Runoff question

Should a water runoff (no soil runoff… I have silty clay) be a problem? I’m not at home but as I was leaving for work this morning cycle 3 of 9 was running and water was in the road in the street in front of my house. It’s only running the front yard for 4 minutes with a 20-minute soak.

I have recently changed my front yard slope from a slight to moderate slope. I’ve got Bermuda root depths at 9 inches. I think the water run-off I see has something to do with one or both of these settings, but without a soil probe, I’m unsure. I’m not currently home so I wouldn’t have a way of testing this morning. Any suggestions/ideas?

I’m looking for some pictures showing the slope, but if I can’t find some I’ll take some pictures tonight. Thanks in advance for all the help.

I have a similar problem. My system is set for Smart Cycle and my zone are not utilizing smaller intervals. I have zones set for clay loam, moderate slope and 45 min with smart cycle enabled and runs the continuously 45 minutes. My schedule is using “As Needed”. Last year I was using a “On Interval” schedule and didn’t have a problem.

Is there possibly a “bug”?

Part of the difference between mine and yours is that I’m using Flex. I didn’t give “As Needed” enough time and testing in my lawn to know exactly how to comment on your issue.

@tomwilli2025 Do you have any emitter or drip based zones in the same schedule? If so I believe that if you move them to another schedule you might see smart cycle start to work.

@tylerp I have Bermuda on a slope, but with Sandy Loam, in Arizona. My cycle soak is 8min - 30 soak - 8min - 30 soak 8min. I think that yours bring shorter makes sense due to the soil difference. I have run off but much of it is due to overspray. 4 minutes doesn’t seem too bad to me, but the other factor is the precipitation rate (pr) of the nozzles. Mine is set to 1.5 in/hr. What is your pr set to, and how many 4 minute cycles?

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@azdavidr My PR for the Front Yard is 1.19 in/hr w/ rotary nozzles. I have a separate meter for the sprinkler system so I was able to check before and after readings and figure out the PR. So maybe the problem is since I have rotary nozzles I may have overspray as well.

@tylerp Worth taking a look at least the next time it runs. If it helps to compare, this thread has a picture of my yard and you can see my runoff. I don’t know how long I was running at that point, but I would guess about 4-5 minutes. I’m trying to improve both the efficiency and runoff, thus the thread. I would classify my slope as moderate rather than steep, but I didn’t like the longer run times between cycles that I was getting with moderate, so I also use steep.


This article has a grid that shows exactly how many minutes your system will cycle/soak based on input characteristics.

As others have noted, if you have any type of emitter/bubbler/mister/drip zone in the schedule cycle/soak will not be used.


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My boss has a Rachio Gen 2. He has tight red clay soil. His landscape has a slight slope. He really needs more short cycles. Even when he programs steep slope there is runoff. Does Rachid have a way to add more cycles and program cycles at 2 minutes each? I don’t know his water pressure.

@robertokc Currently this matrix drives all of the cycle soak settings. The lowest maximum run time I see is 4 minutes.

At some point I would allow users to override these settings, but in general they work for most people while not having them do calculations to determine their cycle or soak times.


Thanks. 2 minute runoff is very common on our tight red clay soils. I sure am glad I’m in a part of Oklahoma City with Sandy loam!

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