can do.

Making your hose a smart hose saves you time, money, energy and a whole lot of water. You’ll see it in your bill and on your lawn.

So, help a hose out and make him a smart hose. Get yourself a B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer, download the free app and watch what your ordinary garden hose and B-hyve timer can do for your lawn and your life.

Water is a gift. Share that gift with as many people as you can. Share your story of how you made your hose smart on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Brag on your smart hose a little, make him proud of all the water he’s saving and all the good he brings to your lawn and to your community.

When it comes to your lawn, smart is simple and simple is smart.

The Gift of Water: 1,917 Dogs

dog drying off

Use the B-hyve hose timer when you’re watering your lawn and you could potentially save 46,000 gallons of water per year.

That’s a lot of water. You know what you could do with that much water?

You could open up a dog washing shop and wash 1,917 average sized dogs. Once.

Or: 

Buy a B-hyve smart hose faucet timer, save water, time and money and Orbit will donate $5 per timer purchased to water.org. You save water and help water.org on its mission to end the water crisis for over a third of the planet. 


This holiday season give the gift of water.

Water Conservation of a Faucet Timer vs. a Garden Hose

We Love Our Lawns

Here in the United States, we love our lawns. We mow and trim, rake and manicure and we water. We water our lawns constantly to keep them lush and green. A green, healthy lawn is something to be proud of and is a bit of a status symbol in the neighborhood. Our lawns, big sprawling fields or a small patch of green, are at the center of a lot of water wasted. That wasted water can easily be changed to saved water with some simple adjustments.

Water Waste

When we are tending our patches of green often times we over-water. This is due to a few factors: not knowing how much water is right for the lawn, or setting a sprinkler and forgetting about it. All of these problems can be solved very easily with a B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer with Wi-Fi Hub.

Knowing is Half the Battle

Knowing how much water you use when tending your lawn is important. Too much water creates shallow roots, and unhealthy lawns. Washington State University has created a chart where you can easily calculate your water flow using information such as hose diameter and length, PSI of your house and time you water. Use this chart for precise measurements when you’re looking to save water. http://irrigation.wsu.edu/Content/Calculators/Residential/Garden-Hose-Flow.php.

For example, a ⅝ inch hose at a length of 50 feet and a PSI of 40, which is average for a standard house, will yield 22 gallons of water per minute. That’s a lot of water, especially if you forget your hose is on.

You can get information on water flow, PSI and gallons yielded from the chart or you can purchase a B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer from Orbit and the built-in flow sensor will monitor how much water you are using and display that data within the free app on your phone.

Water Smart

Conserving water means watering smart. The best way to water smart is to get a hose timer with smart functions like the B-hyve Faucet Timer. B-hyve does so much more than just time how long you’re watering.

According to the engineers at Orbit, you can save an average of 48% of water using B-hyve as opposed to using no timer at all.

More than just a timer, B-hyve has smart technology that will detect local weather so that you’re not watering in a rainstorm. It can be programmed to schedule waterings so that you can water early in the morning when it’s optimum for your lawn. Watering later in the day when the sun is high, you’re losing way too much water to evaporation and not enough is getting into your lawn to a good depth of 6 to 10 inches.

A timer also prevents overwatering which leads to puddling and runoff. Run-off is dangerous because it means pesticides and fertilizers are flowing off your lawn and into the water system. A timer, like  B-hyve, eliminates the fear of overwatering and run-off.

The Gift of Water

By using a B-hyve Faucet Timer, you’re saving water and money on your water bill giving that gift of water back to your community. Also, water.org is working hard to quell the water crisis in the world and Orbit will donate to them when you purchase a B-hyve

Right now, Orbit, the company that makes B-hyve, is doing a wonderful deal. When you purchase a B-hyve at https://mybhyve.com/gift-of-water, they are going to donate $5 per timer purchased to https://water.org/. This is an organization that  helps get people access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing, such as small loans.

