Products

Why does Rain Bird offer standalone lids?

If damage does occur to a valve box, it is typically the lid that gets damaged. Instead of replacing the entire valve box, a simple lid replacement is all that is needed.

Why are zones watering when the SMRT-Y is in the Watering Suspended mode (moisture level in the soil is above the set moisture threshold)?

All field common wires must be removed from the irrigation controller’s common terminal and then connected to the white wire on the SMRT-Y controller interface unit.  Only the black wire from the SMRT-Y controller interface unit should be connected to the irrigation controller’s COM (common) terminal.  Additionally, up to two zones may be isolated from the SMRT-Y by connecting either one of the brown or blue wires from the SMRT-Y controller interface unit to the irrigation controller’s zone terminals.  If one or both of these optional bypass wires are connected to zone terminals, those zones will water when the SMRT-Y is in “Watering Suspended” mode.

How many RWS do I need? 

For trees, 2-4, depending on the size. For shrubs, 1-2. For tree installations with two RWS watering zones, 4-6 RWS units could be used.

Does Rain Bird offer a wiring junction box?

7” round is a more robust unit with extra strength is required.

Why are some zones watering erratically even when there is no scheduled watering by the irrigation controller?

Brief and erratic zone activation will occur if zone/field wires are connected to the same terminal as the green wire from the SMRT-Y controller interface unit.  The SMRT-Y sensor can be connected to any zone wire.  Once the target zone wire is identified, that zone wire must be removed form the irrigation controller’s zone terminal and connected to the red wire on the SMRT-Y controller interface unit.  The green wire from the SMRT-Y controller interface unit must be connected to the zone terminal on the irrigation controller.  ONLY THE SMRT-Y GREEN WIRE CAN BE CONNECTED TO THE TARGET SENSOR ZONE TERMINAL.  Consult the SMRT-Y Quick Reference Guide for more detail and a wiring diagram.

How much water can the SMRT-Y save?

Water savings of 40% or more are typical.  A study by the University of Florida resulted in savings of 73%.  In addition to saving water, the SMRT-Y can prevent over watering which can cause fungus and root damage due to rotting.

How strong are the valve boxes?

The Rain Bird valve boxes are designed for commercial applications. They are ideal for golf courses, parks, or any areas that have heavy lawn equipment. They are assessed against a rigid series of test to verify heavy loads.

How can one sensor dictate the watering needs for an entire property?

By locating the sensor in the driest or worst case zone and correctly programming your irrigation controller to accommodate the zone specific characteristics (plant type, sun versus shade, etc.), the SMRT-Y’s single sensor will adequately manage irrigation. One or two zones can be isolated from the influence of the SMRT-Y by using the optional bypass wires attached to the SMRT-Y controller interface unit. Consult the SMRT-Y Quick Reference Guide for more details regarding the use of the optional bypass wires.

Should the RWS tubes be placed on a separate watering zone?

Yes. RWS units should be installed in their own watering zone. One might consider overlaying RWS with sprays, especially if flowers and ground cover are planted with trees and shrubs. Many installations see RWS as the only option during periods of drought – sprays might not be allowed but drip and subsurface irrigation are. 

What are the purposes of the difference lid colors?

The different lid colors are designed to either i) blend into the environment or ii) designate a purpose. The green lids are for environmental blending and the purple lids designates non-potable water. The black lids are made from 100 percent recycled materials, making them earth-friendly and LEED compliant.

Will the metal rods eventually corrode?

The maximum distance between the sensor and controller or valve box is actually dictated by the valve and not the sensor.  The valve requires a minimum amount of current to operate. The available current is reduced as the length of wire increases.  When a SMRT-Y sensor is connected to a zone wire (connected to the nearest valve), the length of wire starts at the controller, passes through the valve box to the sensor and back to the controller via the common wire.  The table below provides maximum wire length for this entire path (round-trip).  If you assume that the wire length from the controller to the sensor is half the round-trip distance (usually a safe assumption) then your answer to this question is one half of those lengths shown in the table below.  Most irrigation controllers operate one valve at a time.  Therefore, the first column is most often used.  Assuming the site is wired with 18 gauge wire (another safe assumption) and one active valve, the maximum wire length is 1,563 feet.  The associated maximum distance from the controller to the sensor is 1,563/2= 781 feet.  As the table demonstrates, this distance can be extended to 2,000 feet by using lower gauge wire.  

A Windows-based wire length calculator is available for downloading.

