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Please help! We recently bought our first house. I just noticed this bizarre contraption in my front lawn just outside of the front door, essentially in the flower bed barely covered by mulch chips. It has wires going into the ground which are connected to this bizarre metal rod and a switch at the end that has options to go from 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 or 1/1. Anyone have an idea what the heck this is?
 

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They normally are attached to a gutter or the edge of your roof. They are used to inhibit a sprinkler system from running if you had rain recently. The various settings are supposed to be close to that amount of rain. Be forewarned they are not always very accurate and if it's been down on the ground you should probably replace it. They are very inexpensive, $20 or so normally.
 
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