Three zones with identical settings have drastically different watering times

I’m trying to figure out why one of my zones has a very long duration, over 1 hour. As an experiment I copied the settings from another zone, and it still wants to run for 40 minutes longer. I copied the settings to a third zone and that also does not have the same duration.

Can someone help me understand why three zones with identical settings can have different watering durations?

Here are the settings for all 3 zones:

Vegetation type: Flower Beds
Spray Head: Drip Line
Soil Type: Clay Loam
Exposure: Lots of shade
Slope: Moderate
Area 200 sq feet
Available Water 0.2 in/in
Root Depth 8 in.
Allowed Depletion 50 %
Efficiency 90 %
Crop Coefficient 70 % (static)
Nozzle Inches Per Hour 0.50 in.

Schedule is Flex Daily, finish before sunrise, no skipped days.
Cycle and Soak is Smart Cycle
Weather intelligence is on for wind skip and freeze skip.

And the runtimes:
Front Grass Right Robert side 1h 9m
Front Grass Left 31m
Front Grass Kerb 25m

I can’t understand how to get my durations right with this much inconsistency.


Try deleting the schedule and re-create it. Let us know if it worked or same result.

Thanks I did try a couple of changes along these lines; flex daily and just a regular schedule. I’m getting similar results.

Another interesting point I discovered after posting was that I went in to manually reduce the time for each zone so it didn’t run for 4.5hrs, and as I reduced the 1h 9m zone, another totally unrelated zone started reducing as well, but at a scaled rate.

Combined with me finding sometimes values such as root depth and nozzle inches are reverting to previously deleted values, this is starting to trend towards software errors.

8 inches of depth is what’s making it so long. Probably more like half that. Efficiency is probably more like 100% with drip line.

I would guess the difference in time is due to the current moisture level in each test area was different, so different amounts of water to “top them off”.

After nobody from Rachio reached out (:roll_eyes:), a Reddit user said they had experienced the same issue and a factory reset helped. So reluctantly I wiped it and I can see the three zones have watering times within a few % of each other, in line with the shade setting I have. All the suggested watering durations where away too long (42 minutes of drip daily? for flowers?), I had to reduce them to around 1/4 of suggested and may cut further.

However zones configured with trees and flowers both are watering daily with Flex Monthly, so another concern there with the root depth feature failing I suppose.

But since the original bug isn’t fixed and another user also experienced it, if you are experiencing implausible watering times and have adjusted your advanced settings, you may need to reset the device and start over.

FYI, Rachio support doesn’t directly monitor these posts…If you want to make sure you get ahold of them, you need to email support.

As for your question of 40 minutes for drip, without knowing what your drip system looks like, 40 minutes for micro drip doesn’t seem long at all, even for flowers. If you have higher flow bubblers, that is a different story, but all that can be set up in Rachio so that it calculates correctly.

40 minutes was the default time suggested for a zone set up using the onboard flow for adding new zones. With flowers and drip, 40 minutes every day is absolutely going to saturate the soil and go way past the root depth of flowers as the zone was configured for.

As for not monitoring their forums, that’s why they have unsolved software issues. They do sometimes reply, which means they are sometimes looking. I guess inconsistent is their company motto lol.

Maybe, maybe not. Again, not knowing what type of “drip” you have, I can’t say for sure. If you have 1 gph spot emitters, then you are are only putting down 2/3 of a gallon each time you water. That might be just enough for flowers. If you have bubblers or high flow mushroom emitters, then yes, it could be over-saturating.

1 Like

I get your point but I didn’t set any of that. The onboarding flow was Flowers/drip line/lots of sun/Clay Loam/Flat slope. That is it. Coming up with 40 minutes a day for that is bogus. That’s how you make a swamp.

Anyways none of this solves whatever database issue they have from the OP.

This can be easily solved by adjusting the nozzle inches per hour to what your exact setup puts out

Are all the zones in the same schedule? Was this controller used in another zip code, prior to your settings (type of transger ownership?)