Unpowered Wicking Irrigation Controller

It's recommended that you watch the YouTube video Unpowered Irrigation Controller

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The Unpowered Wicking Irrigation Controller uses evaporation as a gauge to control irrigation rather than the static timer intervals in conventional devices. It works with ordinary irrigation solenoid valves of any size, one solenoid per controller, and with sprinkler or dripper systems.

After irrigation and as water evaporates from the soil, water wicks up a polyester cloth from inside the container to outside the container and evaporates. The water in the container eventually reaches a low level corresponding to the soil drying out. The controller opens the solenoid and irrigation begins. A dripper attached to the outflow pipe slowly refills the container while the irrigation system ‘refills’ the soil. When the water in the container reaches a high level corresponding to the required watering of the soil, the controller shuts the water off and the cycle restarts.

Once correctly calibrated, the controller only sends water when plants need it and does not overwater. It responds to the same local weather conditions as the soil. Deep or shallow watering, frequent or delayed watering – all can be accommodated. You don’t have to ‘turn it off’ over winter as rain and cooler temperatures keep the container from drying out. You can leave your irrigation system unattended for weeks on end.

The lid of the container protects the water in the container from debris, algae, mosquitoes and thirsty animals. Any water on the lid drains into the container. 

An irrigation system with a conventional irrigation controller can be upgraded to an unpowered system where each solenoid valve is controlled by a Unpowered Wicking Irrigation Controller. The conventional irrigation controller and the associated wiring become redundant.

The Unpowered Wicking Irrigation Controller can be purchased online from the Measured Irrigation Shop.

  • Unpowered (no batteries, no wires, no solar panels, no electronics, no computers, and no WiFi)

  • If you upgrade to the Unpowered Wicking Irrigation Controller, the conventional irrigation controller becomes redundant

  • Use for any size irrigation application

  • Use for sprinkler irrigation or drip irrigation

  • Use with PC (pressure compensating) drippers or NPC (non pressure compensating) drippers

  • Adjust the dripper discharge by adjusting the control dripper

  • Adjust the interval between irrigation events by adjusting the exposed surface of the polyester cloth

  • Adjusting the dripper discharge does not affect the interval between irrigation events, and adjusting the interval between irrigation events does not affect the dripper discharge

  • Responds automatically to on-site evaporation and rainfall

  • The irrigation frequency increases significantly during a heat wave

  • When it rains, water enters the container and delays the start of the next irrigation event

  • Provided the same drippers are used throughout the irrigation application (including the control dripper), the dripper discharge is independent of the water supply pressure

  • Water in the container is protected from debris, algae, mosquitoes and thirsty animals

  • UV resistant

  • Simple, unpowered, and low tech, and therefore fewer things can go wrong

  • Leave your irrigation application unattended for weeks on end

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Adjust the dripper discharge by adjusting the control dripper

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Adjust the interval between irrigation events by adjusting the exposed surface area of the polyester cloth