Water usage on the 1st day after install

Installed my Iro today and everything went very well. Up and running in 20 minutes once I replaced the old timer and did the wiring. Very excited to have all of the features you offer!

I was looking at the reports late in the afternoon today. I ran the Back Lawn manually for 10 minutes and 1 minute demonstrating to my wife how to manually run a zone.

The report says I used 181 gallons??? Is this possible? I have taken all of the defaults so far, except I added a few minutes to a couple of zones and decreased one zone by a few minutes.

I did not setup any of the advanced features on any of the zones as of yet. So, my questions is how is it possible for it to make this assumption? It doesn’t know how many sprinkler heads I have nor how big the area is. The Back Lawn is setup for fixed spray head @1.4 in/hour. Is it possible it used 181 gallons in 10 minutes? Seems rather high to me and if it is a good estimate, no wonder homeowners have no idea how much water it takes to manage our landscape! Especially here in Northern California, where we are in a big drought.
Thx DD

Hi @dd1509a

Super excited to hear you got your Iro up and running today! You ask a great question related to the reporting. In short, 181 gallons is realistic for 11 minutes of watering your lawn. While our calculation use some generalizations, they are used industry wide to estimate water usage.

I reviewed your account and believe you might have ran the system for a bit longer than 11 minutes, as you had a number of manual runs that lasted less than 1 minute on average.

Nevertheless, assuming you ran the sprinklers for 11 minutes @1.4 in/hour, the usage would total 160 gallons. The calculation is outlined below:

  1. Take inches per hour from zone (user configurable) – 1.4 in/hour in your case
  2. Get sq. ft of yard (default is 1000 sqft.) (user configurable) – 1000 sqft in your case
  3. Multiply 1 x 2 (sqft * in/hr), then divided by 96.5 (constant)
    = 159.58 (160 rounded)

Let me know if this makes sense. I’d be happy to review your account and zone settings in more detail if you’d like.

We couldn’t agree more! Not sure if you know this, but the EPA estimates that “residential outdoor water use across the United States accounts for nearly 9 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. The average U.S. household uses more water outdoors than most American homes use for showering and washing clothes combined.” Pretty crazy, huh?

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Thank you Emil for the quick reply! We have talked on the phone a few times and I have to thank you for your outstanding service and insight! Ha-ha, my bad. I saw the advanced menu and the default sq. ft. #'s and made a note to look at them and see if I should set them. I guess if I want reasonable estimates I need to figure out the sq ft for each zone. My lawn is only 225 sq ft so that is why the gallons used seemed very high! My calc would then be 38 gallons which is still a lot!

My drip area, Zone 4 needs a custom head, as it is 5/8" drip line. I don’t know much more about it. I guess the length is important which I could estimate. Do I need to know # of holes per foot? In the meantime I used the “bubbler” head initially. Do you have any estimates for this type of drip line?

BTW, if you recall our conversation a week ago, we discussed if I could extend the wires from the valves using an extra Cat6 wire which I had run to the valve area, so I could relocate the Iro to inside the house. I spliced and was able to push the spliced area of the wire back into the crawl space so will not get wet. So far, it is working well, despite the smaller gauge of the Cat 6. Thx again for that conversation.

Many Thx DD

Emil - FYI - I did some searching on the web and determined .9 GPH for a 5/8" dripper hose, not soaker hose. It has laser holes in the pipe every 1 foot. To make this work, I guess I still have to determine the Sq.FT. being served by the dripper? Is there a different calculation used to determine sq. feet for this type of “nozzle” or is it the same as the 1.4 gph nozzle you quoted in your initial reply?
Thx DD

Hi @dd1509a, great to hear from you again! It’s always fun to learn who’s who on the community :wink:

Yep, the advanced settings go a long ways to fine tuning the system. We use default values which work great for most users as the Iro is a big step up from their old controller, but for power users such us yourself, we wanted to expose the all the levers.

In regards to your drip zone, I think [this article][1] might be of value to refine the nozzle output.

Is this an in-line drip zone or a grid/linear layout? Pending this detail, we can calculate the nozzle output.

Hope this helps. Awesome to hear the extra Cat6 wire worked! What a time saver!!
[1]: http://www.smgov.net/uploadedFiles/Departments/OSE/Categories/Landscape/Calculation_of_Precipitation_Rate.pdf

Hi Emil,
Thanks for that document. Good info! The drip line is basically in-line although there are two legs. Leg 1 is 76’ long, L-shaped. Leg 2 is 38’ long straight. Each leg is terminated on both ends. The legs are connected together with a hard pipe which goes to the valve.

