How to Control Home Irrigation Systems With Soil Moisture Sensors


When you irrigate a garden, a lawn or both there is always the chance that the irrigation system will overwater and kill the plants. However, you can ensure that the plants get the exact amount of water they need by installing soil moisture sensors. Installing these sensors is simple, but locating them can be difficult. Once installed, the irrigation system can determine the amount of moisture that is already in the soil and water according to that level.

Step 1

Determine the location for the sensor within the irrigation field. The irrigation field is the area that an irrigation zone covers. The best location for the sensor is in the middle of the zone in a level location.

Step 2

Remove a small plug of soil or grass, no larger than the size of a coffee can and no deeper than 4 inches. Make sure to save the grass.

Step 3

Place the two sensors in the hole no more than two inches apart. Then replace the plug of soil and grass.

Step 4

Run the wires for the sensors back to the controller location. It may be necessary to extend the sensor wires to reach the controller. This can be done with regular irrigation wire and direct bury connections. Make sure to bury the wires below the surface of the ground no less than 2 inches.

Step 5

Connect the black and white wires from the sensor control box to the rain sensor terminals on the controller.

Step 6

Select the desired level of moisture for the soil on the sensor control box. Make sure the rain sensor setting is enabled on the controller.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure the setting on the sensor box is not too wet or dry for the type of plants the station covers. The product manual will tell you what each setting for that particular product means.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Moisture sensors
Keywords: soil moisture, soil sensor, moisture sensor