Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller & Wireless Soil Sensors

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Erin Lawrence

Moen smart sprinkler controller in box.

With all of the intense heat many of us now experience during summer, it’s too easy to let the lawn or the plants die off. But for serious gardeners and those who take a lot of pride in their yards, that’s not an option. How can you keep your lawn healthy and green without over-watering or risking a die off while you’re on vacation? The premise of the Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller and Wireless Soil Sensors is that it’s the ultimate modern solution to simplify and optimize your outdoor watering routines. This intelligent watering automation system takes convenience to a whole new level, letting you you to manage everything right from your smartphone.

Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller & soil sensors

Summary

I have to say I’m extremely impressed with this system. It is a massive upgrade over the old sprinkler system here and provides completely remote monitoring and control over the entire system.

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Multiple zones
  • Full remote control
  • Weather skipping
  • Manual watering too
  • Soil sensors are helpful
  • Can help reduce water
  • Easy scheduling
  • Seasonal adjustments

Cons

  • Needs Wi-Fi to operate

Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller and Wireless Soil Sensors hands-on review

In this hands-on review I will install the system myself so I’ll talk about what that’s like. I’ll also get things configured with the Moen app and then talk about what the entire water management experiences like using these smart controllers. I’ll wrap things up with the pros and the cons overall and let you know if I think I can recommend this kit for you. A quick note that while Moen provided this sample kit to me at no charge, it did not make any requests about the content of my review so these thoughts are 100% my own.

If you’re looking for  Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller review and Wireless Soil Sensors or wondering is a smart sprinkler controller worth it, let’s get to it.

Who can use Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller?

Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller sprinkler close upA very important note before we get too far; the Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller is for built-in or inground sprinkler systems, and is not compatible with any type of set up involving your hose. You should already have an existing sprinkler controller, or your landscaper or contractor will have roughed in the wiring for your system. The Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller is available in eight or 16 zone configurations, which basically means you will have either eight or 16 sets of wires that match up to the number of sprinklers zones across your property. If you are working with any other type of system you’ll likely need a different product.

What is Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller?

Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller close up.

Sprinkler Controller with over in place.

There are a variety of different smart watering devices and controllers on the market. You can find ones like the Eve Aqua sprinkler controller I reviewed, that will attach to a simple hose bib and allow you to automate a simple sprinkler or drip hose.

Others, like Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller and smart wireless soil sensor connect to existing built-in or underground sprinkler systems to allow you remote conteol and automated access to your lawn care.

Some older sprinkler control systems such as Rainbird allow you to set simple timers to automate your lawn watering. But they often lack any ability to take care of things remotely, meaning you always need to be standing in your yard to make changes or adjustments.

That’s where the Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller promises to make major improvements, meaning this could be a really great system for those who travel a lot, folks who have a second home, or if you’re keeping an eye on things for a family member.

Installation & Set up

Installing the Moen smart sprinkler controller may seem very intimidating, but you can trust me when I say anyone can do this.

Moen smart sprinkler review showing wiring ports.You’ll just want to make sure you’ve killed power to your system before you start fiddling with the wires. The best thing to do is take a photo of your existing sprinkler wiring and how it fits in to your current sprinkler controller. I was using a much older Rainbird system. I just transferered the wires to their new locations inside the Moen smart sprinkler controller. Once the wires have been changed over you can plug the controller in and it will power on automatically. From there head over to the Moen app where you will configure your device.

You’ll need to sign up for or sign into your Moen account and then choose Add Device. The app will walk you through getting connected to your home’s Wi-Fi net work which will allow you remote control for anywhere.

Initially I couldn’t get my device to properly connect and wasn’t quite sure why. It turns out I had the white power wire in the wrong slot. Connecting it correctly fixed the problem and I was able to continue with the configuration process.

Once you’re connected to Wi-Fi you can run what’s called Zone Configuration. The app will essentially check all the connections you’ve made and assign each one to a zone.

