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Rainbird has been the long popular brand when it comes to water sprinkler systems. And a Rainbird water sprinkler controller is what the previous owners had installed, so what I acquired when I bought the house. Whenever it was originally purchased, I'm certain this technology was leaps and bounds ahead of the curve. But today, as more and more device are becoming smarter, the existing Rainbird controller feels almost stone age.
The Pains with Traditional Water Sprinkler Controllers
I lived with the traditional water sprinkler for several years. Only really needing to mess with it handful of times per year, it was an existing tool that worked, so I didn't feel any urge to replace it. But thinking back, there were certainly pains that I'll never need to deal with again.
- Small display on the Sprinkler Controller utilizing only seven-segment display
- Controller mounted low on the wall, requiring me to crouch down to mess with it
- Limited customization options for each watering zone (times of day and water percentage)
- Somewhat cryptic definitions and no manuals or any online documents
- Limited lighting in the garage, so I would often times need a flashlight to see the display
- Annual water testing means turning it on at sprinkler and walking to each zone to verify the sprinklers are working. This was okay for the front yard, but a pain in the backyard, especially when diagnosing a malfunction.
Improvements with Smart Water Sprinkler Controllers
I only just installed the Rachio 3 smart water sprinkler last night, but there are already immediate improvements, especially with regards to the advanced features. Once installed, all system customizations happen via the Rachio 3 smartphone app. And in all honesty, just having the smartphone app solve all of the pains of traditional water sprinkler controllers listed above. Now, onto the additional advanced features you gain from a smart water sprinkler controller.
- Option to enable disabling water sprinklers on rainy days
- Option to enable disabling water sprinklers on windy days
- Track historical watering times
- Define zones with soil type, sun exposure, slope, spray head type to customize watering times
- Ability to have fixed, flex monthly, or flex daily schedules to save water
- Flexible day scheduling with a calendar view of upcoming and past waterings
- Ability to set water times "Before Sunrise"