Drip is never running on Flex Daily schedule

I recently installed a Rachio controller and everything works find when I run it manually, however I have 2 zones that are drip and 1 that are sprinklers. The 1 sprinkler is running repeatedly but the drips have never run since installation 2 weeks ago. The original schedule suggested 5 hours of drip which seemed ridiculous at the time so I shorted it down to 10 minutes (I had been running it 5-8 minutes 3 times a week on the not-smart controller we had). The app is estimating the soil moisture at 17% now and I can run it manually, but what setting have I put in to prevent it from ever running automatically?

Sounds like you have your settings all configured wrong.

What type of “drip” do you have? 10 minutes is an absurdly short run time for anything other than high GPM mushroom bubblers.

For reference, I have my tree zone’s loaded with anywhere from 2-8 2gph drip emitters, and my zone runs for 3h 49 minutes each time, but even in our 110 degree Arizona summer, it only runs every 6-8 days, and as little as every 2 weeks in the winter. Now it did take some time to “re-train” my plants to search deep for water, but it make for a MUCH healthier and hearty plant!

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Our original timing was based on the recommendation of the landscape architect who helped select the draught tolerant plants. And yet still many plants have yellow leaves indicating too much water.

Short frequent waterings do not promote drought tolerant plants. Over vs. Under watering can be tricky to diagnose. You really think things are being overwatered?

At the end of the day, if you are expecting Rachio Flex Daily scheduling to water the way you were previously, it isn’t going to happen. If you insist on watering the way you were, you’ll need to switch to a fixed schedule.

Was not expecting Rachio to water just as I had been watering. I was expecting it do a better job in watering given the weather data it uses as input that a manual system does not. What I was not expecting was that it would not water AT ALL for 2 weeks since installation.

Comparing AZ watering to coastal areas where the highs rarely get above 72, mornings are often fog/damp/misty and the ocean 3 blocks away has a temperature in the mid 50s all summer isn’t terribly helpful. But thanks for inferring I’m an idiot that I’d expect it to work exactly the same as the system I removed that was still fully functional but ‘dumb.’

Take a step back…I nowhere insinuated that you were an idiot. No where in any of your posts so far have you mentioned that you are in a coastal climate, so how would I know. My point was that even in 110+ temps, my system only waters once a week. So that being said, in the wintertime, when my temps don’t get above 72 degrees, my system runs every 14-18 days…

I’m just lost I guess. You say that you are upset that it hasn’t run on its own for two weeks, but then say that your plants are overwatered. If you want some help, post up information about your system to keep people like me who are trying to help you from making assumptions.

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Yes, yes you were.

No, no I wasn’t.

My point was that if you want Rachio FLEX DAILY to water 3 times a week for 10 minutes each time, it won’t. Period, end of story. If you feel that you need to contunue to water in that fashion, a fixed schedule with weather intelligence turned on (wind/rain/freeze skips) is about your only option.

Myself and a number of others on here are happy to help you figure something out, but you still haven’t posted any information about your system other than it’s not doing what you expected. Without knowing any details of your system or settings, and now knowing that you are in a VERY mild coastal climate, I would say that Rachio is working as expected.

Put yourself in the shoes of the reader instead of the writer. Its an arrogant and condescending comment to someone new here trying to understand what is happening and how the algorithm works.

I never said I wanted it to water as the old system was watering, I was expecting it to do better. When the arborist on site said we were watering too much we bought this system to take weather into the watering decisions automatically. What I did say I expected is that it WOULD actually water, but it is not. The soil moisture is at 17% yet my depletion level is set at 50% as that’s the default. How did it know the starting point? Is there a boot strap process I need to run? Offering such guidance would be helpful, perhaps even offering to suggest what information would be most helpful to get the answers I’m seeking or what questions I should be asking, not inferring I was expecting a smart controller to work like a dumb one which is essentially what your flippant response suggested.

@leisurehound I typically recommend starting flex daily with one or two grass zones, get those dialed in, then roll out to other grass zones or apply to different crop types. It’s a different way of watering that takes a bit to get used to. How does that approach sound? We can help get things quickly dialed in.


