FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you not find the answer to your question listed below, then please send your question to NETRO Support.

 

Installation

Can I install Sprite outdoors? Is Sprite waterproof?

Sprite is designed for indoor use only. For outdoor use, you will need an enclosure to cover both the controller and the power adaptor. Netro does not manufacture or sell these enclosures but you can find them by searching for “sprinkler controller enclosure” on Amazon.

My old system has a ground wire (GND), where would I install that in Sprite?

Sprite comes with its own power adaptor which we recommend you use. If you prefer to use your old power adaptor which has a ground wire, you can leave the ground wire open.

My old controller has a “P/MV“ wire. How do I install that in Sprite?

The P/MV wire is for your master valve and should be connected to the “M” slot in Sprite.

Why does Sprite have two “C” slots ? What if I have only one common wire?

Some sprinkler systems with large number of valves have two common wires. If your sprinkler system has only one common wire, you can connect it to either one of the “C” slots and the other “C” slot will sit empty.

Do I need to change my current sprinkler system to use Sprite?

No. Sprite works with your existing sprinklers (the pumps, pipes and nozzles). You just need to replace or install the controller.

What if I have more than 12 zones?

The Netro app is capable of managing multiple controllers. You can link two controllers together. You will need to have at least two “common” wires so that each controller gets one. If there is only one “common” wire, it needs to be connected to both controllers by using a wire splitter.

How do I add the second device to my account?

You just need to add the device in the same way in the Netro app, and once it is setup, there will be a dropdown menu on the home page where you can navigate between the two controllers.

Wi-Fi connection

Will Sprite re-connect to the Wi-Fi automatically after a power outage?

Sprite will re-connect to the Wi-Fi automatically after a power outage. Also, all the zone settings and watering schedules are saved on the cloud server, so you won’t lose anything.

What happens if the Wi-Fi connection is lost, for example the router or the internet service is down?

Sprite will continue to execute the pre-loaded schedules for up to one month.

Can I use Sprite when I am away from my home Wi-Fi, for example on vacation?

Yes, as long as your phone/tablet has access to the internet, you can control and monitor your Sprite.

Testing sprinklers

How do I test the sprinkler system with Sprite?

There are two ways to test your sprinklers after installing Sprite:

You can create an account and connect Sprite to your home Wi-Fi, then you can use the ‘remote control’ feature on the Netro app to turn on and off the zones instantly.

If you just moved into a house and possibly have not installed the router, this mode might work well for you: Download the Netro app and use the “Test run” feature on the login page. In this way you do not need to have a home Wi-Fi or create a Netro account. Your phone is directly connected to the Wi-Fi network hosted by the Sprite. This mode allows you to turn on and off the zones without involving the Netro cloud server.

Zone configuration

How does the zone area affect the watering schedules created by Netro?

The area of each station(zone) doesn’t affect the watering schedules at all. Netro uses the area only for computing how much water has been used and saved. The watering durations are calculated based on the irrigation rate of the sprinkler type (for example, a spray head can irrigate 1.5 inches per hour). Larger zone requires more sprinklers for covering the whole zone and thus consumes more water even though the watering duration is the same.

 

What happens if the Wi-Fi connection is lost, for example the router or the internet service is down?

Sprite will continue to execute the pre-loaded schedules for up to one month.

Can I use Sprite when I am away from my home Wi-Fi, for example on vacation?

Yes, as long as your phone/tablet has access to the internet, you can control and monitor your Sprite.

Watering schedules

Is it possible to create a manual schedule?

Yes. There are three ways to create a schedule:

1) Enable smart zone for automatic schedules (weather based)

2) Add user programs for fixed schedule (cycle based), for example, once every 5 days or every Tuesday and Friday

3) Manually turn on and off the sprinkler using the remote control feature

Why aren’t my fixed programs showing up on the calendar?

When “Smart Zone” is enabled, Netro will automatically skip the fixed programs in case of significant rain or low temperature in order to save water and protect your sprinkler system. You can disable “Smart Zone” if you do not want any automated watering. 

Why the Netro waters less frequently than what I would do?

Netro’s algorithm is based on expert gardening knowledge, which avoids watering equally everyday. Netro waters your garden only when the soil is dry enough in order to draw more oxygen into the roots, leading to a lusher landscape. By default, we allow the moisture level to deplete to 50% (recommended by EPA) before the next watering. If your zone grows shrubs or trees which typically have longer roots than grass and absorb water from deeper soil, it takes more days for the moisture level to drop to 50%. To refill the soil moisture up to 100%, it takes longer time running the sprinklers too.  

