Accurate soil moisture measurement requires precise installation. If installation isn’t done right, no matter how well you calibrate, your data will be bad.

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What’s your time worth?

Digging trenches and reaching down boreholes to try and eliminate air gaps take an incredible amount of a researcher’s time and effort. Manual installation is rife with opportunities for human error. That’s why we created the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool.

Newly updated design

The TEROS Borehole Installation Tool was specifically engineered for faster and more accurate water content sensor installation. Since only a small 10 cm (4 in) hand-augered hole is needed instead of a large trench, you can perform a deeper down-hole installation with little site disturbance and far less effort. The installation tool includes the equipment needed to reach depths up to 2 m, but additional extensions allow for virtually limitless reach to your deepest installations.

Do more with one tool

The new design allows for the installation of most TEROS sensors, including the TEROS 10, 11, and 12 soil moisture sensors and the TEROS 21 matric potential sensor. The TEROS Borehole Installation Tool includes adaptors designed to hold each sensor securely as it is pushed into the soil and released seamlessly once placed. Also included is an adaptor designed to create the pilot hole required to insert the TEROS 21 at the optimal angle. Use it for incredibly fast, consistent installation into undisturbed soil at almost any depth you choose.

Less wiggle room for error

Water content measurement is only as good as soil-to-sensor contact. The TEROS Borehole Installation Tool was engineered to ensure accurate installation by eliminating air gaps and preferential flow. Because it uses mechanical leverage vs. hand application, sensors are applied straight in and perpendicular with uniform pressure (even through hard clay soils) and then gently released, resulting in clean, consistent installations. To reduce error even more, we included a plate guide that allows you to set the precise placement depth and alignment sensors at 4 spots around the borehole circle. These make documenting sensor locations easy for quicker removal and cable protection. With the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool, you can not only get a greater quantity of measurements but also be confident that each sensor has been installed correctly.

Smaller holes = less headaches

Like all of our instruments, greater accuracy comes with less effort on your part. Since the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool can install sensors at borehole depths much farther than the arm can reach, the entire process only takes about 30 minutes (vs. the two or more hours it takes to dig an equally deep trench). It’s also equipped with a flashlight so you can not only see down holes, but also make sure you get good insertions. All of which adds up to substantial time savings and less hassle. 

Smarter water content sensor installation

Intensive field installations are now a thing of the past thanks to the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool’s fast, simple, and accurate insertion method. Custom manufactured by hand, this ultra-rugged instrument was engineered to provide easier, faster, and better sensor installation at greater depths, making installation something you can look forward to rather than dread. 

METER is trusted by

Brigham Young University
Temple University
Colorado School of Mines



Are there TEROS Borehole Installation Tool Assembly video instructions?
Yes. You can access video instructions here.
What are the rental options for the Borehole Installation Tool? Does METER send it to us, and then we return it?
METER will rent the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool to you for a monthly fee if you only need it for a few weeks to install your sensors.  The $500.00 fee includes shipping and a return label to send it back to us when you are done. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

Below are the options for renting the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool:

Standard rental for orders <50 Sensors: $500/month

If rental is returned within two weeks, we will refund $200 of the rental.

For orders >50 sensors:  $150/month

Orders >100 sensors: Free 1-month rental of tool
With the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool, how moist/soft does the soil have to be so that the sensor can be driven into the soil?
So far, we have not found a soil too hard for the installation tool to install sensors. We installed TEROS 12’s in soils that were 60% – 70% clay in August 2017. There were no problems with the installation. However, as you install, be on the lookout for rocks.
If you install a TEROS 12 sensor with the tool and bend one of the sensor pins, is it easy to detect that by looking at the data?
This type of occurrence should be extremely rare since the application of force of the tool is so controlled. A small bend in the prongs should not affect the output of the probe. The probe will most likely break before presenting an inaccuracy.
Is it a challenge to keep the water content sensor in place while you backfill with soil?
That is a good question and one I also had when we were developing the concept of the installation tool. Fortunately, it has not proven to be a problem except in dry, coarse-textured soils. The pins on the TEROS sensors do a pretty good job of anchoring the sensors in place while the soil is repacked behind them. But, in dry sand, it is difficult to even keep the auger hole intact, not to mention keep the sensors in place.
Which sensors can be installed with the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool?
The TEROS 10, TEROS 11, and TEROS 12 soil water content sensors and TEROS 21 soil water potential sensor.

A photograph of the TEROS Borehole Installation Tool

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