Clearly cannot figure out Flex system (Los Angeles)

My impression was that Flex scheduling would change depending on the predicted temperature / rainfall (not much in LA, but still) and stuff like that. Is that not the case? If not, then… this may not be super worth doing anyway. My hope was that it would adjust in summer/winter months, etc. Is that not the case?

It definitely adjusts, but what changes it’s how often the watering happens. For example, my trees were watering every 7 days last month. Now they’re at about every 10 days. You want to water enough to reach the depth of your roots, whether it’s hot or cold out. When it’s hot, the water will get depleted much more rapidly than when it’s cold out, but in both cases your roots are still at the same depth and should be watered accordingly. Does that make sense?

Is important to note that the algorithms are based on common irrigation techniques in the agricultural industry. Rachio takes those algorithms and supplies them via their hardware and software.

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Yeah that actually totally makes sense. It just operates differently than I anticipated. I figured that the length of watering AND the frequency would be changed based on weather / etc, especially given the wide variance of watering times I see within the first week (as mentioned above). But what you’re saying makes total sense. Well, I’m super curious to see how this turns out!

Those are adjustable milti-stream drippers and can be adjusted 0 - 10 GPH. I have them in a couple of vegetable beds. Grasp the oblong base and rotate the cap to increase the flow rate and wetting area.

You will probably need to observe the wetting pattern and flow rate of these emitters to get an idea of how much water is being put down. As you have restrictions, it might be a good idea to replace them with an emitter with a fixed flow rate.


In looking at the photo more closely, I see that those multi-stream emitters are spaced very closely. I’m not sure what the designer of your system had in mind, but it appears the system has been in place for some time as evidenced by the chemical build-up. The spacing might indicate that there were more plants on this system or it could just be a lack of knowledge in the design.

One of the advantages to these types of emitters is that when establishing a landscape with new plants, the flow rate can be dialed up to put down more water and as the plants become established, the emitters can be dialed back.

That works for people who don’t have a smart controller using Flex schedules. These emitters can be used with a Fixed schedule, but requires knowledge of the water needs of the plants.

The only database I am aware of that attempts to define crop coefficients for landscape plants is the WUCOLS which is the acronym for Water Use Classifications of Landscape Species, developed by University of California.
Keep in mind that is only a guide for estimating the water use, but might offer some insight. Happy reading: it’s only 160 pages. :wink:. The first half is most important, while the rest of the document is the plant listing.


If you are unsure of what plants are in your landscape, you could use this site:
These gals have set up a database of photos and common names as well as botanical names for identification. It’s also a great tool for someone is designing a landscape.

Sonoran Desert Rats, many of the plants we put in our landscapes are listed in this database, too.


Flex daily does change both frequency and duration, but duration is only in large seasonal chunks sent as updates from the server (maybe four or six times a year). The normal variable to calculated ET is frequency.

One additional note worth adding. If you do any manual watering (with the Rachio vs by hand) to fill in a perceived stress condition, it will count in the database as a watering in the fill bucket, so more time will pass till the next watering, causing more stress. This is why getting the underlying variables correct is so important. The empty bucket command can be a useful short term help.

Are you sure this is for Flex Daily ? I’ve ever noticed a duration change.


I agree with @azdavidr, Flex Dail will never change duration unless you mess with settings. Frequency is what gets pushed out or comes closer as the weather conditions change.

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you both might be correct. It is not very easy to review the log, but it looks like the seasonal adjustments were being applied to my disabled manual schedules of the zones, not my active flex daily schedule. Bummer.

If you are trying to run a flex daily, I personally think those 1-10gph emitters are tough. They are supposed to be adjustable based on “clicks”, but I found that they were very inconsistent.

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Well, I’ve got the flex daily schedule running for a week or so now. It looks like it’s working out okay. We’ll see how my plants hold up, but so far I’m pretty impressed! It sounds like adjusting the Root Depth is the best way of increasing the amount (or frequency?) if the watering amount ends up being insufficient. I think?

Frequency refers to how often your system will water… i.e. every 3 days, etc. Duration refers to how long the system will run at one time. The easiest way to adjust Frequency is the changing the coeffecient. The higher the coeffecient, the less number of days in between waterings. For example, if you want to water less times per week, you’ll want to decrease your coeffecient and then look at your projected schedule to see how it changed the frequency.


Glad to hear it is going well so far @syntheticpathos! RZD affects the duration of your waterings as well as the frequency. The easiest way for me to think of it is a gas tank. So the larger your tank (or the longer the RZD) the longer it is going to take to fill it up each time, but you also don’t have to fill up as often. I would bookmark that Flex article @azdavidr post, it’s a great cheat sheet for what each setting affects. As you have seen, this community is super knowledgable when it comes to this stuff. The more your customize the flex scheduling to your lawn, the better it works, and they have all become experts on how to get this fine tuning done!

@bug99 @Modawg2k @azdavidr Flex should never change duration, only frequency! Seasonal adjustments do not apply to flex scheduling.


Any updates?

This is a long thread - what are you referring to? If you’re asking about unspecified feature updates, none yet but hearing rumbles of a software update this spring…

I will start to experiment with flex daily this spring