Act local impact global

B-hyve is simple to install, simple to use, it connects to your smartphone or Wi-Fi and allows you more precision in your watering and more free time for your daily life. Because you can schedule when watering starts and stops, there’s no need for you to actually be with your lawn to get it watered. And, you can run your B-hyve with your smartphone from anywhere in the world.

You’re thinking and acting locally when you use B-hyve and Orbit donating to water.org assures a global effect as well. Through micro loans, water.org helps people get access to safe water and better sanitation.

No Comparison

When it comes to water conservation there really is no comparison between a regular garden hose attached to a sprinkler and a smart hose faucet timer, like the B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer with Wi-Fi Hub.

Our lives are busy and we all want to do what we can to help, but time is limited and there is a lot we have to focus on. With water conservation it’s really very simple, use a B-hyve smart timer when you’re watering your lawn and save time, money and most importantly, save water.

How To Choose The Right Water Timer

If you do everything by hand, caring for your lawn can take a lot more work than you’d think. There’s cutting your grass, of course, and managing weeds. But when it comes to lawn care, the biggest hassle (and expense) is watering. 

Your lawn’s water needs change all the time. Temperature, season, humidity, day-to-day weather, local watering restrictions (triple the price per gallon if you water on Sundays in June, etc.) — there’s a lot more to watering your lawn than meets the eye. 

And while some types of grass are more forgiving than others, a few watering missteps (or a period of unexpected rainfall) can kill your lawn, leaving you on the hook for costly sod, plus the labor it takes to dig up your old grass and replace it. 

Watering often drives up your home’s environmental impact, too. You have to guess at your landscape’s water needs, and it’s easy to overwater, taking money out of your wallet and costing the environment as well. 

Installing a watering timer is one of the simplest ways to streamline your lawn care. It will save you money, make your home more green, and give you back hours that you would have spent watering. Your plants will thank you, too — with consistent watering, they’ll grow faster and stronger. 

Best of all, irrigation timers are inexpensive and easy to use. They’re one of the easiest ways to upgrade your home. 

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about timers for watering your lawn, as well as which type is the best sprinkler timer for your needs.

What Is A Water Timer?

Water timers (also called irrigation timers or sprinkler timers) are one of the best ways to save money on your home expenses. Irrigation timers program your sprinklers or hoses to water at regular intervals. You can change them according to season, weather, and so on, and they’ll water your lawn automatically, ensuring that you never leave your lawn high and dry. 

There are even smart watering timers that automatically adjust according to the weather, taking the guesswork out of lawn care and virtually eliminating excess watering.

Best of all, they are inexpensive. With the money you save on water, they usually pay for themselves within a few months. 

Here’s a look at the three main types of water timer, along with our favorite pick for each type. Take a look and see which timer is right for you. 

The 3 Main Types Of Water Timer

There are three main kinds of water timer on the market today: mechanical, digital, and smart home timers. Each type comes with its own set of benefits; which one is best for you depends on your watering needs.

Mechanical Water Timer

Mechanical watering timers are an old-school, tried-and-tested way to water your yard more efficiently. 

A mechanical timer hooks directly to your faucet and works just like an egg timer in your kitchen — you twist the dial to whatever water duration you want and your faucet will shut off automatically when the timer is finished.

Mechanical timers are great for a few reasons:

  • More convenient than hand watering. With a mechanical timer, you don’t have to spend hours watering. You can hook your mechanical timer up to a basic sprinkler, set it to whatever time you want, and go back to your life. It’ll take care of the rest. 
  • Conserve water. With a mechanical timer, you’ll never forget to turn off the water again. The timer will shut off automatically at the end of the cycle. 
  • Two-minute installation with no wiring. You don’t need batteries or a wiring system to install a mechanical hose watering timer. You just screw it onto your faucet and it’s ready to go. 
  • Great for renters.  Mechanical timers don’t require any wiring for installation, which makes them the best sprinkler timer for renters. You’ll save money on your water bill and keep the yard in good shape, and you can unscrew the water timer and take it with you when you move out. 
  • Affordable. Mechanical timers don’t cost much and they’re built to last for years. 

