How Do Rain Sensors Work?

Have you ever looked out the window and mentally kicked yourself because you didn’t think to check the weather before you left home? And now it’s raining and your sprinklers are scheduled to turn on right about…now?

A rain sensor would save you the mental anguish and money from not running your sprinklers during a thunderstorm. You’ll conserve water while still maintaining your lawn if you let a rain sensor manage your sprinklers.

If you’re one of those people who needs to know how something works before you install it, this post is for you, because we’re discussing how rain sensors work.

First, what is a rain sensor?

As you might have guessed, it senses rain.

It’s a device that communicates with your sprinkler timer about the level of rainfall. If enough rain has fallen, then the sensors let the timer know to skip the next cycle and not run.

It’s a convenient piece of technology. If you’re out of town or just unaware of the weather forecast, the rain sensor will make sure your lawn isn’t overwatered.

Types of Rain Sensors and How They Work

When you live in the Midwest, you get used to rapid changes in the weather. You know the saying, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”

That’s fine if you’re just taking off an outer layer because you’re too warm or keeping a spare umbrella in your car. But when you’re a sprinkler system, you need more help knowing when the weather isn’t good for you to turn on.

Depending on the type of yard you have, where you live, and how often it rains, you might choose a different type of rain sensor.

Rainfall collection cup
This rain sensor stops the sprinkler from turning on when the rainfall cup fills to a certain level. A possible issue that could arise is a false fill signal. Leaves, debris, and even bugs can fill up the collection cup, causing the sprinklers to shut off.

Expansion disk
Expansion disk rain sensors operate via a gauge attached to the sprinkler system. Disks inside the gauge absorb water and expand as more rain falls. That sends a message to the sprinkler system controller and interrupts the signal that turns on the sprinkler. The signal is blocked until the disks shrink back to their original, dry size. Then the sprinkler controller receives the start signal once more and resumes its regular schedule.

Benefits of a Rain Sensor

No matter the type of rain sensor you choose, all rain sensors offer many advantages over not having one attached to your automatic sprinkler system. Some of the benefits, both immediate and long-term, include:

  • Saving money
    Whether you pay for city water or spend electricity running a pump, the money you save over time will more than pay for the rain sensor.
  • Extending sprinkler system life span
    Every irrigation system is a lot of moving parts. If the parts are utilized less frequently, like during the rainy season, they will last longer.
  • Conserving water
    Less water is wasted when less supplemental water is needed to hydrate your lawn or garden.

Save Water with Pro Outdoor

Nowhere else will our residential or commercial customers find the 5-Star Experience – delivering value the way you see it, dependability, innovation, and a culture of growth that fuels our service commitment and your lawn’s ongoing success.

Let the pros at Pro Outdoor show you how installing the best sprinkler system will have your lawn looking beautiful in no time. Contact us today for a consultation.

Ready for the Perfect Lawn? Let's connect!

Schedule Now