Water Duration set to LESS THAN 1 minute

Is there any way to set watering duration for programmes to less than 1 minute. I have rachio set to refill my dogs’ water bowls twice daily with fresh water and 1 minute is overkill. I need about 10-15 seconds of on time to replace and fill the bowl. I think this was asked for previously. Any chance of implementing it in future updates? Thanks.


Sorry but there is no way to set that. Not currently on the roadmap. Bigger bowl? (just kidding!) I will pass this feedback along to the product team.



Install a low flow spay head and adjust the flow to fill the water dish


I agree with @dave11 that the low tech way is easiest.

Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue. The API accepts watering durations in seconds, as it should.

If the UI were a simple form where you typed in the desired number of minutes, you could e.g. enter 0.2 to get a 12-second run. Unfortuately, the designer thought it was cute to have + and - buttons that adjust duration up or down one minute with each press.

Here is a simple perl script to run a zone for a desired number of seconds. On Mac or Linux, the built-in perl is all you need. For Windows, get http://strawberryperl.com/ .

Edit the values of $user and $pass for your Rachio account. Edit the last line as desired for your system. After running the script manually to test, set up Scheduled Task (Windows), iCal (Mac) or crontab (Linux) to run the script at the times desired, taking care to avoid times that the normal Rachio schedules may be running.


use LWP::UserAgent;
use JSON;

$user = 'me@mydomain.com';      # replace with the email address for your Rachio account
$pass = 'supersecret';          # replace with your Rachio account password

sub doreq {                     # print error and exit if request unsuccessful
    my ($name, $resp) = @_;
    return $resp->content if $resp->is_success;
    my $err = $resp->content;
    print "Request for $name failed: $err\n";

sub run1 {                      # args are zone number, duration in seconds
    my ($zone, $duration) = @_;
    my $putdata = "{device_id: \"$devid\", runs: [{duration: $duration, zone_number: $zone}]}";
    my $resp = doreq('run zone', $ua->post("$cfg->{API_URL}/device/setManualSchedule",
                                'Authorization' => "Bearer $token", 'Content-Type' => 'application/json', 'Content' => $putdata));
    sleep($duration + 5);       # wait for completion

$ua = LWP::UserAgent->new();
#$ua->proxy(['http', 'https'], '');

# get config data
$cfg = decode_json(doreq('config', $ua->get('https://app.rach.io/env.json')));

# log in and get access token
$token = decode_json(doreq('login', $ua->post("$cfg->{AUTH_SERVICE_URL}/token",
                                 [ 'grant_type' => 'password', 'username' => $user, 'password' => $pass,
                                   'client_id' => $cfg->{CLIENT_ID}, 'client_secret' => $cfg->{CLIENT_SECRET} ])))->{access_token};

# get first device associated with this account
$devid = decode_json(doreq('device', $ua->get("$cfg->{API_URL}/location/listLocations/true", 'Authorization' => "Bearer $token")))

# do the real work
run1(4, 12); # run zone 4 for 12 seconds

Add a cheap valve and close it to restrict your needs.

I would like to see sub-minute watering resolution in the future.

1 Like

To further elaborate Dave’s suggestion, use a drip emitter over the bowl. Drip emitters can be as low as 1/2 US Gal/hour (2 Liters per hour). Using this emitter for one minute, you would get about 1 US Oz of liquid (30 ml) which should be low enough and probably too low so you would want possibly 2 or three minutes.
The real problem you would have is matching consumption draw down to a fixed schedule of filling in increments of 1 US oz. Depending on the daily variations in drinking habits of your dog, you would sometimes have too little water or sometimes too much and get overflow. If the bowl is over part of the yard, overflow would not matter much. Even if you had increments in seconds, you will never be able to match your dogs consumption perfectly every day.
I would suggest looking online for a self filling water bowl. Something like this:
Or if you wish to have your own DIY project, set up a float valve over a bowl.

1 Like

we use a automatic water trough stainless steel and self filling with a water float just hook up a hose, get them on ebay they are like $30

Hello, I posted a similar question and was referred to this thread ( Watering time in seconds ) for the strawberry Perl solution.

I really need to be able to set watering times to less then 1 minute. Reading this thread is making me seriously regret this purchase…

The low tech solution is to enable the user to simply set the watering time to what they need. Who decided that watering should never be less then 1 minute? Is this controller meant to only water grass and nothing else? I understand for most watering needs, 1+ minute is fine, but some applications require a few seconds only.

Reading that it’s not even on the road map sounds crazy!? This should be a really simple fix to make your users happy. If you do not want it in the app for everyone, then couldn’t you allow us to enable an option in the settings to show the seconds ± time set option? Or allow users to manually input the time for use with decimals?

Please help!! Or I need to reconsider this controller.

Probably because there isn’t a sprinkler or drip system out there that needs to run for less than 1 minute per zone. You want to adapt Rachio to other things, that’s fine, but it is a sprinkler system, so you need to work within its boundaries.

You’ve got to be kidding me. There is a bunch of misting sprinklers that people need to run for 10-15 seconds, this is a super common thing! This is not a boundary, this is a lack of willingness to make a product adaptable to consumer needs! How much trouble is it for the developers to allow seconds?!?

I don’t want to turn this into a debate on what is normal or not. I just want a solution or I will need another controller… I bought this Rachio Controller because it works with IFTTT which is great as when my sensor unit reads a RH level under what I want, I can have some foggers start automatically, for this application 1+ minute is fine. I don’t need any of the smart watering features as I’m growing 100% indoors, the outside weather is irrelevant to me.

I would like to be able to use the controller for watering as well, but with a minimum of 1 minute it’s not possible. 1 minute of watering floods my seedlings and will literally kill them.

No I’m not kidding you. What sprinkler needs to be run for less than one minute? In 15 years working with irrigation and landscape professionals, I’ve never seen a properly designed system require such short run times.

I understand OUTDOORS landscape applications do not require it, I totally agree.

However, many indoor applications NEED it. I cannot work with 1+ minute and it’s not because my system is not well setup. I deal with orchid seedlings in pure moss. After 1 minute it’s soaking wet and I kill the roots and plants…

So, is there a solution or this controller simply cannot be used for my needs? It’s really unfortunate that such an easy change cannot be done. What harm is there in allowing a user to set a watering time in seconds? To me it feels like a lack of willingness.

Any good misting and propagation controller is normally controlled in seconds as we need this precision. Look them up… It’s a very standard feature that users really appreciate. I never thought that it would be so hard to get such a feature from a big brand like Rachio.

Again, misting/propagation systems and controllers are much different than your residential or light commercial irrigation systems. They are specific products for a specific purpose.

As for how easy it would be for Rachio to do it…I don’t know. There is A LOT going on in the software programing side, and I have no idea if it is a simple line of code to change that, or a complete re-write of the software. Is it doable? Without a doubt it is. Is it feasible to do for the less than .5% of people that need it? Possibly not. Someone like @franz could shed some light on that…

Thanks for your input. I’d really appreciate hearing more from @franz on this.

I have a good news. I found 3 programmable hose watering clock, duration can be 1 second to 300 minutes. It is sold by Amazon Canada and delivered next day. Prices are Canadian Dolar:

  • Homitt $99.92
  • Moistland $39.99
  • Crosofmi $43.99

Good luck to all mister head users

I’m with you on this. Even the scheduling is weird to have to set an hour schedule with 30 minute intervals or any other sub unit to get something that’s finer than 1 hour. It should be a simple fix but at this point I’m going to have to control the rachio spraying with linux python scripts for now till Rachio can get their head in the game and not be so narrow minded about this feature. (As well as the time feature)