If an irrigation system that you manage is running during a rain storm, your customer might be criticized for wasting water by conservation-minded citizens, and in areas where water regulations and restrictions are in effect, your customer might also receive a hefty fine.
To help your customers avoid the disapproval of their neighbors and avoid getting a ticket from the water police, make sure that the irrigation controller is configured to stop watering when it’s raining.
Baseline irrigation controllers offer multiple ways to stop or pause irrigation during rain events.
Set a Rain Delay
If you know when rain is expected, you can set up a rain delay that will prevent the controller from watering while the delay is active. The rain delay stops all programs and sets the status of all watering events to “Done.”
On the BaseStation 1000 irrigation controller, press the RUN button, and then press the BACK button. The Status Report menu displays. Press the ñ or ò button to highlight Rain Delay, and then press the OK button. The Rain Delay screen displays. When no rain delay is set, the Days to Delay field displays Off.
You can also use BaseManager set a rain delay on the controller.
1. Click the Menu icon in the upper-left corner of the BaseManager page, and then click Rain Delay. The Rain Delay settings pane displays.
2. Perform one of the following:
- To set a rain delay, determine whether the rain delay should be applied only on the current controller, on all controllers at the site, or on all controllers assigned to the company. Go to the appropriate row in the settings pane. In the Days field, type the number of days that you want the delay to last, and then click the Submit 8 arrow.
The rain delay begins as soon as the controller receives the command from BaseManager. A message displays in the Rain Delay settings pane indicating when the rain delay is scheduled to end.
- To cancel a rain delay, go to the row where a number displays in the Days field. Click Cancel X.
3. Close the menu by clicking the < arrow in the upper-left corner.
Connect a Rain Switch to an Event Decoder
When an event decoder is used in conjunction with a rain switch, you’ll have a lot of flexibility over how your BaseStation irrigation controller responds to rain events.
Connect a rain switch to an event decoder and then connect the event decoder to the two-wire path. After you have assigned the event decoder in the controller, you can configure the settings in the controller.
1. Press the Program Setup. The Program Setup menu displays.
2. If the program that you want to modify displays in the upper-left corner of the screen, continue to step 3. Otherwise, press PRG until the program that you want to modify displays in the upper-left corner of the screen.
3. Press ò to highlight the Setup Prg. Stop option, and then press OK. The Setup Prg. Stop screen displays.
4. Press ò to highlight the Event Switch Stop condition, and then press OK. A checkmark displays next to the Event Switch Stop condition.
- Notice that the serial number for one of your event switches is highlighted in the Event Switch field. If this is the serial number for the event switch installed in the area that this program will water, no change is required. If you need to assign a different event switch to the program, press the + or – button to select a different serial number.
Press ò to highlight the Trigger field, and then press + or – to alternate between “When Open” and “When Closed” to indicate which switch condition will cause your program to stop.
Example: You have a rain switch that uses hydroscopic discs to detect rain and halt watering. In this example, you would set the program stop condition for the switch to “When Open.”
5. Press ò to highlight the Stop field, and then press + or – to alternate between “At End of Cycle” and “Immediately.” Select one of the options to indicate when the switch condition will cause your program to stop.
Connect a Rain Switch to the Screw Terminals
On the controller board inside a BaseStation 1000 irrigation controller enclosure there are a number of labeled screw terminals. The exact configuration of these terminals varies depending on whether the controller is set up for two-wire or conventional wire. You can connect a variety of devices to these terminals.
A connected device is read each minute, but the device must be read as open two times in a row before action is taken. This means that it could take two minutes for the controller to respond after a device is read.
When a BaseStation 1000 controller is shipped without a 5200R-Series Powered biCoder, the controller board inside the enclosure has eight screw terminals. Four of these screw terminals are for attaching two-wire, and the other four are labeled Flow, Pause, Rain, and Com(mon).
You can connect a compatible device to either the Pause terminals or the Rain terminals to manage how the irrigation controller responds to rain events.
Pause Switch Device
- A pause switch connected to the Pause terminals influences all programs.
- When the pause switch contacts open, all water is paused for four hours. The timer is starts over at four hours each minute that the switch contacts are open.
- The controller displays a message about the paused condition. Watering will resume where it left off when the switch contacts are closed, and the four-hour timeout is complete.
Rain Switch Device
- A rain switch connected to the Rain terminals influences all programs.
- When the rain switch contacts open, all watering is stopped, and all programs and zones are set to “Done.” All programs will be immediately stopped if they are started. No programs can run while the rain switch contacts are open.
- The controller displays a message about the rain switch condition. When the rain switch contacts close, the message is removed automatically so that watering can resume (programs that were stopped are still stopped).
Conventional Wire Controllers
When a 5200R-Series Powered biCoder is directly connected to the controller board, a rain switch connected to the screw terminals behaves as described above. However, when a 5200R-Series Powered biCoder is in its own enclosure or is mounted in an enclosure as a supplemental board, the rain switch terminals are disabled.