I’ve been noticing that our Rachio wants to water quite a bit more than we would set the manual sprinkler controller, and at the end of a watering cycle there is quite a bit of standing water. I think this is mostly because I haven’t properly set the precip rate for our sprinkler heads, but I also think it’s because I’m not properly taking into the account the extent of the overlap between zones.

In our lawn there are three zones. There is 100% head-to-head overlap, so that the zone 1 sprinklers water right up to the zone 2 heads, and zone 2 provides coverage right up to both the zone 1 and zone 3 sprinklers. All zones are flat, and have the same sun exposure. I’ve ordered catch cups from Amazon, so that I can measure the precip rate, but I’m not sure exactly how to measure and then enter the information once I’ve collected it.

Any one spot on the lawn should be getting water contributions from two zones, so I’m planning on running both zones for say 15 minutes each, then multiply the cumulative water collected by 4 to get the inches per hour precip rate. Even though this is a cumulative collection, it is what I would enter for each individual zone. It would overestimate the actual output of the sprinkler heads, but I think it would correctly account for the fact that all spots are being watered by two zones. Please let me know if this is the correct way to account for this overlap.

The other question I have is on entering the area. From what I’ve read this only affects the water delivered calculation, and not how long or how frequently the zones run, so maybe it doesn’t make a difference. But if I sum the square footage of each individual zone, it will be more than the total area of the lawn. I can easily calculate the correction factor, but I’m wondering if I should enter the actual square footage that each zone covers, or correct it for the overlap.

Finally, given this overlap, is there any reason that would suggest I can’t run flexible daily schedules? I don’t really care about what days the zones run, and the potential water savings from flexible daily appeal to me, I just want to make sure that it’s still appropriate for the above situation, and would work with the above calculations.

Thanks!