Setting up new schedule: 45 min (!) per zone default

Yesterday, I installed my Rachio. Setting up the schedule with eight zones I used the Flex Monthly Schedule default. That default suggested about 45 min per zone. Prior to having the Rachio I would water for 15–20 min. How does the Rachio app (or do your servers) come up with such a long duration.

How did you designate the Zone? I have a planter set to Shrubs, which did come up with that insane amount of time, but when I look at it closely, it’s also only watering every 15 days or so. If you have set the zones to trees or shrubs, it waters a long time to get the water down as far as the roots go.

The parameters you entered when you set up each zone determine the amount of water required and the length of time the zone needs to run to provide that amount of water. When I first started using Rachio I was surprised by the amount of time each zone was set to run - I use a Daily Flex schedule. But over time it has reduced my water use by close to 30%.

Here are some links that explain the zone settings.

This is what the schedule looks like:

While it appears to water for three times as long, it only will do so every third day. With my dumb Rain Bird I watered for about 15–20 min per zone, but daily.

@philospher77: All zones are set to grass.

If you want to water daily for 15 to 20 minutes you will need to use a Fixed Schedule.

If you research lawn watering everything tells you to water more deeply but less often to encourage root growth.

A Flex Monthly schedule calculates how much water is required and uses the historical weather averages to determine how often to water. Right now it is watering every 3 days. But as the weather warms up the frequency of watering may increase to every 2 days. At the beginning of every month the system applies the weather averages and makes any necessary changes.

How often does the schedule water in July and August?


You’ve answered your own question here. Rachio waters a third as often, but 3 times as much. Grass should not be watered more than 2-3 times a week at most. Watering every day promotes shallow roots and week grass.


Like the others have said, watering everyday for short duration will keep your grass alive, but isn’t the best for the grass, or the soil. Longer, deeper, less frequent watering is a better way to water.

That being said, you may need to watch your grass closely. It has been used to getting water every day, so the roots have had no reason to dig deeper, so those longer intervals could stress the grass as it adapts. Even in the scorching Arizona summers, my grass will still only water every 2-3 days, but I’ve been watering with Rachio for 5 years now and my grass loves it!


Also, what is your nozzle PR set to? Do you know how much water your nozzles are supposed to put out? Best way to check this is with a catch cup test, but we can get pretty close using the manufacturers data sheets for the nozzles.

For reference, I have Hunter MP Rotators that have a very low PR compared to fixed spray heads, and each one of my zones runs for 1h10m.