The Sprinkler Nerd Show

By Andy Humphrey

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Former contestant on the ABC hit television series Shark Tank, irrigation technology expert, and multimillion-dollar eCommerce entrepreneur Andy Humphrey brings his curiosity & creativity to tease out the secrets of successful Green Industry influencers on The Sprinkler Nerd Show. Discover how to get a leg up on the competition, to be the smartest person at the design table, and advance your career in the irrigation and landscape industry at any level. All stones will be unturned as Andy digs into the nerdy details of business, technology, and personal growth here on the Sprinkler Nerd show. To join the community of Sprinkler Nerds transforming the Green Industry visit

Episode Date
#079 - Andy Jams on the Service Business Mastery Podcast

This week, Andy was invited to speak with Tersh Blissett and Josh Crouch on the Service Business Mastery Podcast

Jul 21, 2022
#078 - Allset Founder & CEO, Justin Clegg, Lehi Utah

In this episode, Andy talks with Justin Clegg, the Founder & CEO of Allset.

Allset is a new standard in home services payments. Allset makes it easy for businesses to automate payments, unlock revenue, build an online presence and much more.


Mention Sprinkler Nerd and $75/mo on your subscription.

Jul 08, 2022
#077 - Alternative Power Controllers with Mike Merlesena, DIG Corp

In this episode, Andy chats with Mike Merlesena, the National Commercial Sales Manager for DIG Corporation. They explore alternative power controllers, battery controllers, sales strategies, and more.


Learn More >>

Jun 10, 2022
#076 - The Best Contractors
Do you know who the best contractors are? 
Do you know why the best businesses are successful?
They are NOT the contractors who install MP Rotators over fixed spray nozzles. They are NOT the contractors who choose Rain Bird 5000 rotors over Hunter PGPs. They are NOT the contractors who pitch Wi-Fi controllers over standard timers. They are NOT the contractors who say soil moisture sensors are better than weather-based systems, they are NOT the contractors who say head-to-head coverage is better than single row coverage. They are NOT the contractors who don't mix sprays and rotors on the same zone.
The BEST businesses in the world, are the ones who care the most about their customers.
You must out care your competition.
May 17, 2022
#075 - The Sprinkler Revolution, with Irrigreen CEO Shane Dyer
"If all inventions from the beginning had been guaranteed then there would never have been any inventions.
If we are successful it will be something unprecedented.
That is the start of a revolution.
Someday, someone will ask you, “where were you when the revolution started?”
I hope for your sake you don’t have to answer, “it just passed us by.”
Because we were all too scared"

Those are the famous words used by
Joachim Sauter to get funding for his startup company, Terravision, the inventors of Google Earth.
Similarly, in this episode, Andy talks with Shane Dyer, the CEO of Irrigreen about the Sprinkler Revolution and how Irrigreen is disrupting all of it.
May 10, 2022
#074 - Wireless Irrigation Automation with Alex Palin, CEO of IRRIOT
Andy chats with Alex Palin, the CEO & Co-Founder of IRRIOT.
IRRIOT stands for, Irrigation Internet of Things
IRRIOT is a Swedish innovation start-up in the forefront of wireless intelligent precision irrigation solutions for agriculture. They utilize the latest ultra-long-range radio communication to eliminate all expensive in-field wiring. Their solar-powered watering stations (RTUs) are environmentally friendly and maintenance-free. As the backbone, they have a full-scale industrial irrigation controller, including access to IoT cloud for data intelligence, alarms, and weather forecasts through mobile and web apps.
Apr 22, 2022
#073 - Get Connected, Cellular Technology You Should Be Using
Cellular technology is a great way to remotely access controllers and equipment without requiring the client to provide an internet connection (wifi or cabled).

In this episode, Andy speaks with Justin Nichols, the National Sales Manager for OptConnect, about cellular devices and what to expect as more and more devices are connected to the cloud.

You'll learn the difference between 3G, 4G, 5G, LTE, Cat M1, and the advantages to partnering with an expert like OptConnect.



Justin Nichols, OptConnect:

Schedule a call with Justin: 

Purchase Here:

Apr 15, 2022
#072 - Collegiate Landscape Leader - Alex Stanton, Kansas State University

After starting his lawn mowing business in 2014, Alex quickly fell in love with the Green Industry. When he discovered the Horticulture and Natural Resources Department at Kansas State University, Alex knew it was his place. He serves as the Horticulture Club Vice President, an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for multiple classes, and NCLC Team Leader. He has also represented Kansas State as a 2021 Landscapes Student Ambassador, 2021 IA Show E3 Learner, 2022 NCLC Irrigation Design event winner while also placing top 10 in Construction Cost Estimating, Irrigation Troubleshooting, and Hardscape Installation. While doing all of this, he also owns his own small business in the Kansas City area, Stanton Lawn Services LLC.

Apr 08, 2022
#071 - The Possibility Mindset
In this episode Andy riffs on the mental mindset of possibility and how to train your mind to accomplish anything.


it is possible.
When you think it,
you create it.
Watch out,
resistance guards it.
Discover the resistance,
understand the resistance,
learn from the resistance.
Lessons from resistance will guide you to the possible.
Follow it,
see it,
make it,
be it,
it is possible.
You made it possible.
Mar 23, 2022
#070 - Power to the People, Power to the Nerds
This episode is just for fun but is so real.

What are you disrupting? How are you moving the needle in your business, in your career, in your life? Are you standing around watching everyone blow smoke while you secretly question everything? Take the power back!

You have the power, go use it!

Mar 10, 2022
#069 - Help Wanted - How to Hire Top Talent with Jody Underhill, Rapid Hire Pro
In this episode, Andy talks with Jody Underhill, the founder of about using social media to hire top talent who are currently working for another company.


We didn't start out helping recruitment agencies,… hell… we never even imagined that we would be able to use our superpowers like this at all…
We’ve been helping companies market online…. almost since the beginning of Digital Marketing.

Our offering was born out of requests from companies like yours to help them solve a pressing need in today’s economy.

Finding qualified people who “want to work” and “want a career”… not just a job… Oh! and they want to work for companies that have a great culture and solve problems for people in their community.

It takes a special marketing strategy to get your offer in front of the kind of people you want to have representing your company and brand.

Mar 04, 2022
#068 - People Are Not A Number, Advice from Dennis Roberts, Ford Franchise Owner

In this episode, Andy talks with Dennis Roberts, the owner of Hillsboro Ford Franchise about how to build a strong customer relationship in an industry known for killing them.

Feb 25, 2022
#067 - LIVE from Anguilla, where water matters.

In this episode, Andy records an unedited live episode with Paul Bassett on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

Feb 16, 2022
#066 - Change Your Latitude - Change Your Attitude

In this episode, Andy shares his trip to Los Angeles and a couple of ear nuggets along the way.

Jan 29, 2022
#065 - NEW Root Quencher™ Saves Trees!

Meet Robert & Maria Summers, the inventors & founders of the Root Quencher™ deep root watering system.

Before developing the Root Quencher™ products, Robert had been frustrated for years trying to figure out how to get enough water to trees while not flooding normal planters. The water bills had gotten out of control and a lot of his deep-rooted landscaping was not thriving. He needed a smart way to deliver enough water to quench the roots of fruit trees, regular trees, and bushes without wasting water. As for fertilizing, he’d been struggling with putting down fertilizers on the ground, scratching it into the surface around the drip line, and watering it in, hoping it reached the roots that were 9”-22” under the surface. It never seemed quite right or sensible to him.

As he installed early prototypes of the Root Quencher™, he found that he could use less water, control the flow to balance zones that contained regular planting beds or grass, as well as help his landscaping thrive. He’d rejected the notion that somehow an expensive drip system could give his landscaping the right amount of water and could work in conjunction with his existing sprinkler systems. Short of tearing out all of his irrigation systems and starting over, he pursued the Root Quencher™ as the solution.

In Deep Irrigation is both a woman-owned and minority-owned business. Their products are made in the USA, specifically in California, and cater to the needs of Southern Californians looking to get the most enjoyment out of their gardens—and to save water and costs along the way!

Show Links:

Jan 21, 2022
#064 - The Future of Commerce Is Here

The future of commerce is here, it is just not distributed yet - no pun intended, ha! Andy shares a recent shopping story and illustrates how the contractor purchasing process will soon be changing. Imagine a time when you don't have to get our of your vehicle and your supplier loads your truck - this is coming soon!

Jan 14, 2022
#063 - Irrigation Predictions for 2022

Andy is joined by Paul Bassett [ENVOCORE], to help reflect on the predictions they made in 2020. Tune in as they share their thoughts on their predictions from last year, answer questions along the way, and make new predictions for 2022.

Dec 31, 2021
#062 - The Grasshole System with Ken Kwiatkowski

Andy met Ken after his recent trip to the Irrigation Show in San Diego, and in this episode, they unpack the Grasshole System and how Ken launched the product in less than 6 months.

Dec 23, 2021
#061 - 6 New Products at The Irrigation Show

Andy explores 6 new products on display at the 2021 Irrigation Show in San Diego.

#1 - Rain Bird Flow Indicating Filter Basket

#2 - Root Quencher

#3 - Grasshole System

#4 - Baseline Precip Sensor

#5 - Every Drop Meters

#6 - Maximum H2O

Dec 20, 2021
#060 - We Don't Need Roads

When you think of the future, talk about the future, predict the future - you are not wrong!

Dec 15, 2021
#059 - Differentiate Yourself

Andy talks about "getting different" and why you should be the orange in the bin of apples. He shares specific examples from his career - how being different was an advantage.

Book: Get Different, by Mike Michalowicz

Dec 03, 2021
#058 - Teflon™ Isn’t a Thing…

In this episode, Andy shares a story about a trademark violation over the use of the name Teflon.

Did you know that....

Teflon™ Isn’t a Thing…It’s a Brand!

Teflon™ is a world-famous brand that’s owned by Chemours.

The Teflon™ brand identifies products made with Chemours raw materials, like fluoropolymer or industrial coatings. Over time, many people have mistakenly referred to the tape as "Teflon tape." We thought it was important to let you know that.

If somebody offers to sell you "Teflon tape" when you need plumber or thread seal tape, they're either wrong or misleading you. Make an informed purchase and be aware that Chemours has not authorized any plumber tape to be sold as "Teflon tape."

Teflon™ is a registered trademark of Chemours.


Who knew?!?


Nov 23, 2021
#057 - Think Smart Soil

Andy shares a story about a recent visit to Hudson Yards in NYC and his Smart Soil thought concept.

Nov 19, 2021
#056 - Trying or Dying (in 3/4 time)

In this episode, you will go inside the mind of Andy as he shares what motivates him, when makes him tick, and why he believes there are only 2 choices - trying or dying.


Stangest Secret Refernence:

Aug 20, 2021
#055 - Scaling Your Business with Service Titan - Jeff Soch, GM of NAIAD Irrigation

In this episode, we get first-hand experience from Jeff Soch, the General manager of NAIAD Irrigation, about how he uses Service Titan to scale their business and put the power in the service technician's hand.

Jul 30, 2021
#054 - Conversational Text Messaging with Raj Suchak, CEO of Grid Seed

Andy chats with Raj, the founder and CEO of, a conversational text messaging platform. Grit Seed is a software startup based in Buffalo NY that is on a mission to help organizations change how they connect with their customers using the power of texting, videos, and mobile experiences.

Try it for free by texting "Podcast" to 231-241-2121

Jul 23, 2021
#053 - Caller Feedback, Plants, Soil, Water = Value

Andy plays a live message from the Sprinkler Nerd Hotline and discusses plants, soil, water, and how understanding more about these 3 areas could be a great way to add value to your business.

Would you like to call the Sprinkler Nerd Hotline?

Call: 231-383-6042

Jul 02, 2021
#052 - Being An Expert - What It Means

Andy touches on being an expert, what it means, and the benefits to you both personally and professionally.


Reminder to call the Sprinkler Nerd Hotline and say hello!


Call: 231-383-6042

Jun 25, 2021
#051 - Sprinkler Nerd Hotline, 231-383-6042

Introducing the Sprinkler Nerd Hotline. Want a shout-out on a future episode?

Call: 231-383-6042

- Tell us a joke

- Give a recommendation for a future guest

- Ask us a question

- Tell us about your business

- Share your weekly win!

- Just say, what's up dawg!?!

Jun 18, 2021
#050 - Attitude of Gratitude

Andy goes solo for the 50th episode celebration!


Join us in the Sprinkler Nerd Private Community



Jun 04, 2021
#049 - Andy Sits in the Hot Seat, and Denny Asks the Questions

In this episode, Andy sits in the hot seat and Denny Richards asks the questions. Denny is the Customer Service Manager at and asks a series of impromptu questions that Andy answers on the fly.


You'll learn what it means to be a Sprinkler Nerd, why Distributors should stop taking orders, how and understanding the effect that a soil moisture sensor has on run time, start time, and schedules, will make you a better irrigator.

May 28, 2021
#048 - The WiFi Evangelist, Kevin Battistoni of Hunter Industries

Andy chats with Kevin Battistoni, aka, The WiFi Evangelist of Hunter Industries about how wifi technology is changing the way contractors do business.



Kevin Battistoni is the Midwest sales manager for Hunter Industries based out of the Chicagoland area. Baptized in sprinkler water, this fourth-generation irrigator spent two decades in the family business rolling around in the dirt before trading his shovel in for a broom, working in the green industry supply chain.


During his decade in distribution, Kevin played all positions including store manager and outside sales with a focus on landscape lighting, drainage, and water features.


With over a decade of service at Hunter/FX, he experienced a rebirth with the world of connected devices entering the green industry.


Now the self-titled “Software Salesman” has become a WiFi controller evangelist and is on a mission to educate green industry professionals around the world.

