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Contractor Reviews: Putting Smart Irrigation Products to the Test

After years of drought in California, landscape companies in the Golden State have become experts at reducing water use while maintaining beautiful landscapes.

And smart irrigation products in particular have been a vital part of lowering water use outdoors.

We asked two SoCal landscape contractors on the front lines of water-efficient landscaping, Shane White, COO of K & D Landscaping, and Val Silva, Irrigation Technician for Silva’s Landscaping Co., for their thoughts on some of the smart irrigation products they’ve recently put to the test.

Hunter Hydrawise

Image courtesy of Hunter Industries.

More and more smart controller options continue to hit the market each year. When Hunter’s Hydrawise platform entered the market, Shane took notice.

“We have always been a fan of Hunter because of their simplistic, clean, durable approach and could not be happier with the Hydrawise platform.”

He likes that Hydrawise offers control to both residential clients and contractors.

“Being able to control the controller from your phone is amazing. The dashboard allows you to control multiple sites from your laptop or computer and individually adjust controllers from across the county with a couple mouse clicks in the matter of minutes,” said Shane.

He also likes being able to upgrade his customers existing Hunter controllers to the Hydrawise platform without having to replace the entire controller.

Val Silva has also come to prefer the Hydrawise platform because it’s so easy to use.

Image courtesy of Hunter Industries.

“The notification feature is great. Any issues were announced within seconds and could be addressed,” said Val.

He also likes that it runs on an independent cloud system, which means the data for Hydrawise controller won’t be lost, even if your tablet or phone is. But there were a couple things he thought could use improvement.

“ET readings fluctuated and at times were inconsistent with the actual readings from the site,” Val said. He also noted that an unreliable Wi-Fi connection seemed to prevent the system from running.

“Overall it is a system we like and have encouraged our clients to upgrade to whenever possible.”

Rain Bird R-VAN Rotary Nozzles

Rain Bird’s new R-VANs have entered the market as a competitor to MP Rotators, with matched precipitation for short, long and strip models.

Shane said they’re a good alternative to traditional sprays and ideal for “those tricky areas that are in between a spray and a rotor.”

“They deliver the water very evenly with a good precipitation rate. This is key for hillsides and slopes to reduce run-off and improve distribution uniformity,” he added.

Landscape Products Retro Drip Adapter 

Shane has also been able to put the Retro Drip Adapter to the test.

“I have personally used these for a class I taught about retro-fitting an existing spray system to a complete drip system. By using these durable, well-designed retro kits, we were able to save hours of labor by simply capping nine or 10 sprinklers and converting one (sprinkler) into our drip connection by using one of these Landscape Products sprinkler-to-drip retro kits.”

He also liked that the filter and pressure regulator are combined in one body, making it as simple to install and ideal for tight spaces and sites with a lot of hardscape between the valves and the zones.

What do you think?

As more smart irrigation products enter the market, we hope you’ll consider sharing your experiences and reviews with other contractors.

You can share your favorite smart irrigation products in the comment section below or leave a product review on EwingIrrigation.com: Just log in, find the product page and leave your review!

TAGS: Drip Irrigation, Smart Irrigation, Sprinklers, Smart Controller