Next time you change your irrigation controller (timer), either because it’s worn out, hit by lightning, or you want to save some water while keeping your landscaping looking good, I suggest you consider installing one of the new WiFI based Smart Controllers.
The new Smart Controllers use weather data from local sources to adjust the watering cycle, or skip watering all together, making them much more water efficient than traditional controllers on the market. They have a cloud based interface with your smartphone, tablet or desktop so you don’t need to run to the garage to change settings or run the system manually. Most can be controlled by Nest, Alexa, Wink, and other forms of home automation. Smart controllers have been on the market for years but they were complex and expensive, relegating them to high end commercial applications with professional operators. This new generation is very easy to use and is comparable in price to other less capable controllers on the market.
For a great comparison of the 4 most popular Smart Controllers on the market, check out this link:
If you have any questions about Smart Controllers, please give us a call.
The University of Florida has been testing a number of water saving technologies that can be added to automatic irrigation systems. In a recent series of tests comparing rain sensors, ‘smart’ controllers, and soil moisture sensors installed on several hundred ‘typical’ residential homes around the state, as well as in test plots in UF testing centers, the places with soil moisture sensors installed were saving between 25% and 75% of irrigation water depending on factors such as rainfall and time of year. That is nearly double the savings of the other technologies tested. The most exciting finding was that the payback period for Soil Moisture Sensors can be as short as one year, while water savings go on for as long as the system is installed.
If you are interested in more detail about Soil Moisture Sensors and some of the work being done at UF you can find more information at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/results.html?q=soil+moisture+sensor&x=10&y=11#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=soil%20moisture%20sensor&gsc.page=1
If you are interested in discussing Soil Moisture Sensors and would like to get an estimate to have one installed, please give us a call.
We are proud of our company especially the positive feedback we receive from our customers. Unfortunately, the feedback we hear often doesn’t get translated to positive (or negative) online reviews. We’ve relied on Angie’s list as our primary review platform, probably because they are so aggressive in marketing their services. Unfortunately, most of our customers don’t subscribe to Angie’s so they never see that we have all A+ reviews and have won the Super Service Award every year until this year when they changed how they select award recipients.
Our customers tell us that they read reviews on a number of different platforms including Google+, FaceBook, and Yelp, so we have added some new review buttons on our web site in the hopes that we will hear back from a wider variety of our customers. Like you, I often spend a few minutes reading reviews before making a purchase of hiring a contractor. If you like our service, let your neighbors know, if you aren’t happy, let us know. Either way, we really appreciate you taking the time to post a review.
Have you ever noticed that one of the sprinkler heads in your yard refused to pop up or pop back down? There are a lot of reasons why heads get stuck but one of the most dramatic is tree roots.
Roots seek water. When your system runs, a small amount of extra water leaks around the seals in the head or splashes back from hitting the grass and a puddle forms around each head. Normally this isn’t a problem, the extra water soaks into the ground or evaporates, it just takes a little longer than for the rest of the yard. But if a tree is growing nearby, the roots are seeking out the extra water and will often grow over, under, and around the sprinkler head. Over time the roots get bigger and thicker and will often ‘squeeze’ the sprinkler head till it no longer works.
Over the years I’ve cut a lot of roots. In some cases I was able to cut the roots and keep the broken sprinkler head in tact. Here are a couple examples.
This head was stuck in the up position. The roots were holding it there.
This little guy is completely wrapped in one big root. It’s hard to even see the nozzle.
In this case the roots grew around the head and the pipes feeding the head.
If you think the roots are causing problems with your irrigation system give us a call and make an appointment.
Big news for North Tampa Irrigation Service, LLC. We recently learned that Pasco County is beginning to more rigorously enforce contractor licensing laws. In the past, the only time an irrigation contractor needed a license was when they ‘pulled a permit’ to either install or renovate an irrigation system. Their new policy is to require a specialty irrigation license for any company that ‘…advertises and performs irrigation work in the county.’ according to a representative of Pasco County Contractor Licensing.
We never felt we needed to be licensed in Pasco, we didn’t do installations and we didn’t pull permits, but with the changes in policy, we thought it best to get a Pasco County Irrigation Contractor license.
You can now find North Tampa Irrigation- Contractor ID # 021783 – on the Pasco County ‘PAPA’ site: http://secure.pascocountyfl.net/bccpapa/Opal/Contractors.aspx
As well as on the Hillsborough County – License # SP14043 – in the Hillsborough County web site – https://webapps.hillsboroughcounty.org/pgm/resources/onlineservices/contractors/
As a final note, always use a competent, professional contractor for repairs around your home. One way to check on who is working at your home is to verify that they have an up-to-date license in your county.
Southwest Florida Water Management District has imposed PHASE III watering restrictions on Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties. New restrictions take effect
March 13, 2013 and expire on July 31, 2013.
The following link shows the SWFWMD schedule based on the last number of the address.
Always refer to your city or county regulations first.
The District allows local governments to impose special watering schedules.
It is now officially fall. The days are a little shorter and the rain is a little less frequent. This past summer, nature was doing a great job of keeping everything green and happy in your lawn and landscaping. But when fall comes, we normally need to give nature a little help keeping the lawn green. So this is a great time to give that long neglected irrigation system some thought. A lot of my customers have had the system turned off for the past 4, 6 or even 10 months. Last winter and spring were mild and this past summer was pleasantly rainy. Normally the fall and winter are drier and although the lawn needs significantly less water, it still needs some water to maintain itself.
I recommend to my customers that they take a minute and do a basic ‘fall irrigation check’. Turn on each station at the timer and check to be sure the heads are all popping up, there’s nothing broken and spraying up in the air, and there are no floods or washouts. If anything seems out of order, give up a call and schedule a tune-up.