May 21, 2021
#047 - How Chad Touchet lost $700k and Why He Pivoted into Manufacturing

Andy chats with Chad Touchet, former irrigation contractor, and current product manufacture. Learn how Chad lost $700k, and how found hidden profits in his contracting business.

Chad is the founder of,,, and

Connect with Chad on LinkedIn to learn more:

May 14, 2021
#046 - The Profitable Contractor Book, with Author Steve Dale

In this episode you will hear from Steve Dale, author of The Profitable Contractor; How to Attract Better Clients, Make More Money, and Create The Contracting Business You Really Want.

Buy The Book >>

"The reality is that your business model is screwing you. You just can't see it yet."

"There is no more, *sharpening your pencil*, on your numbers."

"The truth is, contractors are a rare breed. There aren't enough of you."




May 08, 2021
#045 - OtO Lawn, Smart Home Sprinkler & Garden Treatment System with Ali Sabti

In this episode, you will hear from Ali Sabti, the Founder & President of OtO Lawn, the world's first smart home sprinkler and garden treatment system.

Learn how Ali came up with the OtO Lawn idea, how he brought the product to market, and about the specific product-market-value fit.

May 02, 2021
#044 - Default Thinking Could Kill You

Join Andy for a short mindset episode where he shares his thoughts on a recent Facebook discussion about OtO Lawn and how to position your mind for positive thinking and to always be wearing curiosity lenses.

Mar 13, 2021
#043 - Top 5 Hunter Products for 2021 with Kevin Lewis

Kevin Lewis, Sales Manager for Hunter Industries shares his Top 5 products for 2021.


You know, it's a, it's a common thing for me to say to contractors when I'm speaking to them in a training, you ever have homeowners who complain about when you come to do your spring turnout and you hit them with a big bill, the whole room will say, yeah, of course we do. Yeah, we do. You know, I've said like, have you ever thought about explaining this to them and saying like, we noticed this stuff when we were here, winterizing in October or November, September, we don't fix them typically.


Then we make notes and we'd come back and fix them. But the point is that all of these problems have a broken head, a maybe a break in a pipe, a valve issue. These things didn't happen the day before we showed up here to winterize your system, they happened to all season long. And since there's nothing in place to detect it, it just went undetected.


You are an irrigation, professional, older, new who designs installs or maintains high end residential commercial or municipal properties. And you want to use technology to improve your business, to get a leg up on your competition. Even if you're an old school irrigator from the days of hydraulic systems, this show is for you.


Hey, what's up guys. Welcome back to another episode of the sprinkler nerd show. I'm your host, Andy Humphrey. And this is episode 43. Today. I have a special guest. His name is Kevin Lewis and he is the sales manager for Hunter industries in the greater New York Metro area. Kevin welcome to the sprinkler nerd show.


So glad to have you with us today. Thanks for having me. It's great to be here. Appreciate it to have you on the show for a couple reasons. Number one, because I think you've got a pretty unique background in this industry and you've worked in various parts of the industry. And then number two, You know, we've got a lot of interest for Hunter hunters, you know, doing a great job in market nationally with new products.


And so I'm excited to kind of talk about the top five new products for Hunter this year. So before we do that, why don't you just tell us a little bit about yourself? Okay. Well I grew up from a pretty young age working in distribution I'm from long Island and Around here. It's kind of pretty common for people to kind of bring their kids into the distributor branch that they work for.


And that's, I was one of those guys just working the summers with my dad.  who's a retired New York city police officer. And yeah, I spent the summers going in working, you know, running rolls of pipe around the building and carrying stuff out to contractors, trucks, doing warranty stuff. And now just around, around the business, kind of my whole life from that perspective, Worked summers throughout high school and then into college.


Um, my father actually became a contractor. He did a little bit of a reverse progression through his irritation career. He was working for a distributor and then ultimately went out to be a contractor at age, I think 51 or something. So I spent some time working with him in the field, installing and learning the business from that angle.


 ultimately after graduate in college, I ended up going back to distribution. I worked selling and supporting commercial projects throughout the Northeast.  we sold a bunch of your products at the time, but you know, Kevin, the the baseline guy of the Northeast for Atlantic irrigation. Yeah, for yeah.


And a successful there met a lot of people got introduced to a lot of people. Um, and then ultimately I left and was actually the Neta from rep for a year, and then that's throughout the Northeast and then moved over to Hunter and now I'll be coming up on five years as the rep for Hunter supporting long Island, New York city.


Westchester New York and Fairfield County, which is like Southern portion of Connecticut. So, wow. Yeah. And for those of you listening that aren't familiar with this part of the Newark, that there's a lot of people that live in that part of New York, but I relative to, you know the people I work with, I have a relatively small.


Territory physically, but just jam packed with action and projects and stuff. So, yeah. So when you say the sales manager for New York, Metro, can you, can you help us maybe more specifically, like where do you. Live or work out of? Yeah, I work out of, I live in long Island or on long Island, as we say around here, long Island, long Island on long Island.


I didn't long now live on long Island. I've lived here pretty much. My whole life kind of live in the center of the Island. I would say, which is good because there's a lot kind of happening on all ends of the Island, the East end of long Island, a big area for. You know, projects, biggest States and things being built out and constantly work being done over there on the, on the West side, you have Manhattan, New York city, which everybody kind of knows of some really big high profile projects going on in New York city.


I could jump on a bridge, get be in the city. I could jump on a bridge being get North of the city into Westchester County. So it's a good spot to be in. There's a lot of, a lot, a lot happening, a lot of work going on, fast paced and tense. But definitely rewarding and fun. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So take us back.


I'd like to kind of, and this is, I don't know this, how old were you when you say you first kind of started with your dad? You four or were you 14? I think I was like, you know, nine or so nine, 10, something like that. Nine, 10, 11. I honestly don't remember. I mean, I know my, I know when my dad retired from the police department, And by the time I was 10, he was definitely working in distribution.


So it was probably somewhere around that age. Okay. So he w he retired from the police department, went to work for the irrigation distributor.  which one was that? Atlantic irrigation. Deer park. Atlanta. Okay. And which branch? Specifically? Deer park. Long Island. The original store. Yep. Deer park. Okay right there near highway two, three, one, right?


31 traffic. You got a lot of friends. That's a side joke. So you were nine or 10 and your dad was going. He just started working for the distributor in retirement, right? It's just kind of stay busy is a lot of retired, New York city fireman. A lot of New York city police officers would retire. Listen, think about it at my age, I could have 20 years in on the job.


I have a friend of mine has got 20 years as a cop. Done. I mean, he could retire right now at 41 years old. So it's, you know, my dad was a little older than that, but not by much. Yeah, absolutely. That's mid-career for a lot of people, you know, Yeah. So what kind of things were you getting yourself into at Atlantic when you'd go in to help him in the beginning, it was we've, we've got a warranty been or return a bunch of back in the day, used to be garbage cans, you know, with just dirty heads and stuff thrown in there for warranty.


And I used to have to go through and, you know, check the dates on them, write up a list, Mark them all up, put box them up. And then Get ready to ship them back. It was pretty dirty, disgusting, disgusting job that they give a 10 or 11 year old. Dude. I, I was in a irrigation distributor branch two weeks ago and they still had the trash can full of RMA.


They still do it. You're right. That's funny. Yeah. So I guess I wanted to, it's important, you know, you and I have known each other, I've kind of known that you worked in the business, but this was just a chance for me to ask you a little bit deeper questions, because I think that when you're working in this industry, it is important to know.


How our customers what it's like to stand in their shoes at all levels of the business, because then you know what it's like to do their job and you can relate to them. So often someone will, will start working at a manufacturer that, you know, came from selling something completely different and they can't relate to customers.


And so I think your streamline relatable person. Can't agree with you any more than what you just said, and I'm not trying to paint myself out to be so great, but you, you see people come in the industry and they just can't relate. They don't speak the same language. They haven't been there. A lot of sales guys like to tell you, you know what the, you know, the marketing pieces that the company is passing off, this is how it should be.


Well, have you ever tried doing that in the field? Do you know about. You know, X, Y, and Z, these challenges that we face. And I do have the experience of, of kind of tackling this industry from all angles. And I think that does it, it makes it a lot easier. Like you said, for me to relate to contractors, people who are actually using our products, kind of know the pain points even with, with the people that work in distribution and as a manufacturer's representative now, I, I think I tend to know when, to, you know what, let me just take that off his plate because I know it's going to drive him crazy, you know, whatever, whatever the case might be.


Um, I understand the position that most of these people are in. Well, I think, you know, that's why I'm asking you to kind of join me today because you're not just a sales guy. I would, I would believe that your customers think of you as almost, you know, for lack of a better word, their trusted advisor.


They're going to go to Kevin for help and expertise. Not just because you rep Hunter, but because you know things yeah. They can help them. I think that's true. I think that there's something to that and I don't. I tend to think of myself very much as a bit of a sales guy. I'm not that type of person.


I'm not going to jam product any throat. I'm not going to sell you something just to sell it to you. I, I, you know, I I've advised people to use maybe different product. Cause I thought it was a better fit, but I, you know, as, as we've talked about that, I think that comes back to you in the end. Just to kind of summarize, you worked in distribution, processing, RMAs, sweeping the floor, doing whatever else, whatever else your dad or, or Atlantic wanted you to do at that time at nine or 10, then you said you helped your dad with his contracting business.


He moved out of Atlantic and started doing irrigation contracting. And then I know you worked for Atlantic as their commercial sales and sort of central control and specification, right? Yep. Then onto to Netafim and now to Hunter. So what you have covered is like grunt work from the distributor, the bottom of the totem pole, right?


Um, through each aspect of the industry all the way up to right now, where now you get to influence. The business because Hunter is manufacturing, new products that did not exist before that's changing the way these guys, this industry works, you know, I think it's fantastic. Yeah. Yeah. Listen, if I, if I told her it, wasn't having fun, I'd be lying to you.


I mean, I genuinely love my job. If there was a one job in the local area that I could choose, I, there would be this one. So I'm perfectly content love dealing with the people I deal with. And it's fun. I have a good time. Yeah, there you go. You guys heard it here. First. We're going to get this, this we're going to, Kevin's going to shoot straight from Hunter.


When we jump into the five, his, his top five products for 2021. So I know Hunter has got a lot of stuff coming out this year and I've asked Kevin to share.  from, from your lens, what you think are the top five products. And again, this will be the New York Metro area, but there's a lot of crossover nationally.


So let's get right into that. What's a what's product number one. Yeah. Well, every every year for the past, I think three years our marketing team has put out a document called what's new for, I think it started in 2019, went to 20, 20 and 20.  now 2021. So this year yep. We have the document again.


Um, it has definitely served as a talking point. You know, everybody can refer to the document. This is what we've got, kind of bounce through all the new stuff.  like you said, I've kind of chosen the five coolest. Products that I think from that document and yeah, we'll go through them now. So we're coming up on five years actually, of a Hunter having and selling Hydrawise controllers.


But if you saw what we started out with five years ago, versus what we've got now, it is wildly different. I mean, I'm talking from a hardware perspective to a software, you know, the app, how it, how it operates the whole back. End of it. It's actually very cool to see how this thing has progressed. And one of the things that we've been pushing is flow meters for Hydrawise and it's just kind of takes care of the whole hydraulic troubleshooting and notifying of problems with our Hydrawise systems.


If something breaks in the field, we'll get a notification about it. So it's a great great product, great theory and everything. The issue is that. A lot of times when you're retrofitting a controller back into an existing system and installing a flow meter can be difficult. And mainly the biggest issue is getting a wire path to that, to that flow meter.


So for years we've been telling people, listen, you have to use a separate wire path. It should be shielded cable and know we've got plenty of guys who were doing it. But again, like I said, that the issue has been the Getting that wire up there. So this year we've actually launched a wireless flow meter.


And what it is is it's basically, if, if anybody's used to the Hydrawise flow meters, they are brass constructive flow meters, three quarter, one inch inch, and a half, two inch. We're still going to sell you those same solid flow meters differences that there's going to be a communication piece that goes with it.


So you're going to have a 915 megahertz, a dome antenna. On the side of the, of the meter itself. And then you'll have a fin antenna. That's gonna hang off the side of the controller. It's good for a 500 feet line of sight. And yeah, the dome antenna we're suggesting taking a three and a quarter inch hole saw drilling through the top of the ballot box.


There's you'll stick the dome piece on that, through the top of the valve box. And then there's a nut to tightens down to a hold the the communication piece in place. So I think we're officially, it's officially going to launch April 1st or something like that.  everybody has speak to it's the first thing they asked me how's that, you know, it was the wireless meter out.


So we should roll a lot of excitement from that. Right. Right. So let's talk for a minute. Let's just step back. So when we talk about a flow meter with Hydrawise, can you still wire one to the country? Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah. I mean, it's, again, we're still, we're selling you the same meter. So if you've got the whole shielded cable, separate wire path worked out.


Definitely go on and keep doing that because as everybody knows, a wired connection is better than wireless. Yeah. And then inside the Hydrawise app or the controller, which model controllers does this work with? Any of them that read flow. So it's going to be the HC, the HPC, the PHC and the HCC. It's everything.


But the external, I think it is. And then what capabilities does this unlock beyond, you know, reading. 16 gallons a minute. What does the, what can the Hydrawise do with this? Yeah, I mean, that's, you know, we've been doing training classes all week and you know, I think the majority of people, their approach to selling flowmeters is off.


We don't care. I mean, we w we can figure out the gallons per minute. We can do all that. That's not the benefit in it. The benefit in it is to find out problems with the S with a irrigation system as they're happening. You know, it's a common thing for me to say to contractors. When I'm speaking to them in a training, you have to have homeowners who complain about when you come to do your spring turnout and you hit them with a big bill.


