Finally Just Had To Give Up On Flex Daily

It seems like a wonderful idea, but I simply could not get Flex Daily to work well for me no matter what I put in for the various parameters.

After having plants die, the tops of small trees start to turn brown, and my wife becoming very annoyed her gardens were being destroyed, I went back to an every-other-day fixed schedule.

I know some people have had success with it, but I couldn’t let any more stuff die in an effort to get it right.

I’m not even certain it can be gotten right. I suspect the problem is the amount of rain the Rachio 3 thinks we’ve gotten hasn’t reflected the amount we actually have. Without installing a local rain gauge with which the R3 can commune, that’s not fixable by any amount of parameter changes, and there’s no weather station suitable for our siting options.

Unrelated side note: Had storms come through the other day. The power did some very wonky things. The R3 was eventually reported as “offline.” I went out to the garage, unplugged it, counted to twenty or so, plugged it back in, and it was back. There have been two or three other power failures since we got the R3. This is the first time it hasn’t come back. But, as I said, they were really wonky interruptions this last time. Wasn’t failed-and-came back, but multiple bounces and sags.

I’ve been wondering if I should do the same thing….Even after taking great care to program each zone based I’m still losing plants or seeing severe stress. Our eastern redbud got so stressed it lots all of its leaves…in July!…leaving our yard unshaded for the entire season. Just praying she’ll recover and leaf out normally when spring rolls around again.

How far are you from a weather station? What is your weather intelligence set to on the controller?

I’ve no idea how close we are to the closest weather station, but there’s an airport about 3-1/2 miles away.

The controller is set to: “Weather Source: Weather Network (recommended)”

There’s no “Weather Intelligence,” but there is “Weather Thresholds.” They are:

Rain skip: 0.25 in.
Wind skip: 20 MPH
Freeze Skip: 32°F

Thing is: Flex Daily would not run a schedule after, literally, days of no rain anywhere around here, 80°F plus temperatures, and blazing sunshine.

I bumped the crop coefficients up to 85%. Still wouldn’t schedule a watering any sooner. Changed the soil types from Clay, to Silty Clay, to Clay Loam. Nope.

Heck, I’d try to force a watering the next morning by “emptying” all the zones and it still wouldn’t schedule a watering.

Is this a Rachio 3? Sounds like you have the same settings as me and mine is a 3. You might need to contact tech support as, from what you’ve said, there might be a defect with your unit.

On a Rachio 3, to see the closest weather stations, on the app go to More->Controller Settings->Weather Intelligence PLUS. Select Weather Network and then Weather Station. This will display a map showing your location and those of the closest stations. If there are none in your area, it could be an issue. It is easier for me to view the settings through a browser at From there go to Weather Intelligence PLUS and you can view the same thing.

Did you ever look at the Soil Moisture detail screen for one of the zones that wasn’t watering? Again, this is easiest seen on a browser. Click on one of the zones, then click on the Soil Moisture percentage for the detail. Post the picture here and the experts are pretty good at coming up with reasons. Note that the zone must be set to Flex Daily in order to see the soil moisture detail. You might have already done all this, and if so as I said, you may need to look at contacting tech support about reseting the unit or returning it.

Same observation. To much tinkering to get it to work. I’ve installed another brand several times since getting the rachio. They were literally set and forget. Nothing dies. Adjusts for the rain and the unit never crashes and goes offline.

I have had to due the same. This thing was supposed to save us water but it ended up using more water and my lawn and gardens are both dead or close to it. I am really disappointed with it. The old one I have 15 years ago was great, I wish I hadn’t broken.

Same here. After this hot and dry summer I lost my lush green lawn trusting the flex daily. I didn’t have the patience to continue to “dial it in” while watching everything go dormant so I flipped back to the every other day schedule. Lawn has already taken a significant hit and I’ll have to wait for next year for a fresh start. Won’t be using flex daily anymore.

My local weather station I chose is 2miles away. It was the closest one with precipitation. It’s weird because Rachio defaults to the one near by which doesn’t have a rain sensor so I’m not sure how that works. Maybe it just assumes it’s always dry? Either way it doesn’t matter. Good luck to others who are working with flex. It’s a cool idea.

Been working for me for over 5 years through Arizona summers…I’ve got the best lawn on the block!

I know Rachio is working to try and make the Flex Daily more “simple” to set up, but IMHO, for it to work the way it is supposed to, I think it needs to have some of the nitty-gritty complication to it in order to dial in the settings. I hope they don’t “dumb” it down too much.

1 Like

@tmcgahey - nice lawn and landscaping! but being that I have a KBG lawn I think its a different story and I believe its a lot more sensitive to the heat vs your warm season lawn that enjoys being in the heat. I like the level of detail and I went through it all and watched my lawn continue to deteriorate week after week. I was on here reading through peoples tips n tricks and trying to make adjustments but it just wasn’t responding. I’d check the calendar every day and see it changing when it thinks it should water next. It would go for a week straight of not watering when we had 95f heat wave with no rain because it thought there might be rain coming. It just doesn’t work with KBG no mater how deep your roots are. I feel like this was an outlier of a summer being that it was a very hot and dry summer for us up here but I would’ve hoped the Rachio would’ve accounted for that, but it didn’t. So that is where I’m coming from.

Sure, the Bermuda you see there is a warm season grass, but we had MANY days above 110 this year, and I don’t care what kind of grass you have, that is going to stress it…

I’m not sure if I remember seeing your own post regarding your settings, but I’m fairly confident that it could have been dialed in for success. There are plenty of people with cool season grasses doing fine through summer months. Flex Daily does take some knowledge and understanding of your own yard and some of the principals of irrigation. But for the intelligence of Flex Daily is going to require solid input data to do its job correctly.

1 Like

This is precisely what was happening to us. I could have lived with it, would have kept tinkering with it, except I could find no way to override the behavior. I even tried manually “empying” all the zones to persuade it to water the next morning. Nope. Stubbornly insisted it didn’t have to water for another three days, anyway.

Heck, one time I set up a new fixed schedule to run one day: The next day. The R3 overrode that because rain was expected.

We got no rain.

Finally could tolerate it no longer.

Now I’m back to doing what we did with the old controller: Set on an even days, fixed schedule, and override the next watering manually, depending upon what the weather really does.

Btw: The fixed schedule being overridden because rain was expected is one example of where our old Orbit B-hyve controller was superior to the Rachio 3. The R3 only allows you do specify how much rain is expected to suspend a watering. Our old controller allowed you to set how much rain and the percentage of probability you’d get that. I had our old controller set to 80% probability of 0.25 in. or better, IIRC.

VERY nice! Tell me: I’ve been told that having stone “mulch” around plants is bad because the stones hold so much heat, and fry the plants. Yours look great, though. I’m assuming all your plants have some type of drip irrigation which can compensate for this?

I’ve always heard that as well, but rock is par for the course here in Arizona. Almost no one uses mulch. At the end of the day, 110+ is hot and going to put a lot of stress on non-native plants (pretty much everything in my yard), but Rachio keeps up extremely well.

Each of my shrubs has a 1gph emitter, and trees will have anywhere from 2-8 2gph depending on their watering needs and/or size. The previous owner of my house was a landscape design and installation contractor, so he did the yard right, so admittedly, my transition to Rachio was probably easier than some with poorly designed and laid out systems.