Frequently Asked Questions

In a world of ‘throw away products’ we’ve designed the line of Kai brand commercial grade watering products to be ‘best in class’. To last longer, and perform better. Once you’ve tried our products, we think you’ll agree.

Based on the conditions at your local weather station, Kai calculates the amount of evapotranspiration (ET) that occurs. Using a widely accepted formula standardized by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Kai calculates ET based on temperature, humidity, cloud coverage, and other factors.

The water in your soil can be thought of as money in a bank account. ET acts as a withdrawal from the account. Irrigation and rainfall act as deposits.

Kai monitors your account, and waters only when the water drops below a certain threshold.

Watering only when needed makes the most efficient use of water. And it results in healthier plants with deeper roots, too.

If you choose, Kai can ignore the weather and water on a pre-determined schedule.

Just go to and add your station. Then select the new station from within the Kai app.

Communication is relayed from your iOS device to your valves via the Kai Cloud and the Kai Bridge.

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

New watering cycles will not be initiated until Internet service is restored.

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

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

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

Kai utilizes an award winning semiconductor chip coupled with a Bluetooth 5.0 signal amplifier to provide best in class range.  Our range is well over 2X of WiFi (well over 1000 ft line of sight) which provides enough signal strength to bounce around to find the tough to reach wireless areas around your home.

You can get additional range by cleverly positioning the Kai Bridge within your home. For instance, if you have valves in both the front and backyard, you can place your Kai bridge halfway between the two sets of valves. But this will be unnecessary for most homes.

Under most conditions, your batteries will last a year or more. However, depending on your specific use-case, your battery life may be longer or shorter.

Kai can water once per day for 10 minutes for 18 months when using 2500mAh alkaline batteries.

Any type of AA battery is acceptable except Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH). NiMH batteries do not supply the proper voltage for Kai.

If you would like to use rechargeable batteries, we recommend Lithium Ion rechargeables.

  • Internet service and a Wi-Fi network
  • An iOS device with iOS 10 or later
  • Two AA batteries

Unfortunately not at this time, but it’s in development, and coming soon! 

Kai is narrow enough to fit side-by-side on many manifolds. Many manifolds have a pitch of 50mm, which is the same width as Kai. 

For the best performance, we recommend the Kai Hose Splitter. One of the few Hose Splitters on the market with a 5/8” full flow.

Kai is rainproof and can be directly sprayed with a hose, but it cannot be submerged in water.

Kai requires at least 15 PSI in order to activate the internal mechanism. Therefore your rain barrel must be equipped with a pump for Kai to function properly.

Normal water pressure is generally between 40 and 70 PSI; most homeowners prefer something around 50 PSI. Kai is rated for 150 PSI, although we’ve tested the Valve up to 200 PSI (4 X typical home water pressure) with no failures. When we say we built Kai to last, it’s with extreme testing like this.

No, Kai should be brought indoors during freezing temperatures. Ice forming inside the unit can damage components. The Kai app will alert you when freezing weather is approaching.

It’s possible there is a backflow preventer installed on your faucet. If so, the backflow preventer will interfere with the wire mesh gasket supplied with Kai, preventing installation.

See Figure 1.

If a backflow preventer is installed, there’s a good chance you’ll be unable to remove it. Some have been welded in place; others are corroded in place.

This is why we developed the Kai Hose Extension. It allows you to use your Kai Valve with a backflow preventer, providing the extra gap needed so that both your backflow preventer and Valve can operate properly. (Kai Valve shown with Valve Extender)

Kai is certified for use in the USA and Canada.

The store at will only accept orders from addresses in the continental US.

If your address is outside the continental US, please order at

Unopened and unused products may be returned for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

Yes. Kai is warranted for one year from the date of purchase against manufacturing defects. Austin Devices will repair or replace warranted units (at our option). Austin Devices is not liable for damage caused by freezing water or other misuse.

All orders include free ground shipping.

Most orders ship the same day, but please allow up to two business days for your order to leave the warehouse.

You will receive an email with your tracking number when your order is shipped.

Some carriers do not deliver on Saturday or Sunday.

  • In Hawaiian, Kai means “sea” or “ocean”.
  • In Japanese, kai has a number of meanings, including “ocean” (), “shell” (), “restoration” and “recovery”.

Our company (Austin Devices LLC) has offices in North Carolina and Texas, and the ocean holds a personal significance to us. It seemed only natural that a line of watering products that hold such importance would share that name.

Yes, US patent US9049821 B1. Kai, and its parent company (Austin Devices LLC) are the only smart watering devices with a patent covering a wirelessly controlled smart water timer with an integral flow meter.  It’s why we believe Kai is the smartest way to water, and the only smart water timer on the market that’s not potentially infringing on someone else’s innovation for an integral flow meter.  Go to Google Patents to learn more and do your own analysis of our patent and the competing products you might see and decide for yourself.  We appreciate your support as do all of the small companies like ours who strive to develop novel ideas and inventions, and invest in patents to try and protect those ideas.

No. Unlike some home watering devices that might monitor weather. Kai does not charge a service fee, which we feel provides our customers with a better value.

No. Kai will never share your information or watering history.