Daily Recommended Watering time = 0mins

I’ve only just got this unit after DIYing the first two zones on my grass irrigation set up, so I’m still playing around with it. When I first set up a daily flex schedule, a 4 minute run time (2 minutes per zone) was recommended.

I’ve since edited zones, schedules, and deleted/created new schedules multiples times. Now, I’m getting the 0 minutes recommended as watering time. Any thoughts why this should happen? For the schedule options, I’m selecting all the basic recommendations:

  • any day run
  • end before sunrise
  • smart cycle
  • freeze/wind skip

Currently just two zones - both fairly identical settings

When I designed the system, I had anticipated needing to run the system ~150mins/week to get a full 1" (MP Rotators with a .39-.44"/hour precipitation rate).

Any thoughts? My next step is to factory reset and try and start from scratch, so I manually set the time to 40 mins (20min/zone) for now.

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I’m seeing some weird stuff go on too. Right now my 7 zones have the same water duration time, even tho my z7 is set to mostly shade. Compared to a zone that is all day sun, it used to account for this.

Sorry, but I doubt very much that Flex Daily would recommend only 2 minutes per zone. Based on the Advance settings you’re showing above, I’d expect more like an hour and a half per zone (and they should be different, due to differing nozzle inches per hour). I believe the minutes were changed manually at some point, after which I don’t think the schedule recalculates them properly (or at all). Try removing a zone, then adding it, or creating a new schedule, to see what it comes up with.

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If two or more zones have the same grass (root depth), soil (available water), allowed depletion, spray head efficiency and nozzle flow, they will be watered the exact same amount of time. The ET (amount of water used per day) will vary both with temperature and the zone’s sun, so it will show some difference between your sun and shade zones, but the times will not.

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Thanks for the clarification

Remove the zone from the schedule, or the controller? I’ve tried the former, but can’t seem to see where to remove a zone from the controller itself (just disable).

I actually just disabled both zones, re-enabled them, removed them both from the schedule, then re-added. For some reason, one of the zones came back with the 20 minute watering time, but the other came back with 0mins.

I’ve definitely deleted / created multiple schedules, more as a means of getting a feel for how things are calculated. The only watering recommendation times it gave was 4 mins (2+2) or 0mins.

Looking at the controller info, I’m on firmware iro3-firmware-hk-5-632. Is that the most recent?

You are right. I don’t think you can remove a zone from the controller. Since you only have two zones in the schedule, I would delete the schedule. Then use the “reset to defaults” for each of the two zones. Do a new schedule and see what comes up. If it looks sort of reasonable, then go in and tweek your settings.

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No, remove them from the Schedule. As Linn suggested, it’s probably better and easier to just delete the schedule and create a new one.

I deleted the schedule, re-set the zones to default, and created a new schedule. Same result as before.

Wondering if I should just do a factory reset?

What about delete the schedule, make sure the zone are reset to default, then power cycle the controller. Leave it off for 5 mins and try again

Same 0min recommendation.

I also went through all the main options under each zone (type, spray head, soil type ect), as that seems to trigger a re-calculation.

Possibly relevant - I’ve been doing all this via a web browser. For curiosity, I just tried to make a schedule via the phone app, and it gave me a 6 min recommendation (3 mins/zone).

So progress I guess.

Still I believe 3 minutes per zone is ridiculously low as well, as mentioned above. Yeah, this is more than a little confusing.

Okay, using the Web interface, I just created and enabled a new zone, set all the variables the same as ReggieDied posted in the first post above, then changed the Advanced variables to match the same post (this changed Root Depth from 5.91 to 6.5, Efficiency and Crop Coefficient slightly to 0.80.

I then created a new Flex Daily schedule with only that zone in it and most defaults, allowed to water every day. The calculated watering time it resulted in was 1 hour 41 minutes, about what I posted previously. I cannot understand why yours would end up any different.

This is VERY odd – and I don’t understand why the web browser and the app would come up with something different. That’s not normal. At this point, I think I probably would try a factory reset just to see if it fixes it. (Your firmware is at the same level that mine is.)

