moisture sensor for sprinkler system

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I'm looking for a soil moisture sensor for my sprinkler system, but I haven't found anything that does what I want.
My goal is to set the system to run every day, then have the sensor block it if the soil is already moist enough. Ideally, it would hook to the same terminals as the rain and freeze sensors.
I've found nothing but units designed for commercial/agricultural use, though I keep looking. All of those are installed in the last zone and wired back to the controller. That's OK, and I guess I can run a wire around three sides of my house if I have to, but I'd rather have a wireless system. Also, the commercial systems are very expensive.
Can anybody recommend anything?
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Steve Bell
New Life Home Improvement
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On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 17:50:44 +0000 (UTC), "SteveB"

Our water authority gives rebates (up to $200.00) for installing...." irrigation controller that automatically adjusts its watering schedule..."
"These "smart" irrigation controllers automatically adjust watering schedules based upon weather conditions."
IOW, the controller will not run during a rain shower and skips to the next scheduled run time.
Must be better than running wires, digging, etc. They mention a "rain sensor", this must a different device. (snwa.com)
hth.
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Oren wrote: ...

You have a more direct link? That didn't seem to help a lot, unfortunately.
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_Southern Nevada Water Authority_
(look under product on the right link for company names/brands).
Smart Irrigation Controller http://www.snwa.com/html/cons_coupons_smartclock.html
Rain Sensor http://www.snwa.com/html/cons_coupons_rainsensor.html
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Oren wrote:

Hmmm...I'll go look, thanks.
OHHHH...I see what I did--I typed in swna.com, not snwa.com
That took me to a Saskatchewan newspaper interface website...
Pilot error, sorry.... :)
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Called a malfunction between the keyboard and chair :)
The Hunter site is supposed to have a wireless set-up solution.(based on the SNWA site).
*Rain sensors are a must on any irrigation system, after all, who wants to have their sprinklers running while its raining out? Hunter also offers wind, freeze and flow sensors for special applications that require the added insurance they provide." http://www.hunterindustries.com/Products/Sensors/default.htm
(I don't need moisture sensors in the desert, but for some it makes sense)
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wrote:

There is one with moisture sensor, that also checks the weather forcast and wont run if it is supposed to rain.
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SteveB wrote:

Uses a single, 2-wire connection back to the controller, each sensor is in series with the other and each sensor simply says yes or no, if the circuit is open - no watering, closed -its watering on schedule. The Rain detector is adjustable. check out their ET system at:
http://www.hunterindustries.com/Products/Controllers/etintro.html
or all their other sensors at:
http://www.hunterindustries.com/Products/Sensors/sensor_overview.html
Alternatively, with their controller you could design your own, whatever you make, its final stage just needs to be a something that opens or closes the (low voltage) circuit.
Eric
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On 07/10/08 01:50 pm SteveB wrote:

Rainbird makes an adjustable rainfall sensor (wired) that connects into their system. Ours works.
Perce
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Hello ? The OP said moisture sensor, not rainfall sensor.
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On 07/11/08 02:45 pm Bart wrote:

Yes, I know. I'm suggesting the rainfall sensor as a *possibly* acceptable substitute.
Perce
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On Fri, 11 Jul 2008 15:09:55 -0400, "Percival P. Cassidy"

I noted the " soil moisture sensor " comment after I posted. I'm not familiar with a " soil moisture sensor " that operates with a home irrigation system and can be wireless, except those mentioned. It relates to rainy conditions, etc.
OP?
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Oren wrote:

I appreciate all the suggestions. Thanks, everybody.
A rain sensor I've got. It works OK, I guess. It rains so seldom here I've never been able to actually test it.
I'm really set on finding a wireless soil moisture sensor. If I go with a wired sensor, I'll have to either tunnel under 40' of concrete driveway or run a trench around three sides of the house. The last zone on the system is on the far side of the driveway, and that's where the sensor has to go. If it were in the first zone, it would shut off the whole schedule as soon as zone 1 was wet.
I just found this unit that might work: http://www.trilliumtech.net/homedepot/ecoprd8.html I'll go pick one up tomorrow and see if it does the job.
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On Sat, 12 Jul 2008 02:47:56 +0000 (UTC), "SteveB"

Steve: let us know if the Vigoro Wireless Moisture Sensor works satisfactorily. Sounds like a good idea......
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Shelly wrote:

I finally found this on the Melnor web site. It's not available yet, and it only works with a Melnor controller that screws onto a bibcock.
Back to the drawing board....
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rain/moisture sensor terminals wired in series so it affects all zones equally independent of order.
Second, even if it truly is order dependent, why not just swap the zones on the terminal strip so that the one easiest/closest to wire for a moisture sensor is the one last in the sequence. Seems easier than trenching & wiring all around the house...

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blueman wrote:

The units I *have* found (all of them wired) demand to be on the last zone. If they're on the first zone, the water comes on and runs awhile, the sensor says "Ooh, nicely moist now", and shuts down the controller, never giving the other zones a chance to run.

Now why didn't I think of that? You're a good guy, blueman. I don't care what it says on the bathroom wall down at the truckstop. :-)
Interestingly, I got a call from a supplier the other day telling me that he has a unit that communicates through the valve wiring. I was driving, so I asked him to have his local dealer call my home phone. I haven't heard anything yet.
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Bart wrote:

think he might not know a lot about lawns. If he waters daily, he doesn't need a freakin' "moisture sensor". Unless he is a gadget geek :o)
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Norminn wrote:

Well, I have to admit I am something of a gadget guy. :)
I'm trying to emulate a commercial system. With an appropriate soil moisture sensor, I could set the sprinker system to run it's normal schedule every day. If the ground was already wet enough, the sensor would override the controller, stopping the watering for that day. During the spring rainy season, it might go several weeks without running at all.
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He said he would set the controller to water every day in COMBINATION with the moisture sensor. If the moisture sensor detects sufficient moisture, it blocks the controller from activating.
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