Table of ContentsBefore You Get Started – Read the Entire ManualS100 Display & Operational FeaturesHow to Get a Beautiful LawnStep 1 - Choose a Location for the biSensorStep 2 - Mount & Wire the S100Step 3 - Connect the biSensor & Test CommunicationStep 4 - Bury the BiSensor (Option A & B)Step 5 - Configure the Sprinkler Timer & the Cycle WindowStep 6 - Calibrate the Sensor (Auto Calibration Mode)Step 6 - Calibrate the Sensor (Manual Calibration)Error CodesTroubleshooting the WaterTec S100
WaterTec™ S100 User Manual
Congratulations on selecting the WaterTec™ S100 kit, the industry’s leading soil-moisture sensing unit for residential and small commercial applications.
The following manual guides you step by step through the installation process. You will also find troubleshooting information to further assist in your installation. For additional information, visit us online at www.baselinesystems.com. If you need assistance, please call us toll-free at 1.866.294.5847.
Before You Get Started – Read the Entire Manual
Before installing your new WaterTec S100, operate the sprinkler system to ensure the system is functioning properly and all heads are properly adjusted.
For best results, you will need to know the application rate of your sprinklers as this usually varies greatly from zone to zone. Ideally each zone would receive the same amount of water (½” to ¾”).
Baseline recommends that, prior to installation, you replace any backup batteries your sprinkler timer requires. You may need to refer to the original owner’s manual.
Display & Operational Features
A. Display: By default, the display shows the soil moisture content that is present in the soil as measured by the biSensor™.
- The soil moisture value is displayed when no buttons are pressed or held. The soil moisture value is displayed volumetrically, ranging from 0.0 to 50.0.
- To show current soil temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit, press the + button.
- To display the number of days since the last and previous-to-last watering days, press the – button.
- A number 1 appears first, followed by the number of days since the last watering date.
- A number 2 appears next, followed by the number of days since the previous-to-last watering day.
- A number 1 appears first, followed by the number of days since the last watering date.
- To have the biSensor take a moisture reading, briefly press the Read/Set button.
- To display the current moisture threshold value, press and hold the Read/Set button.
C. Moisture Threshold Adjustment: The value at which the S100 will allow watering.
- To adjust the moisture threshold, press and hold the Read/Set button, and then press the + or – button.
D. Cycle Window: The cycle window is the amount of time allowed for a complete watering cycle to finish. While the cycle window is active, the value in the display alternates between the time remaining in the cycle and the current moisture reading. The S100 is preset for a 12-hour cycle window.
- To display the current cycle window duration, press and hold the Bypass button for 2 seconds.
- To change the cycle window duration to a value between 0 and 24 hours, press and hold the Bypass button, and then press the + or – button.
E. Bypass: Allows the sprinkler timer to operate without interruption from the S100.
- To toggle Bypass mode on/off, briefly press the Bypass button. When Bypass mode is enabled, the S100 display periodically flashes OFF and the Dry/Allow LED emits a double flash.
F. Busy: When this LED is lit, it indicates that the valve the sensor is attached to is currently watering. No automatic sensor readings will be taken while the Busy LED is lit.
G. Dry/Allow: When this LED is steadily lit, it indicates that the S100 is allowing your sprinkler timer to water based upon its user defined settings (the system will begin watering at the next start time programmed on the sprinkler timer).
Auto Calibration: Used for initial installation or to recalibrate the biSensor.
- To put the S100 in Auto Calibration mode, press and hold the +, –, and Bypass buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds. The display will flash between CAL, 24 H, and the moisture reading. The 24 H will count down, on the hour, until the calibration is complete. Watering is stopped while the S100 is in Auto Calibration mode. For more information, refer to the Calibration section.
Communication Test: Checks the biSensor for about 2 minutes for any potential errors.
- To initiate a communication test, press and hold the +, –, and Read/Set buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds. Refer to Testing Communication (Step 3).
How to Get a Beautiful Lawn
Watering SMART is a critical step towards a beautiful and healthy lawn.
Water Less Frequently
- When you use the S100 to determine which days to water, the system will water only when needed, promoting deep roots, conserving water, and saving you money.
