FAQ

How does Zilker adjust water use based on the weather?

The central webserver for Zilker is in constant communication with a meteorological server.

Diverse factors such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, and cloud coverage are used to estimate the evapotranspiration (ET) rate in your area. The ET rate describes how quickly water is evaporating from your plants and soil.

Based on the ET rate since your last watering cycle, Zilker will adjust the duration of the next watering cycle.

For example, you may set Zilker to apply 2” of water to your flowerbed on Mondays at 7am. The first Monday, Zilker will apply 2” of water. The following Monday, based on the weather over the past week, Zilker will adjust the water application. If it has been hotter, Zilker may apply 2.5”. If it has been raining, Zilker may apply 1”.

If you choose, you may disable adjustments based on weather data.

 

How does Zilker measure inches of water?

An axial turbine inside Zilker measures flow rate. Along with the area covered by a sprinkler or drip hose, Zilker can calculate the inches of water applied to that area.

So, for example, you can ask Zilker to apply 1” of water to your lawn.

 

How does Zilker know if my hose has a leak?

If your hose develops a leak, flow rate can increase significantly. Zilker continuously monitors flow rate, and will alert you if this occurs.

 

What are the system requirements for Zilker?

  • Internet service and a Wi-Fi network
  • An iOS device

 

How many Zilker Valves can I pair to the Zilker Bridge?

The absolute limit is TBD, but it will be no less than eight.

 

Is there an Android version of the Zilker app?

At least initially, we will write only an iOS version of the app.

 

How long will the batteries last?

Based on our calculations, the two AA batteries should last up to one year, or one full growing season.

 

What range can I expect?

Zilker uses a 915MHz radio (between the bridge and each valve). These radios have roughly 2.5 times the range of Wi-Fi, and are better at penetrating obstacles such as interior and exterior walls.

With direct line of sight, Zilker can communicate at distances of more than 500ft.

You should be able to communicate with valves at both the front and rear of your home with confidence.

 

What if my Internet service is interrupted?

If your Internet service is interrupted while a watering cycle is in progress, the watering cycle will continue and end as usual.

However, new watering cycles will not be initiated until Internet service is restored.

 

What does the button on the front of the valve do?

One press starts the water. Another press stops the water.

 

Is Zilker waterproof?

Zilker can be directly sprayed with a hose, but it cannot be submerged in water.

 

Can Zilker withstand freezing temperatures?

No, Zilker should be brought indoors during freezing temperatures. The Zilker app will alert you when freezing weather is approaching.

 

Can I use Zilker to deliver water from my rain barrel?

Zilker requires at least 15 PSI in order to activate the internal mechanism, so rain barrels are usually not compatible.  However, you can install a submersible pump in your rain barrel to overcome this problem.  Look online for solutions.

 

Can you ship outside the US?

No. Shipping outside the US requires additional certifications that we will not have at launch.

 

Where does Zilker get its name?

From Zilker Metropolitan Park, the central park in our hometown, Austin.

 

Does Zilker charge a service fee?

No.

 

Will you share or sell my personal information or watering history?

No.

 

Is Zilker patented?

Yes, US patent US9049821 B1.

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