Are the valve box lids interchangeable?

Only within a model family, not between models. For example, the lid that fits on the Standard valve box only works on the Standard valve box or Standard extension; it does not fit the Jumbo valve box.

What is the purpose of the metal rods on the SMRT-Y sensor?

The stainless steel rods on the SMRT-Y sensor act as wave guides and not electrodes.  Our sensor uses a technique called Time Domain Transmissometry (TDT) to measure soil moisture content.  The rods allow an electromagnetic pulse to travel along their surface.  As the moisture content increases, the speed of the pulse is slowed.  The speed of the electromagnetic pulse is inversely proportional to the moisture level of the soil near the rods.  Our patented sensor uses an additional feature called digital signal processing (DSP) to more accurately measure this pulse delay.

How long should I water?

A 0.25 gallon per minute (0.95 l/m) bubbler will put out 7.5 gallons (28,4 liters) in 30 minutes. The volume of the 4” x 36” RWS tube (10,2 cm x 91,4 cm) is about 2 gallons (π r² h = 452 cubic inches or 1.98 gallons) (7,6 liters), less when the irrigation hardware is factored and much less if pea gravel is used. The soil type also plays a big role. The key is not to put more water into the tube than the tube and soil can absorb during that watering period. As a general rule, shorter watering volumes will limit overflows.

My irrigation controller does not have an available 24VAC terminal. Can I still use the SMRT-Y on my controller?

Yes. If you can’t access the irrigation controller’s 24VAC source, an auxiliary power supply can be used to power the SMRT-Y.  Inexpensive auxiliary 24VAC (650mA or greater) power supplies should be available from your local irrigation distributor.  Connect one of the auxiliary 24VAC power supply wires to the orange wire on the SMRT-Y and secure with a wire nut.  Connect the other auxiliary 24VAC power supply wire to the COM (common) terminal on the irrigation controller.  All other SMRT-Y connections should follow the instructions provided in your SMRT-Y quick start guide.  Once these connections are completed, test the “sensor” zone on your irrigation controller.  The sensor zone is the zone wire on which the senor is connected.  This is the zone where the green wire from the SMRT-Y controller interface unit is attached.  If the sensor zone does not activate (the sensor zone valve does not open and your sprinklers in that zone do not operate) then reverse (swap) the connections made with the two wires from the auxiliary 24VAC power supply.  Perform a test once again to assure that your irrigation controller activates the sensor zone as expected.

How does water move horizontally in soil?

In normal conditions with rain or surface watering, studies show that roots absorb around 70% of their water from the top half part of the root depth and 30% from the lower half. Wetness patterns differ based on the soil type. In sandy soil, water moves more vertical and less horizontal. In clay or loam soil, water also moves vertical but less rapidly, allowing time for the water to also more horizontally. Subsurface watering gets water deeper into the root growth area. As soaking occurs with RWS, water will make its way horizontally into the surrounding soil, more so in clay and loam soils than sandy soils.

Does the SMRT-Y change the irrigation controller’s program?

No. The SMRT-Y is simply a switch turning on and off the irrigation controllers common wire depending on the moisture level measured by the sensor.  The irrigation controller must be programmed separately.

How does RWS minimize the crushing possibility of a tree’s roots to the RWS tube?

Tree and shrub roots will find water. They will move toward the RWS tube. However, because it is not filled with soil, the roots will not enter the tube. One option to consider is to fill the tube with pea gravel. The gravel will help dissipate the water and direct it out the sides in a more controlled fashion rather than just filling from the bottom-up. The gravel will also create a firm foundation to the RWS tube, minimizing the possible crushing impact of tree and shrub roots.

Will the SMRT-Y work with my central control system?

The SMRT-Y will work with any standard, direct wired controller including satellite controllers in a central control system.  The SMRT-Y will not work with 2-wire/decoder based controllers.  In a central control system, the SMRT-Y will open the common when the moisture is above the set threshold and disable any device which uses that common.  Some satellite controllers will send feedback to central control alerting that irrigation did not occur. The SMRT-Y can not send data or commands to central control so these “moisture driven suspended irrigation events” will not necessarily be identified as such.  Some central control systems can define an open common at a satellite as an moisture driven event.  When using the SMRT-Y on any controller, assure that pumps are also disabled when the SMRT-Y has opened the common.

Do I need to re-enter the moisture threshold after a power outage?

