First watering - seems overkill?


#1

I just installed my rachio today. Before rachio, I had a hunter pro-c.

I watered my grass for 5 minutes, 4 times a day (Live in Arizona… very hot).

I setup the rachio today with flex daily and it says it’s going to water my front lawn for 57 minutes tomorrow morning.

Is that normal? I assume if I water it on full blast for 57 minutes, it’s going to flood. Does it take breaks to let things soak in at all or anything?

Vegetation: Warm Season Grass
Soil: Loam
Exposure: Lots of Sun
Nozzle: Rotor Head
Slop: Moderate

I didn’t know of Rotor Head was the correct one. I have just a normal sprinkler system with nozzles like this. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rain-Bird-Adjustable-Pattern-4-in-Pop-Up-Spray-Head-1804AP-25/100167622 it pops up and sprays a water in a cone-type fashion without any side to side movement.

Thanks in advance!


#2

I looked online and it appears I want fixed spray head, not rotor head. I changed that and it changed my watering down to 35 minutes, which sounds more reasonable.


#3

In my system setup the total watering time also includes the rest time so that the water can sink into the soil. My watering schedule give a water time of 64 minutes which also includes 14minutes of rest time, also the water schedule for each zone is split in half so that each zone is watered twice with a rest time in between


#4

Hi @optize, jump on over to the flex daily threads and you’ll see several discussions around flex daily, especially from fellow AZ members like myself. I can tell you that what your system is doing sounds correct and that the 5 minutes, 4 times daily that you were previously doing was not doing your lawn any favors. Frequent, shallow watering promotes poor root development which means the grass stresses easier in hot temps, and weeds. Watering multiple times a day is definitely a misunderstanding that many Phoenicians around me have because they think it’s 110 out, the grass must be thirsty, when in fact, because you water deeply every few days, your grass is doing just fine.

Of course, Rachio is only as good as your settings are, so we can help you with that. You are on the right track with picking the fixed spray head vs the rotor.


#5

Thank you - learning new things.

I ran it yesterday for 35 minutes and my yard was pretty much a pool so I’m sure I’ll need to tweak it more, but atleast I know I’m on the right track.


#6

where in Az do you live?


#7

Queen Creek


#8

So a pool of water developing with your sprinkler run means obviously that water is being applied faster than the soil can take it in. The first thing you want to do is check out this great post by @azdavidr on determining your correct soil. What do you get when you plug that in?


#9

Yeah, I did see that post. I put in my address and it said Loam which is what I selected in the app.


#10

Cool, and you entered in the number in the rating column right?


#11

I apologize, but I don’t know what you mean by entered the number. Where do I enter in the number? Mine is 0.17.


#12

You can take the number the site gives you (0.17 for you) and put it in your zone under Available Water. The Loam setting in Rachio is 0.17, so you really don’t need to change anything, but if you wanted to double check, you would look here


#13

Gotcha - Available Water is set at 0.17.

I think I’m going to have an irrigation company come out and look at my sprinklers, I think there’s too many in certain areas that overlap with each other. The pooling only happens in certain areas of the yard.


#14

You can do that… or if you have time and the desire, you can run a catch cup test to determine how much water is placed into each zone and then you create custom nozzles instead of the default 1.5in/hr fix spray head. I did the catch cup test, real easy to do, and I created a different custom nozzle for my 3 zones. Zones 1 and 3 are similar but zones 2 gets a lot of water from both zones 1 and 3, so my custom nozzle for zone 2 is higher (like 2.5 in/hr) whereas my zones 1 and 3 are 1.3 and 1.8 respectively. Doing this then has my zone 2 run like half the amount of time that my other zones do, thus no over watering.


#15

Great, thank you for your help. Will try it out.


#16

I woke up again this morning to another pool, so I’m going to do the cup test. It doesn’t say what size cup test to use though.

Does it matter? I was just going to use red plastic party cups…


#17

I thought about going the homemade route, but then I found it was just easier to buy these. They are clearly marked, give instructions, and when you plug the numbers into their website, it’ll give you precip rate and also efficiency, two things you’ll plug into Rachio.


#18

Thanks, ordered them - will find out what they say tomorrow.


#19

Cool, I think that is the best idea if you don’t mind doing the work yourself and saving some $ over having someone come out. How many different zones do you have?


#20

I have 6 grass zones, 3 shrubs, and 3 plants.

Quick question if you don’t mind. Let me try to explain it.

Zone 1 and Zone 2 overlap for 2 of the 5 or so sprinklers. To get a accurate flow rate, would I keep the cup in zone 1 and run zone 1 for 20 minutes, and zone 2 for 20 minutes and then combine those numbers and use that as the flow rate for zone 1?

I can do that, but then it’s going to affect the other 3 sprinklers that don’t have that overlap. Thoughts?