The whole room will say, yeah, of course we do. Yeah, we do. And you know, I've said like, have you ever thought about explaining this to them and saying like, we noticed this stuff when we were here, winterizing in October or November, September, we don't fix them typically. Then we make notes and we'd come back and fix them.


But the point is that all of these problems have a broken head maybe a break in a pipe, a valve issue. These things didn't happen the day before we showed up here to winterize your system, they happened to all season long and. Since there's nothing in place to detect it. It just went undetected. So you had a, a landscape that wasn't receiving the proper irrigation.


You had things that were broken, you were wasting water. It's a lot of different things that you, that happened that probably happened and went on from for months unaddressed, because your system runs at three, four or five o'clock in the morning and no one's looking so you can pretty much real-time detect issues with the system, which is great.


Um, just things that are just running inefficiently. The other side of things is unscheduled flow. So our, our controllers know th they know the schedule for the irrigation system and the system is designed to run. You know, for example, it runs from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM. It's 1:00 AM, and there's water flowing through that meter.


So what's going on. I mean, w we will send you real time notifications to let you know any time, whatever the thresholds that you, the contract is set within our software. Whenever those thresholds are met, I'm going to send you a notification. So I like to explain it as almost like an insurance policy for landscape personally, I, I had an irrigation system, believe it or not flooded my basement.


So if I had hydrolyzed in place that wouldn't happen, I kind of positioned it that way to people too. But it's, if you're selling flow meters as a way to detect water usage or monitor or totalize, what are you saying? It's really the wrong approach. Okay, cool. And it sounds like there's a lot of irrigation systems out there in the world that you guys are retrofitting.


Right? Five years ago, 10 years ago. People had a pro C and ICC controller. Right. And now you're retrofitting them. They don't have flow meters. So if you want to retrofit and add a flow meter or flow sensor to an existing property, what you said, running that wire from the controller to the flow meter is the limiting factor.


So it sounds like this is going to unlock. Opportunities for not only the contractors to provide more services, but for the homeowners to enhance their systems or the commercial property that they couldn't do before. Yeah. Big time. I mean, big time. I, I don't, I really don't know what the split is. I mean, I have to think where I have to think we're selling more or Hydrawise controllers in a retrofit situation than in a install situation.


I think the retrofits got us in the door with the contractors. It gave them something to go out and sell at this point. Now the guys that are comfortable with Hydrawise there, it's pretty much standardized. That's what they're installing on with new systems. And in that case, they're getting a flow meter most of the time, right?


But as you said on those retrofit situations, it becomes tough to do, you know, contractors a little bit torn between, you know, spending a ton of time having to charge for it, or just a, you know, getting the controller in there and, you know, taking advantage of all the other benefits other than the flow meter.


But I do believe that the wireless will definitely open up a hole. Yeah, I completely agree with you. And all they have to do is find a suitable place in the main line right before the first valve somewhere. Yep. Install the flow meter. And then in this Val box that you said you drill a hole on the top of the lid, put the little dome antenna in the box and then put, what did you call the other one?


A fin fin antenna. Yeah, it's a fin antenna. It just, I mean, I have one over here, but when this is over, maybe a directional kind of antenna. Yeah, it's a, it's shaped like a fin like that. Yep. And then the flow meter can talk to the controller wirelessly. That's awesome. Exciting stuff. Cool. All right. Let's move on to product.


Number two. Well, product number two, kind of joined two products, one from Canada last year that. That launched and was wildly popular in this market, for sure. Popular both in sales and performance.  we launched a decoder module for our ICC two controller, which is the same chassis, the same controller as the Hydrawise version, the HCC controller it's, we're calling it the easy D easy to coder system or easy DM for easy to code module.


So we have that now that goes into the HCC and the ICC controller. Which will open up that controller, even in a plastic cabinet to a total of 54 zones, which is pretty incredible. It can use existing wire paths, you know, based on integrity. You could take any two 18 gauge wires, for example, and you could run, I think it's 908 feet on that 18, 18 gauge strand.


So you can keep, if you had a 10 zone system and you wanted to add on, you can leave all those 10 conventionals zones in place. And then grab two wires, convert them into a two wire path convert from there on, into a Dakota. And would you be converting the whole system to Dakotas or just that does just the new area.


You could do it either way, but I mean, personally, if everything, and eventually it was fine, I'd leave the conventional stuff alone. And now you're making a split hybrid controller. Cool. Um, again, up to that 54 station max, so there's tons of room to add on now that was so popular in the ICC and HCC. We actually brought that down to Prosi.


So on the pro see, now there is a Dakota module that you can pop in there and get to 32 stations. Got it. So let me step back again. So last year, what model controllers did the easy Dakota work with? Easy to code or module launched last year or possibly even the end of the year before for the ICC, which is our commercial control light commercial controller and the HCC, which is the Hydrawise Virgin of the ICC.


You can interchange those two faceplates in the same chassis.  so the module launched for the ICC or HCC, which was really well received. And then we brought it down into the. Privacy. So you can get to 32 stations in a prophecy. There's also a conventional model just for, for what it's worth.  there's also conventional mind for the procedure.


That'll get you to 23 stations in a proceed. Okay. Rumor has that. The proceed version will end up on Hydrawise as well. Okay. And all of these controllers that you mentioned, ICC HCC prosy are all Hydrawise compatible or connected. Well, the cool, the thing about Hunter is, you know, we, we build it on a platform and we everything's kind of interchangeable, you know, we have a procedure which most people are familiar with.


It's a modular controller. We have a, each PC, which is a Hydrawise proceed. Faceplate, that'll pop right into that same process. Your controller on the ICC side, same, it's kind of built on the same dial and button programming as the prophecy. If you're an expert on a pro seat, you're an expert on the ICC pretty much.


And the same thing you got a an HCC panel. That we'll swap right into that ICC two and it becomes a Hydrawise controller. Okay, awesome. So easy to coders for the pro C controller in 2021, and then opening up that opportunity for hybrid, where you can take an existing ball field that has 12 zones, and they're building a new field.


You can then go run two wire, easy to coders out to that new expansion. Yep. Awesome. Great. All right, let's move on to number three. Number three. Well, pretty much everybody who ran out and started installing easy to coders. A lot of times they were familiar with our ACC controller and our ICD decoders that go with it.


We have an ICD HP, which is a handheld programmer and diagnostic tool for our ICD decoders. So I just jumped ahead, dumped a lot of acronyms on your right there, but I know man, ICC HPC, E Z, you need a, you need a flow chart to follow along, but people who bought into and started installing are easy to coders.


They loved it. There. The one thing that everybody would come out with right in the beginning was. This system is fantastic. When are you going to have a handheld program or a diagnostic tool? And obviously we went back to Hunter and, you know, they were already working on it. So we have launched an easy D T, which is a, the easy diagnostic tool.


Which you can get a bunch of diagnostic information, including Dakota status and station number and things wirelessly much like our ICD HP does this also has programming ports on it. So you can field programmed from Val box. So that's, that's kind of the scenario that I got hit with the most is No, we're building out to keep up with the landscape.


We're on a new project. We keep keeping it cold every other week to irrigate a certain area. And we're dropping easy. Decoders in irrigation guys are really specific of how their programming is and at the end, and they want to clean it up. They don't want one to be in front of the house, two in the back three on the side.


So they wanted to be able to go around and reprogram the order of those decoders from the field. So that way, I, that was one of the biggest callings for a programming tool. So we have the tool. Now you can do it right from the valve box.  you will have to take your two wire leads off the decoder, pop them in the programming ports, give it an address and then make your final connection right there.


Okay. A couple of quick questions, the first one, talk to talk to us about how the diagnostic tool works wirelessly. So what does that mean? I mean, there's an infrared end on the, on the front of the. Device and it just it is a yeah, it's wireless, but that's like a, it's not a a megahertz or a radio wave.


It's a, LightWave infrared conduction of electrical conduction between the bottom of the decode and not to, not to, not, to, not to crowbar on a six item in here, but we do, we do have Dakota steaks that we're launching this year, too. So those Dakota steaks are designed to be pounded into a valve box to keep that decoder, whether it's ours or pretty much fits everybody, every manufacturer's decoder.


And I'll keep the bottom of the decoder out of the mess. So you can come back around with your diagnostic tool, just pointed at the bottom of the Dakota and get all your readings right there. And what kind of readings are you getting out of that? What's it telling you? You're finding out decoder status.


 you can get stationed number. I think you get some voltage readings. Truth of the matter is I got this, I think yesterday shipped. Okay. I'm not an expert yet on using it because it's brand new.  does the decoder need to be powered up by the controller for this to work? The Dakota would need to be powered up by the controller to get the readings.


The Dakota would have to be removed from the wire path in order to program to program it is station number, right? Okay. So you'll get the readings without touching any, anything on the wall, our path. Again, if you're using those Dakota steaks on the bottom of that Dakota is facing right out of the valve box, flip the valve box over bone points and get your readings and Yeah, that's great, man, because sometimes with two wire, it's like troubleshooting in the dark with your clothes, right?


Sometimes field service technicians. Don't always know where to go. The experience ones. No, but the mid to junior level, sometimes don't know where to go to the slate and find the problem. And you know, I hear a lot that Dakotas are returned, this that are suspect that they've failed and they're not failed because it was just a wiring issue somewhere.


So. Perhaps that tool will help service technicians isolate the problems quicker. Yeah. Well, when I, when I show up on site with an ACC or ACC tool with a handheld programmer, like you mentioned some of the guys that are less experienced with Dakota diagnostics, They see that and think about what they had been doing for the last three days at the site rep and Dakota that try and program them.


So that that tool is, is is very cool. And this one's going to be likewise and I forgot to mention, by the way, the easy decoder system is a 24 volt system. So it's not like a traditional decoder. So most of your diagnostics are going to fall in line with what your conventional diagnostics are going to be.


So not too special about diagnosing the system, which is another thing that makes it easy. Awesome. Cool. All right. Let's move on to number four. All right. Sounds good.  number four, I have for you is our amazing PGP ultra. We have now launched it in a six inch riser. So it's a really extremely popular head for us for the industry it's like hugely popular where, where we are performance is great.


You know, I think most people know a lot of the specs on it. It's got a part circle truthful circle in one.  memory arch return, which just snaps heads, right back into adjustment, all the same specs as a regular PGP ultra, just with the two inch larger rise up from the STEM. Yeah. So great. That opens, that brings up another question.


You know, the, the PGP ADJ, you know, is likely one of the most popular rotors of all time and you can still purchase it today. And why would someone. Still use the ADJ when they can buy the PGP ultra. You know, what, where I'm sitting right now is in, is everybody's very familiar that there are two heads out there.


And one is a, an ultra. Some people are just stuck in their ways. They liked the nozzling. They liked the spray pattern of a, of an ADJ. Just kind of, again, people just a little bit, not, not to make it sound like a bad thing, but a little bit stuck in their ways. And just like what they like and replace all that.


I mean, they'll both fit into the same cans, so it's not like you're, you know, you can't swap them out for each other, but some people just like them and they liked the nozzling. They liked the, the spray pattern. I think the ultra has a better spray pattern and it's a better head. It's got a better warranty that has a check valve too.


Right? Optional check optional. Okay. Six inches probably important because the turf grass, you know, we're seeing longer length of turf grasses, right? Yep. That's exactly what it's designed for. I mean, we'll S we'll still sell more of the four-inch I'm sure. Obviously, but the the performance is a nice option when you have those scenarios.


Yeah. And even I can relate to just my own property because it went in new construction and I have  love the . And you know, just over time, especially when the soil is new and it hasn't been, you know, compacted, the sprinklers definitely tend to settle the grass. If it's grown properly, grows nice and thick.


And before, you know, it, every time the sprinklers come on, you're seeing, you know, a little doughnut of the, of the turf bent over because the turd is just barely cresting the grass. So, yeah. Yeah. Awesome. So number four was the PGP ultra Oh six. That's right. That's it? Oh, six will be the ultra and a six inch.


That's correct. Awesome. All right. We have got one left. You know, I, I asked Kevin only to give us five of the 200 new things Hunter has coming out. So did you save the best for last. Well, you know what I, I worked my way to the back of the Cadillac. I'm going to be honest with you. It is a good document.


So five is five because it's in the back, but I did want to diversify a little bit and I think we have a pretty cool product here. It's called the MP stake. So if anybody's familiar with our MP rotors this is going to be a 26 inch steak. That comes with 0.3, four, five tubing with a half inch male fitting connection.


And this is designed for temporary irrigation systems. You know, we sell eco mat, which is a great product for.  subsurface turf applications. So, you know, think turf, walkways, roofs, whatever, whatever you want, wherever you'd want to irrigate turf from below, rather than above, you could use that ecomap which a great product.


But we do tell ya when you install that, that you should use overhead irrigation. To get the roots to start growing. So that's one application that I can think of this product. Um, another one would just be just temporary stuff in beds. A lot of irrigation guys work for and with landscapers. You know, we've, we've given them, we've given our contractors a bunch of different kind of quick temporary ways to set up a quick irrigation system.


Because as we know, as a season kicks on and a landscaper's finishing up a project on a Thursday or Friday night and they need some water down there quickly, chances are you're busy too. So you could set guys up with certain products and they can just basically, you know, no thought, just go around, sticking them in.


Keep the area wet until you're able to get back there. And this is going to come with a pressure regulator at 40 40 PSI with a check valve. And then without that setup. So it's just, it's something different. It's pretty cool. I think that we probably don't even know. What a lot of contractors are gonna end up using it for, which is kind of cool to find out stuff from the guys who were selling it too.


But definitely something different, something new unique. I think it's pretty cool. Yeah, absolutely. So we got an MP rotator, everyone listening is likely familiar with the MP rotator, and then that is connected to a pressure regulator at 40 PSI. And then underneath that is the steak. You know that you used to Mount it temporarily and under w what hose is connected to the bottom.


