Disallowing schedule stacking?

I have 6 zones that I’d like to split into two different flex daily schedules. 3 zones run on one schedule, 3 zones run on another. I’d like to keep them from running on the same day though, because that would be over 5 hours of runtime and I don’t want to damage my well pump.

One option is that I could assign each schedule to even/odd days. This is a reasonable workaround, but it caused wierdness with my flex daily scheduling. Mostly, it’d try to water each schedule every other day because ideally it’d want to water every 3 days, but every 4 would be too long. This results in the irrigation running every day.

My next idea was to just set each schedule to start at the sametime (say 4am) and hope that one would get priority for the day, and then next would get bumped to the following day. Alas, it looks like the 2nd schedule just gets stacked on top and starts after the first one.

Any ideas for how to get the configuration I want? I just want two flex daily schedules that don’t run on the same days.

how much diversity is there among the 6 zones (sun exposure, plant types, sprinkler types, etc)?

Everything is the same. Cool season grass, slight slope, lots of sun, rotor heads.)

ok, so in that case, and I’m just brainstorming here, you can put everything on a single FD schedule, but manually stagger watering of individual zones by adding (seeding) a few zones per day to the schedule. Since all zones are identical, they should all be behaving identically, so the relative scheduling should remain the same going forward. But this would only work as long as Rachio isn’t watering each zone every day and enough rain can also mess up this setup.

This would work for a little bit, but once we got a good rainstorm it would ‘reset’ them all to being 100% full and then they’d all be on the same schedule again.

Right… So at the end of the day Rachio is driven not by time, like most other “dumb” controllers, but by how much water needs to be applied within some period of time (or actually how much water needs to be in the soil to sustain your plants). In other words, given a fixed set of zone parameters, that amount of water is somewhat invariant. This means that if you try to reduce duration of a single watering run, the frequency of watering will go up.

Keeping this in mind… When you set up a Flex Daily schedule, Rachio will tell you how long it would take to water all zones if they ran on a single day back-to-back. From the same screen you can change that “daily” duration. So if you don’t want to run your pump for 5 hours, you should be able to take it down to say 2hrs. Rachio than will adjust by scheduling zone watering more frequently. …you might be able to leverage this as long as in the end you can apply enough water.

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Absolutely correct. And also correct the Flex Daily does not do well with just allowing watering every other day. The only way I know of doing it is by manually watering one zone with about half the normal Flex Daily amount of water, a day before all are due to water (as you say, after a good rain). I have a couple manual schedules that will put down a certain amount of water, either to all zones, or to a group of zones, to do this. By doing this, you could allow all days, have both Flex Daily schedules start at the same time, but prevent all from watering by doing the extra manual watering. NOT an ideal situation, I agree.

I still want to see a modification of Flex Daily where you specify the days to water, and Rachio changes the amount of water applied, instead of changing the day. Same moisture graph, etc., just a different way of watering. I hope to one day be on a “play” test team to help produce something like that, in addition to the normal Flex Daily type of schedule.