Tag: timers

Smart Irrigation Through A Few Simple Steps

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!

57099_ActionAnother 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.

Interval Watering: The Future is Now

Did you know the average American home uses 3,000 gallons of water per lawn watering?  Irrigation is far and away the highest single activity in the consumption of water.  We’ve heard reports of local homes using 300,000 (yeah, you read that right) gallon of water in a month.  That means they’re watering using an average of 10,000 gallons a day, every single day!  So we’re highlighting a few tips and tools to prevent wasted water.  Today we’ll briefly discuss timers.

Maximize Your Timer’s Performance

Most modern timers allow for interval watering.  Interval Watering is simply the process of watering your lawn in stages.  Grass requires a certain amount of water, rather than a certain time.  Because soil can only absorb so much water before it becomes over-saturated, interval watering lets the water soak into the soil.  Dense soils like clay or clay loam can only absorb a quarter-inch of water per hour.  So anything past that will result in runoff or pooling.  By watering two times, but only at twenty minutes each time with 30-60 minutes between the two, water penetrates the soil much more effectively and reduces the amount of water used.  This is especially helpful if you live in an area where water prices are high or restricted to only certain days per week.  Check the instructions to see if your timer is able to perform interval watering (often called “schedules” or “programs”) and try it out.  We think you’ll like the results.