Drought on my lawn

I haven been owning the gen 1 for a month. It seems Rachio is very frugal on water. My lawn always shows sign of drought with grayish color. It’s particular true on zone 1 and zone 2, where about 2 two-foot wide along the drive way. I had to play with the zone configurations. And manually watered a few times. Any suggestions?

Well a couple of questions. What type of schedule are you using?

I’ll assume flex of daily/monthly.

So there are a handful of things that could cause this so providing you zone configuration will help.

Let’s start with precipitation rate. If this is set higher than your actual pr, iro will water shorter than it should as it thinks it has applied more water than it actually has.

If your root depth is set too shallow, the iro will not put out as much water because water absorbed passed your root depth will have no effect on the vegetation. So if your root zone was set to 4 inches and you have grass, the iro wold water much shorter, causing the root on the grass to die back some and thus requiring more frequent watering.

Available water could be set too high. Iro would run for a longer duration but because of high awc, would postpone watering longer than it should.

These are just few to start with but I’m almost positive your pr/awc is set too high as iro would account for incorrect root depth and actually over water.

Post pics of your zone settings

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I didn’t setup the precipitation rate. My knowledge on watering was to do it about 1 inch or 40 min each time so the root can go deeper. The default setting on the root depth is 9 in, which I didn’t change. With iro, it sets about 12 minutes on most zones. I tried different soil type from loam sand to sandy loam to loam. Iro only adjusts the interval days, not watering time. Below are the screenshot on settings.

Are your nozzles right for your grass zones 1 & 2? It says mister, unlike your zone 3 which is a rotor head.

Right. They are the mister as 1 & 2 are 2-foot wide along the drive way. 12 minutes would only gets it less than 1/5 inch as I measured.

Ok, 2 things, on your advanced zone settings, make sure your available water is .1-.12.

I,have sandy loam in 2 zones and .1 is my sweet spot (turf has been top dressed 6 times).

Second, which zone(s) is drought stressed? If it is misters, it is possible that the pressure is low on the valve so you are not actually getting the 2 inches per hour. It is also possible that the head on the misters is a much lower flow. A catch cup test really needs to be performed on the stressed zone.

Here is what I recommend for the short term till you can get a catch cup test, the zone that is getting hot, create a custom head and set the pr to .75 of what that zones pr is currently set to, match the actual head type.

I’m not trying to be an ass, but, there is the type of irrigation installer that is completely anactdotal and says run the zone for x minutes. There is also the irrigation installer that says, your system is designed to percipitate x inch per hour. The difference is that the latter installer has verified pressure at the end of the rail, so we are dealing with a known quantity, we need a catch cup test so we know that quantity.

If anything I have said is cryptic, let us know, somebody or I’ll,will clarify…

Dang, I,want to,clarify something, iro is,going to compute the run time for a zone based on the,settings. It will then only modify the frequency of the schedule as that is the most sound irrigation practice. It may sound odd nut it makes no sense to adjust the runtime of a zone based on temp or time of season. Your dirt can only hold x amount of water and that water will be consumed in x amount of time via evapotranspiration and photosythesis. So we have to calibrate iro to your conditions, then it will robotic automation porn…

I’ve changed the available water to .12 on all my zones. After changing that, my zone 1 become 10 min each time. But my zone 2 becomes 15 min each time. Why is that?

Those zone 1 and zone 2 mist are on the smaller size as they try to cover 2-foot wide only. I got about 1/5 inch for 12 minutes in my own test. Do you suggest to do a pressure test? I used to run 30-40 min on zone 2. The grass was all right.

By lowering your available water, you are telling the rachio to water less because your soil hold less water.

It sounds to me your pr is,set way too high., again a catch cup test needs to be performed so you can tell rachio how much water gets applied per minute, but I would say if the mister is only covering a few feet, the pr is somewhere around .75-1 inch per hour. Only a catch cup test can confirm this gut feeling.

Now if you know you get 1/5 in 12 minutes, then you need to select a head that provides 1 inch/hour. Create a custom mister head in the advanced zone settings and select that. Your water times should double.

I created a customer nozzle 7 with 0.8 in/hour. But the watering time is not doubled. Withe the exact same settings, my zone 1 is set to 10 min. My zone 2 is set to 15 min. Why?

What type of schedule are you using? Do you have smart watering enabled?

I have Samrt Cycle on and Weather Intelligent on. Schedule type is “As needed”. What else do I need?

Can you please check my schedule at your end? My username is rickgu for the Rachio App.

im sorry, i dont work for rachio, i cant see that information.

go ahead and email support@rachio.com. something i cant see or think of is causing an oddity here.

Actually, just manually adjust your watering durations on the wan to the desired level. I forgot this is a wan

Then I have to adjust it from season to season. It defeats the purpose of using iro.

No, your zones were not configured correctly when the schedule was created so the times are off.

It should adjust accordingly each season.

If you like, you,can delet the schedule and recreate it. With your new advanced zone settings it should default to,different times.

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There is only one thing need to modify in the advanced settings, setting Available water to .1. It’s already changed, why need to create a new schedule?

Because wan is not flex. When you recreate the schedule it will recomputed the amount of time it thinks it should water. Else just manually adjust the times in the existing schedule and you will get seasonal adjustments from there

Plus I thought we changed the pr on the zones with musters?

That will have a large effect on the run times

I would ask you a few questions:

  1. Do you gave high water pressure?
  2. What type nozzles or sprinkler type are you using?
  3. Are heads adjusted correctly?
  4. Do you have low water pressure?

I ask these to have you look at the efficiency of the system. Whenever I teach a class, I tell people a smart controller won’t fix a bad system. However I would think you could play around with the precipitation rate of the nozzle. If you decrease,that the run time will be lower. AND under advanced settings you can play around with uniformity. Hope this gives you a few ideas.

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