Frustrated with Iro


#1

Hey guys,

been using the Iro for a few weeks and kinda frustrated with support and a few other things.

I called support and Friday and explained my problems and was told someone would call me back…its Thursday and nothing…

so laying them out here:

  1. Rain sensor integration - I have a system with a rain sensor and I enabled rain sensor. Ok, so I started getting push alerts of “its raining” and “it’s not raining”. Only problem is the it’s not raining alerts come like 12-24 hrs after its stopped because the alerts are labeled wrong. I think the alerts should be like rain sensor registered rain and rain sensor dry. You know what I mean? Because the sensors don’t technically know when its stopped raining.

But this is minor compared to my other 2 complaints:
2) Watering times - I setup my system and did all the advanced setup and measured and all that and it’s telling me to water WAY too long. Literally its telling me to water a 500 sqf zone for 1 hr every 3 days. I used to water it for 12 min 3x a week and it was always green. I bought your product to water less not more…

  1. Calculations of water used seems really high. I got my water bill and it said I only used 5000 gallons last 60 days but yet the rachio website tells me I am using 700+ gallons a watering. Doesn’t add up.

The lack of support to effectively help me is making me lose faith in the product. Please help restore my faith and help me figure out why it’s trying to schedule such long waterings.

Thanks
Mitch


#2

Well in number 2, make sure your heads and plant type and soil are correct. Also the schedule will show an hour of watering but it is really much much less when you view the details of schedule. That is caused the smart cycle feature, and it’s the bomb. My yard gets water for 16 minutes but the Schuyler shows and hour. Make sure that is not the case. Also what type of grass is it? I’m not a fan of watering warn season grasses 3 times a week. It stunts root development.

For number 3, go easy on these guys right now. They are at the end of their 2.0 cycle and things are temporarily bat shit insane. I promise, if you look on the forums, they are typically most responsive.

I hope that we the community can help them out for this week and next, so please reply and allow me to clarify any confusion I might have created in my response


#3

Also the gallons used is an estimate so don’t put too much stock in that for now


#4

Hi @ghctim,

Good morning. I’m sorry to hear you’re frustrated with your Iro.

I’m going to review our support logs to understand why you haven’t been called back yet and have one of our support team members follow up with you today. I appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

I’ll do my best to address your other concerns below:

Good point. We use to have a different notification (“rain sensor true” and “rain sensor false” I believe), but due to confusion we change it to the current terminology. We’ll review this as a team and see if we can think of a better way to phrase these in the future. As you mentioned, sensors don’t technically know when/if it’s raining in real time :blush:

As @plainsane mentioned, we recommend watering schedules based upon the zone attributes selected. I’d be happy to review these on your account and fine tune them for you. The biggest variables are the nozzle precip rates and the square footage of each zone. Do you happen to know these? If so, it would be great to get these details entered into the app. I’d recommend we update your zone attributes, then create new watering times and compare the old and new watering times side by side to see the difference these details make on the recommended watering times.

I’m sorry for any errors in our reporting and your actual watering bill. This is a direct reflect of the issues addressed in #2 (above). You can figure out the total number of gallons used per zone during a watering time based on the following data.

Precipitation rate of the nozzle - PR
Square footage of zone - SF
Duration that the zone runs for - D

The total number of gallons used is calculated using this formula: (SF x PR)/96.25= Total number of gallons per minute used in that zone. And if you multiply that by the duration (D) you will see the total number of gallons used for that particular zone during a schedule. If we change some of the zone details (i.e. nozzle precip rate, square footage, etc), then these reports will also change.

We’ll give you a call today and make things right. I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I hope you’ll give us a second chance to make things right.

Best, Emil


#5

I do and they are entered, but it still is recommending a really long time…

right, and I did this math in a spreadsheet and I still don’t feel like its right. I don’t think it takes the # of nozzles into account in a zone. If I have a 500 sqf zone and only one head (which is impossible) the flow would be very different then if I had 5 heads.

Thank you. I am happy to provide my email and have you look at my account. I think I tuned things pretty well and like I said I did the advanced configuration,but it didn’t seem to help


#6

Hi,
Been lurking here for about a month. First off, love the system, and it’s potential for further improvement.
Regarding rain sensors, perhaps adding an icon on the app face red rain sensor triggered, green clear.
Each zone area by default is 1000 sf, edit each zone area (in the Advanced Zone Settings) to get better estimate. I used catch cups to get a better precipitation rates for my zones then created custom nozzles. The numbers look much better and my watering times went down as well.


#7

that is a great idea to improve the UI!