Yeah. It's, it's got, I, there's gotta be some sort of polyethylene connected to the supply line. What or what kind of supply line is, right. So I was kicking around some ideas. I mean, around here, we're a big poly market. So the, basically the way I was going through with some contractors last week was I guess it depends how much you're using.

I mean, potentially if it's a real small area to run some blank, drip tubing over to it and get a half inch female by 17 millimeter drip to a drip fitting. If you know, you've got a bunch of these out there and your flow is going to be too high for that, half-inch a blank drip tubing. Then you can do some poly with some poly Tees and elbows to thread it in.

Obviously if you're in a PVC market, you can do the same thing with Pico PVC fittings, but you're talking half inch thread is coming off of the unit here. Okay. Yeah. So guys might, I could see them keeping a whole handful of them a couple dozen or so on their trucks. So if they're not able to bang in a zone for one, but he's in, by the afternoon, a new sod got laid.

They could maybe at the very least quickly connect a couple of those to the closest valve. And just to get some water flowing. Yeah. Hose bib, you know, if you need it to, with a little bit of hose, whatever it might be. But I mean, like I said, there's kind of a nursery applications. This will be great. You know, I mean there's yep.

Green roofs. You're right. Yeah. Tons of reasons why you'd use it. Like I said, I'm kind of interested in hearing how people are going to end up using it. So just as a reference, remind me, what's the flow rate required out of an MP rotator? Well, it depends on the like, Half gallon per minute or 0.2, roughly.

I mean, I can tell you exactly depending on what we're looking at, but typically you're looking at on a 1000 at 90 degrees. It's 0.2, one gallons per minute, and read more. Realistically is that's a 90. So if you doubled that to a one 80, he probably double that exactly on a 2000 same thing, half, half circle on a 2000.

Is  about three quarters of a gallon. Okay. Cool. Well, that's good, good, simple math. And you can easily if needed to hook up to a hose bed temporarily with adapter. And you know, if you got five, six gallons a minute that hose bib, you can run quite a few of them temporarily. Cool. So that's the top five products I think Well, let me ask you before I say, which of those five are you most excited about?

I mean, just, I mean, we, we sell a lot of Hydrawise around here and it's been like a personal mission of mine to get more of the flow meters out there. And I think this will definitely help us on that. And then the easy DT is going to be huge. We've got a lot of guys installing easy decoders to begin with.

And I think that this is just going to open it up for way more. I mean, I've got people waiting for these things. Yeah, totally agree. I think, yeah. If we have access to the data, the water data, the flow data, it will help raise the education level of the entire industry. Because right now people just don't know what they don't know, because we aren't able to see the data.

Or we haven't been able to see the data unless we were spending, you know, thousands and thousands of dollars on commercial and institutional type systems. And even then half of them. Barely worked right. If we can get more data at that entry level access, it'll it'll help everyone. So I think that would be what I'd most excited to see, probably followed by the handheld.

But I also think something that's innovative in the analog space, if that's the right way to call it, like the MP stake, I think that's kind of cool because it unlocks new new opportunities to provide water and irrigation services that might not have been there before. Yeah. I mean, we, you know, the, the exciting stuff now tends to be all controller, you know advancements and that's what people we'll talk about, but like, kind of, like you're saying, you could go back to old school, you know, throwing water around.

It's good. It's cool to see some new stuff. Yeah. The amount of requests that come in that I've had about temporary irrigation systems. No one has truly solved that question. And I don't know that this is the best way to solve it, but it's definitely a need that's out there that isn't addressed other than garden hoses and like oscillating sprinklers.

Yeah. Well that sounds exactly right. That's funny. Awesome. Well, that's great. Appreciate you sharing those top five hunters, a great company. I'm excited to see these come to market as well. And it was good chatting with you, Kevin, keep up the good work, man. I appreciate it. You too great being here.

Thank you very much. Yeah, we'll catch you soon. Take care. All right. Thanks. .

Mar 03, 2021
#042 - Technology Enables You, Truck Talk #3

Technology is an Enabler

You are limited only by your motivation, your dreams, and your drive.

Technology unlocks new opportunities: Where the tools used to limit us, now the tools enable us, so where do you want to go? What do you want to build? How big are you thinking? What do you really want for your business, your career, your family, your life?

Jump in headfirst and do not fear the unknown.

You got this.


technology is an enabler

I really think technology is an enabler for those that want to be enabled, right? For those that want to learn for those that want to grow for those who are looking for new ways and new opportunities to either enhance their career, enhance their, their, um, relationships with their clients, with their contractors.

And in order to do that, there is no one that's going to be able to show you the way.

You are an irrigation, professional, older, new who designs installs or maintains high end residential commercial or municipal properties. And you want to use technology to improve your business, to get a leg up on your competition. Even if you're an old school irrigator from the days of hydraulic systems, this show is for you.

Good morning guys. What's going on today? This is your host, Andy Humphrey back for another episode of truck talk. I dunno why I call it truck talk. But anyway, here I am in the truck driving to work. I'm already about halfway. There had a little trouble getting this mic connected up this morning. And, uh, I wanted to tell you both a story and sort of, uh, an epiphany I had this weekend.

I was down in Detroit at my daughter's volleyball game. Actually, both my daughters had volleyball tournaments, but they were at different locations. So I was with my 11 year old and my wife. Was with our 15 year old and we pretty much sit either on the bleachers or in our. Kind of beach chairs, if you will, on the sidelines.

And we sit while they're playing and we sit while they ref and we sit while they wait. So yeah, we pretty much sit all day and you can entertain yourself on your phone or you can get a little work done, you know, but basically you're sitting in a chair and you're on a device. And for me, When I'm in those places, my mind starts, you know, my mind doesn't shut off.

It keeps going. And so I had this epiphany about technology and I started thinking about a little bit about sort of my story and how I first got involved with irrigation technology and the big epiphany I had. Which again, I think that if you're listening to this, you probably already know this because you've found this podcast looking for either landscape technology, irrigation technology.

Or just sprinklers in general. But if you found this podcast, you're likely already an early adopter of technology because 90% of the green industry is not out there searching for podcasts. So kudos for that. But it also just goes to show that I believe technology is an enabler technology unlocks. New opportunities that didn't exist before.

And so if we can think of it like that, we don't really know what kind of opportunities are ahead for us in the green industry and as professional. Irrigators and landscapers. And so the best thing you can do, and this is my recommendation is to jump right in headfirst. And I wanted to sort of give you an example of what that means by jumping in head first.

If, if technology is going to open new opportunities and these opportunities, weren't there a year ago, a month ago, a week ago, then there's also no one to. Show you how it works. There's no one to tell you how to use it. There's no one to hold your hand through these new opportunities that technology can unlock because we are creating them as we go.

And I think that that sort of a Tiffany I had this weekend, I was reminded because one of the first times I got involved with your irrigation technology was back in 2000. Well, there was two examples, but the first one was back in about 2002. This was in Baltimore, Maryland, and my good friend, Paul Bassett, who was just on Friday's episode, who you're going to get to know more and more is also an early adopter of technology.

And he sold one of the early two core systems. I believe this was a Flowmaster system. It was a. Mansion outside Baltimore. I'm not going to say the name, but it was about 70 zones of residential all to wire. And this Flowmaster was down in the basement. And if you've ever tried to program one of those first two core systems, it is definitely.

Not easy and just like most manufacturers in this industry, instruction manuals often aren't very clear. And so we sort of figured out this system by trial and error, but it was, um, It was a lot of trial and error, but also trial and error, meaning coming back to this site. So we must've come back to the site and content into this basement, you know, a dozen times, not just on site that day, but I mean set it, we think it's going to run.

Client says, Hey, it's not watering. And we come back and we figure it out slowly. Over time, we became experts at the system by trial and error because it was such new technology that there really wasn't a lot of information out there for us to use. You know, at that time, uh, John Deere landscapes was very helpful for us because some kudos to Jerry Schmidt who was, uh, definitely helpful in helping us figure it out.

Um, but it was one of those, you know, Paul was excited, we sold this system and then we just had to figure out how to program it and make it work. And we did, but it took some time. Now the second example, which is very similar was just a couple of years later. I want to say probably 2004. I was the quote unquote, uh, Toro Sentinel sales person, if you will, for, for this Toro distributor in Maryland, when, uh, when Torah had just purchased icon, it was rolling out the Sentinel product.

And, you know, we were chasing cities and municipalities and, and those sorts of retrofit clients. And we, we had a close customer of the distributor that was buying a lot of Toro, red iron equipment and such and sprinklers. And we ended up being able to secure the funds to retrofit the city's control systems.

And I don't remember how many controllers they had. Let's just. For let's just say they had 15 and the Sentinel system is awesome as it was, and perhaps could be today. I'm not very familiar with it. And today's technology was really based on, on radio and we would do some confusing, some awesome and confusing things like set up hubs connected to the internet, radio out to the field satellite, then radio over to a map to, and, and again, It, we, we sort of figured this out trial and error by setting a program coming back the next day, seeing if the program ran, having the client give us feedback.

And again, it was a thankfully for me, I was living in Annapolis, Maryland at the time. And. This particular city was just about halfway between where the office was and where I lived. And so I had the opportunity to sort of babysit the project, one of the first controllers by stopping it at the site on my way to work or on my way, home from work and correcting over times, the things that we didn't know in order to get this technology to function.

And at the end of the day, it did function to function great, but we had to be sort of patient and we had to. Uh, learn what we didn't know. Um, and maybe that's another sort of good way to look at this as sometimes. Well, oftentimes. You don't know what you don't know. And you know, when technology is opening these new opportunities, the only thing stopping us is sort of our own curiosity and our own sometimes, maybe fear of failure.

Uh, and one thing I tell myself that I'll tell you guys too, is if there really is no failure, the only failure is really the person who's not willing to try or who gives up too soon, or who assumes that, uh, there's something wrong with the product. And it's the product's fault. And from my experience, working with, uh, specifically irrigation control systems, it's 95% user error.

And so what we really need to do collectively is, you know, stop, think about what we're doing, uh, ask questions, uh, try new things, uh, to, to figure out. How to do things, because again, technology is opening up these new doors. There's no one here to guide us, to hold our hand, to show us how it works. And so you all, as early adopters, like I said, I, I believe most of you are early adopters because you've found this podcast, which means you're already on the front side of technology.

The best thing we can do is. It's just dive in head first and, uh, you know, it's almost like we're going to, you know, jump out of an airplane and build the parachute on the way down. I think that's the analogy, something like that. But yeah, we just got to, first thing we got to have to do is sell it. And then the second thing we have to do is figure it out how to make it work and it will work.

Most of these technologies absolutely work if you're willing to put in the time. And one of the things I've experienced bringing baseline technology to market over the last 15 years, yours is there are definitely all kinds of people and all kinds of personalities. And it's been really interesting for me to see that those people that will embrace something brand new, like the two core, like Sentinel, like baseline, et cetera, that almost, it's almost like they're not afraid of what they don't know.

And personally, I am one of these people too. And then there's those people that want to take all of the training classes before they ever go to a site or they want the manufacturer's rep to come to the site to hold their hand because they're too afraid to, to not know something. And sometimes, actually most of the time, you're really not going to know everything.

And that's totally okay. It's, you know, it's the fear of not knowing that will stop you and just in life, you're never going to know everything. There's no way we could sit in a training class and I could teach you everything you needed to know about baseline before you go out to the site to help the contractor.

And the, the really the best thing you can do is have your know who your resources are, know who your contacts are, are be a willing participant in the process. And sometimes what we need I'll speak for the manufacturer side of things is we just need clear vision onto the site. We don't need to be there actually 99% of the time.

There's no need to have a manufacturer come to a site. If we have someone on the site who has a cell phone, this is 2021. Everyone on the site has a cell phone and quite frankly, Most people can even do a video conference through like FaceTime or Skype. And those types of tools can be super helpful. And that's sort of the, the takeaway that I've seen is there's different personalities.

Some are willing to jump in head first, go out to the site, figure out what they don't know, troubleshoot the problems, get the manufacturer's rep on the phone. And they're not afraid to be an expert. I think they might be more of a, a learner mindset. And then, yeah. So I think that, that those are kind of some of the things that were going on in my head this weekend, while I was sitting in the chair.

Uh, watching this volleyball tournament and of course paying attention to the volleyball, but at the same time, you know, thoughts were rolling through my mind. And I really think technology is an enabler for those that want to be enabled, right. For those that want to learn for those that want to grow for those who are looking for new ways and new opportunities to either enhance their career, enhance their.

Their relationships with their clients, with their contractors. And in order to do that, there is no one that's going to be able to show you the way. And so you gotta find a way, uh, on your own and be willing to, you know, get in the game, dive right in and see where this technology can take us. And I'm not just speaking about irrigation, you know, controls technology.

It's. Technology in general, you know, when was the last time you got really creative with a Google sheet, just as a side example, there's so many really cool tools out there that that can do awesome. Awesome things for your, your daily routine and your efficiency, um, as a, as a, as a professional. So that's kinda, my 2 cents technology is enabler.

If you're willing to learn and participate. And so. Yeah, jump, jump right in and let's see where technology can take us. And, uh, that's all I had today guys. So go out, have fun, be safe. And until the next episode, happy sprinkling. And we'll talk to you then. .


Feb 16, 2021
#041 - Water SaaS™ using Gallons Per Square Foot with Paul Bassett

Learn exactly how to calculate landscape irrigation water savings, and how to begin offering Irrigation Management as a Service™, or, IMaasS™.

In this episode, Andy & Paul Bassett (Vice President of Water Efficiency at ENVOCORE), discuss Water Savings as a Service (WSAAS) and using the SLIDE method to determine gallons per square foot.

In 2018, Paul developed this concept for the landscape industry when he named the concept of Irrigation Management as a Service™.

