Custom Nozzles - Max precip rate?

There seems to be a maximum configurable precip rate of 5.0 in/hr?

I’ve setup my zones using the water meter method, utilizing custom nozzle precip rates. I have one particular zone where my precip rate calculates out to 7.9 in/hr (yes, that calculation is correct… small area with multiple fixed heads: (96.25*10.36gph)/125 sq ft ).

The app will not let me enter/save anything higher than 5.0 in/hr. If this is by design. I suggest two things:

  1. Pop up a message that this high of an precip rate cannot be used.
  2. …or better yet, allow >5.0 but pop up a message stating that a precip rate >5.0 is unusual and ask the user for confirmation to save the entered number.

Are you sure that is correct? 8/in hr seems really high.

Yes this is capped at 5in/hr. This seems to be a defect that was not found in testing. A validation error used to be displayed in our version 1.x of the app. This will be fixed in our next Android release this week.

I’ll speak with the product team and see what their feedback is.

Thanks for this!


Yea, I would seriously consider replacing the nozzle in each head. Unless you are watering gravel, I don’t know how you prevent runoff after the first minute of watering.

Yes, I do realize that is high, but that’s what the data is telling me. The only thing I can think of is maybe I wrote the wrong meter usage down and it’s throwing my calcs off. Otherwise, the effective square footage is fairly small with 5 fixed heads (180 radius).

I’ll rerun a meter test on that zone and see if I get different GPM.

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And I’m sorry for being a smart ass, but honestly if your numbers are right, I honestly would consider stepping down to a 3 gallon nozzle. You can water longer with less water and get more out of it.

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@plainsane No offense taken, I appreciate the input. I knew there were different fixed heads for spray pattern but didn’t realize there were also different heads for flow rates. I’ll definitely look into that.

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What model are your heads and what color are the nozzles? We should be able to work out their flow rate…

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Was the maximum flow rate ever increased? I have 3 zones out of 16 that have flow rates over 5. What should I do?

Hi @Budge-

This was not changed as there is still concern that it is very rare to see a higher precip rate- it’s almost a type of safe guard. Are you sure that you precip rate is over 5 in/hr? If so, can I ask why so high? Like @plainsane said above, a rate this high is asking for run off issues…

McKynzee :rachio:

are you sure its over 5 inches an hour? i mean, you might be better off opening up a fire hydrant on your turf.

Thank you for the comments. So it turns out that all 3 of the zones that have a PR over 5 are flower beds. The reasons the PR is so high are: (1) the heads are right up against the house and aimed so as not to spray the windows , (2) the beds are narrow, so I have to have a narrow angle and multiple heads to cover, (3) the zones have low square footage for the number of sprayers, and (4) the water pressure here is VERY high. Two of those zones also have drip hoses (as separate zones), but they cover other areas as well, so I can’t shut them off. The worst zone does not have drip irrigation and has a PR of … wait for it … 12.51! That consists of 4 narrow beds around my pool that have less than 200 square feet and 2 sprayer heads per bed.

That last zone is the easiest to correct. I turned the volume way down on each sprayer to minimize overspray. Then I capped one of the two sprayers on two of the beds. Lastly, I’m going to try to convert two of the beds to drip irrigation. I don’t know how to do that yet, but I’ll try this weekend.

The other two zones are harder because I’ll have to find a way to redistribute some sprinkler heads out of drip zone areas. Once that’s done, I can remove the sprinkler zones that are already covered by drip hoses.

As for the watering restrictions, they usually involve limiting our watering to 1 or 2 days a week, and only during certain hours of the day. I’m not sure how to accomplish that yet with the Rachio. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

@plainsane Missed you over the winter, welcome back!


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its good to be back, except my first irrigation run for the season went something like this


so, i still dont see anything that makes me say oh snap! what heads to you have and what valve is in them.

someone check my math. 12.5 * 200 / 96.25 / 8 = ~3.2467532
so i think 3.2 gpm per head, that is pretty insane, usually these heads are covering 702 feet at this flow rate


I would expect nothing less from you.