Device offline = Not watering?


#1

I’m using Flex Schedule. Iro was offline this morning (Aug 27th) due to router connection issue that I fixed at 8:00am. I did not get any notification about Iro being offline but was expecting an app notification on my phone saying that the Iro completed the watering cycle, as usual.

Since I did not see such a notification, I went into the app and noticed the following:

  1. Scheduled zones indicated that they were watered on Aug 24th and Will water on Aug 30th.
  2. Going into the Schedule Updates section, I saw a message: “Today at 4:16AM - Main watering scheme was scheduled to run but device is currently offline”

Going to my yard, I saw that none of the scheduled zones were watered.

My questions / issues:

  1. Even if offline, shouldn’t the Iro water the scheduled zones? The zones were scheduled to be watered on the 27th for 3 days so it was not a last minute schedule…
  2. Even if not watered due to being offline, Why won’t it start watering when Iro goes back online?
  3. Why am I not getting Email or APP notification about Iro being offline and about to miss the next watering schedule?

Thank You for your help!

Oren.


#2

I am having the same problem. My Internet service went out Monday night (3 days now, thank you Time Warner Cable!). I am set up with Flex Schedule, it says it should have watered (it was on the schedule went the internet went out), and by watching/walking the yard, there is no sign that the system has watered since my internet went out. (and the last recording I have of my rain sensor says that is was deactivated Monday afternoon and moisture levels show 0.00 for Monday)

I did, however, get an email that said exactly what time the internet went out (loved this as I have documentation for TWC!), and I got an email letting me know that my device had been offline for over 24 hours. So that part of the system is working well for me.

I’m very interested in your response to why it’s not watering.

Thanks! Linn


#3

The way flex schedules work, is that one hour before running we take the most up-to-date information and determine if it should run or not. The calendar scheduled watering is a prediction up until the watering time. In the rare case your Iro is offline this is obviously an issue.

This will not occur until the next time the flex schedule is supposed to run. We don’t currently buffer the message, and it wouldn’t run until the next day anyways due to the flex start time.

An email is only sent if the Iro is offline for 24 hours. We don’t send emails for missed watering due to offline, but for flex we do put an event in your activity feed stating that the flex schedule would have run at that particular time, but the device was offline.

There might be a point where we make this more sophisticated (send the flex schedule earlier, with more retries?).

Hope this helps, feedback always appreciated.

If the device is offline, we can’t send down the correct flex schedule. Each device does have a backup flex schedule that will run if the device has not connected to the internet in 24 hours. If any is chosen for watering days, I believe it defaults to a 3 day interval (based on the start date of the schedule). If days of week are chosen, it will run on those days. It was difficult to determine what constituted offline, so it has to be fully offline for 24 hours before we will run the flex backup schedule.

If you are in an area with frequent internet disruptions, fixed schedules might be a better way to go. They run consistently irregardless of internet connection.

Hope this helps, and if you have any ideas on how to make this more resilient would love to hear them. Always looking for ways to improve.

For awhile we did have the flex backup schedule running whenever the device was offline and it was the correct time to water, but that ended up being too sensitive since some customers would have a device drop off for one hour then come back online. As you can see, a lot of gray area.

:cheers:


Watering strategy when Iro is off line
#4

franz: Thanks for the quick response! Just knowing what the device is going to do if the internet connection is out is extremely helpful. The only suggestion I would have is that if zones are set up as annuals, defaulting to every 3 days, after waiting for the 24 hours to pass, is probably not going to work for them (I say that as I’m starting to need to water my annuals with a garden hose). I know that my situation right now is probably unique. First time I’ve been out this long in over 10 years (other than hurricane/tropical storm outages), so I’m not sure it’s worth your development time.

But I would recommend updating your article “IRO Connectivity Concerns?”. It currently says "Please rest assured knowing that if the Iro loses connectivity with your WiFi, it will always continue to water using the last saved watering time sent to it from the cloud. ", which is why I thought it would still be watering. The clarification that you wrote up here would be great in that article.

