As irrigation systems continue their evolution toward smart system integration, it’s important to update your staff on tech, Kelly Rozansky, partner, All Wet Irrigation & Lighting says.
“Your technicians are dirt people, they’re landscape techs. Now we’ve got them dealing with smart phones and Wi-Fi passwords. You’ve got to train your techs as often as you can,” he says. “And you’ve got to train your office staff on how to deal with questions and troubleshoot, so they know how to respond when the customer calls up and says, ‘My system is offline.’”
Rozansky suggests having a designated person on staff able to check in online on clients’ systems daily in order to monitor for any alerts or problems.
Equally important is ensuring that your crews install the sensors correctly, avoiding overhanging building structures or tree cover and positioning them in the lawn to accurately read incoming weather.
Koval says it’s best to try to stay about 35-40 feet from any overhanging limbs.
“Sensors should be installed in as open sky as possible, and they should be installed on the side of the building that most weather typically comes in from,” Funk says.
Ultimately, the recent advances in smart irrigation sensors may be just the thing to convince your clients with aging systems that it’s time to upgrade.
“It’s been a great way to get people to update their older controllers,” Palmer says. “Maybe they’d been thinking about it and were on the fence, and we’re able to say, ‘With this new controller, you’ll be able to control your system by your smart phone, no matter where you’re at.’ It’s a pretty good attention grabber for people.”