No. The SMRT-Y has non-volatile memory.  The moisture level and the watering history are maintained in memory and re-displayed when power is restored to the SMRT-Y.

I have a 7” round valve box. I need a replacement lid but Rain Bird does not offer that SKU or part number. What do I do?

At one time, we carried separately orderable lid for small round valve boxes. Few orders were received. In order to help our distributors better manage inventory, we eliminated those SKUs. The replacement process for a lid is to order the new 7” round valve box with a lid, throw away (recycle) the body, and just use the lid.

Rain Bird offers a full line of professional grade rectangle and round valve boxes. Below are the model numbers and brief descriptions of each.

Can I use a rain sensor with the SMRT-Y?  How should I connect a rain sensor to a controller equipped with a SMRT-Y?

Yes. In fact, we recommend it. Connect the SMRT-Y as described in the user manual.  If available, use the sensor port on the controller for the rain sensor.  If the irrigation controller does not have a sensor port, connect the rain sensor in series with the SMRT-Y at the common terminal.  In other words, remove the SMRT-Y black wire from the common terminal. Then connect one of the two switched wires from the rain sensor to the controller’s common terminal.  Finally, connect the SMRT-Y black wire to the other switched wire from the rain sensor.  When the rain sensor is wet and switches to the off position, the SMRT-Y may lose power (the LCD screen is blank).  Once the rain sensor is dry, the SMRT-Y will once again power up. The SMRT-Y has non-volatile memory so all of your settings will be retained.  The SMRT-Y will perform an automatic moisture reading upon power up.

Why does the SMRT-Y sometimes display “Allowed Watering” when the moisture level is above the set moisture threshold?

This can occur if the irrigation controller is watering a zone when an elevated moisture level is measured by the sensor.  The SMRT-Y has internal circuitry which prevents the SMRT-Y from shutting off the irrigation controller during the middle of its programmed irrigation cycle.  This feature assures that all zones are watered in each scheduled irrigation program.  This disabled state persists for 30 minutes after the last zone is watered. Once irrigation controller has been at rest for more than 30 minutes, the SMRT-Y will transition to “Watering Suspended” if the moisture level is above the set threshold.  The 30 minute time can be reset to zero by disconnecting and re-connecting power to the SMRT-Y. 

What is a commercial grade valve box?

There are valve boxes and there are valve boxes. For Rain Bird, quality is paramount. The valve boxes were designed with quality and durability in mind. A commercial valve box will meet the needs of commercial applications, from golf courses and parks to industrial parks and business properties. They are designed for heavy loads, namely large mowers and vehicles. Although positioned as a higher-end line of valve boxes, the prices make them attractive to residential installations. Why compromise quality when the price is similar?

Will the SMRT-Y suspend irrigation based on soil temperature?

No. Although the SMRT-Y measures and displays soil temperature, it will NOT interrupt irrigation based on this reading. Consider using the Rain Bird WR2 Wireless Rain/Freeze sensor to suspend irrigation during freezing temperatures. These two products are compatible.

How deep should I bury the sensor?

The sensor should be buried to a level which is just below the root zone.  For turf, the sensor is usually buried to a depth of 3-5 inches. 

Traditionally, installers place bricks under the valve boxes. This is not the case with Rain Bird’s valve boxes. Why?

A wide flange at the base of most of the rectangular Rain Bird valve boxes were designed with this in mind. The broader based simplifies installation and reduces cost associated with not using those stabilizing bricks.

What is Soil EC?

Soil EC = Soil Electrical Conductivity. In addition to moisture content and soil temperature, the SMRT-Y also measures and reports soil electrical conductivity (the ability of the soil to conduct electrical current). As dissolved salts (ions) accumulate in soil, the Soil EC value will increase. Some sources of reclaimed water have a high salt content. Over time, these salts can accumulate in the soil. Heavy rain or irrigating with higher quality (low salt content) water will leach out the accumulated salts from your soil. In general, high Soil EC values will negatively impact plant health.

The SMRT-Y measures Soil EC using the industry standard unit of dS/m (deci-Siemens per meter). The SMRT-Y reports the “Bulk” Soil EC value versus the “Saturated Paste Extraction” method. The bulk method measures the conductivity of the water when it is mixed with soil. The saturated paste extraction method extracts the water from the soil before measuring the conductivity. Saturated past extraction values are usually 3-10 times higher than the equivalent measurements using the bulk format. The presence of soil during a soil EC measurement will decrease the reported conductivity. Bulk EC values are soil dependent. 