It is definitely a weird anomaly - I’m guessing a software glitch somewhere. I was a little disappointed that forgetting the controller than reconnecting didn’t help.

I just created a monthly schedule with all the same settings, and it suggested 20mins total (10min/zone), which I still feel is wrong but just posting for additional information.

Next step I guess is a factory reset, though this suggest that removing the controller is the same thing.
How do I factory reset my controller? Rachio 3, Generation 2, and Generation 1

EDIT: So same result after removing the controller from the app, and doing a “factory reset”. To be honest, I’m probably fine with just determining my own watering time. From what I understand, the daily flex won’t necessarily dynamically change the watering duration anyways, just the frequency. And I can calculate that myself, and rely on the moisture percentage to skip days ect. But it’s going to bug me trying to figure out why it’s not working…

Interesting information I forgot about (and can’t really confirm after removing the controller). I remember looking through the soil moisture readings, and the irrigation + column under Flex was showing .64 when the schedule ran. Even if it was running for 20mins /zone, I had it set at .4"/hour, so not sure where the .64 came from, or what that means.

Also for reference, Hunter MP has these listed at ~.4 (at a specific PSI, which I haven’t specifically confirmed on my system), but after designing my system with Pro Contractor Studio demo, that program was suggesting .25"/h. Given that the Hunter number is based on a specific set up, I’m inclined to believe the .25"/h number.

Just so you know, the moisture percentage is only calculated and shown when running a Flex Daily schedule for a zone. If you have another way of measuring it, fine. But that’s one of the things I like about Flex Daily.

The 0.64" comes from your settings for Soil Available Water, Root Depth and Allowed Depletion:

Water to be Applied = Soil Available Water x Root Depth x Allowed Depletion
= 0.2 x 6.5 x 0.5 = 0.65" (okay, well, close to 0.64").

Yeah I’ll keep running the daily for this exact reason.

It could have been .65", I didn’t write it down or anything. Is this an indication of what the system “thinks” I’m putting down though? Just looking for other pieces of the puzzle but still a novice with Rachio and irrigation. I manually changed the watering times - now 30 mins/zone. In the moisture page, it’s now showing .47". I then realized that the zone still had the default nozzle settings (.7"/hour), so changed those down to .4, and the .47" didn’t change.

It is what Rachio can Flex Daily calculate they want to put down, and will normally calculate the time required based on that, and your Nozzle Flow and other settings.
Just looking for other pieces of the puzzle but still a novice with Rachio and irrigation. I manually changed the watering times - now 30 mins/zone. In the moisture page, it’s now showing .47". I then realized that the zone still had the default nozzle settings (.7"/hour), so changed those down to .4, and the .47" didn’t change.
Once you change the time manually, the schedule will no longer make corrections or changes. You’ve taken over the automatic operation and made it manual, using the time you’ve chosen. It will now give you whatever water it does, even though Rachio thinks otherwise. Worse yet, Rachio still /thinks/ the 0.65" is being put down each time and spaces watering frequency accordingly, under- or over-watering as it has bad information. You should never change the minutes manually (although I realize you have good reason to because something’s not calculating correctly - we need to figure out why that is, rather than change the times).

So assuming that the watering time was un touched when setting up the Daily Flex schedule, and never adjusted, will the Daily Flex algorithms actually change the watering time / duration, or just frequency? For some reason I thought I read it was just the latter.

If that’s case, would I not be safe to just set up the schedule with 0 mins (recommended time) and let the program take over from there? I haven’t really given it the opportunity.

Flex Daily calculates the required time based on many of the variables, but unless the variables then change, the time will not change. And yes, once the time is calculated, only the frequency changes when the program runs. But it’s actually not a set frequency: Flex Daily simply waits until the soil is as dry as desired, and then waters.
If that’s case, would I not be safe to just set up the schedule with 0 mins (recommended time) and let the program take over from there? I haven’t really given it the opportunity.
Well, a recommended or calculated time should never be 0 minutes, and IMHO you should never change the time in a Flex Daily program.