In North Texas, where water is particularly precious, you don’t want to see a drop go to waste. Not only does that take a toll on the environment, but it can be bad for your wallet, too. For that reason, you might be thinking about how you can upgrade a sprinkler controller.
Opting for an upgrade will take an investment on the front end, but could end up saving you a lot of money. As you likely know, smart irrigation controllers have come a really long way and if you’re still operating an older system, you’re likely missing out on some major benefits.
A good place to start with the process to upgrade a sprinkler controller is to consider what you’re looking to get out of a new system. Obviously, you’re probably looking to save water (and money) by ensuring that none is wasted.
One of the key ways that a smart irrigation controller does this is by adjusting the watering schedule based on actual conditions (rather than just following a preset schedule).
In other words, a smart controller will make actual changes based on weather conditions. We’ve seen tremendous advances in smart irrigation in the last 5 years. The capabilities have come so far. With technology such as rain and freeze sensors, as well as soil moisture sensors, the system can make real-time changes. Many systems also utilize data coming from the local weather station in terms of previous and upcoming conditions.
That means that instead of your irrigation system kicking on during a rainstorm (which is SO frustrating), your system will automatically make adjustments.
But besides saving water, what else are you looking to get out of your irrigation system? Will you be making changes to your lawn or landscaping in the future that will require changes to your irrigation system? These are important considerations to keep in mind before you start the process to replace a sprinkler system controller. You’ll want to consider what you expect to get out of that new system.
These considerations are important as you begin the process of researching irrigation controllers, which we’ll talk about next.
People sometimes assume that all controllers are virtually the same, but this isn’t the case. Even a smart irrigation controller can have some limitations. A lot depends on what system you purchase and what its capabilities are. It’s important to do your research ahead of time or talk to an irrigation expert.
The biggest limitation is usually in how many zones the controller can run. For instance, if you buy a smart controller that is designed to run on six zones (maybe some different flower beds plus your lawn), and you want to add a new zone later (maybe you’re installing another flower bed), with certain systems, you’re out of luck. While some systems can be upgraded, others have zone limitations that can’t be changed.
This is one of the major reasons why working with an irrigation professional is really valuable. They will not only guide you toward the best way to upgrade your irrigation controller for your current needs but for your long-term needs as well.
Unfortunately, taking a DIY route can sometimes lead you down a complicated path. Some DIYers have found ways to cobble together a system with a smart irrigation controller that is limited to a certain number of zones by having more than one system in operation. But this is really a lot more complicated than just working with a single system that can handle upgrades if you want to add to your landscape.
These days, we’re seeing more and more smart controllers being directly marketed to the DIY consumer and that sometimes does the homeowner a disservice. While handy homeowners might be able to do the work to replace a sprinkler system controller, there can be some shortcomings that set you back in the future.
As we previously talked about, you might choose a system that can’t be upgraded to adapt to future landscape changes. We’ve seen this happen and homeowners have had to find a way to have more than one controller in order to accommodate their changing landscape.
We also find that some of the popular DIY irrigation choices tend to simplify the setup process by limiting the amount of data you have to program. But this can ultimately have a negative impact on your results. The more data put into the system, the more accurate (and efficient) it will operate.
A key advantage to using a licensed irrigation professional is that they’ll look at the big picture. You’ll also have confidence that your system is being installed properly (and will function properly, too). After all, the proper installation has a lot to do with getting the most out of an irrigation system. If a system isn’t installed right, it’s not going to work right, either.
Bear in mind that not all irrigation pros are the experts that you’d hope they are. That’s why it’s also important to make sure you are choosing a qualified pro. This should be a company that employs licensed irrigation professionals.
Unfortunately, many companies do operate without a license (or let the license expire).
It’s important to look into this. When you choose to work with an irrigation repair company that is not properly licensed (or has let his or her license lapse), you run the risk of having to pay for costly repairs or possibly even fines down the road.
At Grassperson, we use Certified Irrigation Technicians and are licensed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Our Certified Irrigation Technicians are well-trained and solely focused on tune-ups, audits, and repairs.
If you truly want to get the most of a smart irrigation controller, then it’s imperative you choose the right company for the work.
By doing so, you’ll be able to gain peace of mind that you’re getting the most out of your investment. Every company is going to be a bit different in terms of the level of service and results that you get, but you want to know that you’re in good hands.
When you make that wise choice, you’ll be able to let go of your worries and know that all of your irrigation needs will be properly handled.
Stop worrying about your irrigation system and leave it up to a pro who knows exactly what your Northern Texas property needs. Get a free quote, then you can enjoy the best lawn on the block!