When you create your zones using their attributes, and an initial watering time is created, we are suggesting a base duration of time, per zone, that we believe is reasonable based on the data provided. One of the biggest contributors that will affect your zones durations is our Smart Cycle feature. To fully take advantage of smart cycle we recommended grouping similar type zones (i.e. crop type, nozzle type) into separate watering times.
When Smart Cycle is enabled on a watering time we are breaking up your watering time into cycles based on longest zone duration of the bunch. For instance, using the image below, zone Back SW has the longest duration of all of the zones at 24 minutes, so our system will break down to the necessary number of cycles based on this zone. So if this was broken into three cycles of eight minutes, each other zone would be broken into three cycles as well. Front SE would be three cycles of 6 minutes 40 seconds, Front NE would be three cycles of 4 minutes 20 seconds, Back NW + Garden would be three cycles of 7 minutes 40 seconds and Drip would be three cycles of 3 minutes 20 seconds. So in this scenario Back SW is getting the ideal number of cycles to eliminate runoff, but that my not be the case for the remaining zones.
Due to the fact that each zone is unique in its own way, ideally they are handled as such. Creating a watering time for each zone will enable our system to create the most accurate cycles based on the available data. If you have an 8 zone controller, and you create 8 individual watering times, one for each zone, with Smart Cycle enabled on each watering time, we will break up each zone into the optimal number of cycles, reducing runoff, without any outside noise from other zones, if you will. This is ideal and will allow our algorithm to really specialize watering according to each zone.
Watering times are prioritized based on their creation date, or most recently updated and saved. So when you are creating your watering times in this manner you will want to create the zones based on the order in which you want them to run. Zone 1 first, then zone 2, zone 3, etc... If you create them all with the same start time our system will run through each watering time individually, based on the number of cycles, until completion, and then will proceed to the next watering time. Each cycle time between zones is 30 minutes, to allow for the water to soak into the grass. We have outlined a scenario below to give a visual:
1. Watering Time 1 (Zone 1): 30 Minutes broken into 2 cycles, Start Time: 1 AM.
- Run 15 mins/30 mins cycle (1:45 AM);
- Run 15 mins run/30 mins cycle (2:30 AM); -- Begin Watering Time 2
2. Watering Time 2 (Zone 2): 42 Minutes broken into 3 cycles, Start Time: 3AM (Based on WT 1, begin at 2:30 AM)
- Run 14 mins/30 mins cycle (3:14 AM);
- Run 14 mins run/30 mins cycle (3:58 AM);
- Run 14 mins run/30 mins cycle (4:42 AM) -- Begin Watering Time 3
3. Watering Time 3 (Zone 3): 36 Minutes broken into 2 cycles, Start Time: 3AM (Based on WT 2, begin at 4:42 AM)
- Run 18 mins/30 mins cycle (5:30 AM);
- Run 18 mins run/30 mins cycle (6:18 AM); -- Watering Times Compete
Two important things to note:
1) If there are any bubbler, emitter, or mister nozzles in the watering time, we DO NOT Smart Cycle. Why? Most drip zones are either watering flowers with short run times to begin with, or shrubs/trees which require deep root watering.
2) If you have a watering time and there happens to be a zone with a small duration, this zone may not be watered properly, as it may be broken up into multiple cycles resulting in very short cycle times. In certain situations this short cycle time may not be enough to suffice based on your sprinkler system and lawn. (i.e. water pressure is not great, distance to zone is far from supply and it takes time for water to reach the zone before it even begins watering, etc...) If this could be the case with your system and lawn we advise you create a new watering time for the zones that may need their own. For more information, please learn more about how Smart Cycle works.