Smartphone Controllers 101

Properly used, smart sprinklers and irrigation controllers may help you manage outdoor water use. Getting the most from these new technologies requires you to make the right up-front product selection. Compatibility with existing equipment and proper equipment calibration are key factors in successful installation and operation.

The Irrigation Association’s Smartphone-friendly Irrigation Controller product comparison chart helps you select the smartphone irrigation control system that is right for you. We recommend that you look for products that are labeled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “WaterSense” tested and certified. For best water and dollar efficiency, select products that include or support an onsite weather station or onsite rain sensing device.

Once your new smartphone controller is in use, record daily water meter reads for a few weeks to ensure you are running your irrigation on the intended days for the intended duration.

Here are some additional considerations:

  • Per Florida statute, a functional rain sensing device must be attached to all automatic irrigation systems, even if you are using “smart” controllers. Be sure that you have not chosen a “bypass” mode.
  • Our summer rainy season can develop isolated rainfall events which create highly variable rainfall a few miles or even a few blocks from your home. That is why selecting a product that includes an on-site weather station provides you with the best value for your investment.
  • Using smartphone technology for irrigation does not free you from following local and regional irrigation restrictions. Visit tampagov.net/waterrestrictions for the current schedule.
  • Some of the new technologies are capable of providing a water use history after each irrigation event, which can alert you to system breaks if you know how much water you use for irrigation.
  • Email [email protected] to request help in developing your irrigation water budget.