- Set your sprinkler timer to apply ½” to ¾” of water (use cups or cans to catch water for a fixed time to determine application rate, and then calculate an appropriate run time). Each zone may have a different water run time.
- Use “Soak Cycles” to minimize the amount of runoff. A typical soak cycle might be made up of two water periods each equal to ½ your total water time with one soak period equal to the total water time between the two water periods.
- For helpful suggestions on watering strategies, refer to Watering With Soil Moisture Sensors available on the Baseline website. http://www.baselinesystems.com
Choose a Location for the biSensor
When planning the biSensor location, take into account variables such as sprinkler patterns, distribution uniformity, sun exposure and soil type, and other site specific characteristics that may affect water holding capacity or the rate at which plants use water.
The location of the biSensor determines how frequently your sprinkler system is allowed to water. If the biSensor is placed in an area that is wetter than average, it will cause your system to operate less frequently, possibly causing dry spots. If the biSensor is placed in an area that receives less than average water, it will cause the system to operate more frequently.
Baseline’s Recommendations for biSensor Placement
- Place the biSensor midway between two heads (the biSensor should only receive water from one zone).
- Place the biSensor in an area that receives average to slightly below average water.
- Keep away from sidewalks and driveways to avoid water from car washing or other factors.
- The maximum allowable wire distance between the biSensor and the S100 unit is 500 feet.
Mount & Wire the S100
Mounting the S100
Mount the S100 near your sprinkler timer. If you mount the S100 outdoors, make sure that the control unit will not be exposed to spraying or dripping water. The unit is not waterproof! Do not mount the S100 in a below-grade location.
Wiring the S100 to the Sprinkler Timer
1. On the sprinkler timer, disconnect the wire that is connected to the common terminal, and then connect that wire to the WHITE wire in the S100 bundle.
2. Connect the BLACK wire in the S100 bundle to the common terminal on the sprinkler timer.
3. On the sprinkler timer, find the terminal for the valve where the biSensor is connected. Disconnect the wire from that valve terminal, and then connect it to the RED wire in the S100 bundle.
4. Connect the GREEN wire in the S100 bundle to the terminal on the sprinkler timer that the valve wire was connected to.
5. Connect the ORANGE wire to the 24 volts AC (VAC) terminal on the sprinkler timer. If your sprinkler timer has more than one 24 VAC terminal, touch the orange wire to one of the terminals to find the one that supplies power. The S100 display will turn on when it receives power.
6. Optional: Connect the BLUE or BROWN wire to the terminal of a valve that you do not want under S100 control. The bypassed valve will operate solely based on the configuration in the sprinkler timer without any input from the S100. Do not disconnect the valve wires from the terminals of the valves that are bypassed.
Wiring the S100
Because the S100 works by interrupting the common wire in the valve circuitry, it controls watering for all zones on your system unless you bypass specific zones.
The S100 allows you to designate two zones in your system that will operate solely based on the configuration in the sprinkler timer without any input from the S100.
Connect the BLUE or BROWN wire to the valve terminal that you want to bypass. Do not disconnect the valve wire from these terminals.
In the illustration below, the S100 will bypass valve 1 because the blue wire from the S100 is connected to that terminal and the yellow valve wire is also connected.
|S100 Wire Bundle|
|ORANGE = power|
|RED = sensor|
|GREEN = valve terminal on timer|
|BLACK = common to timer|
|WHITE = common to valves|
|BLUE & BROWN = bypass|
Connect the biSensor & Test Communication
Connecting the biSensor
1. Determine which zone/valve operates the sprinklers in the location where the sensor will be buried.
2. Go to the box where that valve is located.
3. Disconnect the valve wiring inside the box noting which wire is common and which is “hot.”
4. Splice the black (or white) wire from the biSensor into the common wire connection.
5. Splice the red wire from the biSensor into the “hot” wire connection.
Press and hold the +, –, and Read/Set buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds, and then release the buttons.
The communication test causes the biSensor to take 100 readings. During the test, which takes about 2 minutes, the display alternates between SEn and a number that starts at 100 and counts down to 0.
When the test is complete, the display alternates between Err and a number from 000 to 200, which indicates the number of errors. A reading of 000 is good — it indicates there were no errors. This error count stops displaying after 10 minutes.
Errors likely to occur at this stage are Er1, Er2, or Er3. See the Error Codes section for a description.