Does the SMRT-Y sensor need calibration during installation or if I move the sensor to a different location?

No. The SMRT-Y sensor is factory calibrated and never needs re-calibration.  The SMRT-Y is designed to be very accurate with changing conditions including soil type; soil temperature; and soil salinity. 

Is the SMRT-Y compatible with 2-wire systems?

No.  The SMRT-Y will, however, work on any manufacturer’s conventionally wired controller. 

Why are the valve box bodies all black?

For most installations, the boxes are installed below ground with the lids placed at finish grade. The box body is rarely seen. The other reason is that the black bodies are made from recyclable material for both cost and environmental benefits.

What is the ideal moisture threshold and how do I set it?

The SMRT-Y has a default moisture threshold of 25%, however, this value may or may not be ideal for your landscape.  The SMRT-Y includes an auto-set feature which determines the ideal threshold for your soil.  Please see the user manual for details regarding how to use this feature.  Once set, the moisture threshold can always be changed by using the buttons on the front of the SMRT-Y user interface.  Consider using the auto-set feature to establish a threshold. If your landscape looks healthy over time, consider decreasing your threshold 0.5% - 1% at a time to save even more water.  Keep an eye on your landscape to assure adequate health.  If you observe some zones with stressed plants, increase your threshold by 1%.  This method allows you to maximize your water savings while appropriately managing plant health.
The following table includes average values for field capacity and moisture thresholds by soil type.

Is the SMRT-Y only compatible with Rain Bird irrigation controllers?

No. The SMRT-Y will work on any manufacturer’s zone wired controller.  The SMRT-Y is not compatible with 2-wire system.

What about extra deep valve installations?

The Rain Bird valve boxes and be interlocked, bottom-to-bottom, in other words stacked. This configuration gives twice the depth as just the normal valve box and more depth than the extension can add. This capability is available on all the rectangle valve boxes.

Can I use more than one SMRT-Y per controller?

Yes.  However, separate power supplies are required for each SMRT-Y unit.  In addition, each subset of valves controlled by a sensor must be served by an isolated common.  Please contact your sales representative for detailed instructions.

Can the SMRT-Y be used on battery operated controllers?

No.  The SMRT-Y needs a 24VAC power supply to operate.

What is the purpose of the extension models?

Some valve installations are deeper than what a normal sized valve box can fit. The extensions give another 6 inches of depth to the installation. This is offered in the Standard and Jumbo models.

Why does the SMRT-Y LCD display 0% moisture level; 32 deg F (or 0 deg C) Temperature; and 0.0 dS/m Soil EC?

The SMRT-Y controller interface is not communicating with the sensor.  Check all wiring connections.  Assure that wiring connections match those detailed in the SMRT-Y quick start guide.  Confirm that all underground splices are properly performed and protected with direct bury connections.  Confirm that a rain sensor (or other common interrupting sensor) is not interfering with the common connection between the white wire on the SMRT-Y Controller Interface Unit and the filed common(s).

Can I use the SMRT-Y to control a subset of my zones.

Yes.  If feasible, a separate common wire can be used to supply power to only those zones targeted for control by the SMRT-Y sensor.  Using this technique, the SMRT-Y sensor can be used to control from one to any subset of the irrigation controller’s zones.  If only one or two zones are to be isolated from the influence of the SMRT-Y sensor, the optional by-pass wires may be used.  Consult the SMRT-Y Quick Reference Guide for more details regarding the use of the optional bypass wires.

Why is the purpose of the lid lip on one edge?

We call it “shovel access.” Over time, it is hard telling what might decide to make a valve box a home. The recessed lid lip allows the contractor to open the lid without having to put his/her hand down there at first. The lip also makes it easier to open lids with the fingers.

Why is the SMRT-Y LCD display blank (not functioning)?

Check all wiring connections.  Assure that wiring connections match those detailed in the SMRT-Y quick start guide.  Confirm that the orange wire from the SMRT-Y controller interface unit is connected to a 24VAC terminal on the controller and the Black wire is connected to the controller’s common terminal.  Use a volt meter to confirm that 24VAC is present across these two connections.  Some controllers include two terminals for the 24VAC connection plus a separate Common terminal.  Leave the black wire on the controller’s COM (common) terminal while moving the orange wire from one to the other 24VAC terminals.  Connect the orange wire to that 24VAC terminal which activates the LCD display.  Another explanation for a blank SMRT-Y screen is the presence of another sensor like a Rain Sensor.  If a Rain Sensor common interrupting device is actively disabling the irrigation controller, then the SMRT-Y may also lose power.  Once the other sensor is de-activated (allows irrigation), the SMRT-Y should return to operation. The SMRT-Y has non-volatile memory. The moisture threshold will be retained.

