People, in increasing numbers, have been purchasing rain sensors of late. These systems conserve water, save money and time, and help you maintain a beautiful lawn by preventing over or under watering. For those with budget concerns, a wired rain sensor provides the basic functions for a less expensive price. But, if one can afford the more expensive wireless, or remote rain sensor, those folks will have a much broader range of options. After a few months, the wireless system will have paid for itself.
A wired sensor is inexpensive. It requires no battery replacement. However, because the system is wired, it limits the distance where the rain sensor can be located. This system requires you to run the wire between the sensor and the irrigation controller. This means mounting the wired sensor in a place that will allow you to run the wire where it could be at risk to being cut by a weed wacker or other device and, unfortunately, can be unsightly.
Remote or wireless rain sensors have many features that make it attractive to a lot of homeowners. Wireless sensors can be placed up to five-hundred feet away from the sprinkler system. Since there is no wiring, it makes the installation look nicer and is easier to install since you do not need to be concerned about running wire from the sensor to the irrigation system controller. The remote systems also allow for adjustable rain sensitivity, which allows one to set the sensor for a particular climate and variable water needs. Wireless rain sensors also offer several water conservation settings, a system override, rain delay features, and back-up modes in case of power outage. Because these many features are available, the wireless devices cost more than a wired sensor.
Pros and cons: Wired systems can't accommodate large areas and the wiring can become an issue. Remote systems require battery replacement and are not cheap. However, the cost of installation can be recovered within a few months by saving on water and utilities.