Gallons Used Seems Way Off - Help

I’ve only run my sprinklers for a few minutes in order to help the sprinkler repair service that came out to fix my sprinklers do so. The app is saying 10 minutes, 279 gallons! There is no way this can be correct. How is this being calculated. If I understand correctly its based on the type of heads and the square footage entered?

I literally ran the smallest zone for about 15 seconds to show a friend yesterday and it says 5 gallons were used. Does this seem right? I have 8 rotor heads in zone 1. 7 fixed in zone 2. and 4 rotors in zone 3.

We use a combination of factors for that estimate. One of the main attributes is zone square footage. If you go in and set that somewhat accurately our numbers will look a lot better. Here is more information:

Let us know if you have any other questions.


If you have 8 rotors at 3 gpm that’s 24 gpm, 15 seconds is .25 of that which comes in 6 gallons, so it’s not that far off.

I’m assuming your rotors have 3gpm nozzles in them, but that is pretty common.

I’m not sure what the smallest zone means, but if your 4 rotors are 5 gpm, then that is 20 gpm *.25 = 5 gallons as well?

1 Like

@mbaturin, have you had a chance to measure and update your zone square footage values?

@plainsane makes a good point with quick numbers. The app uses default precipitation rates based on the nozzle type selected. To fine tune your system, we recommend performing a catch cup test to find your actual application rate, which can be used to enter a custom nozzle which will apply the actual precipitation rate for each zone in the usage reports.

1 Like

I should have mentioned this but the numbers I typed up here were after I updated the square footage which I got from the website tool I found in the support section. I didn’t realize how much water these things output! No wonder my water bill was always so high. So when I said smallest zone, I meant both in square footage and number of nozzles. I just had a sprinkler company come last week and make adjustments as needed and replace 2 of my sprinker heads that went. He said they are hunter heads and showed me how to adjust them. Based on your numbers, @plainsane, I correct my statement, I guess it’s not way off. Just more water being used than i expected.

1 Like

oh dude, you had that moment of clarity which i had 2 years before i bought a rachio…now when you see rachio saving those gallons, it REALLY means something, you know? all their effort transcends the “save the earth feel good” into your wallet.

my wife could have cared less when i got my rachio, but once i showed her the graphs and her phone started notifying her that a schedule was skipped because of some intergalactic awesome-O, even SHE took an interest. hahahahahah rachio, bringing psychotic turf husbands and accounting cheap ass wives together, one schedule at a time…WOOT!


This thread is making me smile. :sunny:


Haha similar situation here too. I have many, many smart home devices in my home. From lights, to thermostats, to roombas, and electric dog doors that turn off if the weather calls for rain (so the dog cant go out in the rain when we’re not home, obviously). So when I told my wife I wanted to get a smart sprinkler controller - i got more than an eye roll. After I explained that it could save us a considerable percentage on our water bill and eventually will pay for itself, I got the buy in. Once I can show the real data once I actually turn the system on (snow over here in South Jersey last week) - she’ll be really impressed!

Mine was more of an “oh …” moment. Not so much clarity :slight_smile:

Never knew one could get 29gpm through a 5/8" meter… But it certainly explained some water bills.

I double checked. Checked water meter. Manually ran zone for some amount of time. Compared results. Didn’t fully believe it until that point.

I am new to Rachio. Just installed it a few days ago and it’s pretty awesome. It would be great if the app had a database of all the various sprinkler heads by manufacturer and model and their associated specs so that the calculations can be more accurate. Also, I didn’t see an option to choose more than one type of sprinkler per zone or a setting to state how many heads are in the zone.

1 Like

Glad I’m not the only one who got the wife-eye. Rachio has paid for itself already. Not gonna stop me from hounding my water company for a rebate program, though.


The problem is they will vary based on pressure, arc setting, etc. Also, a zone should be designed to provide the same Perception rate to the entire zone.

Best bet is to -

  1. Use catch cups to get the Precipitation rate (PR)

  2. watch the main water meter for a 2-3 minute run and calculate the GPM for the zone.

From the above two numbers, calculate area (or adjust the area you measured).

This will give you the best GPM estimates from the Rachio dashboard.

1 Like