FAQ for LawnCheck Internet Irrigation/Sprinkler Control
NOTE: This page contains answers to some of the most basic questions we encounter. For more extensive FAQ and Help please visit our Forum (this link opens our Forum in a new browser window).
Question? Please send your question in to us using our Email contact form.
How Much does LawnCheck Cost?
There is no charge for a LawnCheck Basic account for non-commercial users. The LawnCheck Basic account provides up to 5 independent programs per controller and the ability to control up to three separate EtherRain sprinkler controllers under one account. The Equipment page provides a list services and equipment needed to use LawnCheck. You can create an account and set up a schedule at any time to find out if LawnCheck Basic will meet your irrigation needs.
Who can use LawnCheck?
Anyone who has always-on Internet, for example, DSL or cable Internet. You will also need an EtherRain sprinkler controller and a Windows, Mac (OS X), or desktop Linux PC to configure the controller. (An always-on computer is NOT required. The computer is needed only for configuration and Internet browsing.)
Can I access LawnCheck with my iPhone, Android or similar smartphone or tablet?
Yes. Our SmartPhone site (m.lawncheck.com) is formatted for access by iPhone and Android-based phones. After you create an account on LawnCheck from our main site, you can access the SmartPhone site to run manual cycles and valve test. An optional service available only from our SmartPhone site is Immediate Valve Testing: instant on/off control of your zones with internet or wifi connection.
Which weather feeds does LawnCheck use, and are they international?
Lawncheck uses Yahoo! weather feeds and data from the Weather Underground network. Both of these weather feeds provide accuarate and dependable local weather by location code or local weather station within the Americas, Australia, Europe, and Africa. See the forum for more information.
What Services and equipment do I need to use LawnCheck Basic?
You will need an Internet service, a standard transformer, and an EtherRain sprinkler controller. For a complete list of required and optional equipment click here. For more information on the network equipment and services you will need see the Getting Started page.
Can I test LawnCheck before buying a controller?
Yes. You can create an account and set up your schedule before you buy a controller. After you are satisified that LawnCheck meets your needs, you can then obtain a controller. Setting up the controller to connect to your schedule is easy.
How does the LawnCheck web site communicate with the controller?
The EtherRain controller communicates with the LawnCheck website as an HTTP browser keeping your network secure as no additional router ports need to be opened. For reliable results, the controller should be connected to the Internet through a gateway/router using an always-on connection (typically DSL or Cable Internet). The controller keeps in contact with the LawnCheck website automatically and continuously. Bandwidth usage is negligible.
How do I connect up the EtherRain controller to my sprinkler valves?
The valve wires are attached to the EtherRain controller just like they are with a standard timer box. The valve connection process is the same.
What if it is raining? Will the EtherRain controller stop irrigation when it is raining?
LawnCheck provides weather dependent irrigation capability using real time weather data. Weather data forecasts are provided by location code (Yahoo! Weather) or local weather station (Weather Underground). You can setup your programs to stop watering if the weather forecast indicates precipitation at the time that a cycle starts, or, if you use a weather station that has a rain gauge, when the rain gauge exceeds a threshold. Also, the EtherRain controller has a rain sensor input and offers a very low cost rain sensor that will also stop irrigation during locally occurring precipitation events.
How reliable is this method of irrigation?
LawnCheck is as reliable as your Internet service. Today the major Internet service providers offer very high reliability, more than enough for yard irrigation. LawnCheck provides connectivity monitoring reports and email alerts so you always know the status of your irrigation system.