Broken Sprinkler head detection


#1

I’d like to recommend what should be an easy way for you to help SAVE water when a sprinkler head breaks and water is wasted. Since the controller has data about how much “typical” water is used in a zone, there should be a threshold set that IF the water used exceeds the recent average + this threshold the controller shuts off that zone and notifies the user of excessive water use in a zone. Also, in the Zone information it would be nice to see water used by zone - another way I as a user could monitor if a particular zone is consuming more water than normal.


#2

Or less water, if a head is clogged.


#3

Yes, I’m waiting to hear about features like this before I splurge on a flow sensor. It could be amazing!


#4

I am assuming that if this feature existed it would only work if you have a flow sensor installed and connected to the Rachio?


#5

My recommendation is separate from a flow sensor attachment. The “Controller” collects, stores and reports “Gallons used” information by day - I’m suggesting that the controller have the intelligence that if the water used for a zone deviates for the “norm” (norm based on recent daily usage average) by a certain threshold it should throw a flag. Simple, IFTTT (if then then that) parameter built into the controller.


#6

I could be wrong but I thought that Rachio only estimates the gallons used based on your settings (nozzle types, run time, etc…). I don’t see how an exact measurement is possible without an additional sensor.


#7

@srudenko, that is correct. We make estimates on water usage.

@jerrymccamey, I love the idea, but this would require a flow sensor, and it’s something we’d like to do in the future.


#8

this is only an estimate. you must have a flow sensor to achieve the behavior you want, i too want it.


#9

I know this is an old thread, but I saw this post and wanted to add some comments. The FIRST THING I onted when installing my Rachio 3 weeks ago was that I hated the fact it didn’t have an ACCURATE water used calc method. There is an easy way to fix that, and I suggested it and hope they build it in, but I did it the longer way - manually!

I made sure NO WATER was being used in the house for 20 minutes. I then marked my meter reading and ran Zone 1 for 15 minutes, then marked the meter. Then ran Zone 2 for 15 minutes. Etc.

Then, using the EXACT amount of water that left the system for each zone, I created NEW HEADS at the EXACT precipitation rate and basically backed in my numbers. I then ran each zone for 5 minutes again, marking the WATER USAGE and comparing that to what the RACHIO said under GALLONS USED. Ensuring they matched, I knew I was done. Now… forever… unless I change a head, change a nozzle or add a head, I should be pretty darn close.

This could easily be done by Rachio upon install… just ask for the meter reading BEFORE EACH ZONE fires the first time (during setup) - and remove the 90 minute process I had to go through for 6 zones.


#10

I know this is an old thread, but I saw this post and wanted to add some comments. The FIRST THING I onted when installing my Rachio 3 weeks ago was that I hated the fact it didn’t have an ACCURATE water used calc method. There is an easy way to fix that, and I suggested it and hope they build it in, but I did it the longer way - manually!

I made sure NO WATER was being used in the house for 20 minutes. I then marked my meter reading and ran Zone 1 for 15 minutes, then marked the meter. Then ran Zone 2 for 15 minutes. Etc.

Then, using the EXACT amount of water that left the system for each zone, I created NEW HEADS at the EXACT precipitation rate and basically backed in my numbers. I then ran each zone for 5 minutes again, marking the WATER USAGE and comparing that to what the RACHIO said under GALLONS USED. Ensuring they matched, I knew I was done. Now… forever… unless I change a head, change a nozzle or add a head, I should be pretty darn close.

This could easily be done by Rachio upon install… just ask for the meter reading BEFORE EACH ZONE fires the first time (during setup) - and remove the 90 minute process I had to go through for 6 zones.


#11

Hey @MirskyFamily-

I know that the process of getting your gallons used more accurate could be improved. Thank you for your feedback, and I am sorry to here you had to spend so much time to get that accurate! I will relay your experience back to the team.

McKynzee :rachio:


#12

Hello, Just installed my system today and already had this concern. I also assumed that I could do just what you described but thought I’d check the forum first. Can you please share the calculation that you used to create your ‘precip’ entry? I’m not going to actually calculate my square footage for each zone so lets assume I’m using the 500(ft2) default for each zone.

Scratch that request. Found the calculator:

THANK YOU
Bill


#13

You absolutely SHOULD enter the square footage, because that is a key part of the calculation / formula. BUT DON’T BE INTIMIDATED… even that part is simple.

On this page…


is a link to this:
http://findlotsize.com/
Enter your address, draw a remedial box around each zone… it gives you the square footage. Takes 2 minutes.

Once you have that number of SF for each zone, the only other number needed is PR (precipitation rate) - because if you know the RATE that water comes out of the heads… and the size of the area… you’re almost home.
So, what I did of course was log the ACTUAL meter reading before each zone. (mentioned above)
So, meter ended 511.30, then I ran zone 1. After 1 minute of run, my meter read 516.55 - so I ACTUALLY used 5.25 gallons of water, but the Rachio reports 4.155 for the minute. You get this by using the following:
(200 x 2.0) \ 96.25
200 is the square footage… 2.0 is the precip rate listed for MISTER heads… and 96.25 is your constant, explained in the first link above. So, I used MORE water than 4.155. I worked backwards and figured out that my PR was closer to 2.5. Then, just add a new NOZZLE with a PR of 2.5 and assign it to that zone.
Most of mine were very close, but I now have a 0.9 nozzle for one zone… and two zones that I made 1.1 PR nozzles (instead of 1.0 for standard rotor heads)


#14

I understand that the sq footage will be important in the long run for the unit to calculate automated run times properly. I understand it matters for soil absorption / depth. But for now I’m just figuring flow rate based on 10 min run times so that Rachio calculates usage properly. Should work shouldn’t it. Doesn’t matter if it’s 10 or 1000 sq ft. Flow rate is flow rate. But I will do it correctly soon.


#15

It does matter though. The formula for how much water Rachio needs to put out is (SF * PR) \ 96.25
Without the SF, it can’t properly water. Let’s say your heads are putting out an average of 1.0 in per hour, and your zone runs for 15 minutes. That’s 0.25 inches of water. But over 1 foot of space versus 200 feet of space is very different. Yes, flow rate is flow rate, but the only way the Rachio knows how long to run, is to have all 3 numbers. And my point was that the tool makes it very easy to knock out up-front.


#16

Square footage is only used for water usage estimates. The square foot of your yard is an implicit factor in your pr.


#17

OK, did my install this week.
Water usage was off by 87% after a 10 min per station cycle.
Calibrated via http://support.rachio.com/article/557-precipitation-rate-calculator & http://findlotsize.com/
Ran a 5 min per station cycle and usage is now within 2%.
Thanks for the input!


#18

:tada: