Water usage seems very high

I have had my Rachio unit for less than a week and I’m running it on the flex schedule so the unit is making all the decisions.
I have so far used 4763 gallons according to the estimations.

That seems very high to me and the water times are also very long. I’m in texas on clay soil and it is very hot right now.
Is this expected usage from Friday to Wednesday ? This is ALOT of water.

I think normal recommendations are that it should only be needed to water once or twice a week, but this unit runs the stations much more.

Just want to bench mark.

Thanks / Christer

Have you set the square footage of your zones and the actual nozzle output?

No I have not done that.
I would think that would be required if I use the smart setting ?
Square footage if easy, but how do I calculate the nozzle output ?

Thanks / Ch

If you do want to measure actual nozzle output, this should help.

You will need catch cups:

No clue what the delivery is on these… :wink:


Next day delivery…

This explains how to set the catch cups…


Once you are finished, this handy calculator will give you the exact in/hr precipitation rate as well as the nozzle efficiency (distribution uniformity).

You can then create a custom nozzle in our app as well as applying the nozzle efficiency on the zone (Zone Details --> Advanced).

Let us know if you have any questions or feedback.


Wow, is this required in order to get the smart setting to work properly ?

@Hiortintexas, yes, sorry for any confusion. Nozzle selection inputs the precip rate for your system. If these are wrong, the Iro will water accordingly the data it’s been given. Perhaps you could post photos of your sprinkler heads and we can double check to see if we have the selection wrong from a default level?

Another thing we should check is the weather station you’re using. If it’s giving us bad weather data, this could also cause the Iro to run more frequently.

Just curious, did you adjust any of the advanced settings?

Best, Emil


No I did not adjust any of the advanced settings.

I use the standard weather station the app suggested on my iPhone.

I did do the nozzle selection in the initial setup. I have mister heads on zone 1 and the rest are simply the standard pop-ups.


mister heads are the most challenging to configure because they can have a very different water flow. To be most accurate with misters you need to calculate water output.

@Hiortintexas, could I review your account and see if anything looks off? If so, could you send me your Rachio username?

Are any zones running longer than others that are concerning you? Or all durations in general?

Thanks, Emil

Yes, please review my account. Right now I have a manual schedule set up as well but I have both disabled for the moment while I think about what will work best.

With my previous “primitive” controller I had it set to 15 minutes per station and that seemed fine.

What got me thinking was just the large number of gallons that has been stacking up in less than a week but perhaps the calculations are not entirely correct?
I would think that you would also need to know how many sprinkler heads per station that are being used.
Right now I think the default surface per station is 1000 sq ft and that is much more than some of my zones so if that is used to calculate gallons, then I think the count is over stated.
I will spend some time and measure my areas.

Please review my data and see if there is something that stands out. I think that for example my shrubs that are in the shade makes sense that they are watered more often, but to have some of the other sunny areas watered almost every day for an hour seems excessive…

It is eye opening to see all this data and that might be what creates the reaction. What you don’t know, you don’t worry about :smile:

Thanks for a great product and for great support !

Best Regards / Christer in Texas

@Hiortintexas, sure thing, will do! Myself or a support team member will follow up with you. I’ll summarize our findings here as well.

Just curious, how often did this schedule run? Every day, every other day…?

Yes, this could be the root of your concern. We use the precip rate, watering duration, and square footage of each zone to calculate water usage reports. For more details, [please reference this support article][1].

Who thought sprinkler systems could be so much fun?! :wink:

Will be in touch after reviewing your account.

Best, Emil
[1]: http://support.rachio.com/article/383-how-we-calculate-water-usage