As you’re adding zones you can run a test so that you can see which sprinklers will be triggered by each zone, which is particularly helpful for people like me who is original system was not labelled correctly.

The system here is quite old and initially one of my zones was not detected. Moen allows you to add zones manually as well, which I did. But I’m not entirely convinced the missing zone is actually connected to anything.

Scheduling watering with Moen Smart Sprinkler controller

Moen smart sprinkler review The most convenient feature of this controller is that you can set up automatic watering schedules. You can set them for a specific time of day or do things like run them at dawn or dusk. You can also choose which zones get water during each watering session, and adjust exactly how long each watering session will run for.
I’m happy to say managing the scheduling is extremely easy inside the app and very user-friendly. I had a short twice daily watering schedule enabled in just a couple of minutes.

Moen Smart Soil Sensors

Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller

Soil sensor.

The other great addition to this kit is grabbing a few of Moen’s smart wireless soil sensors.

You’ll need to pair these to your smart controller before you install them. The pairing process is simple but a bit quirky; you’ll take one of the sensors out and hold it over the front of the controller near where the magnets are placed that hold the cover on. Those magnets will activate the soil sensor and connect it inside your app.

The first soil sensor I tried to pair was quite finicky and didn’t seem to want to connect by tapping it the way the app instructed. In the end I was able to get it connected by touching the top edge of the soil sensor to the magnets. With another sensor I needed to take the panel off the Controller and get closer to the magnets before it would pair.

Moen smart sprinkler review These wide arrow-shaped stakes will get sunk into the ground either in your lawn or in a garden or a pot and can detect overall moisture levels in the ground. If you’re putting them in your lawn make sure you sink them flush with the ground so they don’t get nicked by a passing lawnmower.

The soil sensors will measure moisture levels at different depths in your soil from 1 inch to 3 inches and 5 inches. They will also give you the temperature and you can get battery information in them as well. There’s no information about how these are actually powered; but Moen says each one has a six year battery life so you shouldn’t have to replace them very often.

The soil sensors can help automatically figure out whether or not your lawn needs watering. You’ll first need to use the app to tell the sprinkler controller which zone the soil centre is located in. Then, for example, if the soil sensor detects a temperature level that is too cold, the system can skip watering. Similarly if moisture levels are already extremely high, the system can be configured not to run a watering program on that particular zone. All the settings for moisture threshold can be configured to your particular location or soil types.

Moen smart sprinkler review It’s actually quite a clever system and very user-friendly.

Turn sprinklers off when rain is detected

If you haven’t installed wireless soil sensors you can still get some measure of smarts from the controller by allowing it to use your location. When rain is in the forecast or detected through Moen’s weather stations, the app will simply skip that watering instance.

Moen claims the Smart Sprinkler Controller and smart wireless soil sensor can reduce irrigation water use by up to 30 percent for an average home – that’s could be potentially thousands of litres of water saved annually compared to traditional controllers.

Overall review: Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller and Wireless Soil Sensors

Overall I have to say I’m extremely impressed with this system. It is a massive upgrade over the old sprinkler system here and provides completely remote monitoring and control over the entire system.

The installation was absolutely easy enough for a novice to do, and it took just minutes. While I was initially pretty intimidated about doing it, it turned out flawlessly.

The scheduling feature is really easy, and you can also manually water your lawn or plants at any time also. The addition of the wireless soil sensors is another huge plus since once they are configured with your zones, they can eliminate overwatering all on their own.

The smart weather skipping feature is also handy too. In short I think this system is a must have for anyone who has a sprinkler system installed and it also costs a lot less than I thought it would. The Moen Smart Sprinkler Controller sells for about $178USD /$250CAD while the Soil Sensors sell for about $70 each.

You can pick these up from Moen’s website or Amazon .

 

**A quick note that while Moen provided this sample to me at no charge, it did not make any requests about the content of my review so these thoughts are 100% my own.

A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

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