To interrupt the communication test, press and hold the Read/Set button for 3 seconds.
Connecting the biSensor
Bury the BiSensor (Option A)
Option A works well in rocky soil.
1. Using a shovel or edger, cut out a piece of sod approximately 6” x 12” in the location where you plan to bury the biSensor.
2. Carefully remove the sod and try to keep the roots intact.
3. Dig a trench about 6” deep and the length of the biSensor in the exposed dirt.
4. Insert the biSensor into the trench. Stand the sensor on its long edge. If buried flat, biSensor readings can be wrong due to moisture pooling on surface of the biSensor.
5. Remove any rocks or gravel that are touching the surface of the biSensor to ensure there are no air pockets.
6. Cut a slit back to the valve box for the communication wires. Take care to bury them deep enough to avoid damage from aeration or other activities.
7. Using a bucket of water, saturate the soil surrounding the biSensor and compact the soil around it tightly.
8. Refill the hole, replace the sod, and saturate the area thoroughly. When the soil is saturated, compact it firmly around the biSensor. The biSensor must make good contact with the surrounding soil.
Bury the BiSensor (Option B)
Option B works well in sandy or loamy soils.
1. With a flat blade shovel, cut a slit in the grass where the biSensor will be placed. Widen the slit with a back and forth motion.
2. Place the biSensor in the slit horizontally so the top of the biSensor is 2”-3” deep.
3. Remove any rocks or gravel that are touching the biSensor to ensure there are no air pockets.
4. Cut a slit back to the valve box for the communication wires. Take care to bury them deep enough to avoid damage from aeration or other activities.
5. Using a bucket of water, saturate the soil surrounding the biSensor and compact the soil around it tightly.
biSensor Burial Requirements
- Ensure there is good contact between the soil and the biSensor.
- Bury the biSensor so it is resting on its long edge. If the biSensor is buried flat, the readings can be wrong due to moisture pooling on the surface of the biSensor.
- Bury the biSensor 2” to 3” deep in turf areas and deeper for planters and tree areas (root zones).
Configure the Sprinkler Timer & the Cycle Window
Configuring the Sprinkler Timer
1. Set your sprinkler timer to apply ½” to ¾” of water to each zone each day. By configuring your timer to water every day, you allow the biSensor to water on the best possible days.
2. Use “Soak Cycles” to minimize the amount of runoff. A typical soak cycle might be made up of 2 water periods each equal to ½ your total water time with one soak period equal to the total water time between the 2 water periods.
3. For helpful suggestions on watering strategies, refer to Watering With Soil Moisture Sensors on the Baseline website. http://www.baselinesystems.com
Configuring the Cycle Window on the S100
The cycle window is the amount of time allowed for a complete watering cycle to finish after the first zone has started watering. Adjust the cycle window time to be at least one hour longer than the time required to finish watering. The S100 is preset for a 12-hour cycle window. If your system needs more than twelve hours to complete a watering cycle or if you choose to water your lawn several times per day, you may need to increase the cycle window duration.
1. Press and hold the Bypass button for 2 seconds. The current cycle window time displays.
2. While holding the Bypass button, press the + or – button to change the cycle window time. You can set a value between 0 and 24 hours.
Manually Running a Zone
Press the Bypass button on the S100 to turn off the biSensor control and prevent a cycle window from starting. Then use the controls on your sprinkler timer to start the manual run. When the manual run is complete, press the Bypass button on the S100 again to enable biSensor control.
Calibrate the Sensor (Auto Calibration Mode)
The S100 has an Auto Calibration mode that runs for 24 hours. Auto calibration sets the moisture threshold based on your soil type. This is important for new installations and useful for recalibrating a biSensor.
1. Heavily saturate the soil around the biSensor with water. If the soil is not properly saturated, the auto calibration will fail.
2. After the water has soaked into the soil, briefly press the Read/Set button on the S100 to take the current moisture reading. Write down the current date, time, and moisture reading to be used as a reference point.
Date:_______________ Time:__________ Moisture Reading:___________
3. Press and hold the +, –, and Bypass buttons simultaneously for 3 seconds. The display will flash between CAL, 24 H, and the moisture reading. The display will count down, on the hour, until the calibration is complete. Watering is stopped while the S100 is in Auto Calibration mode. Do not allow the biSensor to receive any water during calibration. This process will fail or provide false feedback if it does.