How can I adjust the frequency and duration of the smart schedules?

These scientific smart schedules tend to water less often and more deeply. Customers can customize their watering solution by adjusting the watering duration and frequency in settings->zones->preferences.

How does Netro determine when to water?

Netro tries to water in the early morning when evaporation is minimal and water pressure is higher. Netro minimizes watering in the middle of a day because the sun will evaporate water before it can soak into the soil. Netro also safeguards your plants and your sprinkler system. Watering will automatically be disabled when temperatures are very high to protect your plants and eliminates night watering, frequently the cause of soggy lawns which attract disease. The winterization feature disables watering during cold temperatures entirely.

How do I control the start time of smart watering, for example to make it earlier?

We don’t have that control right now but will likely to add that in a future release of the app. For now you can add a restriction to prevent watering between say 7am to 10pm. This will force the smart watering to be done before 7am which means it has to start around 4am. You might want to tune it a little bit because it depends on number of zones and other settings.

 

How do I skip or delete a schedule?

Go to schedules, select a day, select a schedule, tap the “gear” button on the right, then a menu will pop up from the bottom where you can skip this specific schedule or all the schedules on that day (do not water today).

 

Why are one or some of the zones watered multiple times a day?

You probably selected clay or clay loam as the soil type which accepts water slowly, often as little as 1/4 inch per hour and that is why we break up the watering process to avoid water runoff.

 

Watering regulations

How does Sprite know what the water regulations are?

Netro collects water regulations from governments and water companies, and automatically applies those regulations for you based on your address, e.g. zipcode, city.

 

 

What if Netro cannot find the watering regulation in my area?

As this feature is in Beta version, our database may not be able to cover all areas and all rules. You are welcome to report missing regulations to our systems and we will manually apply them to your account and also the users in your neighborhood.  You can always add your own restrictions in settings->restrictions.

Weather data

Why doesn’t the weather forecast on the Netro app exactly match my weather provider? How would the difference impact the watering?

We get weather data from our service provider, which may have different results from other sources. Even with the best forecast possible, it will never match the actual rainfall. Therefore, we update our data nightly to use an actual rainfall data source for the previous day. That way it won’t vary too far by a bad forecast or sudden change in weather.

 

How accurately does Netro determine the rainfall for the area? Is it at a zip code level or from a weather station nearby?

Netro’s weather data is based on your address. We obtain weather data from world’s leading provider which monitors the weather conditions for any place specified by the exact latitude and longitude. The service provider collects raw data from many sources, including all major weather stations nearby, and uses professional models to predict weather for your address. Typically, the weather data used by Netro is more accurate than the data from just one single weather station.

 

Cloud services

Is there any extra cost to use the Netro cloud service? Any extra charges or services on top of the purchase price?

No, it’s free to use the Netro cloud service. There are no extra charges at all.

 

 

Is there a battery backup in case you lose power for the zone settings?

All the settings and watering schedules are saved in the cloud. Sprite does have a battery but that is only for resuming the system clock.

Sensors

Does Sprite work with rain sensors?

Sprite is not designed to support the traditional rain sensors because those rain sensors do not forecast rainfalls. For example, you usually do not need to water your lawn if the rain is coming tomorrow but your rain sensors will not tell you that. Netro uses more advanced technology including real-time weather information that is aware of the rainfall in the past and also in the future. For even more accurate watering schedules, Netro offers wireless moisture sensors which measures exactly how much water your plants need. We believe these innovations built with Netro are changing the way of home irrigation.

Is Sprite required to use the Whisperer or can I use the Whisperer independently to collect data?

Whisperer is an independent product which does not require the Sprite controller to collect data. You can add as many sensors as possible in your Netro app. You can use this solar-powered sensor to monitor your plants remotely, even if you don’t have a sprinkler system. When the water, temperature or light levels of your plants need special attention, the Netro App will alert you.

 

Does Sprite work without the Whisperer sensors?

Sprite works without the Whisperer sensors. It uses the weather information and advanced watering algorithms to automate the irrigation.

 

What kind of historical storage capabilities does Whisperer have?

Whisperer is able to store 128 data samples. It will keep all the data until it has access to the internet and upload the data to the cloud server. Actually you will be able to change the frequency that it uploads, from once every 15 minutes to once every day.

 

Connected-home platform

Will there be support for third-party IoT platforms?

Currently we are focusing on voice control through Alexa and Google Home. We do have a plan to support IoT platforms likes IFTTT but it will probably be late 2018. We hope you like the Netro app, which we are adding more products to (for example the smart plant sensor and the smart hose faucet timer).