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Irrigation Rain Sensors


Irrigation Rain Sensors

Using a sensor with your irrigation system can make sense in times of drought or in any time of unpredictable weather pattern. That's is what is being preached by many landscape water management and conservation specialists around the country.

Category: Sensors

Available ModelsPartPrice
WS001 : Rain Sensor
Rain SensorWS001$26.59 ea.
WS003 : Freeze Sensor
Freeze SensorWS003Discontinued
WS004 : Mini Weather Station
Mini Weather StationWS004$184.65 ea.

In these times of scarce and expensive water, there is increased interest in technology that can help reduce the wasting of water and to do so there are more sensors available now than ever before. Once the systems are set up they will operate automatically, but each system does require some fine-tuning to work effectively. The Drip Store provides a range of sensors that can help you save water and protect your irrigation system.

  • Adjustable rainfall settings
    • WS004 : measures rainfall in quantities of 1/8" to 1"
  • Dimensions
    • WS003 : Sensor: 4 1/2" L
    • WS001 : Sensor: 5" H X 6” L
  • Electrical
    • WS004 : 120VAC, 5 amps max
    • WS003 : 24VAC 6 amps
  • Model
    • WS001 : Mini-Clik NO (normally open)
  • Parts Included
    • WS003 : 25 ft. of #20 two conductor wire (direct burial and UV approved), two mounting screws and detailed instructions
    • WS001 : 25 ft. of #20 two conductor wire, (direct burial and UV approved), two mounting screws, controller identification label and detailed instructions
  • Sensor element
    • WS004 : completely weatherproof, double epoxy sealed
  • Switch Rating
    • WS001 : 5 amps, at 125/250VAC
    • WS003 : Closed above 3 C and open below 3 C (reverse switching model)
  • Temperature differential
    • WS003 : +/- 1 C
  • Temperature set point
    • WS003, WS004 : 37 F (3 C) +/- 2 C
  • UL listing
    • WS003 : Class II Low Voltage (24 volt use only)
  • Wind speed adjustments:
    • WS004 : 12 to 35 mph
  • Wiring
    • WS001 : typically interrupts the common ground wire between the solenoid valves and the controller
  • Adjustable; very accurate at various rainfall quantities with settings from 1/8" to 1" depending on local conditions
  • Automatically shuts off the irrigation system at 37°F, helping to eliminate ice on the landscape area
  • Can be used with other sensor devices
  • Double epoxy sealed sensing element aids the accuracy of temperature sensing
  • Easily installs with any automatic irrigation control system; versatile to work with all controllers
  • Easily to install on any automatic irrigation system; versatile to meet your needs
  • Fast and easy mounting
  • Heavy duty construction - built for years of trouble-free operation
  • Shuts the irrigation system off in rainy conditions with rainfall settings from 1/8" to 1"
  • Shuts the irrigation system off with wind speeds from 12 to 35 mph winds. Choose the wind speed most effective for your area
  • Simple to install and with no adjustment needed
  • The Mini Weather Station includes wind, rain, and freeze sensors
  • The sensor mechanism is protected from dirt and debris, providing reliable operation with no false shutdowns
  • Three year manufacturer’s warranty
    • WS001 : Installation for Rain Sensor

      In most installations, the rain sensor acts as a switch to break the circuit to the solenoid valves of the irrigation system when it rains. This allows the irrigation controller to advance as scheduled, but keeps the valves closed. Once the sensor has dried sufficiently, the switch closes again and the controller returns to its normal operation.

      The sensor has two blue wires connected to a 25 foot extension.

      Mounting

      Using the screws provided, mount the sensor on any surface where it will be exposed to unobstructed rainfall, but not in the path of or close to sprinkler or spray irrigation. The switch-housing portion must be upright (as pictured), but the swivel-bracket can be moved for mounting on any angled surface. Loosen the locknut and screw before swiveling the bracket, and then re-tighten.

      Helpful hints for mounting:

      1.             When looking for a suitable location such as on the side of a building or post, the closer the sensor is to the controller, the shorter the wire run will be. This will also minimize the chance of wire breaks.

      2.             The ideal location for mounting is not always the most practical location. In the case where a compromise must exist (such as low location on a side wall rather than the preferred high location), note that the sensor will still work as it will always receive some rainfall – it just will not be as accurate in its gauging as it could be.

      3.             As described in the “Operation” section of the manual, “reset rate” refers to the amount of time it takes the sensor to dry out sufficiently in order for the sprinkler system to be allowed to come back on. The mounting location will affect this rate and should be taken into consideration should extreme conditions exist. For example, mounting the sensor  on a very sunny, southern end of a building may cause the sensor to dry out sooner than desired. Similarly, mounting on the northern end of a building with constant shade may keep the sensor from drying soon enough.

      Wiring to Your Irrigation System

      Important: the sensor is sold and designed for hook up to 24 Volt irrigation controllers only. For wiring to 110V or 220V irrigation controllers, please consult Hunter website for details. All wiring must conform to National Electrical Code or applicable local codes.

      The sensor connects directly to the sensor terminal on the AC controller.

      1.             Route the wires from the sensor up through the same opening used for valve wiring on the controller.

      2.             Connect one of the sensor lead wires to the C terminal (common)

      3.             Connect the other lead wire to the valve’s common ground lead wire and connect the valve wires to the correct controller valve number terminals. If the valve common wire is connected to the controller common terminal disconnect it and connect it to the sensor. 