#8

I think Catch cups would help me tune this down but that seems like more trouble then its worth. I think taking the number of heads into account in the configuration would help


#9

@Adam9997 We’ve had that request a lot, will try to get in after 2.0!

:beers:


#10

@ghctim I did catch cups this weekend, and it only took about 20 minutes.

I’m hoping to make an extensive blog post soon.

IMHO it is WELL worth it, more so with our flex schedules coming out. Garbage in, garbage out :wink:

:beers:


#11

couldn’t agree more!


#13

@ghctim I’m still trying to figure out the best way to present information on using catch cups, I want to make it simple so people aren’t overwhelmed.

I bought this and only used like two of them, so for normal person waste of money.

What they don’t tell you, is you need to do some math to determine precip in/hr.

Mine was .68 in/hr (very similar to our rotary nozzle)

http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/H510.pdf

At some point I want to expose a calculator for people, it shouldn’t be this hard.

I know I’ve read about tuna cans, etc. but without knowing surface area and volume, it seems like measuring with a tuna can seems highly inaccurate.

These seemed like a better way to go, but I want my Amazon prime!

http://irrigation.tamu.edu/coursematerials/Utah%20Irrigation%20Catch%20Cup%20Order%20Form.pdf

I’d like to sell these at some point.


#14

Shoot just bundle them with the Iro or offer them as an add-on in the checkout. I would have bought at least one to help me fine tune my setup!


#15

:wink:


#16

I love how this thread started out, and how it evolved into talking about catch cups, sorry for hi-jacking.

:beers:


#17

@ghctim, if you haven’t created new schedules in the last 24 hours, I’d recommend doing so and seeing how the watering durations change. We’ve made some updates to our data tables that I think will help refine your watering durations.

Perhaps you could email us a copy of the spreadsheet to review? The # of nozzles are taken into account with the precip rate. For more information, please see this support article on calculating your precip rate.

Thanks, Emil


#18

I am going to buy catch cups and do the calculations. But maybe I am missing something. In a well designed sprinkler install shouldn’t the perception rate be very similar in each zone regardless of sprinkler head?


#19

supposed to be, but based on other ppl’s post here, doesnt seem to be as common as i would have expected.

edit: i do believe as smart controllers become more popular, symmetry in zones will become less popular. nothing requires percip rates to be the same in each zone, as far as i understand it, is more of a practice than a requirement as it makes dealing with 20+ zones, easier to manage from a manual point of view (from what i can gather).

but for me, i have mad symmetry because im pedantic.


#20

@ghctim Way out of my league, @emil would know more, but I think a lot has to do with pressure. Assuming farther away zones have lower pressure(?), but this is way above my pay-grade.

:beers:


#21

@ghctim, good question. Flow rate, head placement and nozzle selection (for each head) all play a role in calculating the precipitation rate – which is the amount of water put down by a sprinkler zone in a certain amount of time. It’s measured in inches per hour. The reason we care about it is because we want all of the heads on the same zone to have ‘matched’ precipitation rates. You want an area to be evenly watered, not soggy in one spot and dry in another. Some beds or turf areas are irregular in shape, varying in distances to be covered. Varying radii of sprinkler heads are therefore required within the same zone.

I often get asked, “Could these two types of heads work together (in harmony) on the same zone?” The answer is sadly no – they were never meant to be together. Why? They have different precipitation rates. Rotors have a much lower precip rate (I’m going to start saying ‘precip’…that’s how us sprinkler guys talk), which means it takes a lot longer for a rotor to put down the same amount of water as a spray head would in the same area. So if you have rotors covering a large section of lawn coming on with sprays covering a smaller section- one section will always be too dry or too wet, depending on the run time. That’s why well designed systems have the same type of heads on individual zones.

Zones with spray heads can be even trickier to configure if you’re using variable arc nozzles, or VANs. The arc (part of a circle…think of a pie wedge ;)) can be adjusted from just a sliver of a few degrees to almost a full circle. These nozzles work good for angles less than 90 degrees, and curved edges that are a few degrees short or more than common fixed patterns. The problem with VANs is their precip rates are higher than regular nozzles. More than double in the case of an 8′ half circle. According to Rainbird flow charts, their regular 8H nozzle has a flow of a half gallon per minute at 30 psi (pounds per square inch; the measurement of operating water pressure at the nozzle), and a precip rate of 1.56 in/hr. The 8′ VAN nozzle set to half circle at the same pressure is 3.58 in/hr! This would be handy if you needed extra water in a spot, but would make it soggy if you didn’t.

Sorry to ramble on, but I thought it’s important to address the many variables to a sprinkler zone that impact it’s watering schedule. As you can see, there’s many moving parts to get it fine tuned.

Hope this helps.

Best, Emil