SLIDE Method


Gallons Per Square Foot

Go find the water meter. First thing, where's the water meter, right? Open the water meter, lid vault, whatever you can do it safely and see what's going on with the meter. Is the meter moving? Is it still so a couple of these sites, I go to Andy, I'm looking at the water meter and a water meter is spinning like crazy.

And there is not a soul in sight.

If you are an irrigation, professional, older, new who designs installs or maintains high end residential commercial or municipal properties. And you want to use technology to improve your business, to get a leg up on your competition. Even if you're an old school irrigator from the days of hydraulic systems, this show is for you.

Paul Bassett. Welcome back to the sprinkler nerd show, man. Good to be with the nerd again, drew. Well, thankfully we found hat and to do this, you know, it's hard to coordinate too, too busy guys, schedules to sync up. Sometimes it's hard to do so. Appreciate your time today. Glad to do it. So what's been going on in your world last year.

Couple weeks or, uh, actually let's, you know, since the new year cause you and I got on together right at the end of, uh, 2020. And uh, here we are beginning of February. So what's new, man. I feel like I've been in spreadsheet, Nirvana, Andy crunching, lots and lots and numbers. That's what I've been doing. Lots of projects, lots of things coming across my desk.

We're grateful to see, um, 20, 21. Um, the extended activity that's happening right now, for sure. So that's, what's going on lots of things since when does spreadsheets have anything to do with irrigation or Nirvana? Yeah. Well, lots of scripts. Yes. There's a lot of numbers you have to crunch and evaluate for sure.

Yeah. There are spreadsheets to crunch if you're in the accounting back office of a residential contracting company, but if you're. Working in the field or selling, you know, not always many spreadsheets, so, well, you know what happens, Andy? What I see, especially with the spreadsheets that I'm looking at, it's, you know, we're integrating a lot of the, the weather data, um, and that weather data needs to be extrapolated, you know, oversights.

So. And when we're looking at how to calculate how much water is required in a given landscape, lots of spreadsheets that need to do help me crunch the numbers. So that's why I see a lot of spreadsheets. Well, that's why I count on you to be nerd number two with me one and a half I'm nerd, one and a half.

Andrew. Yeah, man. Well, Excel is definitely a tool worth, getting to know very well. For sure. I mean, I can't tell you, I use it many times every single day and the only way to get better at it. Right. Like anything else is just to start using it. Yeah. And there's a lot of nuances to the, to Excel that I don't have all of the bells and whistles, but I, you know, I operate it enough where it's effective for me to be able to do my work and then allow others to see how I did my work.

So they trust my numbers. Absolutely man. All right. Well, you've been, uh, educating me totally on kind of more of the details of the water conservation side of what you're doing. And we talked at the end of 2020 about this concept of savings as a service and being able to provide that value on the savings part of the business.

And then we talked maybe. Couple of weeks ago about some of the data that you use and how you put your proposals together and what you look for on a site to see if you can save water and how much you can save and, and all of that. So, you know, this episode today is a little bit unscripted and I thought we could just have a more, a little bit more detailed conversation about savings as a service and.

And some of the things that you look for and, and, and, uh, how you sort of get started. And then, well, the first thing, Andy, that we, we try to engage with the customers. We look at how much money they're spending in a given year on their water, you know, and their water bill. And then we try to slice the water bill up specifically to what's being used inside the building.

And then what's being used on the outside of the building. And, you know, fortunately for me, you know, our business has morphed into being able to look at all water usage on a site or a facility. Um, so my team members are the ones that go in and look at all the water on the inside, which is the plumbing equipment, mechanical equipment.

And then, then I look at what goes on on the outside of the building. And then, you know, when you look at it a far, you're trying to determine whether or not there's an opportunity. Do we want to invest in this V via time or money? Is it worthy of us to look at, so we try to come up with a simple matrix.

So let's see. So let me just stop you for a quick second to ask the question. So you get this water bill, how do you get this information? Who gives it to you? It's usually the end user, the client. Um, or one of our partners, our energy service companies, you know, that has engaged with say a university or school and they just, the sales person or the estimator or somebody is requesting this information.

Yeah. So they're looking at it. You know, our partners are looking at it in the energy side of the business, right? So they're looking at energy usage, energy consumption, and the energy spend via electric or gas. Um, and then they asked us as the water experts to look at the water consumption and they want to know, is, is there a viability of an opportunity and on these, um, this consumption, what do they send you?

Just like a copy of the build? Are they collecting it in their own spreadsheets? What does that information look like? That gets sent over? Well, usually we would request at least three years of utility consumption. Water bills. Um, because with any water system, it could fluctuate depending on the year, the weather COVID, I, you know, any bills that we get in 2020.

You know, we, you know, we, we use them as a grain of salt because it's not indicative to what that facility or a site is going to typically use right. In a given year. So got it. So three years maybe normalizes the data better. Correct. And especially in, in, in any irrigation. So we can look at the patterns, right.

Winter consumption versus summer consumption. Right. And I can look at that, you know, we know they're average. Winter consumption is going to be 50 gallons per person per day, um, for a student. Um, and then in the winter, I mean, it's summertime, excuse me, the summertime. It could be 150 gallons per person per day.

So then, then we know that there's an extra, a hundred gallons per person per day. That's being used in the irrigation system. Okay. That was kind of my next question. Is, is this, is the water data separated inside, outside for you? Or is it just one number that you have to determine what's inside and what's outside?

That would depend upon the municipality. And if they have separate meters for the irrigation, I would say we may get irrigation data, 25% of the time, Andy, they may have a separate water meter that allows us to look at just the irrigation data, which is fantastic. Right. I can really crunch the numbers.

It'd be more precise with our analysis, 75%. It's a single meter going into the site. And then now we have to kind of cut and chop that up to determine, okay, how much of that water is being used on the plumbing fixtures and how much is used for the irrigation system. And then, you know, we have rules of thumb, you know, in a, in a high school, for instance, you know, we, we determine what the square footage of the building is.

And we look at the population, meaning how many students and teachers are in the school. And then we have, based on that school, we can do. A rule of thumb on how many gallons per square foot or per person that, that indoor is. It is per person the metric. It is per person, correct? Yes. Okay. And what's, um, just from the shooting from the hip, what's an average number per person a building should use.

I mean, again, it depends on the age of the, of the building too, Andy cause you know, something built in the. Fifties and sixties and seventies, you know, it's going to be higher because of, they have older plumbing fixtures compared to the stuff nineties and, and ER, and newer it's going to, because, you know, they had different regulations and plumbing fixtures.

So, I mean, it could be 50 gallons. Okay. Sandy. Per person per day. So the rules of thumb, you know, determine what we are going to invest. If we see if the normal, um, baseline metrics for indoor water use is 50 gallons per person per day. And we look at the bills and we look at the population and it's 70 gallons per person per day.

We wanted then. Invest heavily into this opportunity because then you'd have a Delta of 20 gallons per person per day. The difference between where they're at right now and where you can get them to. Correct. And so then, then we tell the customer, this is a viable opportunity. We now want to. Go from this paper calculation to, we want to go and now engineer, this thing, we want to go figure out what's going on.

And then everybody's going to invest in it because we know there's a potential for a return on investment or something. Got it. So, um, on the inside, it sounds much more straight forward because you have a, like you just said some of these older fixtures, so you know how many gallons are using right now, per person per day, you can go in and you can audit their fixtures.

See what they have. Right. See what you can maybe get them to. And fixtures plumbing. Fixture is, is based upon the term we use is how many bodies to the potties and nice not to be confused with the Squatty potty. No, no, not to be confused with that, but it can be, but it's bodies the potty. So how many folks you got going to the bathroom every day, determines how much water is being used.

Ideally in the bathroom. And the majority of it just say in a, in a K through 12 or kindergarten through 12th grade, um, it's how many folks are going to the bathrooms each day? I mean, that's not going to change. So our, our goal is to try to still maintain the mission of the bathroom is to, you know, acuate the waste, but do it as efficient as possible with newer device.

I like that bodies to potties. Was that what it was? Bodies potties. That's it. That's what we met at the name this episode. Okay. Not savings as a service with bodies, the potties. Okay. So let's transition that to the landscape because the landscape is a lot, it has a lot more going on out there and it can you're right.

And, and it's, it's a little bit different because there's, there's different matrix. Yeah and metrics, I mean that we look at, um, but it's similar because you know what we, again, what we try to do, um, as a company is we want to, we want to qualify the opportunity, Andy, really at the end of the day. And we want to qualify as quickly as possible for us when it, when we look at the utility bill and we carve out what's inside of the building, and now we have the balance of that is going to be the outside of the building, which is irrigation.

And depending on the climate, you know, some climates, it could be 30% indoor, 70% outdoor. Or, you know, in, in, you know, my climate in, in Maryland, it's 70% indoor, 30% outdoor, right. So you need to look at it precisely with regards to a couple different factors. Um, and, and as we mentioned before, and you're going to hear it in probably many episodes is there's a, there's a.

Estimating program that I use, it's called the simplified landscape irrigation demand, estimating. It is a program, really not even a program, but it it's put together by the university of California and their center for landscape and urban horticulture and you know, what they, what they were trying to do.

And what all of us are trying to do is really trying to make it a little bit easier for folks to understand what a landscape needs and water simplify it because. Irrigation and landscape water requirements is very scientific. There's a lot of equations and factors that go into it. And if you're not in living in the weeds, like, like we do every day, it gets to be somewhat complex.

So, you know, this particular method really simplifies it. And, you know, to a point where it's easier to understand for those of us that are not in, in the world of irrigation management and the acronym or the simplified acronym that, that you can remember that you shared with me as slide, right? S I L I D E that's L I D E S, which again, simplified landscape irrigation demand estimation.

So if, if you have a client out there, who's asking you, can you save us water? Can you reduce our water utility bill? This is sort of the first step we got to go and run a slide estimation and there's really, there's four rules, um, in, in the slide method. Okay, Andy. And the first one is we're going to need the ITI.

What is the reference evapotranspiration in that particular climate? And it's important to get accurate historical evapotranspiration data. Okay. That's number one. Um, and along with that is you, you need the precise rainfall amounts for that given area. Um, the second one is you're going to need to know what your plant factor is.

What do you eat? What is your primary plant? Do your watering, is it turf? Grass is a cool season is a warm season. And typically we're looking mainly at turf grass. At the end of the day, maybe a few zones of landscape and plant material, but most of it is going to be turf grass. Yup. And again, number three is what's your square footage of your landscape area.

Okay. So let's repeat those from the top. The first thing is the ITI, the estimated evapotranspiration for that specific site, as close as you can get to that exact location, you need their historical ITI. Correct. Right. Uh, then we need the rainfall again, as close as you can get to on site for that project.

They're estimated rainfall. Let me ask you, is that daily, weekly, monthly? How do you need that data? Typically, we're seeing it in a monthly fashion. Andy monthly. It's going to be in a monthly fashion and then you need the plant factor. What, what type of plant is it and how much water does it need? And then you need the.

Square foot. How, how much of that plant type is out there? What is that irrigation system covering? What is the square footage of the landscape, your area? That's not always easy to get to, especially when you're doing it remotely, but you try to get the best you can. What tools are you using to capture that square footage?

There's a few tools that we use. Um, we try to bring in the Google earth, the satellite image, and then we will, we will bring that image of capture that image, clip that image and bringing into AutoCAD. And then we'll scale that site to try to get it as scaled perfectly as we can in AutoCAD. And then we measure the landscape areas that we feel are being irrigated.

Okay. And you don't always necessarily have to have AutoCAD. Um, Google earth will be able to allow you with some of the tools that they have to, to measure certain areas. It's not quite as precise, but it's, it still helps. And then, you know, again, as we mentioned before, what this will allow me to do in our team is it allow us to calculate the gallons per square foot.

That that site is, is irrigating. Because again, like we said before, Andy, we know what's being consumed on the inside and we know the metrics there is. 50 gallons per person per day. And then now we look at the outside is okay, how many gallons per square foot did the, that irrigation system apply? And that landscape.

Gotcha. That's pretty interesting because it seems like you could easily at first go get caught up in too many details. Like, um, what type of sprinklers are they using? What type of coverage is it? What does the program look like? How much is zone two running? How often is it running? When really sounds like that's all going to bubble up to the surface after you figure out how many gallons per square foot.

They're actually using that's right. And really what you want to find out before you even get out there is how much does that landscape require in a given season? Right? Does it need 20 gallons per square foot? Does it need 50 gallons of square foot? You know, what is that? And that's what the slide method will help you determine, you know, what does that require?

And then now, what is it actually using? Based on the utility consumption bill that you found out. So if this, if the slide method says, you know, this landscape based on this crop coefficient or this plant factor, um, needs 20 gallons, but our analysis shows that it's applying 40 gallons. Well, we definitely have an opportunity for savings.

Right. And now then we, we then inform our client that we would like to invest into this particular opportunity because we feel that there is going to be savings. All right. So can you share, I guess it doesn't really matter where it is, but let's try to come up with a scenario to try to make this more tangible.

Let's just take Baltimore, Maryland. Do you know what again? Turf grass. What the. Average gallons per square foot should be. Yeah, I think I did. It's about 10 gallons Andy, from, from my. You know, estimations that we've done changes in year to year. It all really depends on the rainfall. Right? We know what the ITI is.

ETA is going to be, you know, pretty standard variable from season to season. It's the rainfall that, that changes quite a bit. Right? I mean, I, I manage a bunch of systems in this particular marketplace where, um, we've had so much rain in a given season that I've had the irrigation systems turned off and we didn't run them a single day.

You know, I remember, I can't remember a couple of years ago when we had, you know, it was the 2018, as a matter of fact, where we had 74 inches of rain that year on an average of 42. And the majority of it came through the summer. So we saved the most amount of water ever in this particular year on this side because I had everything.

