How to Make the Most of Your Rain/Freeze Sensor
A rain/freeze sensor is a simple plastic device that is designed to shut off your property’s irrigation system in the event of freezing temperatures and / or rain. While they won’t track or predict the weather, they can help you save water. They also help protect plants by preventing watering when conditions such as ice or heavy rain could affect the health of your plants.
Rain/freeze sensors are handy devices, no doubt. However, if used improperly, these devices can, at best fail, and at worst, cause landscaping issues or even safety concerns.
Here at Earthworks, we are committed to going above and beyond – and that means giving our clients vital information that will empower them to make the best choices about landscaping and property maintenance. With that in mind, we’ve compiled four key insights regarding rain/freeze sensors. Read on to understand why you need them, how to use them, and why they are never
Required by Law
The Texas Commission for Environmental Quality requires that every commercial property install rain/freeze sensors. Some municipalities, such as Fort Worth, also require a yearly inspection report to ensure sensors are working properly.
The bottom line: the law says you must have a rain/freeze sensor, so if you don’t, get one immediately.
Know the Limits
A Rain/freeze sensor is considered a conservation device and is not a safety device. The goal is to avoid watering when it is not necessary or appropriate, such as freezing temperatures or winter storms. Do not rely on your rain/freeze sensor to stop irrigation or water collection on driveways, sidewalks, and other key areas.
If your rain/freeze sensor fails and someone gets hurt as a result of slippery walkways or driveways, you can be held responsible in a court of law. When in doubt, always shut your water off at the source. Rain/freeze sensors are your backup plan, not your first line of defense.
Proper Installation Is Key
These devices only work when they can properly read temperatures and water levels. We’ve seen rain/freeze sensors installed near dryer vents, under trees, and even near an air conditioner condensation drain.
Make sure your rain/freeze sensor is installed in an area where environmental factors won’t affect its ability to read the current weather situation. If you need help identifying the best spot to install your sensor, just ask – we’ll be happy to help!
Test and Monitor
Like smoke detectors, rain/freeze sensors should be tested regularly. We recommend testing them each fall to ensure they are working properly. Your Earthworks property representative will check them on an “as requested” basis. If you haven’t had yours checked this year, let your property representative know.
With the right information, your rain/freeze sensor will help you save water, protect your plants from extreme conditions, and give you extra insight into lawn conditions during colder weather. While they aren’t a safety device, they can help provide peace of mind and are a vital instrument in winter landscaping practices.
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