Combining sprinkler systems and freezing rain is a recipe for disaster. Icy conditions on sidewalks and streets could potentially cause hazards for yourself, as well as your neighbors.
As defined by Frisco’s Water Management Plan, outdoor watering in temperatures colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit is prohibited in Frisco. Most plants and grasses are going dormant and do not benefit from additional water during the winter.
Since 2005, automatic rain and freeze shut-off sensors are required with new homes in Frisco. When a substantial amount of rainfall is measured or when temperatures drop below freezing, the rain and freeze sensors turn the automatic sprinkler system off. Shut-off sensors could potentially save residents more than 500 gallons a day during rainy conditions. Rain and freeze sensors shut off when rainfall amounts are between 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch and when temperatures drop to 37-40 degrees. It is important to note, during inclement weather shut-off sensors may not be depended upon to turn off your system.
Some things to consider when installing your rain and freeze sensor include:
- Mount the sensor to the highest point (preferably to a gutter or roof) where rain will fall without being obstructed.
- Mount as close to the timer as possible, allowing as little wire as possible. This will help avoid wire breaks.
- Find the “Sweet Spot”. Mounting the sensor to a very sunny, southeastern end of a building could cause the sensor to dry out sooner. On the contrary, having the sensor mounted on the northern end of a building with consistent shade could prevent the sensor from drying out quickly enough.
Rain and freeze sensors can be purchased at most places where irrigation equipment is sold. Prices range from $60-$100. Other than changing your batteries at least once a year, very little maintenance and upkeep is needed for the rain and freeze sensors. A properly working rain and freeze sensor will turn off your system, but the best way to be sure that your system will not run is to manually TURN OFF your sprinkler system for the winter season.
Schedule a FREE winter checkup for your sprinkler system by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A City of Frisco licensed irrigator will check that your sprinkler system, including the rain and freeze sensor, is functioning properly.