Yeah. I'm like, I'm turning it off. Well, so is that, I mean, I'm thinking that that plays back to the, the reason that you needed three years of information, correct? Right. If you get an anomaly here, right. And, and you're looking at utility bills and you say, well, you know, in 2018, you know, the water consumption was way down what happened.

Well, then you look at the weather data for that year. So you got to correlate that, you know, so you want to just extract the, the rainfall for 2018 and go, well, here's 2018 is going to be an anomaly year in Baltimore, Maryland, because it rains 70 some inches. And no one's going to use irrigation that year.

So you need to throw that year out and use more of an average year. Um, you know, when it comes to at least irrigation systems, right. Cause if I, if I went and analyzed 2018, um, in the Baltimore area for irrigation system, I would say there's never going to be a chance to save. But that's not true. Cause we only looked at one year.

Right. And it also depends on whether that control system had any technology existing to turn it off. Because if it didn't have a rain sensor, it could be running all those times in the rain. So it's still used the same. It's still used all that water. Uh, and maybe the same thing could be true. What if, uh, a maintenance person.

Turn the controller off and just forgot. Right. And it went the whole month of July and halfway into August in the off position. Didn't water. And so there was no consumption. Do you ever, does that, could that happen all the time? I mean, you just never know who's managing the systems, you know, from one site to the next, you know, you could have, you know, a school district that has 200 schools and they may have 10 different personnel managing, you know, the 20 schools each and, and each one of those.

Facilities folks have a different way that they manage their controllers in one school district. Right. And I have seen, I have seen that, um, where we analysis and did with the, what the consumption should be. Uh, we use the slide estimation. To figure out how much water that site should be using based on their ITI at their location, the historical average rainfall, the plant type, and the square footage will tell you approximately how many gallons per square that site should be using.

That is correct. Uh, and then sounds like what you, since you have the utility bill and you've figured out what percentage of that bill or that consumption is outside. Then you use that gallons and the square foot calculation that you either did onsite, or you use Google earth to figure out that irrigated square footage.

Um, and then that gives you, is that give you your two numbers, what they should use and what they are using? Yes. At least in that given snapshot. Right. Um, for sure. And then again, if, if they need 20 gallons and their utility bill says they use 20 gallons per square foot, guess what? They're doing? A good job.

Okay. I mean, and not necessarily perfect. Cause we haven't really looked at any distribution, but you know, based on the simple method, I would tell my client that, you know, there's really no opportunity at that particular site, um, that we're going to save any money. It's just when the Delta T's go above 25%.

So yeah. That's really, we, you know, we want to look at something at the Delta T of 25% or greater money. That's money. Thanks for sharing that little nugget you wanted to see, uh, let's, let's get into the details there. So when you say Delta, let's just explain that. So what is the Delta? The Delta is the difference between the, what the slide method says it needs and what the actual consumption applied on the landscape.

Okay, so let's, let's break it down into, um, a real number. Let's say slide says 10 gallons per square foot. And then based on the information you got from the client, again, that was consumption and now, you know, square footage, it comes out to 14 gallons per square foot is what they're currently using. You might look at that and say, okay, the difference between 10 and 14, that's the Delta.

That is correct. And so that would be what, that's a 40% right. To keep the math easy. And since 40% is greater than that, 25% you say, okay, I think we might have a project opportunity here. Yeah. And then what you look at, Andy, you just say, what is that? 40% increase? What does that value? How many gallons is that?

And what does those gallons cost? Right. So, and then what would the savings be if we were to then save that. Extra four gallons per square foot. Right. Yep. So that's $10,000 a year, just, you know, easy math, $10,000 a year is a good amount that you can then take that money and invest into new technology.

And then that new technology will be what is going to save that $10,000 along with some management as well. And you're not saying, yeah, you gotta have eyes on the ground. Someone's got to make sure that it performs. Okay. Yeah. And then say, okay, now that now we have $10,000. You know, a year that we can play with, um, and say, you know, we will now want to put a new controller in and we want to put master valve in and we want to put the flow sensor in that will way it'll give us the, the technology that we need at that point, to be able to know that we can make the adjustment automatically to ITI.

Um, So that's really where the majority of the savings is. And then we look at the distribution portion of it. How can we increase efficiency of the distribution system to help the client reduce a little bit more water, um, and improve efficiency in the distribution side? Right? So we look at all of those elements.

Yep. Cause we're all familiar with a poorly, a poor distribution distribution system means you have to over-water some areas in order to hit the dry areas. Otherwise you'll have. Brown spots. And then, you know, we, I use that too, is when we look at the, when we looked at slide method, I I've adjusted the slide methods somewhat, um, to be able to work with, um, our calculator to determine whether, you know, what the D what the potential distribution uniformity may be.

Um, because the slide Beth it'll tell me that I need 10 gallons, but then I also need to make sure, okay. What is the distribution uniformity of that? That I need to overcome that. So I need to apply a couple more gallons of square foot to overcome the distribution uniformity. Again, I don't want to get into the weeds.

Right, right, right. Yeah. We'll save that for later. So let's stick with this 10,000. Dollar number just because it's an even number, you know? And can we, can we pick a number in terms of what the controller and the, you know, this equipment would cost? Should we just pick 5,000, just cut it in half. Yeah. I mean, certainly it, it, it varies in a lot of an Andy depends upon, and I always tell my folks in the field, where's the water supply and proximity to the country.

Right, right. Yeah. And then labor and boring and trenching and all of that. I just, for, for sake of round numbers, let's just assume it's going to be $5,000 too. Add this equipment. Does that mean you then have a $5,000 potential savings on that investment? Yes, that is. That is what I would say initially.

Now again, if you wanted to, since you, since you're only it, you know, now you're talking half a year savings return on investment. That's really good. So what we want to try to. To help them further because now we know we have more cashflow we can use. So we want to at least try to use the 10,000 or more to really increase the efficiency of their irrigation system.

Right. Because, so, so does that mean they're not looking for a, a one year or in this case, you know, that could be a six month, but what kind of a return, how many years are they looking at for their return on investment? Well, it depends on the client. Um, Andy, I think when, when you're looking for say a K through 12 or higher ed, usually those investments all in with financing and all that, they're looking for it at least the 10 year, 10 year return on investment 10 year.

Okay. And this, so again, using this. $10,000 a year savings potential if that's really what we could get on this site. And, uh, it was, it was 5,000 to install the equipment and you've got management fees and you know, and this, that, and the other, but potentially there's $10,000 times, 10 years. There's an actually maybe a hundred thousand to go invest in this project.

That's exactly correct. You got it. That's how it works. And so that's how it works. Somebody, you know, if you're listening to this and you may think, gosh, my clients don't always have the money or the financing available because the return isn't going to beat one year, that would be a great discussion to have with your client, because maybe it's not 10 years, maybe it's not two years to ask them and discuss what type of an investment.

How long are you looking to extend this? Uh, because that would free up more money for you to, to install this retrofit. Yes. If it's, you're just doing irrigation only, that is correct. Now what happens in our business because you know, we're working underneath of a energy company and the energy company is looking at heating and ventilation systems, right.

He HPAC and depending on where the. The facility is in what climate, the HPAC equipment may be 15 years. And if on the return on investment and if the water project as a one or two year return on investment, um, they'll move those additional savings over to the HPAC equipment to try to get that under 10 years.

So we try to share, you know, those things, dollar cost averaging across scopes or something like that. That's really what happens a lot of times, you know, th th they're hoping that the water at times, um, is, is using so much more than it should be, that, that we can help what they call carry the additional, um, energy conservation measures by taking the savings from one measure and applying it to another measure.

To reduce all measures under 10 years. Got it. That's good stuff. And that's just in that market there, you know, in the private sector, Andy, you know, they want to see it five years or less, right. So public sector, um, it's, it's longer because they can have longer terms. Um, and in, in the federal sector, um, which is another place where we work, um, you know, there are 20 to 25 year terms.

Um, that they engage into these performance contracts. So if we get a project that pays back in five years, there's another 20 years additional savings that we can use to. Help the lighting or help the HPAC or build some solar arrays or something like that. Got it. Well, let's um, do you have any examples I'd like to maybe look at what you've seen for projects where their savings potential is huge and what that looks like.

And some of the things maybe you've discovered that were leading to these sites that were using crazy amounts of water and maybe the other, the flip side of that sites that. You said I can't save you any water. Yeah. I mean, luckily again, for us, we work all over the country, so there's places that we, we see things.

So, um, again, the first thing we look at when I, when I asked her to focus on like sending me the water bills, we analyze the water bills. And then we, you know, we, we look at the water bills, we look at the square footage and we go, okay, well, right now we see that this site is using a hundred gallons of square foot, Andy, and it should be using.

20 or 30 gallons to me right away. I'm going, wow. Okay. I want to, this is the property that I want to see firsthand what's going on. So we, we were fortunate enough to, to look at a large park and rec division, and we got 50 parks that I got the look at the utility bills three years. I crunched all the numbers.

I did all the measurements and, you know, we saw some sites that were 90, um, 80 gowns and they should have only been at 40. So when we went out to the sites, you know, the first that's like double, they were using twice as much or, or more Andy. Yes. Wow. So the first thing that I do and the team does, where I try to get them to do is go find the water meter.

First thing, where's the water meter. Right open the water meter, lid, vault, whatever you can do it safely. Um, and see what's going on with the meter. Is the meter moving? Is it still so a couple of these sites, I go to Andy, I'm looking at the water meter and a water meter is spinning like crazy. And there is not a soul in sight.

You're looking around the park looking for sprinklers, right? I mean, this is the water meter. Where are the sprinklers? Nothing, but it's rolling and it's spinning and I'm looking all over the place and I can't find any leaks anywhere. So on this particular instance, Andy, um, it happened to be a project in, um, uh, in Hawaii, on Oahu where the sitting on a volcanic.

Rock porous under soil. Um, we determined that this old piping and irrigation system had had corroded, uh, extensively over time. And it was just a massive leak of 125 gallons a minute. She has going into the ocean water GS one 25, 25 gallons a minute. Yep. Leak that we discovered. Um, and, and, you know, we, I kind of had a feeling because I've been doing this long enough to know, but, you know, until you see it and you get to it, um, you know, you don't believe it until you see it.

Um, and that's, that's what happened on one side and we found two others similar to that, not quite that rate. Um, but again, it was, we, we determined it based on our gallons per square foot rule of thumb and new, then you looked at this date and you went, okay, we're going to this site first because they're using so much more water than we calculate.

They should be. There's something going on here. Yup. That's exactly what it was. And we, you know, we right away, we found that there was a significant leak, um, in that, in that piping system. So if we, can we take that 125 gallons a minute? Do you know what that is? Per year in dollar? It was $400,000 a year.

Andy, $400,000 per year leak. That's exactly right. And that league. I wish I had a, I wish I had like a ding ding teacher's bell button. That's like, let me get your attention here, client. And then Andy, what we did on that too, was, you know, we, we then analyze the bills back three years, um, and, and more, and then we, we were able to almost precisely see when it started to leak.

And then how it progressed to a, got to the point where it was at that high level of a rate. Cause you can see it in the utility bills, how it progressed. It didn't just break at that one point, it started flooding at 125. It wasn't hit by a backhoe. It was a slow bleed. Yeah. The, the, the, the pipe being system was put in, in 1952 and it was iron pipe and, you know, 70 years old.

And it finally, you know, the fittings are corroding. The joints are failing. Um, so that's, that's what happened and that, you know, we see that quite a bit sounds like because it was that volcanic rock, it didn't bubble to the surface where on a lot of other sites, malware on most sites, even if it's sand, you got a leak that big, it will.

Come to the surface cause that's a lot of water, correct? Yep. So it was just, I, you know, it was just, you know, the, the perfect storm of events that happen, um, that we were able to identify. Yeah. That's a terrible thing to be, to have 125, uh, Gallon per minute leak, it's worth $400,000, but you are not you, but if you're in the business for savings and you're doing savings as a service, that kind of sounds like a unicorn.

It pays it. It will definitely help pay for quite a few upgrades. Andy, we're going to use that money to help the infrastructure of that particular. Um, facility in those parks. Okay. A great example of, uh, looking at the data, finding the site that was, had the highest usage, when you're, when correlated to what they should be using.

You saw that you went to the site, you've found this leak. Um, not every site like that. So I appreciate the hearing, an example of the site that had a, had a big leak. Let's flip the switch and talk about. A site that's on the other end of the spectrum that you couldn't save any water. So, you know, a lot of times when we, when you think of water savings and irrigation savings, you think, wow, in the desert, you know, Phoenix or Nevada or Denver, man, you're gonna, you're gonna save all kinds of water.

Um, it's not always the case. Um, I know, you know, we just, I just looked at a school district, um, outside of Denver. Um, I got the utility bills. I looked at satellite images. Of the sites and one benefit of Google and Google earth pro is they have the ability to, you can look at different years and months even of, of the landscape.

And you can look at in Denver or Vegas, um, at certain times of the year. And you can see, man, this site is not. Irrigating you see donuts in the landscape, right, Andy. Um, and what happens is that what I've learned in those particular climates that a lot of the times the, the managers will set that irrigation controller for springtime application and they don't adjust the time clock.

To, to the T or to the demand, the higher demands of the T in that climate. So set it and forget it, baby, set it and forget it. And that works in some places and others. It doesn't. Right. So, you know, so, and, and say in Denver, And that particular Metro area in the summer, you got a water five, six days a week.

Cause it's cool to seasoned turf grass. It's not warm season. So that cool season turf grass, if you want to maintain that color green, you better water it almost every day. Right? Um, two days a week is not going to cut it. So that's what we see in those climates. You know, that, that, you know, that area needs.

