Foundation soaker hose setup

I am new to this forum. I have tried searching for an answer and have not found one yet. So, if my question has been answered, please forgive me.

I have an existing Hunter controller I have replaced with a Rachio controller. The Rachio controller is working, and I am in the process of defining my zones. One of my zones is a buried soaker hose used for foundation watering. I don’t know which type of sprinkler to choose, or if one of them is not correct, then how to create the correct one.

Thanks in advance for your help and constructive advice.

Is it a soaker hose or drip line? That is important to know.

So, it’s one zone for the whole house foundation?

Do all sides of the house have the same landscape/turf characteristics or does each side have different turf, landscape, shade and sun characteristics?

Do you also have other zones around the house that will water the same area the “soaker hose” waters?

What soil type?

Welcome to the neighborhood!

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Sprinklerman, thanks for your response and offer for advice. I hope the information I am providing will answer your questions.

  • I am not sure of the difference between a buried drip line and buried soaker hose. I can tell you it is a copper colored (kind of thin hard plastic) line with holes in it. I know it is not like a soaker hose which would connect to a faucet and be strung out across the yard. I believe the hose inside diameter is 1/2".

  • Yes, the hose is buried and circles the entire house as one zone.

  • All sides are mostly clay soil with a thin layer of topsoil.

  • There is no landscaping around the house. It’s just Bermuda grass (I hate Bermuda, but it’s what the HOA specifies, and I’m stuck with it. I would rather have St. Augustine, but can’t have it).

  • The house sits “up” on the pad on the property, so the foundation is raised above the yard and there is a sloped decline from the foundation down to the yard of about 3’ in length and about 1’ in height.

  • All of the foundation is partially shaded and never gets full sun.

  • There is overlapping watering from other zones, but we are restricted to one watering day per week for regular sprinklers.

  • The soil type is mostly clay with a little topsoil on top of the clay.

Also, the city recommends watering the foundation for 30 minutes early in the morning 7 days a week. They do an annual free inspection of the sprinkler system and set custom recommendations.

With my old Hunter system, the surface of the ground above the buried line would be wet for about an hour after the zone would water, and then would be dry after that. It is never so wet that the ground is spongy.

I am going to have the yard aerated in the spring. It needs it badly. Half of one of my zones has grass that never seems to grow because the ground is so compacted from the previous owners walking across the yard.

@hbreese - as the foundation zone is a drip system and it sounds like the other zones are above ground sprinklers, you’ll definitely want to put the foundation zone on its own schedule - otherwise features like soak cycle won’t be applied to the regular sprinklers. Probably a “Fixed” schedule is the best answer for this one zone - with your choice on the weather intelligence features activated (i.e. rain skip, freeze skip and seasonal adjustment).

One reason for specifying the sprinkler and precipitation rate is to get the reported usage from Rachio close to actual. If that is important, then I’d back into the precipitation rate by getting a before and after reading from the water meter (while no other water is being used) when running that zone for a set time (e.g. 1, 5 or 10 minutes).

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Thank you DLane for your response.

The foundation zone is already on it’s own schedule. I am just trying to figure out which sprinkler “type” to choose for the setup of the zone.

@hbreese - if you can find out the make and model of the tubing that information have the appropriate values. Otherwise, I’d set it up using an emitter type. Once the actual make and model of the tubing is determined or a measured run rate is performed then you might need to use the custom nozzle option. As long as you’re not trying to have Rachio keep up with the field water level on a flex type schedule, I think you’ll be fine. I’m not sure that I’d try to save the last gallon of water on foundation watering if your city has already recommended 30 minutes a day. Clay soil (I have it too) moves a lot between wet and dry, so the idea is to keep its water content fairly consistent.

DLane - I don’t know how I can get make and model type information. The entire system was already installed when we bought the house. All I know is the tubing is a thin copper colored semi-rigid 1/2" ID plastic tubing with holes in it. There does not appear to be any manufacturer information labeling on the tubing. I don’t have a clue how to establish a “run rate”. All of the tubing is buried and connected to the system.

We received about 1/2" of rain last night, so I received an email this morning informing me that my normal foundation watering would be put off by one day based on the local weather information.

@hbreese - my guess is this is what is installed

See -> Drip Emitter Calculator for Precipitation Rate & Area or or

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@hbreese Sounds like drip line to me. Careful aerating. Over time, drip line emitter flow can deteriorate. I’ve seen it go from a consistent flow, to too much flow and even no flow.

You mentioned your city does free irrigation inspections. The City of Frisco does them around here. Good service. If you’re in Texas, all irrigation systems are suppose to have a design with specifications. That will have your drip specs.

Keep in mind, you will need to fine tune by trial and error to find a happy medium that gives you comfort for foundation moisture. You will have to balance all the water from your sources to work together with seasonal changes. Here is a good read on foundations if you’re interested:

@DLane has some good linked info for you.

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Sounds like we are neighbors. We live in Frisco Lakes. :slight_smile:

So I am in right next to you both in Oak Point and trying to figure out a schedule for myself here. I’m new to Rachio so I just need something stupid simple. The manufacturer that installed our system had a cheap Hunter controller that ran at midnight for 15 minutes, and noon for 15 minutes. I created two fixed schedules. One that runs at midnight, one at noon daily each with a watering duration of 15 minutes with no cycle and soak. Is that a like for like? I’m realizing there is a LOT of complexity with Rachio but having a foundation watering option\template would be great. Thanks in advance folks.

I have mine set for Smart Cycle on, water 3 days a week for 7 minutes at 3am.