A mechanical faucet water timer is a simple and inexpensive way to take better care of your yard. Installation takes two minutes, and afterward you’ll never have to water by hand again. 

Digital Water Timer

A digital watering timer automates your watering schedule, saving you time and money and reducing your home’s environmental impact. 

Digital timers hook up to each sprinkler in your yard, allowing you to program all your watering from a single unit. Features include:

  • Scheduled, automatic watering. With a digital timer, you’ll never forget to water again. You can set a weekly schedule from your console — for example, watering for 20 minutes at 6 AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — and the timer will water automatically from there. Watering with a hose can take hours out of your summer, especially if you have a larger yard. A digital timer gives you all that time back. 
  • More vibrant plants. Hand watering with a hose is inconsistent — you may overwater some areas and underwater others. With a digital timer, your watering is consistent every time, which leads to healthier and more vibrant plants. 
  • Efficient watering. You can set a digital timer to water early in the morning, before the sun comes out. The cooler temperature and lack of sunlight means the water won’t evaporate, which significantly decreases your water bill and increases the amount of water that penetrates all the way to your plants’ root systems. 
  • Stress-free travel. Going on vacation or traveling for work? Digital water timers give you the freedom to travel without worry. No need to bug your neighbors or hire professional landscapers to water while you’re gone; your sprinklers will run automatically and you’ll return home to healthy, happy plants. 

Save time, money, and the environment by switching to a high-efficiency digital irrigation timer. 

B-hyve Smart Home WiFi Timer

The B-hyve is the future of lawn care. It monitors weather and the ecological needs of your yard and adapts automatically in real time, virtually eliminating excess water use. It also lets you monitor water usage and program your sprinklers from your phone. 

The B-hyve Smart WiFi Timer’s smart lawn technology gives you maximum convenience and control. Features include:

  • Water from anywhere using your smartphone. The B-hyve smartphone app gives you the freedom to control your watering in seconds from anywhere in the world, as if you were right next to your timer. You can monitor water usage and watering programs in real time to make sure your lawn is always in good shape. 
  • Fully automatic smart watering. The B-hyve’s WeatherSense technology monitors local weather changes to give your landscape the exact amount of water that it needs. By preventing excess water use, B-hyve can reduce your water bill by up to 50%. 
  • Manual scheduling options for total control. B-hyve offers a complete manual control option as well. Change your schedule in seconds using the phone or web app, or adjust them directly from the digital timer. 
  • Simple installation. B-hyve has both indoor and outdoor timer options, and you can replace your old timer with a B-hyve in under 5 minutes using only a drill and screwdriver. If you’re putting a water timer in your home for the first time, an irrigation specialist can help you with installation. 
  • More than 30 billion gallons of water saved. To date, the B-hyve’s smart watering system has saved more than 30 billion gallons of water, making it the most sustainable and environmentally friendly irrigation timer on the market. With its WeatherSense technology, the B-hyve knows exactly when your landscape needs water, virtually eliminating unnecessary water usage. 

The B-hyve is WaterSense-approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, meaning it meets the highest criteria for environmental sustainability on the market. It protects the environment while saving you both time and money.

Upgrade Your Lawn Care Today

A water timer is a win-win: it makes your home more sustainable and saves you time and money, all while improving your lawn’s health.
There’s a watering timer for everyone, whether you want a simple mechanical timer, a digital timer, or a B-hyve smart home timer. Pick the one that best suits your needs and upgrade your lawn care today.

The Gift of Water: 368,000 Boxes of Jello

Use a B-hyve smart hose timer when watering your lawn and you have the potential to save about 46,000- gallons of water.

Think of the things you could do with that much water like:

Take 46,000 gallons of water and add 368,000 small boxes of Jello and have a 46,000-gallon Jello wrestling ring.

