How to avoid same day watering with flex schedule

I have one zone (drip line for trees) that runs for a few hours. Today that line ran with all of my other zones - 460 minutes. Is there a way to keep that long running zone on flex but avoid running with other zones? This line runs infrequently, so pushing out to avoid other zones would be no problem from a watering perspective. But right now it runs first, making all of my lawn zones run in late morning/afternoon.

Two ways I can think of to do this –

(1) go into your schedule, select watering durations, and from there you can click/touch on the “hamburger” symbols and move the order of the zones around.

(2) my personal preferred method is to separate my drip zones into one flex schedule (in my case I start this schedule at 9:30am), and my grass zones into another one that starts at 4:30am (mine are short enough that they will finish before 7:30am with this time, even if all of them run). I find this very handy for the times when I don’t care as much about my flex daily lawn running, but I really care about my drips running (like during overseeding in the fall when I just use fixed schedules).

What @Linn is suggesting still won’t change the fact that if Flex decides that it needs to water all the zones (even if across two schedules), it is going to run for 460 minutes. If it makes you feel better, while EXTREMELY rare, my drip schedule has fired all zones in one day, and it runs for 18h13m total…and that’s just drip, no grass. :crazy_face:

Thanks Linn. Both of these would be improvements to my current situation, as I don’t really care quite so much about drip lines running during high evaporation times. Except…

  1. This doesn’t work for me. I’m using chrome…and I get a nice fat circle with a line through it if I try to drag my hamburgers around. No re-ordering that I can see. But I think with the second point, this would not matter.
  2. I actually start my grass zones at 4am (I’m learning to sleep through the pipe hammering), and my drip zone starts at 7:30. Even at this, with all of the soak times (which I think could probably be more efficient), the grass and bed areas are not able to finish (if they all run the same day) by the time the drip starts.

I guess if I could calculate the worst case combined watering time of the other zones and start the drip that much later, I might be able to avoid the late grass watering? But I don’t know how to do that.

You might want to get this fixed. I have my second Rachio that covers the yard area around our guest house, and I would get water hammer on the grass zones. Almost positive that is what cause a supply line to burst, flooding the guest house bathroom, laundry room, hallway, and part of the kitchen.

Usually the hammer is caused by overflowing the backflow preventer. Usually see this (like in my case) they ran the water supply to the irrigation off a hose bibb in the back yard as opposed to the main waterline entering the house. The little 1/2" backflow line was a max flow trying to fee a bunch of water hungry VAN spray nozzles. Switching to much lower flow MP Rotators fixed my hammer issue, but it was too late. Another thing that might work is to throttle down the valve at the backflow a bit, so that you aren’t overflowing the backflow.

Have you tried refreshing the webpage? I use chrome also, and have no problems moving them around. Instead of chrome, you could use your phone app to do it.

If you look at watering durations, it will have a total time of all the waterings - you can just subtract the drip zones out of that. In my case, even with soakings, since the zones all bounce back and forth, that total is my total longest run time.

Thanks for the advice! I’ll dig into this a bit more (so to speak).

Looked into this a bit more and discovered that when I turn the sprinkler lines on manually, I cannot reproduce the hammering. I tried turning on the same lines rapidly and switching between lines rapidly. Never a peep out of the lines. This only seems to happen when the Rachio controller is running a schedule, and then it’s almost like the house is shaking… Is that what you experienced?

Actually I discovered I can reproduce it manually. The noise seems to be pipes rattling in the house - not at the valve, or even the feed lines. Can’t hear it at all outside. And it happens on shutoff, not turn on. So some kind of pressure wave from rapid shut off I guess (?). Strange…

That’s what water hammer is. When you a 1/2 copper line at max flow, the water is moving at a high rate of speed thru the lines. When you shut that off, it’s like a multi car pileup. Like I mentioned earlier, you can either try new, lower flow nozzles that aren’t maxing out your supply line. Or for a quicker and easier fix, throttle the down the valve on the downstream side of your backflow device until you start to hear a restriction thru thr valve. That will slow the water down enough to prevent the hammer.

1 Like

And it would reduce the range of the sprinklers. Using low-precipitation nozzles like rotators or rotors with smaller nozzles will be the better fix.

Possibly, but not necessarily. There are a lot of variabilities in play. If at full flow, the nozzles are without pressure reducing, and they are at 50psi, backing that flow down, and thus pressure, the spray nozzles might actually perform better.

But, yes, I think rotor nozzles are a better long term fix.