New User/Zone on-boarding

Ok… so I think the problem your product has, as a product manager, is an on-boarding and assumptions issue. Most of your issues seem to stem from new users that don’t understand why watering times are high and frequent.

Most of that is assumptions your app makes. For example, with me, it had by default root length of 9cm… that was about 6cm too much. Also the flow rate of my sprinkler heads was under by about 25%

For the roots, during zone setup you can suggest they get a core OR measure the grass length (grass length is usually about how long the roots are). Be way more accurate than what you do now

For sprinklers,… create a database with the major players and their sprinkler heads. I realize that each model has separate pressure bar and from that flow rates. But you can take each precipitation rate and do an average for the model. I mean it would be a heck of a lot closer than what you are doing now.
When I changed my flow rate (by using an average), my schedule changed and matched what my installer set my schedule to in my manual hunter x-core controller.

Just some suggestions… but I think doing this would alleviate many of the complaints you get. So far because of these issues, your product is NOT efficient and is the exact opposite of what you advertise,

I don’t think that’s true, at least not for anyone with bermuda grass. Bermuda is very common in the U.S. south and southwest.

If it were true, how would one know the length when it is mowed? The sod company told me that my roots will get to be about 1.5 - 3 feet over time. I doubt I would water to that depth, but would probably be nice for the drought tolerance. I cut my lawn to 3-4".

It always is has been for me. Again maybe not for all types… but it goes back to the whole on-boarding zone process. In Canada it’s generally correct.

It does depend on the grass. But generally the roots, for warm grasses up in Canada… if you keep your lawn consistent at one height that is roughly the root length. I keep mine around 2-2.5” and that’s my root length.

Better than guesstimating and being over by 75% and wasting water

The 2 of you miss the point completely. I am sure they can better figure out grass root length.
But in general they need to improve on their assumptions. That was the point. Not a debate about if root length = grass height for certain types of grass

For the two types of grass listed, Cool season grass and Warm season grass, the default root depths are 6" & 9" with a Crop Coefficient of 80% & 65% respectfully. As I was taught, not all Cool Season grasses are the same, just as not all Warm Season grasses are the same. So, it is best to do some research on these (and some other variable) to get them correct. Obviously, Rachio had to come up with some defaults and I am sure they did not just chose random numbers, but went off of some research. Maybe the focused on certain grasses that are more drought tolerant and typically have longer roots. I do not know the various types of grasses, just know what I have according to the sod company. Maybe more exists that Rachio could add in the future, I do not know. I think @twin1 and I are just saying that suggesting the measurement of the grass length to get an estimate of root length might work in some cases, but not all especially trying to encourage drought tolerant lawns with the types of grass that we have. I am definitely not trying to start a debate, but maybe miscommunicating my thoughts. I apologize if I sounded that way.

With my lawn as mentioned, the holes I have done to do things with sprinklers have consistently shown my roots as long or longer than the square ended shovel (11") that I am digging the holes with. Incidentally, I do have a corer, but so far the shovel is easier to see since I have needed to dig anyway.

Just like the different grass types, we can say the same thing about the nozzle rate, soil types, and maybe more. With the default values, it is best to do some research or testing to see if they are accurate or need adjustment to our reality. My nozzle rate defaults to 0.7, but two types of measurements/documentation show 0.5. My soil type seems to be Loamy Sand which defaults the available water to 0.07, but a reputable website calls it Sandy Loam (0.12), but available water at 0.06.

Lol. Ok.
Such a long reply.

So for the grass I said they need a better job. I am sure there are general rules. But they market this as an easy self doing unit. From my experience it is not. Most of their complaints or questions stem around grass root length. I have yet to see a grass in Canada for lawns with roots as long as the default. With all the AI and information available they can do better. My grass roots were set at more than double what they were. Defaults are fine… but they have clearly grabbed them out of thin air or done little research.

As for nozzle… the information is readily available from the manufacture. That’s accurate… the most accurate.
If you don’t know the pressure bar they can offer an average of that model. If you do… again they can give you exact measurements from the manufacturer

Like I said… finally my rachio is where my profession programmed my original controller. It started out at 70 minutes of watering. And most users would have no idea what to do.

Don’t market something as easy and intelligent if it requires all this advanced config. These are all SUGGESTIONS to make it better. Sure they will do it their way. But the product has massive short comings with new zone setup.

Not here to get into long drawn out discussions on why you think my suggestions are wrong.

True, that was a long reply. I am a little verbose at times. I do not know where they got the defaults, but they actually are pretty close for me. I personally do not think it would very practical to have every model or even manufacturer for the sprinkler heads. It would get even more complicated if a zone has multiple manufacturers and the recommendation seems to be to do some kind of measurements and averages which takes into account the pressure of the system, etc. I know Rachio has mentioned in the community that they are looking at ways to make the setup easier, but allowing people like me to still adjust things. Anyway, I think your suggestions are valid and should be taken into account by Rachio. It is obvious that they need to change some things and it might be helpful if they were more transparent on some things as long as they do not spill any of their “secret sauce” if any.

As a magician, I think the problem this product has it no smoke or mirrors.

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