Or:

Buy a B-hyve smart hose faucet timer, save water, time and money and Orbit will donate $5 per timer purchased to water.org. You save water and water.org helps get clean water to the 1 in every 9 people who have no access to clean water. 


This holiday season give the gift of water.

7 Reasons Why You Need a Smart Hose Faucet Timer

We love our lawns, our own personal patches of green. We relax, entertain and putter on our lawns. It’s emblematic of the American Dream, that patch of green. Keeping it healthy, green and enviable to the entire neighborhood takes time and effort. It’s worth it, of course, because we care for our lawns, however, there is a way to make appreciating your green a little easier and more environmentally aware. How, you ask? By knowing these seven reasons why you need a hose timer. That’s how.

Never overwater again

You’ve had this happen, you’re working outside for the day, taking care of the lawn and other things on the to-do list, you set your sprinklers and let them water your lovely patch of green and then, off you go to clean gutters, sweep walkways, talk over the fence with Bob, your neighbor. Time gets away and when you finally get back to your patch of green, it’s become an in-ground swimming pool. With a hose timer, you never have that problem again. You get the perfect amount of water for your green and no more. Set it and forget it, it’ll take care of itself.

Frees up your time

You want to keep your green patch beautiful but you also want to: go to a ball game, play with the kids, take a walk with the wife. There are so many demands on your time, why let your lovely lawn be one of them. With a hose timer, you don’t have to be there to water your lawn. You can set it up on an app and then you’re free to do other things and be other places without worrying about your lawn.

Simplicity itself

Hose timers are so incredibly easy to set up it doesn’t make sense not to have one. Most require batteries but, what doesn’t? Some, like B-hyve by Orbit, are designed to get a better and longer life from the two AA batteries it requires. They are easy to set up in your yard and simple to connect to your smartphone so you can control it from anywhere. The time, money and effort a hose timer will save you make it a no brainer to own.

Conserve water

This is a big one for a few reasons. Conserving water will, of course, save you money on your water bills, but it has the potential to do much more.

If you’re thinking of your little patch of green then imagine all the patches of green around you. If all those patch owners use a hose timer, that’s a lot of water being conserved. All of that water saved is cost-cutting for you and your neighbors but it has a much larger reach.

It’s easy to forget that water is a gift. We can worry about over-watering our patches of green but the notion of over-watering is completely foreign to some people on this planet. They rejoice at the sight of one glass of water.

So, you can have your proud green patch, inspire your neighbors.

How much water you save is going to depend on where you live, how big your patch of green is, how much water you use, etc. etc. The EPA has a site called WaterSense, you can go there and calculate your water usage and your water savings.

Here’s an EPA Example Monthly Property Water Use

Month

January

February

March

April 

May 

June

July

August 

September

October

November

December

Total

Water Use (gallons)

53,000

52,000

61,000

73,000

86,000

97,000

112,000

108,000

75,000

60,000

55,000

49,000

890,000

In this chart pulled from the EPA site, you see this particular property’s landscape is watered heavily April through September. If we were to determine this landscape’s non-seasonal or baseline water use it’s pretty simple

Using the information above, we averaged the monthly water use from the non-watering, non-seasonal months, which are October through March, this will result in an estimated monthly baseline water use rate of 55,000 gallons of water per month. So an estimated annual water use without lawn watering, irrigation, is equal to: 55,000 gallons per month X 12 months which equals 660,000 gallons per year.

Now, to figure out how much water is this person using for irrigation we would subtract this estimated annual baseline water use from the metered total presented in the table above which is 890,000 gallons/year – 660,000 gallons/year amounts to 230,000 gallons used for irrigation every year.

Knowing that baseline can give you clear goals to hit and the EPA can help you find ways to conserve water. But, one of the best and easiest ways to save water is with a hose timer. In fact, a study done by Plant City, Florida showed that as much as 60% less water was used with a hose timer.

