@franz - you might want to read this too as it explains further a core problem with Rachio water calc
From what I’m seeing… almost all, if not all, users Must tweak Advanced settings to try to get close to proper watering. Thus, its not just for ‘advanced users’ if nearly all users must tweak them.
Example 1 : no where I’ve ever lived (all over Phoenix, Seattle, Boulder, etc) is grass root depth 9 to 12 in… but Rachio was set to that. I had to tweak every lawn zone since 4 to 6 is normal root depth for a healthy lawn in any area I’ve lived. Same for trees… my mature trees may have 24" depth but most of my trees are smaller and have 12-18".
Example 2 : most zones have multiple types of plants… lets take one of mine… shrubs (root depth 12-20"), day lillies (roots 4"), bulbs (6"), and other misc (ornamental grasses, flowers ,etc - 6-12"). How does setting a SINGLE Root Depth help this? It doesnt, it makes it worse. even if we average the depth, sure, that could work if the nozzle flow rates are correctly set… but we (all normal users) are Still tweaking the Advanced settings.
… I dont have a problem with requiring tweaking Adv settings… just understand most dont know they need to, or what those mean… a very explanatory (and holding type) wizard should be in Rachio to walk users through it for every zone. It is clear is it almost always needed.
Professional design plant zones almost never, yes “almost never”, have all the same head/nozzle for non-homogeneous areas. Its simply not cost effective to setup each ‘type’ of plant (plants with the same watering needs) into a separate zone. Often there are multiple types of plants where each type gets a nozzle (or set of) with a flow rate for that watering need. Its not always possible to use the same nozzle flow rate and use add more/less nozzles per plant so often they use different rate nozzles in the same zone and set # of minutes per zone based on what nozzles they used so each plant gets the proper amount of water in the same time frame (nozzle flow + time).
Rachio incorrectly assumes the entire zone is the same nozzle is used for every plant and you are only varying the # of nozzles to get the flow rate needed for each plant. Again, this is usually not how zones are setup for non-lawn areas / plants.
The entire reason for a ‘smart’ controller is to make things smarter than humans, or compensate for problems/issues with irrigation design. Most residential irrigation is not designed by experts and are definitely very ‘incorrect’, per your definition. SkyDrop accommodated this easily by allowing the user to define the type and number of each head/nozzle and mix them in any combination in any zone. This is THE ONLY correct way to do a a proper ‘smart’ controller. I’m sad SkyDrop went under, it easily allowed for far more accurate definition of zones in the real world. I hope Rachio learns from SkyDrop as they had a more accurate view of how residential zones are setup in the real world