15 gallons, a square foot. And I'm seeing, they're putting down 10 gallons as well. So, you know, not going to save any water there don't invest. Right. So if they want you to, uh, retrofit the site, they're pulling out of pocket because they just simply weren't using enough to have the savings pay for it. I mean, I guess in theory, future future savings will pay for it.

Well, potentially if there is, but you know, what we've learned, um, with regards to that is, you know, w we try to encourage people to do deficit watering, right? Deficit waterings is good because it saves water. Um, but if you can do it holistically with a controller that you have access to remotely, um, you can then put a nice program together to say, okay, look zones one through.

Five, you know, we want to maintain it at, at ITI. So that's going to be a nice, but then six through 20 might be the outskirts. And, you know, we want to push those to deficit irrigation. Let's just drop those down, you know, below ITI. Um, so we don't need the lush green aesthetic color out there. Um, but. You know, we will manage to ITI on zones one through five, and that's the benefit that we can, you can do controlled deficit irrigating and not by accident.

Right, right. Which sounds like you're controlling the green factor. Right? So what you're saying is where, um, office staff and parents and such using the school, as an example, walk into the building, we want to maintain a higher level of green and out in the back or off to the sides. We're willing to have that green terms, slightly Brown by deficit irrigating.

Cause it's less important than those focal spots. That's exactly right. And you can easily do it in the new advanced control systems you can do. It's owned by zone. You know, I want this to be at a hundred percent of ITI these zones, but on these other ones, I'll do 75% or 50% of it. Right. And so now you're managing your deficit irrigation.

So that's the benefit, you know, if you're going to do a program, that's not cashflow saved savings by the utility bill, right. Hmm. Very cool. So I think, um, what I'd like to do is try to wrap up our conversation, but I want to hit a couple of key points that we talked about, uh, to kind of bring this home and the thing that I appreciate you sharing, which was new to me.

Right? So you've been in the business longer than I have, but you know, still I'm almost, uh, Almost 20 years in getting pretty darn close to 20 years in. I wasn't familiar with slide that simplified landscape irrigation demand estimation to come up with your quote unquote baseline, uh, gallons per square foot for that site.

Right. And that's going to be different in Texas than it is in Florida, that it is in Boston than it is in Seattle or any location. And that slide, um, just to repeat again, it was a combination of the ITI for that local site. The rainfall for that local site, the plant factor, and then the square foot that's being irrigated.

And that breaks down to the estimated gallons per square foot. And then what you talked about was, uh, getting, uh, getting the, the client utility bill. How much water are they using indoors and outdoors, separating that out. And then, uh, Calculating the total irrigation or the landscape bits, that's irrigated the square foot.

So now, you know how much they're actually using and you're comparing what they should be using in gallons per square foot to what they are using in gallons per square foot. And you're looking for at least a 25% difference or Delta between those numbers. You want 25% Delta between those numbers. And then you want to look at.

What's the value of that Delta in, in dollars based on their price of water and how much they're consuming to see if that Delta, uh, can afford a, uh, control and equipment upgrade based on the time period that they're looking for. Maybe that's three years, five years or 10 years. And that's how you're basing your, uh, your savings as a service estimation.

Very good wrap up any of your correct, you know, again, you know, if they have the money to fund it then fantastic. Or because you know, now you're basically writing a business plan, uh, to them or to a lender that say, Hey, listen, I have $10,000 a year that I can now, you know, borrow against to invest. And you can take that to a third-party financer and get that funded.

Or if you have the cashflow to fund that yourself, or if the client at the end of the day has the money to fund it, they don't want to have a third party financing. Cause then there's interest rates involved. Right? Right. You now have $10,000 you tangibly could use in a project, whether you have the money yourself to borrow it, or the, the client has the money that they can spend it.

So again, Get ahold of Excel, learn how to use Excel because when you're crunching these numbers, you may want to build a spreadsheet. It's three years. You may decide there's other information you want to put in here and having some spreadsheet skills can, can certainly help. Cause I think to date right now, there's no easy button for this.

There's no enter these two pieces of information and we'll spit it out for you still got to crunch your own numbers and support your own numbers. Um, that's good, man. We will, uh, We'll have to come back and visit. I really like hearing your, your site stories, you know, finding that leak. And, uh, even the one outside Denver where you said you couldn't really save much water because they had kept that spring program running all year.

It's important. Yeah, but we, when we looked at the inside water, Andy, it's 40% savings on the inside. Right. 0% outside right now. So listen, we're going to, if we go in and change out the plumbing, fixtures, something more efficient, we're going to reduce that and save 40%. Okay. But they want to go ahead and maybe upgrade their irrigation controls to be able to manage deficit irrigating by controls being to move the water.

We, the money we stayed inside to outside. So you can share those costs inside the outside. Right? Love it. Love it. Okay. Well, that's a wrap and a guys remember, think savings as a service and a gallons per square foot. Find a project that you manage and experiment with this gallons per square foot. All right, Paul, that's a wrap man.

Let's do it again soon. Can't wait. Thank you, Andy. All right, cheers. See ya.

what's your favorite flavor of potato chip?


Feb 12, 2021
#040 - My First Ecommerce Business and How I turned $500 into $1 million

This is the short version of how I started my first ecommerce business with only $500 in 2004.

Jan 29, 2021
#039 - Legal Advice for Contractors with Attorney John Di Giacomo

In this episode, Andy chats with John Di Giacomo, co-founder of Revision Legal about basic Intellectual Property contractors should consider when starting a business or running an existing business.

About John:

John has extensive experience in internet law, intellectual property, corporate law, and international law. He has litigated matters in these areas in state and federal courts across the United States, including in front of courts of appeals and international arbitration bodies, such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, National Arbitration Forum, and the South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law.


Visit to learn more

Jan 21, 2021
#038 - Winter Watering with Smart Sensor Technology

Who knew that watering in the winter was a good idea? Join Andy & Tracy Shields from Baseline Control Systems for a short chat about using smart sensors to manage soil moisture in the winter season.

Jan 14, 2021
#037 - How I Automate with Will Christensen of Data Automation

Andy was a guest on the Automate, Eliminate, Delegate Podcast, and gives an inside look into and the automation thought process he uses.

To learn more about Will's company visit:

Jan 12, 2021
#036 - Business, Health, Social - Truck Talk #2

Join Andy on his drive to work for the 2nd Truck Talk and kick-off 2021.

Jan 08, 2021
#035 - Predictions for 2021, The First Annual Episode

This is the first annual New Year's, Predictions Show. Paul Bassett from Water Savers {ENVOCORE} and I are hot off the mic with our predictions for 2021. Although none of these predictions are based on facts or any kind, or any form of insider information, these are predictions that we see from each of our unique industry vantage points.

You'll learn:

  • What we think will happen with distribution
  • Where to find more revenue opportunities
  • Is SaaS what you thought it was?
Dec 31, 2020
#034 - Truck Talk, Getting Personal and Keeping The Show Alive

Join Andy in his truck during a normal drive to the office for a view into his daily world...

Dec 30, 2020
#033 - Customer Obsessed, The 1hr Podcast Experiment

This experimental episode was recorded, edited, and launched in 59mins, just under their 1hr publishing goal!

In this episode, Andy & Denny discussed two recent customer service dramas and the tools under the hood they use to manage all things Customer Service.



Dec 04, 2020
#032 - My Favorite Meat Snacks, with Nick McCann Co-Founder of

With a background in sustainable agriculture, Nick McCann is the innovator behind the development of the Mission Meat snacks. He’s traveled the world to make a difference in people’s lives and is grateful to be able to create delicious snacks that make an impact.

About Mission Meat:

You may not know you’re impacting the world when you buy our products. You may just want a delicious, healthy grass-fed beef snack—and that’s ok, we’re cool with that—but we need to tell you that you are also making the world a better place with every snack you buy. At Mission Meats, we give 10% of our profits to social good organizations. Your snacks fight deforestation in Haiti with BonZeb. Your snacks help Perspectives Minnesota transform the lives of homeless mothers and their children. Your snacks create leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa with Educate! Your snacks help support over 100 independent Dream Centers across the country. So eat well and thank you for helping us make a positive impact on the world!

Oct 23, 2020
#031 - The Insider's Guide to Pumps with Justin McDaniel of Munro Pumps

In this episode, you will hear from Justin McDaniel, a 25-year pump expert with Munro Pumps, as we walkthrough pumping systems from residential boosters to large commercial pumping stations. 

Learn more:

Sep 17, 2020
#030 - Acquiring a Sprinkler Business and Engineering Control Systems

Just a quick update as to what I've been up to this week. I had a great conversation with a listener about acquiring a sprinkler business, and I talk about and engineering solution to manage lake water and a cistern/tank.

Sep 11, 2020
#029 - Soil Moisture Technology - How Does It Work? Wet or Dry, Automation and Data Collection

In this episode, you will learn the basic principals or upper & lower moisture threshold and how to use soil moisture sensors to control or automate the run time, start time, or days of the week.


  1. The Thermostat Analogy
  2. Volumetric Moisture Content %
  3. Collecting Data before Automating
  4. The 2 Basic Watering Strategies 
  5. Programming Lower Limit
  6. Programming Upper Limit
Sep 03, 2020
#028 - Building Automation System using the BACnet Protocol with Todd Hustrulid

In this episode, you will hear from Todd Hustrulid, an engineer at Baseline, how irrigation systems can be integrated into the building automation system.

What is BACnet?

BACnet is a communication protocol for Building Automation and Control (BAC) networks.

BACnet was designed to allow communication of building automation and control systems for applications such as heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning control (HVAC), lighting control, access control, and fire detection systems and their associated equipment. The BACnet protocol provides mechanisms for computerized building automation devices to exchange information, regardless of the particular building service they perform.

With Baseline’s BACnet Manager™ any BACnet compatible Building Management System can display important information like water-use data and system alerts from the BaseStation irrigation controllers.

BACnet makes it easier than ever to track and achieve your water savings objectives. In contrast with the competition, Baseline irrigation controllers combine ease-of-use with the connectivity and interoperability required by modern Building Management System implementations.

Aug 14, 2020
#027 - Wireless 2-Wire, Consolidating Controllers and Managing Remote Devices using Baseline SubStation Technology

In this episode, you will learn how to use Baseline's wireless 2-wire technology for retrofitting difficult situations or complex irrigation sites.

Dan and I discuss how the wireless SubStation can connect to a BaseStation 3200™ controller and allow you to connect every Baseline device wirelessly...This wireless connectivity means you can consolidate multiple existing controllers into a single BaseStation 3200 controller without running a wire across long distances. You can also establish new irrigation zones in areas separated from the main controller by obstacles such as driveways or parking lots.

With Baseline's SubStation, you can bring the latest in smart irrigation technology to any conventional wire or two-wire site. Whether you are combining multiple small irrigation controllers into one controller or adding the ability to manage the flow and incorporate soil moisture sensors and pressure sensors - the wireless SubStation makes it that easy.

Aug 07, 2020
#026 - Relationships Beat Algorithms, Out Care Your Competition, with George Bryant 2018 Keynote Replay

In this episode, you will hear a keynote speech given by George Bryant at the 2018 Brand Builders Summit in Austin Texas.

Who likes competition?

We are always going to have competition, and competition is a good thing and keeps us honest and keeps us active.

You might not be able to beat them on price.

You might not be able to beat them on design. 

You might not be able to beat them on experience.


Relationships beat algorithms.



Jul 29, 2020
#025 - Managing Secondary Water Sources, Domestic, Ponds, Rain Water Cisterns, Irrigation Canals, and more.

In this replay episode of Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday, brought to you by the Sprinkler Nerd, you will learn how to Manage Secondary Water Sources using the BaseStation 3200 Platform & FlowStation Performance Component.

Types of Water Sources:

  1. Domestic water
  2. Canal water
  3. Rain catchment
  4. Ponds/lakes
  5. Well AC condensate water
  6. Reclaimed water
  7. Fertilizer injector water 

 Each Water Source has different characteristics; availability, cost, pressure, water quality so there may be preferences on which water supply to use prioritize first.


Simplest configuration 1 water source (meter), 1 controller, 1 mainline 

What happens when 2 water sources, 1 controller? 

Jul 19, 2020
#024 - Using a 3-Point Test Kit to Verify 2-Wire Ground Resistance at the Lighting Arrestor Locations

On the replay episode of Baseline tech-Talk Tuesday, you will learn how to use the AEMC 3-Point Ground Test Kit to check the resistance along a 2-wire path.

Not every irrigation pro knows how to use this equipment - tune in closely so you can stay ahead of your competition and get a leg up on your next 2-wire project.

Proper installation of grounding rods, grounding plates, and wire connections is essential to provide good surge suppression. While there is no technology currently available that can fully protect an irrigation system against damage from massive surges such as those caused by direct lightning strikes, outfitting your 2-wire path with grounding and surge arrestors will protect from most, if not all, naturally occurring electrical surges.

Jun 30, 2020
#023 - Soil Sensors for Artificial Intelligence Watering with Chris Wright, VP of Sales, for Baseline Control Systems.

In this episode, you will learn the fundamentals of soil moisture based watering and how to "THINK OUTSIDE THE START TIME" by using fully automatic, artificial intelligence, watering methods.

Join Andy and Chris as they tip back a few craft-brewed IPA's and discuss the science of proper irrigation horticultural management.

Jun 28, 2020
#022 - Retrofitting Large Existing Sites - Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday

You will learn the technical details for how to retrofit large existing sites and how to tackle projects with multiple water sources and a single controller, as well as multiple controllers and a single water source.

This episode is another techy one so get out your nerd glasses and join us!

Jun 25, 2020
#021 - Tracy Shields, Transitioning To The Modern Age of Central Control for Municipalities and Public Agencies

Tracy Shields is a Regional Sales Manager for Baseline Control Systems and brings 34 years of Water Conservation experience working with irrigation technology and all types of central control systems for large scale applications. 

