University of Florida

Testing Rain Sensors

Most new automatic irrigation systems have rain sensors to stop the system from watering if there's been adequate rainfall. It's a good idea to test the sensor a few times a year.

On a rainy day, place three to five small containers (like tuna cans) throughout the yard. Wait for the cans to accumulate an average of a half an inch of rain.

Set your rain sensor at one-half inch and try to turn on your irrigation system manually. If your rain sensor is working, then the irrigation system shouldn’t come on.

If the irrigation system does run, check to see if the rain sensor needs cleaning or repositioning, or if any of the wires have come loose. In some cases, the sensor itself might have to be replaced.

UF/IFAS Publications

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