Seeing an interesting one with Flex vs As Needed and so wanted to throw it out here for some thoughts as it looks to be a potential bug with As Needed and Start Time.
Some background first. I currently have 4 zones enabled. 2 Zones cover a lawn area (cool grass) of about 1000. I'm running Hunter MP Rotator 2000-90 (been running them and a 360 for a year and they are GREAT !) in these 2 zones. The other 2 zones are a mix of shrubs and trees (unfortunately both of those 2 are mixed zones, trees and shrubs in each). These last 2 zones (covers the trees and shrubs) are on drip emitters.
I was using Fixed and Flex schedules last year. This year I wanted to try an As Needed schedule for comparison so setup one of those along with my Flex one.
I turned off Fixed Schedules just to see truly what these other schedule types were suggesting. Here is what I saw:
With all 4 zones added to a Flex Schedule with Any Day (water as needed) selected gave me a watering duration of 13 hrs & 47 minutes.
I then created a new As Needed schedule which included the same 4 zones. That gave me a duration of 3 hrs & 56 minutes per session with 6 showing as needed in the month.
Clearly ‘Duration’ relates to IF all zones were to be needed in the same session, which when looking at both type of schedule is not the case each time it fires.
Now as mentioned, in 2 of the Zones its trees and shrubs but I have the vegetation type set to trees (figured go with the biggest vegetation for that zone but let me know if I should take another approach). It is those zones that in the Flex schedule are showing a duration of 5 hrs 20 minutes each (10 hours 40 minutes total). With that said 1 of the zones doesn't show any need for watering all month which seems a little strange in itself (need to dig into this schedule issue a little further). This means that the ACTUAL time that Flex is showing is needed this month is 11 hrs 41 minutes for the entire month which means only 1 hour of grass watering, which again seems low.
With the As Needed schedule I am seeing it showing a total (calculating manually) of 13 hrs 48 mins for the entire month (in line with the Flex total duration shown if all zones were to fire). This somewhat shows that both schedule types appear to be looking for the same criteria, which is good.
With that said, one anomaly I am seeing in the As Needed schedule is that it appeared to be showing the grass needing watering for a total of 60 minutes the entire month and then nothing for this or upcoming months, even though all 4 zones are in that schedule. If however I remove the ‘Tree’ zones and leave the 2 grass zones in, it shows needing watering through the month (about 6 times) as expected.
I then dug a little deeper and specifically focused on Start Times. Sure enough this seems to be playing a part. I usually kick my schedules off at 10pm. This means in the case of the As Needed schedule 3 zones run (start) before midnight (end after midnight) and those are the ones showing in the calendar view correctly, however the 4th zone (2nd grass zone that would have to start beyond midnight) does not show on that calendar day nor does it show as a ‘spill over’ into the following day (nothing showing on the calendar for the next day at all). In Flex Schedule it shows the ‘spill over’ correctly for those that are part of the previous days schedule but start after midnight.
Therefore in this case it would appear this non spill over as part of As Needed is also then killing off any zones that were going to run beyond midnight therefore not running those. This would appear to be a bug in this schedule type only as again I do not see this in Fixed or Flex just As Needed. @Franz or others can you sanity check me here and let me know if you see the same or were aware of this or not ?
Thanks so much as always !