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ESP-SMT run times vs. schedule times, watering window, and INCOMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by camner, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. camner

    camner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    The ESP-SMT had the following in terms of what it did on June 17:

    6:30 INCOMPLETE <--I know what this means, but see below
    Z5 6:15 DONE
    Z1 5:49 DONE
    Z7 5:11 DONE
    Z6 5:06 DONE

    Z9 30 MIN SCHED
    Z7 13 MIN SCHED
    Z6 64 MIN SCHED
    Z5 54 MIN SCHED
    Z3 26 MIN SCHED
    Z2 30 MIN SCHED
    Z1 72 MIN SCHED

    A few questions...

    1. The watering window is set for 2:30am-6:30am. So why does the first zone report a finish reporting 5:06 (with a scheduled run time of 64 minutes)? The controller obviously was stopped by the end of the watering window. With a 2:30am watering window start time, shouldn't the controller have started closer to 2:30am rather than at 4am or so?

    2. The scheduled run times don't match the actual run times! For example, Z7 said it was finished 6 minutes after the previous zone (Z6) said it was finished. But Z7 was scheduled for 13 minutes. Why?

    3. Supposedly, if the controller schedules more run time than exists within the watering window, the controller shuts off the system when the watering window "end" time is hit (6:30 in the example above) and then it "resumes in the next available window." BUT, in the example above, zones 2, 3, and 9 did not get watered. So, they should be watered the next day (the next time the watering window opens). But they weren't. The controller reports no watering of zones 2, 3, and 9 on the 18th. Not on the 19th, either. It appears as if the controller "forgets" about the zones that were scheduled but not run due to the watering window expiring. This doesn't make sense to me.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Messages: 18,668

    You aren't alone. It doesn't necessarily do the scheduled amounts. Sometimes it will do less if the situation dictates a lesser irrigation amount. It can be confusing. I can assure you though it isn't forgetting unfinished watering cycles. Why don't you try running it for a week from 4:30 to 8:30 pm to get comfortable with it. Assuming you live with this irrigation system.
  3. camner

    camner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Good idea, I'll try that.

    I don't understand why a smart controller would be designed to "not forget unfinished watering cycles" but NOT be designed to tell you that these unfinished cycles actually finished.

    There are several zones that have been scheduled multiple times, always cut off by the watering window end time, and when looking at "events by zone" they show the scheduled dates/times but not the "done" dates/times, the way the cycles that actually finished on the scheduled days show up on the controller.
  4. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    The times don't "make sense" because the controller did cycle and soak for the run times. It started at 2:30 but only ran each zone until the infiltration rate for the soil type you set had been met and then let it soak for a while. That's why you're seeing completion times so close together, the zones only had a few minutes left on the total watering time required.

    You're best bet with this controller is to give it as much freedom as possible. I'd suggest setting a larger watering window, I typically set mine from midnight to 6:00AM, you might even stretch that to 10:00PM to 6:00AM. It needs time for the soak portion of the cycles so a larger watering window will allow more of your zones to finish. Even with a 6 hour window and only 5 zones, mine doesn't always finish because of my clay soil. With a .18"/hr infiltration rate, it takes a lot of soak time to put down 1" of water.
  5. camner

    camner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Makes sense (lots of it!)...thanks.

    But why doesn't the controller indicate that the unfinished zones have finished later (the next watering window)?
  6. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    It may be that there was enough water applied to get above the MAD so it's just not running them again until you pass the MAD point again, but I'm just guessing as I don't really know the answer to that. That would be a good question for your RB rep.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Don't set a water window, problem solved.
  8. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    You can't not set a water window. You have to give it a start and a stop time for the window.... Refer to page 16 in the owners manual.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    12:00 am - 11:59 pm ..... watering allowed at all times .... i.e. no water window. Didn't think I would need to spell it out for you of all people ..... REP :laugh:
  10. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Yeah but then you have no control as to what times the thing will be irrigating at. As I am sure that you know Kiril you can't irrigate during daylight hours in most cities. If you give it a window of 9:00PM to 6:00AM you're in much better shape. I thought that an irrigation scheduling whiz like you would be on top of that :)

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