5 1/2 hours of watering today!?!?!?!?

I live in the northeast and we’re just coming off a stretch of cold rainy weather. Yesterday was sunny in the mid 80’s, and today is supposed to get to the upper 80’s. Why in the world did my Rachio schedule 317 minutes of watering (over 11 zones)?

@thegoose I’m at the Jersey Shore and my lawn watered for 4.5 hours on 7 zones but I don’t have an issue with it cause it was REALLY hot these past 2 days and now it’s not scheduled to run til Sunday unless the weather changes. It seemed odd to me at first but I got used to it once I learned how the system works.

I guess. However 2 days in the 80’s after 2 weeks in the 60’s w/ rain isn’t exactly July or August weather. I’m just surprised that after being online for almost a month, the system suddenly decided to deposit lots of water in one day.

Hey @thegoose-

Sorry to hear the flex schedule isn’t behaving :fearful:

Let me look into your account and see what I think is going on. I will report back!

McKynzee :rachio:

I’m back @thegoose.

So I love these cases because I think it’s when you really see flex “flexing” it’s smarts (LOL). I don’t know if you noticed, but when your flex ran Wednesday, it ran for a shorter duration for each zone than it typically does. While flex does not usually change durations, it had to do a “mini watering” on Wednesday because the incredibly high evapotranspiration your plants were experiencing. If it didn’t do that, it would have dropped below your allowed depletion line. I think it’s pretty cool stuff.

But to answer you question more directly, it decided to water so much today because your ET was just so incredibly high, I’m assuming this is due to how hot it is. How long have you been using flex? Has it worked well for you in the past? If it’s been working well for a while, I would recommend keeping an eye on it and just “filling” the moisture levels on the zones that look like they don’t need water for the next week or so. It may be that since we cap saturation at 110%, we didn’t accurately capture all that could rainy moisture you got. If this is a newer schedule, you may want to adjust your sun/shade setting on the zones that seem like they were watered when they didn’t need to be. Sun/shade works as a “tax” on ET, so this can be used to crank that down a bit, without affecting anything else.

McKynzee :rachio:

@thegoose What is that calendar you are using? Been looking for something like this

Thank you. Works great

I started with Rachio and Flex last June or July (NY State, so it’s only a 6 month season). I’ll watch and see if I get any other “long” watering sessions that surprise me.

Can you explain why it chose to water so much when I was still above the “Allowed Depletion”, even after raining the day before?

I’ll add that the flex will take your day’s starting Moisture Balance, and if your forecasted ET minus rainfall puts you below your Allowed Depletion, it will water. It’s hard to see that looking back because it runs the schedule based on the forecast but you will only see the actual of what the numbers were. You can see this in action by looking at the next couple of weeks for the forecast

So what does the “Allowed Depletion” mean? I never hit it, yet it scheduled a fairly deep soaking.

Allowed Depletion (the bottom line) is how dry you are allowing your soil to get. Default setting is 50%… which is saying that you are allowing your soil to be 50% dry (50% saturated) before you want it to water again. If the forecast puts your moisture level below that 50% marker, it will water.

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So how do I compare the chart (with the “Allowed Depletion” line) and the table of data? Is that the “Moisture Balance” line?

I’m just confused about May 23. That morning the moisture balance was at 39%. After watering (and rain) I was at 106%. Why in the world was watering scheduled that put me over the field capacity by 6%? I get that the forecast could have differed from the actual rain, but to be off by so much (at least to me) seems wrong.

Also, why don’t you keep the Forecasted Precipitation data? In this day and age of data mining the typical approach is to store all data (storage is cheap) because you’ll never know when it will be useful to have. Do you think that Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc don’t have every bit of data they’ve ever collected stored and organized? Of course they do.

It’s confusing to explain

First, when making the zone you set your Allowed Depletion percentage, like we mentioned before (how dry you want your soil to be before you water again). This creates the bottom line (Allowed Depletion) and top line (Field Capacity). These lines are somewhat theoretical and have no true values associated with them, only relative percentages. Now, image that between those two lines is where your moisture balance hangs out. The range between the 2 lines is 0 to 100%. The 39% you see on may 22nd is where your moisture balance was for that day between the 2 lines. That 39% has nothing to do with your Allowed Depletion percentage you set in your settings.

I bet at the time the system checked the day’s forecast, the Previous Moisture Balance minus the forecasted ET plus forecasted Precip put you below your Allowed Depletion (AD). After the actual events took place, it’s clear that you would not have gone below your AD if the system didn’t water.

Maybe they do. But is it useful data to have presented to us on a continual basis? I think once you have the concept of what’s going on with the Flex Daily, it all makes sense and the forecasted information of the past isn’t needed.



I have learned to just trust Rachio during the transition seasons. Its a learning process.However, I admit i disable the controller when we get days and days of rain in Oklahoma. Today is the first day of 2017 where it will hit 90. Most of May was incredibly cool with above normal rainfall.

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