Keep you safe

Now, you probably didn’t even consider this when you thought about getting a hose timer but, it’s true.

Think about this; working in combination with timers on the lights in your house, the timer on your hose can give the illusion that there are people at home. So, if you’re away and someone is checking out your house, your hose going on and off, the lights in your house going on and off, will give the illusion that you’re home and that, perhaps, will deter those looking to do mischief.

Easy app controls

With a hose timer, you can control water flow from an app on your smartphone. Most timer apps, like the Orbit B-hyve, allow you to set a schedule, see a watering calendar and allow you to turn your hose on and off with a simple click of a button. This frees up physical and mental time. Once you’ve connected your timer to the hose and your phone, you can basically forget it and let it do the work it was born to do. Spend more time living your life and less time standing with a hose. Unless, you know, you enjoy standing with a hose. No judgments.

Weather Awareness

Most of the apps connected to a hose timer are quite smart and advanced in their technology. They will actually monitor the weather and know that, if it’s raining or if there is rain coming, the watering doesn’t need to be done. This keeps you from having to fight the elements to turn water on or off or second-guessing the weather and putting plans on hold because of it.

Metrics

A number of smart hoses have a variety of metrics that can determine how fast water is going to evaporate from your soil. These metrics depend on location, area to be watered, type of soil, type of landscaping and such. But, the metrics allow your smart hose to break watering time into smaller segments which can prevent runoff, which is better for the environment and it will also save you money. Your hose timer can think of a lot of things that you don’t need or want to think about. What it thinks about saves money, time and the world.

How many things in your life have become simpler due to automation? How much easier is your day knowing that you have tasks, tools, and apps right in the palm of your hand? If your phone and automation make daily life easier and saves you money, doesn’t it make sense that you hook your patch of green up to technology and make your lawn life that much easier?

Global Impact

Orbit has one of the best hose timers on the market, the B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer. Right now, for every B-hyve Hose Faucet Timer you purchase here, for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, Orbit will donate $5 for each timer purchased to water.org, helping empower those who need it most with clean water.

The 3 Types of Drip Tubing

Drip Irrigation is one of the most flexible and effective ways to water. Drip Irrigation is a watering system that slowly applies water directly to your plant’s root zone, allowing you to water more plants with less water. Not to mention, since you won’t have water sitting on top of your soil you should see a reduction in weeds and pests. Users of drip irrigation also see significant savings to their wallet because it reduces your annual water usage up to 50%. Drip also offers ultimate flexibility with limitless possibilities of installing an effective system. However, while this is liberating for many it can be daunting for others. We’re here to help. Below, we explain the three types of drip tubing and when to use them.

Distribution Tubing

Distribution tubing does not have any holes in it, making it useful to carry water to your plants if they are spaced a few feet apart. One of the most common methods of using it, is to have the ½ inch distribution tubing act as the mainline for the water, and then to have ¼ inch distribution tubing branch off from the mainline carrying water to each specific plant. Finally install an emitter on the end of each of the 1/4inch tubes to regulate the pressure of the water.

Emitter Tubing

Emitter tubing is ideal for when you have evenly spaced plants with uniform watering needs. Emitter tubing has a hole already punched with 1 gallon emitters built-in the tubing every 12 inches. Gardeners use emitter tubing for flowers, shrubs, vegetable/fruit gardens, or even around the base of trees.

Soaker Tubing

Soaker tubing is made of a sponge-like material that drips or sweats the water out soaking the ground around where you place it. This is the perfect tubing to use if your plants are close together.

