Really strange runtimes. How to fix? Subsurface drip

I had an OpenSprinkler for years. House burned down. Replacement OpenSprinkler was defective on arrival and the guy that runs that “business” was a complete dingbat about it, so I looked elsewhere.


My Rachio (v3) is amazing in its features. But… I did run into an issue, so hopefully the support is amazing too.

I have various zones, but right now I’m just trying to get my back and front lawns sorted. I installed a grid of subsurface drip lines under the lawn. All settings are identical other than these two:

Soil type (front is loamy, back is loamy sand)
Exposure (front is some shade, back is lots of sun)
Advanced:Area (front is 287.3 S.F, back is 822.49 S.F - in either case I’m assuming it got this from my rough finger outline in the yard map feature on my phone? I didn’t input these numbers)
Advanced:Available Water (front is 0.17 and back is 0.07 - this must be from my soil type and/or exposure settings?)

Now, in reality, I know my rear lawn needs a lot more runtime than my front. The settings never asked for my drip line GPH, but at least I can say the front and back are the same. The front lawn is a quarter of the size but it also has a quarter of the emitters. The back needs more time just due to the sun and soil.

What I can’t figure out, is why when I try to set up a schedule, the app is calculating an ideal run time of 47 minutes for the back and 1:45 for the front?!?! That makes no sense at all to me.

I thought maybe it was because when I did the Yard Map thing, I used my finger to approximately say where the “nozzles” were… a futile exercise when you consider the size of the dots on that tiny satellite image represents probably 10 emitters… and I put down more “nozzles” on the back yard than I did the front. But then I removed all the ones from the back and replaced with a single “nozzle”, but the schedule run times remained the same. So that had nothing to do with it.

Nowhere does it ever ask about my emitters other than to select “dripline”. I would have expected to have to input the row spacing, emitter spacing and GPH. I can adjust “nozzle inches per hour” with some appropriate math, but currently this figure is identical in both zones yet I have far from identical results (and opposite of what one would expect with the exposure/soil settings)


Ohhhh… now I see. What wasn’t obvious to me was that the schedule isn’t always running both zones! So it is running the shorter run time more days and the longer run time less days.

All good.

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