Why do the schedule times seem a bit short?

The scheduling times seem a bit short for my area. The temperatures for Long Island, NY have been pretty warm and have a couple of brown spots developing. I had setup the zones to run once a day and they schedule only runs for 8 minutes a zone. Is this normal?

@sporter72‌ That sounds a little short. When did you create your schedule? Also, once you created it, did you change your interval - say from every 3 days to 1 day a week?

@Chris - Having just started using my Iro this past week, I am also surprised by the duration of watering time. As a ‘water conservation’ focused product, I’m not completely surprised but some of the times are dramatically shorter that what I have been doing prior to Iro. I have some turf zones that are not sloped, full sun and top soil that I used to water 30 minutes at this time of year. We haven’t had rain in about 4 days. However, Iro is watering 14 minutes. I have another turf zone that is at the bottom of a slope and tends to stay wet however, it is only watering for 5 minutes (I previously watered for 15 minutes).

I tested this a bit by changing the frequency to be more frequent. I didn’t see an impact on the watering duration. I would expect that. I do notice my turf getting lighter in color as I’ve been following the Iro watering plan.

I have always understood that watering should be less frequent but longer durations in order to water deeply and encourage the turf roots to ‘chase’ the water for deeper roots and healthier turf. I can’t imagine 5 minutes of watering is accomplishing that? For that matter, is 14 minutes? One of the things I notice with rotating turf heads that isn’t asked in configuration, is how long it takes to complete a sweep. How are you able to calculate the amount of water actually being put down without that?

My watering start time is 4:30a and I originally set it for every 3rd day. I’ve changed it to every 2 days.

I’m in Northern NJ.

@SteinyD‌ let me take a look at what we’re calculating for your area and I’ll get right back to you with some answers.

@SteinyD‌ Also, if you are referring to a rotary or rotor head, we do support those in your zone setup screens: Iro Settings > Zones > tap on gear for zone. You can change the nozzle type there.

Once you do that, you can recreate a watering schedule and it will take into account the new nozzle types.

You can create the new schedule prior to removing the old one and make sure it looks good.

Link for nozzles I think you’re referring to: http://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/rotors/index.htm

@chris‌ - my turf heads are these (except for one zone) - http://www.hunterindustries.com/irrigation-product/rotors/pgp-adj

My bed heads are these (in addition to one turf zone)

i have 2 large beds of drip irrigation that have a variety of perennials, shrubs and a couple of trees.

@Chris - I already have the correct head types chosen.

@Chris - am I also to understand that if I change any configuration of a zone (heads, shade, soil type, etc) and that zone is already in a schedule, I have to recreate that schedule to take into account the zone configuration changes?

@SteinyD‌ Yes, at this time you have to recreate a schedule. We’re working on syncing functionality so that you don’t have to do this in the future.

@SteinyD‌ We did some research on your location and here is what was found: the 30-yr average for that location is: avg temp 74F, low: 63F high: 85F, and avg precip is 4.7"/month.

That last one is the key. Over an inch of rain/week shouldn’t require much watering. Of course, that’s an average, and it doesn’t look like you have received much rain recently.

We’re continuing to tweak our smarts to look for changes from the norm such as this.

To add upon schedule recreation note above. Think of that as a generated baseline schedule that you can then tweak as you want. Currently, if you change intervals, that will not automatically update your durations. We’re working on a new feature that will allow that soon.

However, once you have your schedule where you want it, you can turn on all of our smart features and we’ll take over from there.

As you mentioned, we would definitely recommend watering less frequently for longer durations. I would say dial up your durations if you’re uncomfortable with where our system set the, but keep the interval less frequent.

@Chris - i don’t want to derail this thread. However, I’m becoming a bit concerned that I have migrated to Iro a bit too quickly. I don’t want to turn back the clock on my need to micro manage the irrigation of my property. Certainly, Hunter didn’t have it perfectly right. However, along with sensors, it had the ability to scale up and down the water durations from my baseline based on recent rain conditions, humidity, etc.

If you are saying that the 14 minutes and 5 minutes of watering I’m seeing automatically set for me is based on 30 years of data and not realtime or current data you are collecting from your weather resources, then this is not very useful to me. Last week, we had 2-3" of rain. This week, 0". I didn’t water at all last week. This week, we are in a warm up (avg. temp 87F, high tomorrow in low 90s) and little to no rain forecasted. I expect to be watering more frequently this week and for longer durations (most of my turf zones 30 mins). I expect Iro to ramp up the durations for me. The frequencies I expect to set myself.

It would be good to get a timeline from you as to when some of the useful features for irrigation management (automation) will be made available and what those feature sets are intended to be. The dates can be estimates but I would like to see what is on your current development list and on your ‘backlog’.

I have watering budgeting and weather intelligence turned on but I don’t see the durations changing at all.

How do i manually change the water durations within my schedules per zone? (i found the answer to this).

How can I pick a watering time and tell it to manually run without having to water one zone at a time?

Is there clear documentation on the wiki or your website that tells me what each feature does, its impact on irrigation, etc.?

I don’t believe you will have to micro manage our system. I believe we have a lot of useful features for automation already available for your: http://www.support.rach.io/category/94-version-notes

We only use 30 year history to set your baseline schedule (the same as your Hunter controller most likely did). From there we adjust that schedule up or down every two weeks based on seasonality - Water Budgeting. If you make adjustments to this schedule, our Water Budgeting feature will still adjust up or down based on your changes. Our system had to set up a baseline when you initially set it up and, historically, your area gets a lot of rain right now and that’s why it set the times where it did - sounds like it’s not perfect at this point.

We also watch for weather on a daily basis and skip your schedule if an adequate amount of precipitation is forecasted or has fallen in the past day - Weather Intelligence. We will eventually adjust minutes up and down and shift days.

Durations won’t change on a daily basis yet.

You can adjust your durations in a given schedule by tapping on ZONES & DURATIONS within main schedule screen - same screen you turn on Water Budgeting. This will display a list of zones with each duration. You can modify here. Once modified, our water budgeting feature will adjust every couple of weeks based on your updates.

We have added the ability to manually run a given schedule in our next release, 1.5. We are submitting version 1.5 today for approval.


I’m sure this won’t answer all of your questions, but I’m here to help.

I am curious what your old Hunter controller was though if you’d like to share.

@chris‌ - two weeks to ‘rebalance’ is far, far too long. I’d argue that 30 years of information is too long. There is a lot changing in climate today. Whether or not it is, things change from week to week that don’t agree with averages. Averages are just that. In my earlier example, we had about 2"+ of rain last week. This week, 0". There are weather forecasts for my region that don’t actually happen. The precip happened but it was just slightly to our south or to our north and so we didn’t get what was being predicted.

If I wait 2 weeks, I will have browned out turf and potentially start to harm foliage on shrubs. Since I’m in the north, we have ‘short seasons’. I like keeping my foliage and plants green and bearing flowers throughout our growing season. :slight_smile:

@Chris - I believe you asked for my former irrigation controller. It is the Hunter Pro-C (about 4 years old). http://www.hunterindustries.com/irrigation-product/controllers/pro-cr

I also have their sensor called Solarsync (not sure I can use it with Iro).