Large Yard, Many Zones, Max Run Time

Hi, I have a large yard with 13 watering zones. The irrigation heads are all slow rotors and I typically need to run these zones about an hour to deliver an appropriate amount of water. I like to use Flex Daily and I have been tuning for this type of schedule. It works OK once it gets going and only a few zones need watering per night.

My issue is, let’s say I’m starting from scratch with completely depleted zones or at least many needing water so that this issue comes up: it takes ages (~13 hours) to irrigate every zone. Ideally this would be split between 2 or even 3 days. What I would ideally do is configure Flex Daily but have a “max run time” or something like that which would cap the total allowable runtime… and ideally it would figure out the rest.

There’s probably a rational approach to this with multiple schedules or something like that? I thought I’d tap the braintrust here for some guidance.

Any help appreciated!

One approach I’m considering is splitting things into two Flex Daily schedules, one with even and the other odd watering days.

First, are there any drip zones that can be separated from the schedule? Drip zones can easily and efficiently be operated during the day without substantial water.

Doing as vgrund said can help. Although Flex Daily doesn’t work as well watering every other day, but that may be your best approach. The problem with your “max run time” idea is that Flex Daily only waters when the next day would result in a zone being too dry. So holding off watering any zone scheduled for watering would dry out the zone too much.

Makes sense. There are no drip zones. As I stated, these are 100% rotor zones. Right now I’m experimenting with three schedules. One is an every day Flex Daily that I use with the parts that dry out the fastest (3 zones). That starts at sunset. The remainder is split between two odd/even Flex Daily schedules that start in the wee hours. I would not be as concerned about a super long total run time if I didn’t have a well. This approach provides some safety margin and breaks up the usage a bit. It’s more practical than relying on delays between zones though I do a bit of that as well.

I have just installed and have 14 zones too and the recommended settings are giving me 13 hour watering schedule (3 rounds at 18 minutes per zone) which scares me a bit, maybe its just the first few schedules till it learns? and choosing complete before sunrise means it starts at 5:30 in the afternoon which is the hottest time of day here in Houston, am I doing something wrong? my old system was set for 8-10 minutes per zone, every other day and this seemed to be fine for my yard. what am i missing here? thanks, bob

@presto, I’d recommend starting your own thread if you’d like to have members review your settings to make sure they are correct.

Depending on what your setting are, your actual watering time is 54 minutes per zone, with a cycle soak between. For reference, my grass zones outfitted with Hunter MP Rotators run for 58m per zone, but I have no cycle soak.