Did something change with SmartCycle?

One of the features I’ve loved about the Rachio is the SmartCycle feature so the water had a chance to soak instead of run off.

On Sunday, my zones SmartCycled:

But today, it’s running as long cycles:

Nothing has changed on the zone settings, and several of these are steep grass zones (needing the SmartCycle).

Any ideas? Should I just stop this cycle and hope it does it differently next time?

The two things I can think of are:
SmartCycle is off (but that’s easy to verify)
One of the zones in the schedule somehow got changed to an emitter/bubbler (which deactivates SmartCycle)

Maybe someone else has other ideas and can chime in.

Brilliant. I combined my drip zone (emitter) with the rest of my schedule a couple of weeks ago without thinking about this issue. They had not run at the same time since then, so this issue didn’t arise.

Many thanks for the quick reply. Product suggestion: maybe make the SmartCycle more idiot proof so that it cannot be “on” with an “illegal” zone type on the schedule.

Thanks @wx16, @stonecliff I would also check to see if you are below the maximum recommended runtimes based on your nozzle, slope and soil. If you are below the maximum recommended runtime, it will not cycle.


@stonecliff We definitely need to make this more apparent.



The SmartCycle on Flex problem happened again today to me, this time on a different controller.

My zones generally need ~60 minutes for a deep watering, and through last Thursday it would break up the zones into 4-6 cycles for watering based on slope.

Today, however, each zone started running nonstop. After seeing it happen, I stopped it, set up a one-time manual schedule for the remaining zones and restarted. Now SmartCycle is working again for the manual schedule.

This was a legacy Flex schedule, so I just deleted it and replaced it with a new Flex schedule so hopefully SmartCycle will start working correctly the next time it runs. Any chance something no longer works with a legacy Flex schedule? Doesn’t matter anymore for me since I deleted and replaced, but maybe that is what caused the problem on both of my controllers.

Legacy or new won’t affect smart cycle.

Couple things. Make sure you don’t have any emitter, bubbler, drip zones or smart cycle will not run. Also, are your zone run times over the maximum recommended run times? (so smart cycle kicks in).

This helps explain max recommended runtimes that we use based on combo of nozzle, slope, and crop.


Then something odd is afoot. This schedule was unchanged from before, and were zones that typically cycle every 15 minutes or so. Today, they ran for over an hour each, not using any SmartCycle. And, no, there are no emitter or drip cycles on this controller.

You may want to take a closer look at this, as I’m pretty certain it wasn’t a configuration issue on this end. Hopefully replacing the Flex schedule makes it all go away anyway.__

@stonecliff Can you PM me the device name and zone? I tried to do some research and couldn’t find the example you pointed out. Thanks.


@stonecliff Took awhile to fully track this down. We have a ceiling on the number of jobs that a cycle soak schedule can run. It’s limited to 64 total. A job meaning a zone running for a certain duration.

So, say you have 10 zones with 7 cycles, that would be 70 jobs.

In your case you had 11 zones running with 7 cycles and that turned out to be 77 jobs, higher than our limit, so we did a normal run, with no cycles.

A couple reasons why we added that limit, mainly due to memory constraints. That was gen 1, our gen 2 controller has more memory so we are going to increase the limit to 100 (gen 2 only). I think anything more than that the zones should probably be broken up to run on different days.


Thanks for the explanation. I was afraid I was going crazy or something!

Raising the limit is a good idea. I already have to limit each controller to 3 times a week because I have two controllers with 28 zones total. No way to limit them even further. And with the lack of rain in NJ during June, it’s not at all uncommon to have to run a lot of zones every couple of days.

Of course, if there was a way to link the two controllers… :wink:

Wow, 28 zones, this is where we start to see interesting #edgecases in the software…

How big is your lot? :wink:


For me, 28 zones would be a zone for each sprinkler head, with 2 zones left over! LOL

1 Like

That would be irrigation micromanagement at its finest :wink:

1 Like