Types of Irrigation Controllers

Published on: May 22, 2012

An irrigation system is a great way to keep your lawn an landscaping healthy and in great condition.  An important part of any lawn irrigation sprinkler system is the irrigation controller.  The controller automatically turns on the irrigation system according to how it was programmed by the homeowner.  An irrigation system controller allows the homeowner to water their lawn and landscaping while they are away at work, on vacation, or busy with other projects.  No need to remember to turn on or off the irrigation system.

There are three types of irrigation system controllers to choose from.  Mechanical irrigation system controllers have been around for decades and use an index valve to activate the irrigation system.  These are simpler than electronic controllers and can last up to 20 years.  Also, they are not affected by power outages. The program is set mechanically and is not lost if the power goes out.

Mechanical controllers are sturdy and reliable, but they do not have the capabilities of electronic controllers which can have very sophisticated programs to meet the needs of your lawn and landscaping.  Electronic controllers can be programmed to water different zones at different rates or to water is short bursts to reduce water run-off.

Electronic controllers are more versatile than mechanical controllers, but they can still waste a lot of water due to overwatering because they cannot take into account the current weather conditions.  Smart controllers are latest innovation in irrigation controllers.  They have the programming flexibility and capability of electronic controllers, but use information about current local weather conditions to automatically adjust their watering schedule and only water when it is needed.  These smart controllers can save up to 50% of the water used for irrigation while keeping the landscaping healthy and in great condition.

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