Does PWS Turned Off Controller During Rainstorm

Not sure my topic title really is asking the correct question. I have a dual Rachio 2 configuration which includes a PWS (PWS_KTXPLANO316). In Weather Intelligence both controllers have use PWS enabled. Yesterday (2/25/2021) before midnight my location received 0.39" of rain. I can see this rainfall both at my PWS and in the Rachio app. My WI settings call for a skip at 1.00". Around Noon yesterday the Rachio app notified a skip would be applied since the forecast was for 1.25" The second controller followed shortly with a similar notification. The NWS forecast according to their website around 7:00 PM called for heavy rains in the overnight hours with accumulation of more than 1.00". Around 1:00 AM (now the 26th) while it was raining outside, Rachio app sent a notification the forecast had changed (no I was not awake to read in real time) and the sprinklers activated eventually going through the entire cycle for both controllers (21 stations). At 7:00 AM, my PWS showed we enjoyed a 1.5" rainfall since midnight. Right now the daily forecast screen in the Rachio app for each controller is showing a sunny sky while it is raining at my location. This screen also does not show any measured rainfall for today. I am using a Fixed Schedule due to local irrigation restrictions. I would like to explore Flexible Schedules, but many experts have already indicated that is probably not possible with 2 controllers and the irrigation restrictions in place. What setups do I need to change so that my PWS can provide realtime control based on whether conditions? Is there something else am I missing. I recall seeing some posts about PWS not getting or submitting weather information correctly. Thanks.

What are your watering restrictions? Depending on them, it can be difficult to use Flex Daily, but in fact Flex Daily is exactly the type of schedule that would accommodate actual and forecast rain the best.

Are the 2 Rachio controllers able to run at the same time?

Limited to 2 days per week and limited hours within each day. Basically, Midnight to 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM to Midnight.

I wired the controllers with isolators according to instructions on the Rachio website to allow for simultaneous operation of the controllers. It appears both controllers are working simultaneously, but water is only coming out of the station that started first. When that station completes water will start to come out of the other station. So, I would answer with a sort of No and Sort of Yes. I was hoping they both would operate at the same time just with reduced pressure. Having them operate at the same time would make some of this much simpler.

True, although reduced pressure would change the flow and coverage, complicating things once again.

Well, with only 2 days per day available, you can’t use Flex Daily. As to the PWS, I can only clarify that the actual rain received by your PWS will be considered for the past, but of course the local forecasted rain will be used for the future. I do think your rain skip setting of 1" might be higher than normally required.

In my opinion flex daily can be set to comply with any sort of local restrictions, the issue is that you station has been offline for a while:

I understand that you are looking at your data via WU network, but your Rachio actually gets it’s data via pwsweather, where your data has been offline since Nov. 2020.

What service do you use to keep your pwsweather updated? What ever setup you use, you’ll need to revisit it and make sure that it’s fixed. If you run into any issues, I can take over your updates, private message me in case you wish to go that route.

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And THAT is why he wears the Super Gnome Hat. :slight_smile:


I was thinking it might be offline based on some other posts that did occur around the same time. Let me log back onto PWSWEATHER to see if I can fix. I will let you know if I need some more assistance.

Now, onto the other part of your response. If you could point me in the right direction on how to create a Flex Schedule that will work with local restrictions I would very much appreciated it. When I first looked at it I did not think it would work. Of course, the bigger elephant in the room is the fact there are 2 controllers in this equation. Suggestions are welcome. I will look into the PWSWEATHER later today.

Thanks again.

I believe I am using the Ambient Weather app to keep up with everything. Now, I will admit it is not on y daily app look at list. It appeared as though PWS WEATHER and WU were both offline. So, in the Ambient Weather app I reestablished the connection with my local PWS. Is this something that needs to be done on a regular basis?

2 controllers should not be an issue.
What are your local restrictions?

During the normal irrigation season (March -October), limited to 2 days per week based on odd or even address. In my case that would be Tuesday and Friday. Then within each of those days it is limited to the following times: 1) Midnight to 8:00 AM and 2) 7:00 PM to Midnight. In the winter it is limited to 1 day per week with slightly altered time windows (I believe it is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in order to possibly avoid freezing temps). I usually run a manual soaking when needed during the winter months. Not much water needs.

Most of the setup will be straight forward, simply go through the process of setting up, I’m sure you’ll find most of the questions self explanatory, here are some hints.
Which days are you permitted to water? Specific; followed by your days of the week
When do you want to run this schedule? On one of the controllers, choose start at & 5AM for example, on the other choose end by & same 5AM. Play around with the time one controller ends & the second begins, it will mostly come down to making sure your watering is done by 8AM in the worst case.
Would you like to add Smart Cycle? If your timing allows for it, it’s a good idea to use the Smart cycle, but this will increae the time it takes to water your zones (due to the pause inserted to allow water to soak into the ground). To start with you can try No cycle and add it back in later if you see that you tend to complete the cycle(s) prior to 8AM.
Watering duration. This is a preview of how much time your controller expects to water at the worst possible case, this is also where you want to make sure that you’ve set your transfer time to allow both controllers to be done between the midnight & 8AM. Watering in the morning is better than in the evening to minimize grouth of fungi / mold.

After the schedules are created, keep an eye on the mositure levels for each of your zones. Ideally they will not spend much time at 0% moisture level. You can adjust advanced settings to change allowed deplition & avilable water in order to fine tune how much water you are adding to your zones in order to get to the next watering time without starving your plants. Once you have the flex schedule running, post some of your results and many should be able to help you with tweeking your setup.

Do you have the dual controller setup working already? It sounds like you do. Did you have to address any physical challanges, such as sharing the master valve (if you have any)?

Yes - both controllers do work and I am able to run fixed schedules on each. As you implied on setting up the flex schedules, I had to estimate when the 1st controller would end so that became the start time for the schedule on the second controller. Yes - I am sharing a Master Valve. Just wish zones on each controller would water at the same time as implied by the instructions supplied by Rachio.

Now, I am experimenting right now. I setup a Flex Daily schedule on one of the controller. First, I had to adjust the zone durations in order to fit into the tight morning restriction window. What I did notice, was that Flex Daily schedule really did not pay attention to the Specific Day restrictions. It would actually start on Monday evening before midnight and on another instance it planned for the watering to occur on a Monday in the future, but not the Tuesday. The User Interface did not appear to allow me to define Omit Times. Maybe I am missing something. You instructions make sense. I do like the fact that it recognizes my soil is really saturated right now. With the snow a couple of weeks ago and the 1.75" rain last week, things are really sloshy right now. In fact there is standing water around the trees.

Be sure to disable smart cycle, the soaking pause is #1 cause of long run times.
Worst case, you can always run one controller in the mornings & other in the evenings.

I’m limited to 3days per week and no daytime watering. Flex Daily has worked for me and it often skips days. In the winter I’m restricted to one day per week but haven’t bothered to change the programming from three as it skips so many days anyway. I have rain skip enabled but also have a mechanical sensor.