Changed to rotary nozzle. Significant increase

I changed my front yard from fixed spray to rotary nozzles (approximately 10) and the watering time has increased from 19 min to 50 min.

I understand that these put out water at a slower rate but that seems like a significant increase.

I adjusted the water output from 0.7 to 0.6 and ensured my zone map was accurate.

Does this seem right?

My MP Rotators run for just over an hour each zone, so seems about right. My zones range from .55"-.65" via a catch cup test. You have to think, typical spray nozzles can put out 1.5"-3" of water, so adding 3x time makes sense.

FYI, zone map doesn’t change anything in how Rachio waters.

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Good to know, thanks!

Out of curiosity, what’s the purpose of the map?
I figured if it saw I was watering a 2000 sq ft area vs a 500sqft area, it would water longer.

It does help map out area, but if you have Rachio set to show gallons used/saved on the home screen, its how it calculates that figure. Your nozzle PR x area x run time would give you that figure. I’ve never been a fan of looking at gallons in Rachio, because the figure is only a calculation and only as accurate as the information entered. The map helps dial in area, but at the end of the day, it is still an estimate based on calculations.

Rachio just looks to water a certain amount (in inches) per watering, and uses nozzle inches per hour (and a calculation of efficiency) to figure how long to run. It doesn’t matter if it is doing that in 100sq ft, or 10,000sq ft. It will still look to put down the same amount of water.


I appreciate the help.
Maybe you could shed some light on this. One of the zones in my back yard only has 3 heads (Hunter PGPs). I wanted to change them out with the rotary nozzles but I don’t believe I have enough pressure. I installed one and though it would spray, it wouldn’t rotate. So I quit that project and put the old sprinkler back on.

I went to my front yard that has a total of 14 heads, replaced 10 of them with the rotary and they work great. I figured that zone would have less pressure due to all of the heads (all fixed spray).

The water pressure coming out of my hose spigot is about 36psi

Do you know what the pressure is at a nozzle? 36 is pretty low at the source, plus pressure loss through the pipe…honestly surprised any nozzle would function well at that pressure.

I don’t know what the pressure is at the nozzle but I was a bit surprised to see it read that low, too. This area is notorious for low water pressure and the city often throttles the pressure up and down. Other than the trying to install the new heads sprinklers work perfect.

I have about 85psi out of the hose spigot. The only thing I don’t know is how much of that is coming out of the heads. I have rain bird 5004 + rotors, which currently have a 2.0gpm nozzle

Yup, same thing here.
My system must’ve been designed back in the day of no water pressure because my 4,000sq ft back yard has 5 spray zones.
I started converting them to MP rotators, and the spray zones went from about 14min, to 50-60min with the rotators. It does make sense because the spray zones were putting out 1.5 - 1.8in/hr, and the MP rotators (pre-catch cup test) based on Hunter specs put out about .4in/hr. Putting down water MUCH slower, so the increased time.
So far so good. Even though they’re running almost an hour, the yard is NOT flooded. It’s about the same amount of water over the increased time.

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I swapped out my VAN Nozzles with HEVAN nozzles. The precipitation rate is now matched and ranges from 1.58-1.99 in/h with most being 1.72 in/h or so. I didn’t switch to MP rotators because I have 8 lawn zones. It would take forever to water all lawn zones in a reasonable period of time.

I wanted max flexibility for the flex daily drip.

I had 14 lawn zones spread across 2 Rachio units at my house. Switching to the MP’s allowed me to merge a number of my zones together (similar zone characteristics), and now I have 6 grass zones! I’m lazy and haven’t re-piped the zones together, so they are “combined” via wiring, but it works well!

If the two Rachio’s/water sources weren’t so far apart, I’d be able to downsize to just one unit, but right now, I have plenty of extra zones if I want to add gardens or whatever!