Hope this is helpful. I suspect .9 is probably a reasonable estimate and is close enough but interested in what you come up with.

One other question. Since my water usage for two days is way off due to very wrong sq.ft areas in all zones, can I get rid of the history? I read another post from @franz which indicated I could not. I don’t mind removing the unit and setting up again. It took about 10 minutes. Same post from @franz said via brute force the device could be removed but I cannot find where he was indicating it could be accomplished. How do I remove the IRO and start from scratch?

Many thx DD

Hi @dd1509a,

Sorry for the delay. Thanks for the measurements. Using the information provided:

I calculate the precipitation rate to be: 1.44

The Math:
Total Zone GPM: [((76’+38’)/1’ spacing)) x .9 GPH]/60 min/hr = 1.71 gpm
Total Zone Area: 114 sq ft
PR: [(96.25 x 102.6)/114 = 1.44 in/hr

As for your other question,

No, sorry, we don’t have a reset option for this yet. You could delete your device and start over if you’d like. Here’s the link with notes on how to delete your Iro: http://support.rachio.com/article/255-delete-device-from-rachio-app

Hope this helps!

Best, Emil

+1 for a feature that would allow one to reset usage data without deleting the device. After ‘playing’ with the device for a few weeks, and getting the configuration where I like it, the prospect of starting over is a bummer.

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+1 for me as well. I think that most users would appreciate this. I know it took me a while to understand the Iro and get all the settings like flow rate, sq footage, soil type correct. I suspect I am not alone. Now that they are correct I would like to “restart” but deleting the device is not a reasonable avenue for me until I know all the Android phone blink-up issues are resolved.

+1 everything sbillard said. Verbatim.

I did decide to ‘restart.’ As stated, the only way to do this (presently) is to delete the device. I did this, thinking I’d be fine with my connectivity, suspecting (correctly) that WiFi parameters are maintained without need for re-input.

But, what I didn’t know is at the cloud end, you can’t ‘partially delete’ (remove everything but account parameters). The Blink process is still required, even though done successfully before.

So it was only via the kind help of franz that I got restored at the cloud end (doing blink up process might not work for me - actually should have tried it since I have updated firmware now).

Summary: don’t delete if your blink up process is marginal or doesn’t work. When you delete a device, you have to go back all the way to the beginning, including setting up your account, including having to use the blink process.

Best regards,


I would love a way to reset things. Right now, due to playing with various custom nozzles and doing some testing / manual runs, I’m up to nearly 150% moisture balance. That’s not really accurate and means the flex schedule wants to wait over a week. What I need is a way to reset the moisture balance and start fresh.

It sounds like I can just reset the whole setup but there are fears of blink-up? I used my galaxy s5 and it worked fine on the first try, even on a sunny day (nice job hardware/software teams!)

Currently to ‘reset’ the device the only option is to delete the device and re-add. If you didn’t have any issues pairing before, you shouldn’t have any moving forward.

We have the ability to reset individual zone moisture levels to ‘zero’, but need time to implement into the client apps.


For an energy monitoring Internet Appliance product we developed many years ago, after it hit the marketplace, it took us over three years to appreciate that there are just going to be some special situations, not anticipated, where customers just get things messed up to the point where they need a ‘reset’ capability.

Now, anything that’s an accumulated value has a means of the customer being able to manually update the number.

In theory you would like to think that there’s no need for the capability. But in fact, at least for us, we learned that advanced product design means customers have some means to reset accumulated values.

Best regards,


Just bought and installed and already showing 16gallons used for a 5 sec test - clearly an error.

Now I need to delete everything I just spent an hour typing in to reset usage?

Not a great first experience with the Rachio brand.


Same here, zones defaulted to 1000sq ft and shows I used 281 gal setting up, 4 minute run on each zone (only 4 zones), after corrected showing just 82 gallons used for the first cycle. No way to adjust it, so my stats will be off forever if I don’t delete everything and start over. Crazy. Now on to find out why it watered while raining. sigh

If you email support@rachio.com they can clear your water usage.

They can also review why we didn’t skip a particular schedule.

Hope this helps.


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Done @franz! Thanks so much for your reply! Even with those two hiccups on day one of use, the system has defiantly been taken out of the dark ages. We are excited to get it tweaked and set properly and then just forget about it and let the savings roll in.

Ok great, as a side note we will be releasing some simpler automated scheduling in about a week, just waiting for iOS approval.