Can I isolate zones from the influence of the SMRT-Y sensor?

Yes, one or two zones can be isolated from the influence of the SMRT-Y by using the optional bypass wires attached to the SMRT-Y controller interface unit.  Consult the SMRT-Y Quick Reference Guide for more details regarding the use of the optional bypass wires.

Can the ESPME run more than 1 program at a time?

No.

What is the function of the “Quick Shut Off” feature?

If the irrigation cycle is running and the WR2 sensor detects rainfall during the irrigation schedule, the WR2 will suspend irrigation without the need for rainfall accumulation.  This feature eliminates the wasteful running of the irrigation system during a rain event – saving the home owner embarrassment and potential fines / penalties.

Can a RWS be used in tandem with a surface spray? 

Sprays are perfect for top-down soaking. This is great when a tree is newly transplanted. They help keep the root ball area moist. The RWS is placed outside of that root ball and helps drive roots away from the root ball into the adjacent soil. They are ideally used together during the first couple of years.

Can I install my SMRT-Y outdoors?

Yes.  The SMRT-Y user interface unit has been designed for outdoor installations when the supplied sun cover is used.  The Sun Cover must be installed to protect the LCD display from UV radiation.

If there is a power outage of up to several hours that shuts off the standard controller and WR2 rain sensor, does the end user need to reprogram the WR2 or does the programming remain in memory?

The rain fall set point and low temperature set points are maintained after a power outage. There is no need to reprogram these two settings. The irrigation mode will always default back to “programmed irrigation” to ensure protection of the turf regardless of what irrigation mode may have been programmed (i.e. Suspend for 72 hours, Override for 72 hours, or Programmed Irrigation) prior to the power outage.

How do I test the WR2?

If a contractor is required to test the rain or rain / freeze functionality of the WR2 product family, we recommend the following procedures: WR2 Test Procedures (PDF: 17 KB)

Are there any unique wiring configurations to consider when installing the WR2 with a controller? 

The WR2 is compatible with all Rain Bird and competitor controllers.  For those controllers that do not have an onboard power source, a separate 24VAC transformer will be required to operate the WR2 Controller Interface. Proper wiring instructions are found in Section 2 of the WR2 user manual (PDF: 6.7 MB). A unique wiring diagram for the ESP-MC and ESP-LXM (PDF: 229 KB) is also available.

I have installed the WR2 system and came back to check its performance a month or two later.  When I look at the WR2 Controller Interface LCD screen, I notice the “Sensor Indicator / Pairing Status” icon does not communicate a battery life or signal strength.  What does that mean?

A WR2 Sensor that does not communicate battery life or signal strength to the WR2 Controller Interface is no longer paired.  First check the sensor battery to ensure it is making contact with the battery contacts.  Remove the battery cassette from the sensor and adjust the battery contact positions using a paper clip.  Upon replacing the battery cassette, if the sensor fails to automatically reacquire the WR2 Controller, replace the battery with a fresh battery.  If this does not correct the situation, the sensor may have been damaged or vandalized.  Replace the sensor with the appropriate model number WR2-RS (Rain Sensor only) or the WR2-RFS (Rain / Freeze Sensor only).  Both sensors can be purchased separately.

Where should the RWS units be placed with respect to the trees? 

They should be placed away from the tree trunk and away from the tree bulb, ideally directly underneath the edge of where the mature tree’s canopy will be. The goal is to help the roots get out of the original hole and into the adjacent soil. The RWS needs to place water into this targeted area.

For longer term tree watering, RWS units can be placed at two different tree perimeters, each on a different watering zone. One perimeter can be closer to the root ball to help during the first couple of years. The second perimeter can be placed further way from the trunk to provide watering in subsequent years. During the first few years, only the internal RWS zone would be used; in the subsequent years, only the external RWS zone will be used. It is more expensive but it will provide a long-term tree water system in order to promote broader and deeper roots.

How do you delete a start time from your programming schedule on ESP-RZX?

Between 23:50 and 0:00, select "-:-" that removes the start time.

My WR2 rain sensor is not inhibiting irrigation.  What might be a cause for this?

