End by sunrise completes starts at 2am for 1 hour?


Im in Houston running flex daily set to end before sunrise.

Im concerned with how early it starts and finishes.

Schedule is starting at 2 am, regardless of it being a 1 or 2 hour schedule on that day. This seems ridiculously early.

It appears to be setting start time based on (sunrise time) - (total run time). Rather than (sunrise time) - ( that days scheduled run time)…

Is this normal? Im concerned with watering my yard at 2 am!

@NeVs Here are the gory details which I think apply to you.

tl;dr - Flex daily won’t always “end by sunrise” due to the dynamism of the zones in the schedules and schedule stacking.

Hope this helps.


So a year ago you were having the engineering team look into it. There is no response from you after that regarding the issue and it still isnt fixed?

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Rachio is already calculating all the necessary data to properly schedule the start time. It has the run times per day in the daily schedule down to the minute, it is also tracking daily sunrise times (supposedly).

It should be a very simple fix to convert the logic from
start time = (sunrise - total schedule run time)
start time = (sunrise - todays scheduled run time)

I’m kind of baffled that such a simple thing hasn’t been fixed in over a year? Who cares if Rachio can track sunrise or estimate our soils moisture %, if it will make our lawns prone to fungus and disease because it cannot perform a simple calculation?

I just tried changing to end by a specific time, and that uses the same broken logic.

So, if we are concerned about fungus and disease, we are better off using the controller as a dumb controller when it comes to start times and just use start at a specific time…


There are many ways that Rachio developers can address this bug, and here is one possible model.

When it comes time to figure out the watering schedule, this could be broken into two entities:

  1. The first software entity determines which zones are being watered today based on multiple criteria. The first software entity generates a “manifest” of zones and durations for watering today, and passes the manifest to the second entity.
  2. The second software entity receives the “manifest”. It then determines the sunrise time and works backwards to schedule zone watering, soak times, etc.

This is really frustrating for us that would like and need to see this feature work. It sounds like the feature has never worked as intended and I don’t hear any timeline on when it will be fixed. There are many of us who think this is important. It’s been more than year that this bug exists. I, too, do not understand why it has taken so long to fix. I’m not convinced this is complicated, but rather deprioritized.

At a minimum, the feature should be disabled to prevent confusion.

I have a 16 zone schedule setup for Flex Daily and it often tries to water my flowers at 5pm the previous day to finish by sunrise on the day it’s supposed to run. It’s especially frustrating when that’s the only zone set to run that day and it runs it the day prior before the sun goes down!

Any updates please??

Your current control logic promotes an unhealthy lawn when using end by sunrise or end at specific time.

These start options should be disabled until fixed.

Thats crazy!
You do have excessive run times though. Have you considered running 2 zones with similar watering needs off a single zone, assuming you have sufficient water pressure? Or adding/adjusting drip /bubbler zones, im assuming these are the ones adding the most time.

I do need to dial in the bubblers but I think it’s hilariously bad to have this type of behavior. It’s a newly planted lawn and trees that were surveyed by a professional. All data I input was from their spec sheet for the zones and type of equipment installed.

There are multiple issues and it is concerning that Rachio has ignored the very simple problem in my OP for over a year.

Ive resorted to using my Rachio as a dumb controller set to start at the earliest time that i am comfortable with watering(this should be an additional variable added for end by schedules.

As is, using end by* is a recipe for guaranteed disease/fungus problems.

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Do all the zones really need to run during the night before sunrise? I’ve done a workaround with mine – my grass runs so that it ends before sunrise, my flowers run at 8am, and my drip zones start at 9am (no reason they can’t run during the day). Not automatic, but it wasn’t hard to set up.

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No they don’t all need to run at night but it would be great to know if what I’m trying to do is an unsupported feature. Even if I just did the grass zones at night I’d be at 12 zones. I still can be in a case where one zone is scheduled to run at midnight or 2am even if the rest of the zones don’t run.

If this isn’t what it’s designed to do I’d love to know that through feedback in the app so I can configure it using a different method.

Another way to shorten the total run time would be to run a different zone during cycle and soak. I have my grass zones wired into the rachio after my non-grass zones and I have noticed that the Rachio will not run zones out of order. (For example run zone 1 Perennials during a cycle and soak for zone 2 lawn) This could save a lot of time and make a more compact total schedule.

Yeah, that would be good to have a true dynamic schedule to avoid a pure cycle and soak window with nothing running.

Personally, I wonder if this is being affected by when they calculate definitively how long the zones will run. I think maybe they should set it at sunrise the morning before, and calculate all runs Times and therefor start time. If something changes and it needs to shorten the length, no big deal, it can do that on the fly all day long. If something weird happens and it feels it should run longer, don’t run longer that day, water again the net day, that way you don’t worry about running past sunrise.

Do you have cycle soak turned off on your shrubs? Mine does run other zones during the cycle soak and I have cycle soak turned on for ever zone, so you might see what happens if you turn on cycle soak for your shrub zones there.

Do you have cycle soak turned off on your shrubs? Mine does run other zones during the cycle soak and I have cycle soak turned on for ever zone, so you might see what happens if you turn on cycle soak for your shrub zones there.

It already does that, you can see in your schedule what the planned zones are in the near future. They just programmed the logic incorrectly for determing the start time. They work forward rather than backwards.

They made a variable for
[start time] = [End by time/sunrise] - [all zones run time].
And no matter the schedule, it always starts at the above [start time]

What it should be is, [end by time] - [todays planned run time] = [todays start time]

All my zones are on flex daily and allowed to run cycle soak if needed. What I have figured out is that flex daily runs the zones in the order that they were added to the flex daily schedule. If a zone stops to do cycle soak, the schedule runs another zone.

Because my shrub zones were added first to flex daily, they ran first even though they did not require cycle soak. Then my grass zones that were added to the schedule later ran. The grass zones need a cycle soak, but because the shrub already ran, no other zones need to run.

Programming wise, it would be more time efficient to start off with all the zones requiring cycle soak (since they will take the longest total time and will have cycle soak breaks where other zones can run) then fit in any remaining zones during unused cycle soak breaks.

Maybe @franz can update us on the app coding situation.