Does Smart Cycle really work?


#1

I recently purchased a Gen 2 that will soon be replaced with a Gen 3. It has 6 zones connected and I setup a “Daily Flex Schedule” for M/W/F to water zone 2 (Left Front) and zone 6 (Backyard). The app suggested ~30 minutes for each zone. I expected it to water zone 2, then water zone 6, then back to zone 2, then finally back to zone 6. Unfortunately, it waters zone 2, waits, waters zone 2, waits, then waters zone 2. zone 6 is never watered and zone 2 is saturated. I’ve deleted and recreated the schedule multiple times and this is what I get:

What am I missing?


#2

What is the current moisture level for Zone 6, I would look there first, it doesn’t think it needs to water Zone 6.


#3

I’ll check that, but then why water zone 2 twice?


#4

Yes, moisture level is the key. @greybeard Looks like Zone 6 is at 109% and Zone 2 is at 69%. Therefore zone 2 isn’t going to deplete the same day as Zone 6. In Flex Daily all zones water independently, but will cycle and soak together if need to be watered the same day. Also have to consider irrigation amount for each zone, how much moisture it gets per irrigation event.


#5

So what do I have setup incorrectly? Zone 2 is way more wet based on the over watering and Zone 6 is pretty dry.


#6

Please post your zone setting for the two zones and the community will probably be able to help you out. Make sure to also post the advanced details. That will help.


#7

Here ya go …


#8

Please take a look at this support article https://support.rachio.com/hc/en-us/articles/115010379767-What-is-Smart-Cycle- for reference. Zone 6 is Fixed Spray Head (1.5 in/hr), Slight Slope, Loam Soil Type. According to the reference table, max recommended runtime for that zone is 13 minutes. Total runtime in schedule is 35 minutes. So it requires 3 cycles in order to not go over 13 minutes per cycle.


#9

There are multiple ways to adjust this, are you looking to increase frequency or amount per irrigation? Adjusting Root zone depth should adjust the maximum irrigation amount per watering. So it will water less but more frequently(or more less often). Adjusting crop coefficient will change crop evapotranspiration, which is used to determine how quickly your zone loses moisture. Adjusting duration in the schedule changes the time it takes to fill the bucket. Also adjusting nozzle flow rate will make the duration longer/shorter. Let’s start with this and let me know if you have more questions. You can also empty/fill moisture manually in moisture graph screen to force it to deplete or fill up if you need a fresh start. Thanks!


#10

Thank you! I’ll try those suggestions. That should do it. I was thinking that something wasn’t working since it didn’t seem to ever be watering zone 6. I didn’t realize that I needed to fine tune so many options ;).


#11

Also, if you are saying that Zone 6 is dry, you may need mark it as ‘Empty’ so that the Rachio and your yard get back in sync. The Rachio can manage moisture ongoing, but if it thinks the are is full, and the area is dry, that needs to be reconciled.