Setting Initial Schedule with Precipitation Gauge Information

I set the zones initially with the information I had about my zones and the head types but the Iro system is recommending too much water. I think the system can’t tell that my heads and zones overlap and share the load. I have information from irrigation water catcher cups / gauges I set in the yard. I want to adjust the recommended times to account for this information while not adversely affecting the adjustments for recent weather or seasonal adjustments. What is the best way for me to do so?

As an example, my front yard gets the equivalent of 5.4 in per hour (minimum from 8 catch cups) on fixed spray heads. Rachio system recommended 18 minutes every three days! I think it should be 10 minutes every four days. I usually water every 4 days in April. But it is a warm and early start here this season. Maybe your system is adjusting for this? But 18 minutes every three days sound more like an August / maximum amount than a March target when the temps have yet to exceed 80.

Hi @Tracy, good morning! Thanks for reaching out.

Great question that I’m sure impacts other users. I see a few notes in your post that should help.

Have you setup a Custom Nozzle with this precip rate yet? If you’re using standard nozzle precip rates (i.e. 1.4 in/hour), then this should reduce your watering time by 2/3.

Could you tell us a bit more about this? You’re correct, the Iro cannot see this or “merge” zones, but maybe we can calculate for it better.

Ok, I think your first answer gives me some direction. The discharge patterns at my house overlap quite a bit. In the front I think the heads are about 1.4 in / hr each, but there 5 heads for a curvy maybe 20-25 sq ft area. So since the heads are arranged to give full coverage for the curves they overlap and the head volume doesn’t seem to matter so much. I will use the gauge / cup minimum reading instead as a custom head type.

In the back, I have some spray heads in a zone (2) that are supplemented by rotor heads in another zone (3). Lots of overlap. Not a well designed system I think. The hydraulic calculation seems to have stopped at “is it all wet”. So in the overlap of zone 2 and 3, I get a minimum of 50 cc in 10 minutes (spray) and something like 50 cc in 20 minutes from the rotor heads. But you get dry spots if you cut a zone off due to the curves. Zone 4 (rotor heads) overlaps parts of zone 3 that zone 1 doesn’t reach. Zone 3 overlaps part of Zone 4.

As you can see, my head rates don’t work for this crazy set up. But after 10 minutes of zone 2 and 20 minutes each of zone 3 & 4, I am targeting .7 in / hr (I need to add a head or two for this goal. I have a drought in the center currently).

What I’m really after I guess is what the system thinks should be my baseline in/ wk and then how to have your system work for my abnormal yard, especially for weather and avoiding runoff, but I’m betting your algorithm may be more complicated than that.

Hi @Tracy,

Thanks for the added detail. You have a few things going on that make your system a bit tricky, but very fun :wink:

I remember you mentioned the “front yard gets the equivalent of 5.4 in per hour (minimum from 8 catch cups) on fixed spray heads” – is this the same zone? I’m trying to understand the variance between 1.4 in per hour and 5.4 in per hour…maybe this was a typo?

This is a design error, but we can work around it. Could the head coverage be changed at all to avoid some of the overlap?

Was the supplement by rotor heads in zone (3) done to help with the drought? If so, I’d recommend adding a head to zone (2) and change the coverage pattern in zone (3).

We calculate the baseline watering times by factoring the vegetation type (how much water is needed) and divide over the precip rate of the nozzle (how much water is being applied). In your case, the precip rate is moving variable we need to figure out.

In regards to weather and avoiding runoff, these are best solved by lowering the threshold of your virtual rain sensor via the Weather Intelligence feature and enabled Smart Cycle. We can further adjust your Advanced Settings if needed to. Let me know your thoughts going forward.

This is Zone 1. 5.4 in/hr is correct. The heads are 1.4 in/hour I think, but several heads overlapping fill the cups faster.

They are adjustable so I can cut the angles, but alignment is good. I think individual ones could be adjusted to off. Some may be needed if the rotors leave dry spots and to cover curves and behind rotors.

Drought is between zones 3 and 4 due to a lonely rotor head on zone 3 left to cover the entire center. It rotates 360 while the other rotor heads are doing 90 degree arcs so 1/4 the water in the center for a given amount of time.

As you might can tell from the late posts, I’m out of town with limited time. I will look over the links when I can but would appreciate thoughts on my above comments in the interim.


You could swap out nozzles on some heads to lower the precip rate if you feel the overlap is too high. Do you have Rain Bird, Hunter, Toro, or other heads?

This can also be fixed by installing a different insert into the rotor. If you let me know the type of head you have, we can figure out what options we have for this.

Hope this helps :smile:

@emil The front Zone 1 spray has rain bird’s. Rather than swapping heads in this zone, couldn’t I just make a custom fixed spray head nozzle at 5.4 in/hr? Also, these heads have a screw in the center which indicates to me I can screw it down to make less precip (and distance, would need to keep an eye on that). Tell me the right way to do it please.

Zone’s 3&4 have Rain Bird 5000’s I had no idea you could change the innards. Please do tell more.