The Importance of Rain Sensors

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Living in Florida, water conservation is something we all need to take seriously.  By taking appropriate steps now, we can sustain our water supplies now and for future generations of Floridians.  One way to make a big difference in eliminating water waste is by adding a rain sensor to your sprinkler, or irrigation, system.  

A rain sensor, also called a shutoff device, will pause a scheduled automatic cycle on your sprinkler system after a certain amount of rain has occurred.   Not only does it help local water levels, but a rain sensor will save you money through less water usage, plus it prevents your plants and shrubs from getting overwatered.  Overwatering also minimizes runoffs of wasteful products like pesticides, pet waste and fertilizer from getting into your groundwater.   An additional benefit comes from saving unnecessary wear and tear on your sprinkler system.  

Rain sensors are most effective when they are mounted in an open area so they can accurately detect rainfall.  Installing the sensors too close to awnings, tree limbs or other obstacles will prevent an accurate reading.  Most of the time, sensors will be mounted on a rooftop or high fence, away from trees and other buildings.  

A rain sensor works by collecting weighing rainwater in its collection cup.  The weight of the rainwater will create a break in the electrical connection to the pump or sprinkler valves of the irrigation system.  Some rain sensors incorporate an electrode to measure the rain instead of a collection cup.  Still, other rain sensors utilize a cork expansion disc.  The cork expands when enough rain hits it and it creates a break to prevent the irrigation system from being triggered.

Because of Florida’s sensitive eco-system, it makes sense that our state would be one of just a few that has a rain sensor statute.  The most recent version of this statute (2010) says the following: "Any person who operates an automatic landscape irrigation system shall properly install, maintain, and operate technology that inhibits or interrupts the operation of the system during periods of sufficient moisture." (Florida Statute 373.62). Thus, all automatic landscape irrigation systems require a rain sensor or other shutoff device.

At Florida Lawn Guys, we take water conservation seriously.  By being the foremost authorities on irrigation systems and all types of rain sensors, we can suggest what is right for your individual needs and how to incorporate water conservation into all your lawn, landscaping and irrigation requirements.  Contact us by filling out a simple contact form or call us at 941-527-6939.  Our friendly, knowledgeable representative is looking forward to assisting you with any questions you may have.

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