Yes, got the Rachio setup outside and is online and ready for programming. I haven’t tried turning any zone on yet. Later today I will try to turn on each zone one at a time and see which areas are controlled in those areas.
Awesome. That will take some time but having a remote in your hand (i.e. phone) vs having to walk to the box everytime will be a great time saver. From a settings stand point, let’s get your proper soil listed. Here is a great reference provided by @azdavidr
Getting the correct soil is vital to knowing how fast your ground will soak up the water and how long it’ll hold onto it. We tend to have sandy soil out here in the desert. Let us know what the AW is per the link.
A bit off topic, but I think most of the AZ folks are watching this thread. Here’s an update of the landscape watering classes some of you guys were talking about earlier. I noted one coming up at Agave Library, which I think is out by @Modawg2k and maybe a couple of others?
Nice, yeah that’s just down the street from me around I17 and Pinnacle Peak.
My first test is complete, and the Rachio worked! I’m a little baffled that I actually got my system converted from the RainDial to the Rachio on the first try. Okay, so walking around the yard, turning on/off the zones one by one I found this to be the setup:
Zone 1, Zone 7, Zone 8: blank / not used / not wired (followed the RainDial setup for zones)
Zone 2: all of the bigger trees seem to be on this zone. Most have red emitters.
Zone 3: seems like everything in the backyard (except the bigger trees) are on this. Vines, bushes, shrubs, plants.
Zone 4: all I could find turning on is 1 emitter for a plant near the garbage cans.
Zone 5: the entire front of the house (except bigger trees)
Zone 6: all could find is 1 small 4ft tree in front…nothing else on this
I went online to this amazing site, http://www.amwua.org/plants/ , to identify the types of landscaping we have. Seems like we have an assortment of these: desert spoon, agave, slipper flower, golden barrel, cereus, mesquite, ironwood, palo brea, firecracker bush, green feathery senna, golden eye, lantana, grape ivy, goodings verbena, cherry red sage–at least that is my best guess until the landscaper comes to help identify.
HERE ARE MY QUESTIONS:
- What time of the day should I set the system to water each zone (for simplicity, let’s say front yard, back yard and trees as the 3 zones)?
- How many times per week should these zones each get water?
- What type of emitters should be used for each? Assume most can be classified into 1-2 types of emitters (ie Shrubs or Trees)
- How do I set this up in the Rachio so it knows how many emitters I have and/or how much water I’m using?
Once you do that, try out this post to see if it helps you set up your Rachio according to what you learned from 'Water Use It Wisely. Be sure not to skip any steps, especially dialing in your soil and root depth settings before using the calculator!
@jeremysm1 Did you do the soil test online yet? I don’t remember seeing you post those.
A lot of your questiosn can be answered with having the appropriate settings
I went outside this morning to first see which plants actually have emitters and if any were broken. My findings upset me.
I only was able to look at the front of the house so far:
-4 broken emitters (spilling out water)
-many plants without water at all (will have to determine if they are xeriscape or not)
-1 crack in a big irrigation feeder hose.
Anyone know how to fix a cracked feeder hose? See picture. I’m planning on stopping by Ewing later today to start on some fixes.
You get a replacement line big enough for that section and a couple of connectors, and then splice out the bad part and and replace wtih the new ones. It’s an easy fix
Here are a couple of links to back up @Modawg2k’s description. The Ewing guys will show you too.
If your irrigation is greater than 5 years old, you might find that you’ll start playing whack-a-mole with these leaks. I’ve already had to completely replace my system in our front yard, and will have to do so again soon. I just went through a repair like this last weekend in my front yard. I ended up pulling a 6 foot section that had two leaks. When I pulled I found it had already been repaired with couplers 5 times! We just renovated our back yard last year and we put in a PVC based drip system there so we wouldn’t have to deal with this issue.
My setup is about 6 years old and I had to repair the same general area about 4 times now in the past year.
The absolute best part of the Rachio system is that I can use the app on my phone to turn on a zone and start inspecting. Upon finding a broken emitter or one that needs to be plugged I can use the app to shut off the water, fix it, and turn it back on without running around to the other side of the house. That alone is worth it’s weight in gold!
I’m pretty sure that all the leaks are now fixed and the emitters are working correctly. I now need to figure out an irrigation plan. I checked out the Water It Wisely website but can’t believe that I should go so many days between watering cycles.