In this episode, you will learn how Tracy got his start in the Water Conservation category and how he has used technology to shape his career to become a thought leader with Municipalities, supporting their large scale irrigation deployments.

Jun 19, 2020
#020.5 - Using Pressure to Control Irrigation, Tanks/Cisterns, and Lake/Pond Level Control - Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday

You will learn how Baseline incorporates pressure transducers into the BaseStation 3200 control system to better manage your water sources, mainlines, and overall system hydraulics. 

Additionally, you will learn how pressure transducers can be used to both monitor and manage cisterns, tanks, lake levels, and automatically trigger refill cycles.

This episode will get fairly technical so get out your nerd glasses and join us!

Jun 17, 2020
#020 - Learn How To Control Athletic Field Lighting, Door Locks, Fountains, And More Using The BaseStation 3200 Control System - Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday

This episode of Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday was recorded on June 6th, 2020 during the weekly LIVE Zoom broadcast.

You will learn how the BaseStation 3200 Control System was engineered to control non-irrigation devices such as athletic lighting, bathroom door locks, pond fountains, etc.

To join Andy and the Baseline crew on another LIVE event, register at

Jun 12, 2020
#019 - with Chris Pine, Irrigation Trainer & Industry Expert

Learn how Chris Pine started and how you can benefit from an online learning platform.

Listen as Chris shares some of his story growing up in the irrigation industry and how the industry & technology has evolved over time.

May 01, 2020
#018 - Irrigation Controller Networking & Communication Options - Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday

This episode is repurposed content that was recorded live on April 28th, 2020 during a *Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday* online workshop. You will learn about basic controller networking, the different ways to connect an irrigation controller to the internet, and what to look for when a controller goes offline.

Each week the Baseline team goes LIVE on Zoom to discuss Irrigation & Baseline technology to a live audience.

To participate in a future live event visit

Apr 29, 2020
#017 - Search Engine Optimization with Jeff Oxford of 180 Marketing

Jeff Oxford is the founder and SEO expert at 180 Marketing, an SEO company in Bend, Oregon.  Jeff works with a number of different ecommerce companies, including Sprinkler Supply Store, to provide SEO advice and services.

In this episode, Jeff and Andy talk about basic SEO practices that can get you better Google rankings, more hits on your website, and generate more leads for your business.

Visit Jeff at

Apr 10, 2020
#016 - Natural & Organic Lawn Care with Tom Kelly of BeeSafe Organic Lawn Care

Tom Kelly has been in the lawn care industry since 1993 and is the founder of BeeSafe Organic Lawn Care,, and Lawnmark Professional Services.  His years of experience in the industry has made him an expert in the field of natural and organic lawn care.

In this episode, Andy and Tom talk about Tom's background in the market, soil biology, and irrigation best practices.

Apr 03, 2020
#015 - 2-Wire Troubleshooting - Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday, Recorded Live on 3/24/20

In the first Baseline Tech-Talk Tuesday Podcast, Dan Conger, Chris Wright, and Andy Humphrey of Baseline discuss troubleshooting 2-wire systems specifically 2-wire shorts and over-current messages.  While this is a Baseline tech-talk, there's a lot of great information in here regardless of the brand of 2-wire system you're working with.

You can check out the video of the Tech-Talk and see other Baseline videos by going to



Armada Pro95:


BK Precision:

Mar 31, 2020
#014 - Green Roof Irrigation with Nate Griswold of Inhabitect - Part 2

In Part Two of a two-part episode, Nate and Andy chat about how irrigation is used in the green roof trade and the pros & cons to overhead vs. drip irrigation.

Nate Griswold is one of the O.G's in the field of green roofs.  Starting with American Hydrotech in the early days and now running Inhabitect in Traverse City, MI, Nate has seen it all.  

Mar 30, 2020
#013 - Green Roof Fundamentals with Nate Griswold of Inhabitect - Part 1

Nate Griswold is one of the O.G's in the field of green roofs.  Starting with American Hydrotech in the early days and now running Inhabitect in Traverse City, MI, Nate has seen it all.  

In Part One of a two-part episode, Nate and Andy chat about the green roof industry.  Nate runs down some vital info on green roofs and shares the benefits and some of the technology involved in the movement. 

Mar 27, 2020
#012 - Talking Flow Sensors with Norm Bartlett of Creative Sensor Technology

Norm Bartlett has been involved in irrigation since the 60's and has seen it all.  From his start at age 14 working the golf course across the street, through his work with Buckner Sprinkler Co., working with Data Industrial as they rolled out their first flow sensors, to his current position as owner of Creative Sensor Technology, Norm is a wealth of irrigation information.

Norm and Andy chat about his background in the industry and flow sensor technology.  Lots of great technical information here on flow sensors!

You can visit Creative Sensor Technology at

Mar 20, 2020
#011 - Lawn Care Tips for Irrigators with Allyn Hane, the Lawn Care Nut

Allyn Hane is better known on YouTube and elsewhere as The Lawn Care Nut.  With years of experience in lawn care and expertise in social media, Allyn has produced content that has seen millions of views and helped his viewers to get healthier lawns.  In this episode, The Sprinkler Nerd and Lawn Care Nut join forces to talk about how irrigation and lawn care specialists can work together to help their customers get the best results.


Mar 13, 2020
#010 - How Nate Started, One Of The Top Suppliers Of Cannabis Cultivation Equipment In The World.

Nate Lipton is the owner of, one of the top suppliers of cannabis cultivation equipment in the world. Nate helps growers source equipment and put together some of the largest, most advanced, cannabis growing operations. He is constantly looking for the top products and methods needed to grow the best cannabis.


>>> Grow Tent Configurator



>> CannaCribs (YouTube)

Mar 06, 2020
#009 - Your Website Is So Boring It Is Killing Your Sales, with Lianna Patch of

You can punch up your website and email copy and break away from the same old techniques!

Many companies are adding humor, emojis, and animated GIFs to their communications to give a more personal and modern feel, and the results have been great!

In this episode, Lianna Patch from joins us to discuss some of the “secret sauce” that you can use to help your business add some personality and character in your communications and on your website.

Lianna’s advice will help you to create a “voice” for your business that will create engagement and set you apart from your competitors. 

You can learn more about Lianna and her business, Punchline Copy, by going to

Feb 28, 2020
#008 - Engineering A Large Irrigation Retrofit with Kyle Desmarais of H2O Irrigation

Join the retrofit goldrush!

Want to learn how to engineer large irrigation retrofits that scale outside of the capabilities of traditional irrigation manufacturers?

Do you have customers with complicated sites?

In this episode, you will hear from Kyle Desmarais, the founder & owner of H2O Irrigation Specialists in Kingston Massachusetts, as he shares specific details about his business and about a large project he is engineering to retrofit.

Learn what type of technology it takes to retrofit 11 controllers, 2 pumps, a make-up well, and over 250 zones of irrigation.

You'll also learn how Kyle started H2O Irrigation and some tips he shares that make his business successful.

H2O Irrigation Specialist:

Feb 17, 2020
#007 - Losing 100lbs in 9 months with Todd Hudgins of Bayside Irrigation

Learn how Todd Hudgins of Bayside Irrigation & Lighting lost over 100lbs in 9months and has kept the weight off for 3 years. Todd will share tips that any irrigation & landscape contractor can use to change their daily habits and live a healthy physical and mental lifestyle.

Dec 20, 2019
#006 - From Irrigation Laborer to Water Conservation Leader - Paul Bassett Shares His Amazing Journey

You become what you think about - and on today's episode, you will hear the story of Paul Bassett's journey from irrigation laborer, to water conservation leader.

Paul jumped headfirst into the irrigation industry at 19 years old working as a basic laborer for a sprinkler company outside Baltimore Maryland.

Fast forward to 2019 where Paul is now a leader in the performance contracting industry helping to save millions of gallons of water per year.

In this episode, Paul and I talk about our early days working together and the specific moments which helped shape both of our careers.

Nov 27, 2019
#005 - Starting a Drone Business with Kent Harris from Minnesota Sodding Company

Flying a drone seems cool, but they’re more than just high-tech toys. For a professional, flying a drone is a new way to make irrigation work better for facilities. In this episode, Andy speaks with Kent Harris, the manager of the Minnesota Sodding Company and a licensed drone professional, to discuss how drones are changing the irrigation game. You’ll hear how these helpful high-flyers are being used to view, track, and measure irrigation audits, and how you can get started using one professionally yourself.



“If these guys can fly it, I can fly it”-Kent Harris 



In this Episode:



- How Kent got started with Minnesota Sodding Company and what it’s been like working with them as a manager for the past three years

- New ways to do irrigation work with our latest technology. 

- What is a 107 license? Plus, learn the importance of having it to be able to use a drone for your work

- What should you look out for when flying a drone? 

- How measurement and gravel pits inventory gets done with 3D imaging 

- Irrigation audit and data tracking made simple by using a Drone in your facility

Connect with Kent:



Connect with Andy:



Nov 19, 2019
#004 - Learning to Estimate, Bid, and Sell for Success

When customers are looking for the best bid options, it’s not only about what will be financially beneficial, but also about how much value is provided. How can they decide on which company to go with, and how can companies stand out, when there are so many options? In this episode, Andy and Denny talk about the main factors for successfully estimating, bidding, and selling while providing value with every product. They share how estimates and bid systems work, plus ways to protect yourself and customers in each project. 


“If you are going to be the highest bid, you want to make sure you provide value to support your price” -Andy Humphrey


In this Episode:


  • Andy shares how he started as a landscape designer trainee, and everything he learned at his first job that lead him to be an expert at estimations, bids, and sales
  • As a potential customer trying to choose a bid, how do you decide what company to use? 
  • If you are going to present a high bid, make sure you do this
  • How to bid systems and price jobs while maintaining your profit 
  • Why the man-hour return is more important than the price of the product
  • Why checks and balances need to be put in place to protect the client and the company


Connect with Denny Richards:



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Nov 11, 2019
#003 - Customer Service Secrets with Denny Richards

What’s the secret to setting yourself apart with great customer service? In this episode, Andy speaks with Denny Richards, the Customer Service Wizard from the Sprinkler Supply Store. Denny is the go-to guy for helping customers and making sure they feel seen and heard. Today, he shares the secrets to providing great customer service, down to exact phrases to use to better resolve conflicts. Don’t miss his expert insight for providing more value and keeping your customers happy.


“It can be a real trick sometimes to tell the customer NO without saying NO”

 -Denny Richards



In this Episode

  • What’s the deal with Amazon customer service? Andy and Denny dig into the difference between them and other providers like the Sprinkler Supply Store
  • Email rules and response flows for newbies to use as guidance when handling customer requests
  • How to make sure your customers feel heard, plus resources to use when you don’t have the right answers
  • What NOT to say when speaking to your customers and the different choices in words you can use for positive feedback
  • Denny shares how he deals with upset customers, whether on the phone or through email
  • Key points for providing more human value to your customers 




Connect with Denny Richards:



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Nov 04, 2019
#002 - Working in Boston with Tommy of Cambridge Landscape

Did you know that the Boston Public Garden was the first park in the United States and it predates the famous Central Park? Today’s guest is Tommy Carrafiello, who is a Boston native and has been working in the irrigation industry for over 20 years. He is currently connected with Cambridge Landscape, which has been around for 40 years in serving the Boston public. Andy sits down with Tommy as they discuss the changes and improvements that the irrigation industry has seen over the past few decades. Join them and learn a little more about irrigation history!


“As the industry changes, the products change. You have to trust the technology.”

- Tommy Carrafiello


In this Episode

  • How Tommy got into the irrigation business 20 years ago
  • What services that Cambridge Landscape offers
  • The app that the employees use to keep things going
  • How the company adjusts to customers’ wants
  • What frustrates Tommy the most on the job
  • The perks of dealing with the company versus customers doing it by themselves
  • The unique tools they use in doing their job



Cambridge Landscape

Hub App

Boston Public Garden

Central Park



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Oct 28, 2019
#001 - The Marvels of Drip Irrigation with Art Elmers

A lot of residential houses have sprinklers installed on their lawns but, do you know the ins and outs of how they work? Many of us are not aware of how drip irrigation operates and how it helps us make our lives trouble-free. Today, Andy and Art talk about the different types of drip irrigation from point source to inline source and how these operate in various land settings. You will also learn the mechanisms of the regulators and valves that are installed in the system. Join Andy and Art become smart irrigators!



“If we’re going to tackle the issue on climate change and greenhouse gases, we’re going to need to pull CO2 out of the air. We’re going to have to plant a lot of trees, a lot of turf. Without us, green is brown.”

- Art Elmers



In this Episode:

  • How Art became the irrigation expert
  • The difference between how the East Coast and West Coast implement their irrigation system
  • What is inline tubing and how it works
  • The processes in using subsurface drip
  • How pressure is involved with the drip system and the use of a pressure compensator emitter
  • Pressure regulators acts as an insurance policy
  • The benefit of having a check valve installed in the emitter
  • Auto flush valve versus Manual flush valve
  • Common problems and myths encountered with the irrigation system




Connect with Art:

Art's Email Address




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Oct 14, 2019
#000 Welcome to The Sprinkler Nerd Show

Former contestant on the ABC hit television series Shark Tank, irrigation technology expert, and multimillion-dollar eCommerce entrepreneur Andy Humphrey brings his curiosity & creativity to tease out the secrets of successful Green Industry influencers on The Sprinkler Nerd Show.

Discover how to get a leg up on the competition, to be the smartest person at the design table, and advance your career in the irrigation and landscape industry at any level.

All stones will be unturned as Andy digs into the nerdy details of business, technology, and personal growth here on the Sprinkler Nerd show. To join the community of Sprinkler Nerds transforming the Green Industry visit

Sep 20, 2019