And yes, a LOT of gray area.


#5

Thanks for pointing this out, I’ll make sure our great support team is aware of this discrepancy.

:wink:

:cheers:


#6

franz: Thank you for the explanations. Some additional thoughts / questions / inspections:

  1. If watering was missed due to the disconnection, should I expect flex to schedule the zone to be watered the day after? I did not see it happen immediately but (see point 2):
  2. These days are extremely hot in Israel and I decided to manually run watering for the zones (3 zones total). For some reason, for one of the zones which was manually watered, the APP displayed a “Watering XXX for XX minutes” but missed the "Watered XX for XX minutes. It did however displayed a “Completed manual schedule…” message. I now see that the system set the zone to be watered tomorrow (28th) as if it did not water today. This is weird since the zone was watered. This was decided sometime throughout the day today.

#7

Yes it should.

That is strange. If you see that behavior again let us know and we can dig deeper into the data. Thanks!

:cheers:


#8

Ok, another strange issue today. Z3 was scheduled to run at 5AM:

But it did not run and there are no notifications about why it did not:

For some reason, the next watering schedule is now Sep 1st:

And the Zone Moisture Level appears as if it was watered, at 100%

Am I missing something? Unlike the previous time when the Iro did not water due to network disconnection, this time is was connected all the time. Last time I did not wait to see if the system will take a decision to water the day after, but I am going to wait today and see if it will water the zone tomorrow.

Oren.


#9

I noticed this happens a lot. As franz pointed out, the Iro may think it’s going to water based on predicted weather. But an hour before it runs, it assesses the situation again and makes it’s final decision. If the water level did not meet your baseline, it would wait another day. Look at the “moisture level” for that zone and it will probably show it didn’t get low enough to justify a watering. This is the beauty of this device! I tried to micromanage it when I first got it, but now I just sit back and enjoy it. The only time I have to over-ride it is when my citrus trees look a little stressed. They take more water than my other fruit trees on the same line, but it’s also been over 100 degrees here.


Continuity between values and devices
#10

@okotlicki, thanks for reaching out. As you know, flex schedules water on an as-needed basis as they have the Fixed watering time intelligence features, Water Budgeting (WB) and Weather Intelligence (WI) built into them. I believe the issue you were experiencing with your Flex schedule is rooted in a display bug that we are currently working on. For more information, please reference this community post: Hot days ahead and Flex watering less?

In short, the issue you’re experiencing is that the forecasted schedule is overriding the observed schedule on the moisture graph. This isn’t a problem as long as the weather forecasts and weather observations line up, but when these differ, the graph might show tomorrow’s watering schedule today. We are working on a fix for this issue, however until then, there could be a display issue with Flex Schedules.

When in doubt, please refer to your activity feed as that will always be the record of what did and didn’t run on your Flex Schedule.

Circling back to Zone 3, it didn’t water today as it’s Allowed Depletion didn’t reach the threshold setup (30%). The the moment, Zone 3 still has 9% of it’s available moisture balance available.

It’s important to remember that your zone’s moisture balance does not equal the allowed depletion. They are different percentages. In your case, for Zone 3, you have Allowed Depletion setup at 30%, meaning the system will water once you’ve used up 30 units out of 100 available. Keep in mind that at 30% allowed depletion, the zone still has a 70% reserve available. The zone is far from being out of water and pushing out the next watering a day encourages the plant to grow deeper roots to pull water from the soil reservoir that is the 70% reserve.

At this time, Zone 3 is forecasted to water tomorrow. Should weather conditions change to warrant extending the schedule, Flex Schedules will do this automatically roughly one hour before your scheduled watering time after pulling and reviewing the most recent weather data.

As @katerri22 put it best, Flex Schedules are designed to only water when needed. If micro-managing the system is your preference, I would recommend you switch to a Fixed schedule.

For more information on Fixed and Flex schedules, please refer to this support article.

Hope this helps. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Best, Emil