If your standard controller has a sensor switch, ensure the sensor switch is in the “active” position. If the switch is left in the “bypass” position after WR2 installation, the WR2 rain sensor will not inhibit the irrigation schedule.

How do we use a rain sensor with a pump that is operated utilizing a pump start relay? Is there way to signal the pump that once the rain sensor activates the pump should not operate?

The only way to do this is to make sure that the common from the pump start relay is connected to the common bundle in the controller. If the sensor interrupts the common, it will interrupt the common for everything connected to the common port.

What training tools are available for my education on the WR2?

All training tools for the proper installation and programming of the WR2 are available on the website. Training tools include user manuals and interactive programming videos.

How does the SMRT-Y work?

The SMRT-Y sensor accurately measures the moisture level in the soil. When the soil is dry, the SMRT-Y allows the irrigation controller to water as scheduled.  When the soil moisture level is sufficiently high, the SMRT-Y will disable all zones from irrigating.  The SMRT-Y acts as a switch, opening and closing the zone common wire depending on the soil moisture level.  When the zone common wire is open, the irrigation system valves will not operate.  The moisture threshold – that level of moisture where the SMRT-Y switches on or off – is set by the user and can be adjusted up or down as needed.

Which bubbler is best?

It depends on the soil type and length of watering. See the previous question.

Can the WR2 be installed and operated in conjunction with other accessory products such as a soil moisture sensor?

YES.  In fact, third party research indicates significant additional water savings can be achieved when combining a soil moisture sensor with a rain sensor.  Refer to proper installation instructions when wiring both accessories to a standard controller.

Do I need to have a 9V battery installed to backup anything?

No. All Date/Time information is backed up internally on a long life lithium battery.
The programs and settings are backed upon internal memory. So, no battery is required.

How are the Rain Bird valve boxes produced?

All the models are made through a structural foam molding process. Structural foam molding has many inherit qualities including:

  • Larger part size - shot sizes up to 200 lbs
  • Durability, strength, and manufacturing efficiency
  • Dimensional accuracy over the entire production run
  • Weight reduction of up to 15% (by volume) compared to other injection molding methods
  • Superior impact resistance
  • Parts that are impervious to the elements
  • Color consistency and complete range of colors
  • Two different materials can be molded simultaneously
  • Ability to mold two colors simultaneously
  • Consistent surface finish
  • Parts are recyclable

What is the life expectancy of the battery in the sensor?

4 years under normal operating conditions.

I replaced my old ESPM with the new ESPME, can I reuse my 3 station module?

Yes, 3 station modules are compatible with the new ESPME.

Can I connect the SMRT-Y to my controller’s sensor port?

No. The SMRT-Y controller interface unit does not include a switched circuit suitable for a sensor port.

How do I know when I should replace the sensor battery?

We recommend changing the battery in the sensor when only one vertical bar is illuminated in the “Battery Life Remaining” icon found on the WR2 Controller Interface LCD.

What settings are not reset if I do a factory reset?

Date/Time is the only setting not reset to the factory ship settings.

How do I replace the sensor battery?

Remove battery cassette from bottom of sensor.
Remove battery from cassette.
Insert new battery using label on battery cassette to properly orient the battery.
Insert the battery cassette back into the sensor.  Align arrow on battery cassette with unlocked position indication on sensor and turn clockwise to locked position indication.
Sensor LED blinks once to indicate the sensor is powered up.
The WR2 Sensor automatically reacquires the WR2 Controller Interface.  Check the WR2 Controller Interface LCD for signal strength indication prior to leaving the jobsite.

What settings are reset if I do a factory reset?

Start/Run Times, watering days, Rain Sensor status is returned to Bypass, Delay watering status is reset to 0 days, Seasonal Adjust % is reset to 100% of program values.

How many, and what type of battery is found in the WR2 Sensor?

There is one (1) Lithium CR2032 battery in the sensor.  To order this spare part from Rain Bird, please request part number #651009S from an authorized distributor.

How do I run a specific station?

Turn the dial to the Run Manual Station position. Use the arrow keys to choosestation. Use – and + keys to adjust the run time. Press and hold the right arrow (with teardrop shape) for 3 seconds.

After I wire the WR2 rain sensor to the controller and apply power, the LCD on the WR2 Controller Interface remains blank.  What is the problem?

