Allow users to enter the before and after number from their water meter for each zone. It could be a “Calibration Cycle” in the setup. It would be optional for those who would be ok with the default settings too. The User interface would have a field to enter the starting number (from your water meter) for zone 1. Then iro will run the zone for a time that you would select. (obviously the longer you run and measure the more accurate your data will be) Once the select time is reached iro would pause until you enter the number. Once the number is entered iro moves on to the next zone. Once the second zone is done it pauses again until you enter the number then moves to the next zone until all of your zones are complete. Of course you would need to do this when no other water is being used in the home but it would provide more accurate analytical data since every zone is affected by the type of sprinkler, length of run, and how each sprinkler is adjusted. But this would further customize this awesome product. Thanks for all the great work you are doing. I had to shut down for the winter but I can’t wait to start up my iro again in the spring.
@traviski, love the idea! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Sounds pretty simple for the end user. Out of curiosity, did you do this with your own system to setup your custom nozzles?
I’m curious as to how most water meters display water usage. To my understanding, in the USA, water meters are calibrated in cubic feet (ft.3) or US gallons. We’d probably need to add a few steps to help different meter types convert the water volume to a precipitation rate; the speed at which water is being applied to the surface of the lawn – which would require some additional effort of the user, but since this is optional, perhaps it could be broken up into different levels of accuracy pending how detailed the user wants to be.
The only downside to this method from the catch cup test is that we would loose the ability to capture the zone’s efficiency (aka distribution uniformity); how efficient the water is being distributed by the sprinklers. For details, please refer to this support article.
We can’t wait for the spring either! Thanks for being a member of our community Please let us know if you think of any other ideas on ways we could improve the Iro.
I actually had my system installed. I was not aware that there was any other unit of measure but Cubic feet I have to admit I have not even considered the Distribution uniformity since I thought that was more the responsibility of the professional that installed the sprinkler. I thought uniformity was achieved by proper placement of the sprinkler heads. I guess I am still new at this and only concerned about water use at this point. Interesting support article though. I guess I would be more concerned about that after seeing how much I will use in a season. Having just installed my system I only got to use the iro for one month then got concerned about the expected freezing weather and blew the system out.
The reason for this suggestion was that I found that I used about 500 gallons of water with one specific watering cycle( 56cuft X 7.48gal) but my iro showed a considerable amount more gallons used.
@traviski, good point and valid assumption. In theory this is correct – however, heads can move over time pending their placement (i.e. get kicked along the sidewalk, or nudged by a mower). Also, nozzles can get plugged over time. An annual audit is best to “tune-up” the system.
Ah, for reporting the Iro uses the nozzle’s precipitation rate and square footage of the zone to estimate your water usage. Here’s another support article that details the equation and variables in detail.
Let me know if this helps
Great tool. I wish I knew about that tool when trying to measure my lot size manually.
So I used it to manually enter all zone area specifics and again I can’t wait until spring to see how it all works out, With that method I guess I need to determine soil type, decide available water measurements, allowed depletion, and efficiency in order for it to be accurate. I guess this would all be more important to me if I had an irrigation system before this one. But if I merely want to know how much I am going to spend on water (which is where I am at right now) the easier way to go would be to log the amount of water I used per zone and if doing that, then altering watering times from my phone, doesn’t make my grass greener I would probably take the time to do all of that other stuff. Being new to this I just want to water my grass and know how much it is going to cost me. A regular watering of 5 minutes every other day will get me better grass than I had this past summer that is my goal. Love that the iro does all of that stuff unfortunately my Water company gives no rebates and charges me sewer for any amount of water that comes out of my pipes even if it landed on the grass. So My goal is just to water evenly and infrequently.I would never say all of that other stuff is not Important it is just less important to me right now. I know you guys listen to the community, and I have experienced that, so I thought I would suggest what would make it more useful to people like me. Thanks for the additional information
MERGE! Haha. Here’s some more on this topic. Seems a lot of people would like to see this feature.
If you’re imagining your average customer who buys an Iro, do you think they’d rather:
know how much money they’re going to spend/save and how much water they use, or do you think they’d rather calculate their precipitation rate?
Know your customer to create the best product for them
@traviski, the Iro is only as smart as the data entered into it. If you’re having trouble determining your soil type, I’d recommend checking out the free web tool the USGS/USDA has available via this support article.
Would you expect a ballpark cost for your lawn watering? Assuming your utility uses tiered pricing, how do you plan on calculating this cost without adding your indoor use to the total?
This is a common complaint – however, given my last comment, there’s really no easy way to be able to record water usage by application/use. Perhaps you’re paying a weighted average that accounts for outdoor water use on average as “X%”…at least I can help for this
We appreciate your feedback. Please share any other ideas that come your way if you think they will improve the product; software or hardware.
Yes. Short term, a simple custom nozzle calculator interface that can convert various units to a precipitation rate would help for fine tuning schedules.
Agreed This would be a different feature, but a very powerful tool.
I actually just sent feedbacknow asking for a calibration tab for each zone.The tab would have before/After meter readings, units, and duration. I was referred to the blog. It is nice to see others wanting the same thing.
2 other suggestion were partial cycles; also already on the blog.
The other was a user input to increase the forecast from 24hrs to a selection of 24, 48 or 72 hours. I know the further you go out, the less reliable the information, but any chance to save water. Our water is pricy. Users are already clicking rain delay when they look further into the future, why not automate…
It makes plenty of sense to me.
Love the suggestions! Out of curiosity, where are you located where your water is pricey? I usually guess CA but more and more states are upping water prices now…
Austin, TX - Here we have 4 seasons. Summer, Fall, Deer and Football
The last few places I have lived in Texas, they uses November, December and January to determine the sewer usage for the entire year.
I was curious, so of course as an infomaniac, I had to do a bit of research about water prices across the US.
Interestingly, Santa Fe had the highest water bills based on 100 gallon per person daily use for a family of four. $153.78
The lowest? Fresno at $23.26
These survey results are for 2015.
Austin had the highest increases since 2014 for highest-volume users at 31%.
Water pricing has little to do with scarcity–some of the lowest prices are in the desert Southwest cities such as Phoenix and Tucson.
Drought restrictions have brought about declining water sales, so municipalities have had to raise the unit cost of water to balance budgets. Price increases are also reflective of replacement of aging infrastructure and labor and chemical costs.
Bills can still be reduced by using less water, of course. All the more reason to let Rachio help you conserve water.
This is so interesting… Raising prices to prevent people from using too much turns into raising prices to make up for the lack of use
EXACTLY what happened in Charlotte!!! BTW, my water bill in the winter is for the lowest amount possible, just 1 CCF, which is only $1.58, but when you add in my water availability fee, sewage availability fee, fixed water fee, fixed sewer fee, sewer usage fee and taxes, my bill comes to $41!!!