The moisture balance of 17% is basically saying that there is 17% moisture left in the soil until it reaches the Allowed Depletion level of 50% you have set. If you had adjusted AD up or down, the 17% would be 17% left of water ever AD is set to. That is why you aren’t watering.

No one can really give you a ton of guidance until you post what your settings are, both basic and advanced (a screenshot is the easiest way). A screenshot of your moisture balance graph and table is a good way to see what is going on as well…

Again, with the little bit of information you have shared (mild coastal climate only), I would say that Rachio is watering correctly when I based it on how mine waters in Arizona winters (somewhat similar temps). There are some tweaks that can be done to increase the frequency of the watering, but depending on what type of drip you have, Rachio may still try to water for multiple hours each time. You can manually adjust the times in the schedule setup, but if you adjust too much, the Flex Daily schedule will never be able to “keep up” the moisture levels.

Thanks Franz,

The lawn zone is working, its watering less frequently than before and appears as healthy. We live in an area where sprinkler runoff is highly discouraged (including fines/tickets) so the soak feature where it splits the cycle is is a great help with that.

For the drip tho it said the soil moisture 17% and looking back at th history it said it was 58%. So I guess that means it will water gain at 8%? I am not sure what is or is not triggering it to water nor what soil moisture should be my floor. There does seem to be a lot of ‘knobs’ in the app for setting things that are much more numerous than the questions it asked when I went through the setup flow, which is nice that I have that control but for a non expert I would have hoped the initial setup would have gotten it a bit closer to ‘good enough.’

Any advice on how to turn those knobs would be appreciated, including what information should be taken into account for decided the knob settings.

For your chosen crop type (shrubs) we assume a deep watering since the default root zone length is 15 inches. Once the graph reaches zero the system will water. We assume the crop reservoir is big enough to wait. In your case it does look like about two weeks.

If you would like more frequent waterings (without changing watering duration) the easiest lever is crop coefficient. This just tells the system we are burning water (evapotranspiration) faster. The default for shrubs is 50%. If you increase that value 5%-25% and look back at the graph you will see an immediate shift in forecasted waterings over the next two weeks.

Another lever to move is root zone depth. We do our best but shrubs in particular is difficult to have one default value for. If you decrease the root zone depth we will water more frequently.

Hope this helps.

We continue to work on a much simpler system of watering, futuristic type :wink:



Franz , Leisure,

If you re-select plant type, that needs more water the Ko or Crop Coefficient goes up and reduce RZ seems to also be a simple method where a users dosen’t have to interface as much with Ko of the initial plant type selected and both duration and interval seem to kick in with faster and efficient watering event.

In an hour I will be checking on Drip Zones that I used with separate programs for like areas that were watering incorrectly before. One zone watered the other did not.

I was going to PWS for best local solar read and go off that as the author leisure hound was having similar difficulties on start up.I have not currently.

However , after dumping the soil mositure several times and an inidvidual program anytime… it looks as though the Weather Data and water cycle is right on.

I did a manual triangular mapping of Gen 2 WS, Gen 3 WS and CIMIS , although it still does look like that ET is higher on CIMIS and low reporting on Rachio…I will see with the field soil test how it looks.

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I think tmchahey needs to relax… maybe a glass of wine and a deep breath.

An update to my clients drip systems…

Both watering differently… same location same soils and plant type.
No photos for Troy:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

In order to get WI to water based on my actual field soils test, I had to change the Ko to 90% AD to 10% as well as the RZ to a laughable 48" to make Rachio change and water the Zones according to ET.

There was a post by someone who had all drips Zones and was watering effectively. Maybe we can get some more info from them

In the meantime I will be going to a fixed schedule , or PWS since those parameters are so far out of line my clients want to pull the unit out, and go with an Irrigation Companies smart unit.

:wink: :rofl::crazy_face:

Kinda rude Troy.

So the smiley faces didn’t give away that it was a joke? How the heck can you take Ron Burgundy seriously?