       

      Wiring the Mini-Clik to Other Controllers

       

       

       

                  

       

      Adjustments and Operation

      The sensor can keep the irrigation system from starting or continuing after rainfall quantities of 1/8", 1/4", 1/2", 3/4" or 1". To adjust it to the desired shut-off quantity, rotate the cap on the switch housing so that the pins are located in the proper slots (see Figure). Do not forcibly twist the cap as this might break the pins.

      The time that it takes the sensor to reset for normal sprinkler operation after the rain has stopped is determined by weather conditions (wind, sunlight, humidity, etc.) These conditions will determine how fast the hygroscopic discs dry out, and since the turf is also experiencing the same conditions, their respective drying rates will roughly parallel each other. So when the turf needs more water, the sensor is already reset to allow the sprinkler system to go at the next scheduled cycle.

      There is an adjustment capability on the sensor that will slow down the reset rate. By turning the “vent ring” (see Figure) to completely or partially cover the ventilation holes, the hygroscopic discs will dry more slowly. This adjustment can compensate for an “overly sunny” installation location, or peculiar soil conditions. Experience will best determine the ideal vent setting.

      Troubleshooting

      Follow these simple checks first before assuming the unit is bad and replacing it.

      1.System will not come on at all: check to see that the sensor discs are dry and the switch “clicks” on and off freely by pressing the top of the spindle. Next, look for breaks in the wire leading to the sensor and check all wire junctions. If the sensor is dry and the wire leading to it is good, check the sensor switch by nicking the insulation of the two “outer” wires near the unit to expose copper. Turn one sprinkler zone on, and apply a “jumper wire” across the two exposed wires. If the sprinkler now comes on, the switch is bad. Wrap all nicked wires with electrical tape.

      2.System will not shut off even after heavy rainfall: check wiring for correctness (see “Operation Check to Verify Correct Wiring”). Check sensitivity setting on sensor – move cap to more sensitive setting. The sensor is an accurate rain gauge and can be verified by setting up a “tube” type rain gauge in the same vicinity and making periodic readings. Check if the rainfall is actually hitting the sensor - check for obstructions to rainfall such as overhangs, trees or walls.

      All the sensors from Hunter are listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL). Samples of these devices have been evaluated by UL and meet the applicable UL standards for safety.

       

       

       

    • WS003 : Installation for Freeze Sensor

      The correct placement of the Freeze Sensor is critical for accurate temperature sensing. It must be mounted out of direct sunlight, and where free outdoor air circulation is possible. Examples would be the north wall of a building or under eaves or overhangs.

      The sensor housing is designed to provide the sensing element some amount of protection from direct or indirect radiation, while allowing air to move freely around it. This feature, along with the best possible placement, will allow the freeze sensor to respond at the correct temperature.

      Using the screws provided, attach the sensor to the chosen surface. Run the extension wire to the controller. If an extension to the wire is needed, use wire no lighter than 20 AWG.

      Wiring

      The sensor connects directly to the sensor terminal on the AC controller.

      1.       Route the wires from the sensor up through the same opening used for valve wiring on the controller.

      2.       Connect one of the sensor lead wires to the C terminal (common).

      3.       Connect the other sensor lead wire to the valve’s common ground lead wire and connect the valve’s wires to the correct controller valve number terminals. If the valve common wire is connected to the controller common terminal disconnect it and connect it to the sensor. 

      4.       The third wire, if available, is for a normally open lead; do not use.

      If a rain sensor is already installed or is to be part of the installation (see the Figure below), the Freeze Sensor is to be wired in series with the Rain Sensor so that either (or both) devices can control the circuit.

      Wiring the Freeze-Clik and Mini-Clik to Other Controllers

    • WS004 : Installation for Mini Weather Station

      Each of the three sensors on this mini Weather Station - for wind speed, rainfall and temperature (near-freezing conditions) - operates independently of the others.  The unit must therefore be installed so that each of the sensors can function without interfering with each other.Use only the “mounting” details contained on this sheet.

      Mounting

      The weather station is designed to mount on a post of 2" PVC pipe. However, any combination of pipe and fittings can be used.

      The enclosed “reducer” fitting has two purposes:

      1)       It allows for the use of 1/2" PVC pipe for shorter mounts

      2)       Screwed down onto surface (wood post or deck), it acts as a base for the weather station to fit onto.

      Important:For most accurate temperature sensing, rotate the weather station so the thermostat portion points north.

      Wiring:  All three sensors are electrically connected in series, so only two wires need to be used to connect to the irrigation controller.

      The sensor connects directly to the sensor terminal on the AC controller.

      1.       Route the wires from the sensor up through the same opening used for valve wiring on the controller.

      2.       Connect one of the sensor lead wires to the C terminal (common).

      3.       Connect the green and silver (clear insulation) lead wire to the valve’s common ground lead wire and connect the valve’s wires to the correct controller valve number terminals. If the valve common wire is connected to the controller common terminal disconnect it and connect it to the sensor. 

      Wiring the Mini-Weather Station to theOther 24 VAC Controllers

       

      Note: For extending the wires, use wire 18AWG or heavier.