Notes on the Auto Calibration Process
- To exit the Auto Calibration mode, press and hold the Read/Set button for 3 seconds.
- If the calibration succeeds, the moisture threshold will be automatically set, and the system will allow watering when soil moisture drops below this threshold.
- If an error occurs during auto calibration, the screen will flash Er4 indicating that calibration failed. The Er4 code is followed by another code with a number that corresponds to the reason for failure. See the Troubleshooting section for information on the various error messages.
- If the auto calibration fails, the S100 will water based on the previously set threshold.
- If the biSensor receives water during the 24 hour calibration period, or the soil was not totally saturated, the calibration will either fail entirely or set an incorrect threshold for your lawn. If this happens, you will need to re-saturate the soil and restart the auto calibration.
- If the threshold set by the auto calibration is unacceptable, try the manual calibration process described in the next step.
Calibrate the Sensor (Manual Calibration)
If the auto calibration does not set an acceptable threshold, you might want to perform the following manual calibration procedure.
1. Bury the sensor as described in Step 4 using a full bucket of water to remove air pockets around the sensor.
2. Put the S100 in Bypass mode. To enable Bypass mode, briefly press the Bypass button. When Bypass mode is enabled, the S100 display periodically flashes OFF and the Dry/Allow LED emits a double flash.
3. Configure the sprinkler timer to water using soak cycles and allowing ½” to ¾” of accumulated water for the cycles.
4. Run the system.
5. When watering has finished, turn off the sprinkler timer and take the S100 out of Bypass mode. To disable Bypass mode, briefly press the Bypass button. When Bypass mode is disabled, the S100 returns to the default display.
6. Carefully watch your landscape. When it gets to the point where you think that you cannot wait another day to water, briefly press the Read/Set button on the S100 to display the current moisture reading. Remember or write down this reading.
7. Press and hold the Read/Set button, and then press the + or – button to adjust the threshold to match the moisture reading from the previous step.
8. Turn the sprinkler timer back on. The system will water at the next start time and then maintain the moisture at your acceptable threshold.
Manually Adjusting the Threshold
As the grass roots grow back around the biSensor, you might need to manually adjust the threshold. Observe lawn conditions, and then adjust the threshold as needed.
- Raising the threshold results in more frequent watering.
- Lowering the threshold results in less frequent watering.
1. Take a biSensor reading after a watering cycle. Briefly press the Read/Set button and note the reading that displays.
2. Press and hold the Read/Set button, and then press the + or – button to adjust the threshold slightly above or below the current moisture reading (an adjustment of 0.5 - 1.0 points is all that should be necessary).
An error code on the S100 warns that an irregular condition has occurred. Even though your irrigation system will continue to water when an error code displays on the S100, you should refer to the Error Code table and the Troubleshooting section below to determine the status of the S100 and take action as necessary.
To clear an error code, briefly press the Read/Set button.
|Error Code or Condition||Status||Recommended Action|
|Er2||Over Current Error||
|Er3||Bad Reading from biSensor||
|Er4||24-hour Auto Calibration Failed||
|Er5||Value Out of Range Error during the 24-hour Auto Calibration||
|Er6||Low Reading during the 24-hour Auto Calibration||
Troubleshooting the WaterTec S100
|Error Code or Condition||Status||Recommended Action|
|Er1 is displayed||The S100 cannot communicate with the biSensor.||
|Er2 is displayed||The S100 has detected excessive current while trying to communicate with the biSensor.||
|Er3 is displayed||biSensor is reading an invalid moisture level.||
|Er4 is displayed||There was a problem during the 24-hour auto calibration||
|Er5 is displayed (Press Read/Set to clear this warning message.)||Unexpected reading during 24-hour auto calibration – final reading was not substantially different from the first.||
|Er6 is displayed||Unexpected low reading during the 24-hour auto calibration.||
|Display is blank LEDs are off||S100 is not receiving 24 VAC.||
|biSensor is reading a value under 20 Soil appears wet||There may be air pockets around the biSensor.||
|Controller does not have access to 24 VAC||Some older mechanical controllers do not have access to 24 VAC.||