If you’ve been following our blog posts this month (or Facebook or Twitter), you’d know that July is Smart Irrigation Month. And for us at Orbit, smart irrigation is anything that saves you time, money, or water. Timers do all three. We wanted to share some simple tips that can help you optimize your timer.
Adjusting the time your sprinklers come on is probably the biggest thing you can change. Did you know that you could lose up to a third of your water to evaporation if you’re watering during the daytime (when the sun is out)? So the best time is when it’s dark. Set your timer to start your sprinklers after the sun goes down or just before it comes up. This saves money, time, and water!
Next, set up the timer to do interval watering. Interval watering means that you break up watering time into segments. So, for example, instead of watering your lawn for 40 minutes straight, you’d water it for two intervals of 15 minutes each. See, soil can only absorb so much water at a given time. After surpassing that point, every excess drop is wasted. Orbit has a great, free tool to help you perfect your watering schedule. By watering in intervals you will use less water because none of it is wasted. And this saves money and water!
Another idea is the rain and freeze sensor. Newer timers all accept this handy add-on. Placed correctly, it can tell if it’s raining or if the temperature is too cold, and shut off the system without you having to do anything. Thus saving water and possible expensive damage.
Finally, one word of caution. Because sprinklers run at night, people often don’t notice when there’s a problem (like a broken pipe or sprinkler head) until they get a massive water bill. For this reason, it’s a good idea to do a test run of your system at least once a month. Each timer is different, but most allow you to manually switch on the zones for a just a few minutes. When you do this you’ll be able to assure each head is functioning properly, that there aren’t any geysers and that pressure is consistent along the entire line. Do this and you’ll catch any problems early.
These tips are easy to implement in your watering. Just check your timer’s instruction manual on proper set up.