Can you guys share your watering cycle/setup? Thanks!
What’s your soil AW from the link provided
Okay, I finally was able to go through that link in order to confirm/find the soil type. Here are the items that I think we’re looking for:
Momoli gravelly sandy loam, 1 to 5 percent slopes. Rating 0.08
A - 0 to 3 inches: gravelly sandy loam
Bw - 3 to 60 inches: very gravelly sandy loam
Please let me know your thoughts and next steps. Thanks!
So for Soil, you can set it to something like “Sandy Loam”, but then go into advanced settings and change your ‘Available Water’ (AW) to 0.08. The lower this number, the more sandy the soil is. Sandier soil allows water to flow thru it faster, but it also does not hold onto water as long as clay-type soils.
Next step, set your vegetation correctly, so if you have the one zone with all trees, set that one to trees. Your Zone 3 looks like all shrubs, so set that to shrubs. I would probably treat your zone 6 small tree as a shrub and water accordingly.
Next step is exposure… pretty self explanatory.
Any questions on those steps?
Those settings make sense. I updated the zone setting accordingly. Some questions:
- In the advanced, there are settings for Area, Root Depth, Allowed Depletion (ie 50%), Efficiency (90%) and Crop Coefficient (75%). Do I just leave these alone?
- Regarding the Area from question above, how do I calculate? I’m assuming it’s generalizing the qty of emitters based on the area, is that right? I don’t have lawn, so everything is shrubs/vines/trees. How would I change that to reflect the amount of emitters?----- For instance: Zone 2, I have about 6 trees with 3 x 2gph emitters on each–how would I set that up?
Area: This has no impact on your watering and is used only by Rachio to give you an estimated amount of water used. To be honest, I wouldn’t even mess with this out of the box. Once you feel comfortable that your Rachio is watering your yard correctly, then you can play around with this setting.
Root Depth: This will default to the type of plant you have set for the zone. So if it’s a tree only zone, it’ll be one lenth, if it’s a shrub zone, it’ll be 15" i think. I would leave it for now on the default for whatever plant type you set… example: your shrub zone will default to 15", and Rachio will water to a depth of 15" every time.
Allowed Depletion: default is 50… basically it says that your Rachio will water when it thinks your soil is about 50% depleted of moisture…I believe Rachio uses this number because it’s been shown to have the best effect for plants… i keep mine at 50.
Effeciency: how effecient is your zone at putting the amount of water out that it says it is… not as big of a deal with drips (used more for sprinklers), I’d just keep it at 100 since your drops are appropriately placed at the plant.
Coeffeicient: How fast does your plant use up water resources, it’ll deafult based off the plant setting… again, i’d leave it alone assuming you have the correct plant setting, you can tweak it once you get a feel for the system. You’ll noticed shrubs have 0.5 vs treets of 0.75.
Some people say put a 1 for each emitter.
@jeremysm1 For weather, you’ll want to make sure you are connecting to a station that is using correct information. What station are you connecting to?
Thanks for the info on those settings–I made the adjustments. As for the weather station, I’m 3.6 miles from the nearest one in Scottsdale (KSDL) which sounds good to me.
As it stands, none of my watering is scheduled–it’s all manual. What’s the best practice for setting up schedules? I found a local Phoenix area nursery’s website with some generalizations on watering, see here: http://www.elginnursery.com/hints.php
What’s baffling my mind is that my schedule was for 50min-60min 5-6 days per week whereas all the recommendations that I found online seem to say something like once per week or even once per every two weeks. I have typical desert landscaping for the most part.
Perfect, airports are great. I’m about 4 miles from Deer Valley, but I’ve started using a neighbor’s personal weather station once I was familiar w/ the Rachio and better understood everything.
You are definitely overwatering. Plants benefit from longer run times, and infrequent waterings. This promotes strong root growth while conserving water. When you overwater, your roots stay shallow towards the surface, and are more suseptible to drought, etc. My shrubs are currently watering for about an hour every 8 days with our temps hanging out around the 90’s.
Since you are watering so much, I would honestly just switch over to the flex daily schedule and let it do it’s thing. You aren’t doing this middle of teh summer so it’s not like your plants are going to suffer too much, but there may be a bit of a shock from them when you take their training wheels off from the overwatering.