The drip tubing you use can make a huge difference in helping you set up the most effective system for your plants and help save water in the process. For more information on tubing visit http://orbitonline.com/

How Smart Watering Works

Smart Home is all the rage—and most products are built for inside the home. Here at Orbit we believe that living shouldn’t be confined to the four walls of your home. That’s why we launched our innovative award-winning B-hyve controllers bringing smart watering to our customers. So what is smart watering? Well, think of this: wouldn’t it be awesome if your sprinkler timer could track your local weather forecast and automatically shut-off the sprinklers when it rained? What if your sprinkler timer could also look back at how much water your plants received from the rain, and automatically water the exact amount of water that your plants need? That is what B-hyve makes possible through smart watering—which is an automated watering schedule that takes into account environmental factors to ensure your plants get the optimal amount of water they need. You are probably thinking, “That sounds fantastic, but how does smart watering actually work?” We’re glad you asked. The B-hyve smart watering algorithm uses three main types of data to calculate the optimal amount of water for each of your zones: 1. Rainfall and Irrigation Data 2. Soil and Slope Data 3. Plant Data

1. Rainfall and Irrigation Data
B-hyve uses WeatherSense™ technology that receives local weather data. When you install B-hyve, you can choose which weather station you would like to connect to, allowing you to choose one that is perfect for your location. B-hyve defaults to sending you a rain delay if there is a 30% chance of rain; however, you can adjust the rain delay sensitivity within the app. The ability for B-hyve to track the weather forecast enables you to save water by using rainwater before irrigating. B-hyve then looks back at how much actual precipitation your yard received and adjusts accordingly.

2. Soil & Slope Data:
B-hyve also takes into account the type of soil in your yard because each soil type absorbs water differently. The three main types of soil are Sand, Clay, and Loam and then there are mixtures of these soil types such as Clay Loam. Sandy soil absorbs water very quickly and homeowners have to water frequently, and for longer durations. Clay soil absorbs water very slowly and homeowners typically have to water less frequently for shorter durations. Loam is the ideal soil type and absorbs water somewhere in-between Sand and Clay. B-hyve also asks you to estimate the percentage of incline your zones may have. Slope also factors in how much water your soil can hold before run-off occurs. The sharper the slope the more frequently you need to water in shorter time durations. If you’re not sure what type of soil you have then you can learn more here: https://help.orbitbhyve.com/soil-types/

3. Plant Data:
B-hyve also utilizes the evapotranspiration data (ET) to determine how much water your plants need. ET data is a measurement of how much water the plant uses or loses to the atmosphere. B-hyve lets you input what types of plants you use whether they are annual flowers, trees, or desert plants. This helps the smart watering algorithm calculate the root zone depth and how much water those plants use. If you are not sure which type of plants you have, you can learn more here:https://help.orbitbhyve.com/plant-types/ Other environmental factors that B-hyve uses are humidity, wind speed, and temperature. The dryer, windier, and hotter it is the more water your plants will need. The B-hyve app also asks for the amount of shade versus the amount of sun to help determine if that area will need more or less water.

With B-hyve smart watering you will never water in the rain again, and will have that lush guilt-free green yard you have always dreamed about while saving water, time, and money.
Welcome to the Smart Yard!

Push Fittings–Why you should switch.

 

Push Fittings are the next generation, cleanest, fastest and most dependable way to install and maintain an environmentally-friendly, professional-grade sprinkler system. WARNING–if you keep reading this you won’t ever want to go back to traditional fittings again. Here’s why:

 

 

Revolutionary Technology

With the “push-and-go” design, installation has never been faster or easier. In fact push fittings have proven to be 3X faster to install than traditional fittings. Say goodbye to using glue or primer and waiting 24 hours for it to dry. Say goodbye to tools, torches, and clamps. Just push on the fitting and the stainless steel teeth will rotate on the pipe and lock into place.

Releasable

Made a mistake? No problem, push fittings are easy to remove using the release tool. You no longer have to cut the pipe off and start all over again. You can even rotate push fittings 36o degrees! Push fittings can even stand hot or cold temperatures without separating from the pipe.

Reliable

Push Fittings are IAPMO certified–meaning they’ve passed a bunch of tests that prove their performance. They also eliminate the need for harmful glue and solvents that can be hazardous to your health and the environment. To learn more about why you should switch follow this link: https://www.hydrorain.com/pushfittings/