Questions - Rachio 3 flex daily run times, run times, etc

Hi, Everyone

New to Rachio. I received a Rachio 3 from Costco with yard map for Christmas a few months ago.

I just set it up a little while back and trying to familiarize myself with it before watering is allowed in my area.

This is the 1st smart controller I’ve ever had

The controller I’m replacing is a hunter xcore. I had a Solar Sync hooked up to it.

I have the Rachio set to flex daily, and have water restrictions. I’m only allowed to water on Sunday, Wednesday & Friday’s with no watering between 10am - 6pm

I have 6 zones.

Zone 1 & 2 are turf facing north and have pop ups and some pop ups have the rotor heads. This is marked as some shade. Both zone 1 & 2 are set to run 27 minutes.

Zone 3 is a drip line with bubblers. It has 6 Rose bushes. It faces north and this is marked as lots of shade. As it’s covered by a large tree. Zone 3 completely in shade is set to run 2hrs 7 minutes! Crazy. I had this zone run for 10 minutes on Sunday, Wednesday & Friday with my hunter and it did good.

Zone 4 is turf facing west. I have only pop ups on this zone. This zone is marked as Lots of sun. The trees are not very big.

Zone 4 is set to run for 27 minutes.

Zone 5 is probably my most complicated zone for setting up on the Rachio. It’s faces south. It has 1 shrub (this has a mister) with no shade, a 4’x12’ raised garden bed that has 6 misters that has some shade, a large tree that has a pop up, and 8 large maiden grass that has bubblers and no shade. I set the settings to mister as that’s what I have the most of. It’s set to run for 1hr 21 minutes. I had this zone run for 12 minutes on Sunday, Wednesday & Friday with my hunter and it did good.

Zone 6 is turf facing south. I have pop ups on this zone. A few of them have the rotor heads. This zone has no shade and I have it set to lots of sun. Zone 6 is set to run for 27 minutes.

A few questions I have.

Zone 3 & 5 are set with bubblers and misters. They are set for a very long time. I’ve read on this forum, and but it seems complicated to go through count the plants, shrubs, etc and then try and find out how much the bubblers and misters flow per hour. A lot of work needed for a smart sprinkler controller.

All my zones are set to run at 27 minutes each according to Rachio. Zone 1 & 2 are marked with “some shade” zone 4 & zone 6 are marked with “lots of sun”. Why do all the zones have the same watering time?

I’ve included pictures with all my zones, how there set up, etc

Any help explaining and helping me would be very much appreciated.

Thank you!

If you have experience with the right amount of watering, the first thing to do is to compare not just watering time, but Watering time and Frequency.
Drips for example should be run longer and less frequently as they work by reaching deep underground. It is better to run a drip 45 mn every 3 days rather than 15 minutes every day for example.

That said, if the combination of duration and frequency amounts to what you consider too much water, then you can go in the advanced setting of the zone, and tune parameters there to reach what you consider a reasonable amount of water (again taking into consideration the combined frequency x watering time).

I am going through some of that in my install thread below

Thank you for this detailed post. How is it going? I am trying to figure out what is best. I manually reduced the time on the zones and used manual cycle and soak. Not sure if that is the best solution. It seems to be going a long time between watering. Only once per week. We are limited to 2 days a week due to water rationing.