I just installed my Rachio Gen 2 system this week with the hope of saving money on my extremely high water bill. I couldn’t help but notice that on a Flex schedule with no restrictions my initial watering was extremely high (49 minutes a zone as opposed to 10-16 minutes 3x week 30-48 weekly). My initial thought is that this is possibly to get the soil up to 100% moisture levels before the system adjusts for the water depletion throughout the week (right or wrong please let me know). From reading the community I know this concern of high watering times has been addressed several times but I couldn’t really find a definitive answer as to why the initial times are so high. Let me explain my setup.
North Texas, Clay soil, flat-steep slopes, Bermuda grass, 12 zones, sprayers, rotary nozzle, rotor head, fixed spray head, drip (excluded from flex schedule to avoid preventing ‘Smart Cycle’). Each zone has only one nozzle type. All active zones are for grass.
I love the concept of the smart cycle and had built that into my previous rainbird system. If reducing “water waste” is one of Rachio’s main goals why is it that on my first watering my system ran for 49 minutes on clay soil with moderate- steep slope with NO stop and soak? Didn’t the majority of my water run away due to the poor clay soil absorption rates?
I understand that heavily watering the soil promotes a deeper root structure for the grass and eventually produces a healthier lawn as opposed to brief frequent watering. If I adjust the durations will I have to delete the Flex schedule and create a new one for it to update? If for whatever reason I delete a Flex schedule and create a new one will it always start off with these very high watering times again? On a Flex schedule will it always run for the aforementioned 49 minutes (give or take per zone) or will it self adjust and drop down to more reasonable times.
Due to my drip zones being on a different flex schedule how should I set them to avoid Rachio trying to run two zones at one time and dropping my water pressure? Is this even a concern?
Thanks for your help!