The WR2 Controller Interface is not receiving power. Confirm the correct wiring of the WR2 Controller Interface to the Irrigation Controller. Refer to the user manual for proper wiring. WR2 user manual (PDF: 6.7 MB)

How do I run a manual program?

Turn dial to the Run Manual Program position and press and hold the right arrow key (with teardrop shape) OR

A: With dial in the AUTO RUN position, press and hold the right arrow key (with teardrop shape) for 3 seconds. The program that has the letter shown on the DISPLAY will run.

During installation, the “Sensor Indicator / Pairing Status” icon continues to flash.  What does that mean?

The WR2 sensor has not paired and is not communicating with the WR2 Controller Interface.  Refer to the user manual for instructions on how to pair the sensor to the controller interface. WR2 user manual (PDF: 6.7 MB). An additional step might be to check proper orientation of the sensor battery or to replace the battery. 

My Alert light is illuminated and not flashing, what does it mean?

It means that you have an electrical error. Pay attention to the DISPLAY screen which will scroll a message across it indicating what error condition exists. The controller will automatically skip the affected station and proceed to the next station. To clear an alert condition, make sure the dial is in the AUTO and press and hold the right arrow key for 3 seconds. (Arrow with teardrop shape)

Why are the valve box bodies all black?

A wide flange at the base of most of the rectangular Rain Bird valve boxes were designed with this in mind. The broader based simplifies installation and reduces cost associated with not using those stabilizing bricks.

How far can the sensor be located from the valve box?

The maximum distance between the sensor and controller or valve box is actually dictated by the valve and not the sensor.  The valve requires a minimum amount of current to operate. The available current is reduced as the length of wire increases.  When a SMRT-Y sensor is connected to a zone wire (connected to the nearest valve), the length of wire starts at the controller, passes through the valve box to the sensor and back to the controller via the common wire.  The table below provides maximum wire length for this entire path (round-trip).

 If you assume that the wire length from the controller to the sensor is half the round-trip distance (usually a safe assumption) then your answer to this question is one half of those lengths shown in the 

table below.  Most irrigation controllers operate one valve at a time.  Therefore, the first column is most often used.  Assuming the site is wired with 18 gauge wire (another safe assumption) and one active valve, the maximum wire length is 1,563 feet.  The associated maximum distance from the controller to the sensor is 1,563/2= 781 feet.  As the table demonstrates, this distance can be extended to 2,000 feet by using lower gauge wire.  

A Windows-based wire length calculator is available for downloading.

 

 

 

I have installed the WR2 system and came back to check its performance a month or two later.  When I look at the WR2 Controller Interface LCD screen, I notice the “Sensor Indicator / Pairing Status” icon does not communicate a battery life or signal strength.  What does that mean?

A WR2 Sensor that does not communicate battery life or signal strength to the WR2 Controller Interface is no longer paired.  First check the sensor battery to ensure it is making contact with the battery contacts.  Remove the battery cassette from the sensor and adjust the battery contact positions using a paper clip.  Upon replacing the battery cassette, if the sensor fails to automatically reacquire the WR2 Controller, replace the battery with a fresh battery.  If this does not correct the situation, the sensor may have been damaged or vandalized.  Replace the sensor with the appropriate model number WR2-RS (Rain Sensor only) or the WR2-RFS (Rain / Freeze Sensor only).  Both sensors can be purchased separately.

My Alert light is flashing, what does it mean?

It means that you have a programming error. Either there are: no start times, no run times, or no watering days selected. The controller ships from the factory with the following settings:
1 Start time of 8:00 AM, 10 minute run time for the first 4 stations (base module) and all days set to ON.

Can you splice into the WR2 Controller interface cable harness and extend the wire run to accommodate out door installations without affecting the performance of the WR2?

You can splice into this 30 inch cable to extend its length without impacting performance.  Total wire runs of 50 feet or less will not affect the device.

I see a message on the DISPLAY “14NOMOD” what does it mean?

It means that you have there is no module installed for the station. For example, Station 14 would be located in the 2nd bay. Bay 1 is for stations 5-10. Bay 2 is for stations 11-16. So, you either have a 3 station module installed in Bay 2 or no module at all.

If the battery on the WR2 sensor goes dead after 4 years of service and is not replaced in a timely way, will the irrigation system continue to irrigate or does the system shut off until the battery is replaced?

If the battery goes dead and is not replaced in a timely fashion, the time based irrigation controller resumes its normal programmed schedule and continues to irrigate in accordance with that schedule.

Can vertical mulching promote tree health?

