Extreme watering programmed for next month

We just started using the Rachio 3 a few weeks before last fall’s shutdown, on a Flex Daily schedule, and haven’t had much experience seeing how it programs the schedule yet. I’m in Connecticut where it is still cool (Highs of 60), and lately damp (3" of rain one day this week). We turned on our system this week, and it hasn’t run yet, and doesn’t show the first run until May 7, with followups May 8, and 9, for a little over an hour each, and then on May 13, where it has EVERY SINGLE ZONE scheduled for a total of almost 17 hours. Then no more runs are scheduled as of yet. This is really fun, since we’re on a well : ) Any suggestions? I hate to have to set up a fixed schedule. Anyone have any idea what’s happening?

I’m feeling pretty much the same way, also being new to Rachio 3–curious and optimistic. I don’t have enough experience to have any suggestions, but do keep in touch. :+1:

Impossible to know without knowing you zone settings or what your zones look like.

I uave 6 drip zones and 8 grass zones. If everything was to water in one day, I’d run for over 24 hours. Each of my drip zones will run for over 3 hours, and my grass zones will run for abojt 1 hour.

Just got off the phone with Rachio Tech support who was no help at all. @tmcgahey I understand for exact knowledge you would need to know my zone setup, but in general why would it have 4 days of an hour watering or so, skip a day, and have 17 hours… Even without knowing my zones, would that make sense? We are having highs here in CT of around 60 degrees and have had 3" of rain one day this past week, and highs next week are under 60 with rain scheduled for Tuesday…

Sure could. But at those temps, im betting there are some configuration issues if zones are running within a day of each other.

If you just got rain, your grass zones would be the first to deplete reserves and need to water. So they would water that first round. Then the remaining drip zones might need to run, along with the grass again, accointing for 17 hours.

Again, not knowing your setup, I’m just saying what could happen. Throw sone screen shots of your zone setup and tell us what your zone consist of (plant types, emitter/sprinkler head info, etc.).

See if these help any:

It’s doing four runs of lawn sprinkling: May 8, 9, 10, 11, and on the 13th EVERYTHING.


@DHK - the setting the @tmcgahey is asking you to post are if you go to any zones in question go to edit and then scroll down to advance settings to see how your settings are set at it’s also recommended to have your lawn on a separate schedule and the drip zones on its own schedule

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I have the same question about my new Rachio. On my RainMachine, my zones would run at most 15 minutes for spray and 25 minutes for drip. Grass grows beautifully with those settings. I just went through setting up all my zones’ data in Rachio, scheduled a program and it wants to run every zone for an hour minimum. The entire program is over 5x longer. I thought this was suppose to be the easy/smart controller that saves you a bunch of water. But that’s not looking like it will be the case if I have to setup a manual program anyway because it wants to vastly overestimate the time needing to water my lawn. I can’t imagine how much water in the world is being wasted with these controllers, when the company is touting the opposite. Someone please tell me I’m missing something here, because I’m not about to water my lawn over 5x as much just to avoid needing to setup a manual program. I’d probably just switch back to the RainMachine and deal with the changes they made to their subscription model.

I got the new Rachio 3 a few months ago and had an experience similar to yours. I’ll be interested to see what some of the veterans have to say.

Watering time consists of Total watering (actual water run time), Soak Time (intervals between actual run time) & Total Time for both. Also, its recommended that you set up separate schedules for grass only & drip only.
Hope this helps.


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Since several people recommended I switch to separate schedules for grass and drips, I deleted my existing Flex Daily, set it up as drips only, but it would only take one Flex Daily Schedule when I went to add the rotor for a new schedule. I then deleted the new Flex Daily and added it back as before with all zones and ending before sunrise. Now I find that I’m watering around noon time. Sadly my Fixed schedules of the past are looking better and better.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, and I do find this to be a confusing aspect of the Rachio, which makes it not as easy as it should be to find how long is it actually watering (not counting soak, etc). We have day of week and time of day restrictions in Texas, so I’ve used fixed schedules, which makes it a bit easier to know for sure, but removes some of the flexibility you would want from the Rachio.

I have mine set up with two Flex Daily schedules at this time, one for lawn and the other drip. I am not sure I understand the steps and error you are doing/getting. Can you elaborate, maybe providing screenshots / video?

You absolutely can have more than one active Flex Daily schedule running, but a zone can only run in one Flex Daily schedule. Are you sure you didn’t accidentally have that zone still selected in the other schedule?

Rachio is pretty transparent about the function of Flex Daily Scheduling when there are watering restrictions in place. In order to function as designed, it really needs to have unrestricted access to watering. Sad thing is, I’d bet most properly set up Flex Daily schedules would still use less water than a system forced to only water a couple times a week. I think people tend to overwater on the days that they are allowed to in order to attempt to keep their lawns green…

I completely agree, and I’ve rur down the rabbit whole with the North Texas Water District in days of old. They have our usage data, so as long as I’m within whatever magic number they come up with, what does it matter when I water.

I was finally able to create 2 Flex Dailies (one for Sprays, one for drips). I still have some runs that it scheduled for next week which we certainly don’t need now with so much rain we’ve gotten in CT. I’ll just have to check it daily and make sure it isn’t doing something stupid. Thanks all for comments.

Flex Daily will schedule all possible allowable days and then right before watering will evaluate whether watering is needed based on soil moisture and predicted loss. If it thinks it can make it to the next scheduled watering without moisture falling below the minimum (50%) it will skip the watering for that zone and check the next zone the same way. When you look at the history, it should indicate that non necessary watering was skipped. Flex Monthly does the same but tries to look a month in advance instead of a “day”. Fixed schedules just do as you say. Of course the zone settings must be accurate, especially the application rate of the nozzles.

Curious what the final result has been for you. I played around with mine a bit more and came to the same conclusion that fixed schedules are best. Which goes against the entire idea of this being a “smart” controller. I may just go back to my RainMachine since it has a much better handle on automated scheduling. I’m honestly baffled by this, because Rachio is continually touted as the best and that’s not been my experience at all. If I were to just set this thing up and let it run, like I’m sure a lot of people do, I’d be spending 5x more water that I have been. That’s a huge waste of water and I can’t help but imagine how much is being wasted in the world with so many of these controllers being out their and them vastly overscheduling watering.

I don’t know about final result, but since it’s constantly monitoring the weather, it has changed the watering times to what is more reasonable, and not what it originally showed.