The RainBuddy is a low cost device which converts a conventional sprinkler controller into a Wifi connected controller that has the ability to access weather data via the internet, and stop the sprinklers from running before and after rain events. Other features include the ability to turn off the sprinklers during the winter or low temperature events, and for the user to turn off the sprinklers from a phone App. As landscape watering is the single largest residential use of water, this can safe significant amounts of water. The RainBuddy doesn’t replace the existing controller or allow full fledged programming of the watering schedule – it adds the rain and weather delay features to the existing controller, and any other fun features that come with having an internet connected device.
Why does this matter?
Significant portions of the world continue to suffer from both water shortages and lack of clean drinking water, with some estimates that up to 650 Million people don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water ( https://water.org/our-impact/water-crisis/ ). Even in developed countries, water remains under threat, with portions of the West and SouthEast still experiencing droughts of groundwater, with climate change influencing future water supplies.
In developed countries, the single largest residential use of water is for outdoor watering. The RainBuddy device has the ability to save a significant portion of this outdoor use.
How does it work ?
The RainBuddy device works by taking advantage of the fact that while each sprinkler zone / valve has its own 24VAC power line, all the valves share a common return line - “COM” line. By interrupting the COM line which is the common return line for all sprinkler valves on the same controller, the RainBuddy can prevent the sprinklers from turning on, without having to reprogram the existing sprinkler controller.
The RainBuddy only requires two external wires (other than power). The user only has to unscrew the existing COM wire, attach it to the RainBuddy, and attach the RainBuddy’s COM wire to the COM terminal on the sprinkler controller.