Yes. Vertical mulching helps alleviate soil compaction. RWS is part of a virtual mulching planting environment. Tree holes should be bigger than the tree bulb. The adjacent soil needs to allow the roots to move into the new soil. 3” to 4” (7,6 - 10,2 cm) layer of high quality organic soil over the critical root zone improves soil texture, moisture retention, increase soil fertility and weed control.

My irrigation cycle starts again!

This controller allows several watering times per day.
You must check to see if any unnecessary start times have been entered in error.
To erase an unnecessary start time, please consult the instructions for your controller or the enclosed manual.
Go to the start time(s) function symbolized by an alarm clock.
-> The first start time of the day will be displayed, for example: 6:00

Press the button with the turning arrow:
-> A second start time will appear, for example: 6:30

Press the button with the turning arrow:
-> the screen shows: --:-- , there is no third starting time.

Therefore 2 starting times have been programmed.
"To erase an unnecessary starting time, scroll through the starting times slowly with the button.
When the time that is to be erased appears, press and hold this button for at least 2 seconds.

Example :
Press
-> 6:00
Press and hold the   button for 2 seconds.
-> 6:30 will appear and will be erased and replaced on the screen with --:--
The following will be displayed alternately: 6:00 / --:-- / 6:00 / --:-- …
There is now only one scheduled start time for the sprinkler.

If there is a power outage of up to several hours that shuts off the standard controller and WR2 rain sensor, does the end user need to reprogram the WR2 or does the programming remain in memory?

The rain fall set point and low temperature set points are maintained after a power outage. There is no need to reprogram these two settings. The irrigation mode will always default back to “programmed irrigation” to ensure protection of the turf regardless of what irrigation mode may have been programmed (i.e. Suspend for 72 hours, Override for 72 hours, or Programmed Irrigation) prior to the power outage. Additionally, the sensor will automatically reacquire the WR2 Controller Interface and “pair” once power is restored.

What tree watering tips do you have?

Deeper and less frequent watering can encourage healthier root growth for both turf grass and trees. Regular irrigation cycle ~ 3x weekly, applied to the root ball with 2-3 gallons (7.6 - 11.4 liters) of water for each caliper inch of tree is ideal. Many arborist recommend a moat-like structure around the trunk and above the root ball for the first year and then a donut in which water is moved further away from the trunk and no above the original root ball.

Too many people over-water trees; so avoid over watering. Many implement no artificial watering after year 3. Do no pruning for the first year after planting as pruning can inhibit root establishment and growth. Maintain the mulch area around the root zone and prevent grass or weeds close to the tree trunk.

Heavy equipment and pedestrian passing on top soil and material storage can squeeze out up to 60% of the water by elongating roots. When this happens, root rarely recovers. So establish traffic free zone around the critical root zone. Restrict site access to the soil surface as soon as possible with fences. Try to be the first one on the site and setup anti-compaction protection – defend the ecological “foot print” of the tree rooting area. Select transplanting and irrigation installation working conditions (dry, dormant season, surface mulch, etc.) that minimizes compaction. Restrict where possible vibrational compaction.

How do you delete a start time from your programming schedule on ESP-RZX?

Between 23:50 and 0:00, select "-:-" that removes the start time.

My Alert light is flashing, what does it mean?

It means that you have a programming error. Either there are: no start times, no run times, or no watering days selected. The controller ships from the factory with the following settings:
1 Start time of 8:00 AM, 10 minute run time for the first 4 stations (base module) and all days set to ON.

My Alert light is flashing, what does it mean?

It means that you have a programming error. Either there are: no start times, no run times, or no watering days selected. The controller ships from the factory with the following settings:
1 Start time of 8:00 AM, 10 minute run time for the first 4 stations (base module) and all days set to ON.

How do you delete a start time from your programming schedule on ESP-RZX?

Between 23:50 and 0:00, select "-:-" that removes the start time.

My Alert light is flashing, what does it mean?

It means that you have a programming error. Either there are: no start times, no run times, or no watering days selected. The controller ships from the factory with the following settings:
1 Start time of 8:00 AM, 10 minute run time for the first 4 stations (base module) and all days set to ON.

My Alert light is flashing, what does it mean?

It means that you have a programming error. Either there are: no start times, no run times, or no watering days selected. The controller ships from the factory with the following settings:
1 Start time of 8:00 AM, 10 minute run time for the first 4 stations (base module) and all days set to ON.