Handoff Tips for the Homeowner
Maintenance is essential for a rain
sensor to function properly. This may
include replacing batteries at specified
intervals, removing debris from the rain
sensor, and ensuring that the connection
(wired or wireless) is working correctly.
Builders should communicate the
manufacturer's recommended
maintenance procedures.
•	MOUNT the rain sensor in an open area where it is exposed
to rainfall, such as on top of a fence or on the eaves of an
existing structure, not impeded by overhangs, foliage,
gutters, or other obstructions.
•	INSTALL the rain sensor outside all irrigation zones, as
water from the sprinklers could trigger the sensor.
•	WORK with an irrigation professional who can help ensure
that a rain sensor is included within the irrigation system
design and installed properly.
•	REFERENCE the WaterSense Labeled Controllers web
page at www.epa.gov/watersense/watersense-labeled-
controllers for information on WaterSense labeled irrigation
controllers to pair with the rain sensor. All labeled
controllers are required to be able to wirelessly connect to
the rain sensor.
•	CONFIRM that a rain sensor is installed in an open area with access to open sky and rain, and that the
device is properly connected to the irrigation controller.
•	TEST the device by using a hose to spray at the rain sensor while one of the nearby irrigation zones is
running to confirm that the sensor will interrupt irrigation. Some controllers require a particular mode to
properly test the sensor. Check the controller model user manual for details. If the sensor doesn't shut
the irrigation system off after a few minutes, let the builder or system installer know to fix the problem.
*NOTE: Consult with the Home Certification Organization for specific verification protocols.
Learn More
Learn more about reducing outdoor
water use at WaterSense's Watering Tips
web page at
Optional Water Efficiency Measure: May contribute to the 30 percent water efficiency requirement,
depending on the chosen WaterSense® Approved Certification Method (WACM).
•	Rain sensors, or rainfall shutoff devices, are products
designed to interrupt a scheduled irrigation event when a
certain amount of rain has fallen. They prevent an
automatic sprinkler system from turning on until the water
has evaporated from the sensor, or for a predetermined
amount of time, depending on the technology.
•	Rain sensors operate by measuring rainwater by weight or
electrical conductivity or measuring the proportional
expansion of water-sensitive materials like cork disks.
•	Some states, such as Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey,
require these devices by law.
This technical fact sheet is part of EPA's Technical Reference Manual for
WaterSense Labeled Homes. For the full document and other tools and	EPA-832-F-23-016
resources for homes, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/tools-and-resources.	July 2023