This is my understanding as well.
No worries… I wasn’t implying that something needed to “fixed”. In this case, there was a difference between the way I expected the feature to work vs how it actually worked. Good product teams (such as Rachio) usually want to know this so they can better manage customer expectations through FAQs, Knowledge Base updates, and in-app feature screen-tips/documentation.
@franz and @theflexdude confirmed the feature is working as they intended so @scorp508 and I are just sharing potential ways to improve the feature based on our understanding of irrigation best practices.
Just throwing my two cents in… I have 14 zones that water for just under 1 hour each if they were to all water at once. Obviously, I never want them to ACTUALLY run all in the same day since it would mean watering from sunset to sunrise. I have the zone settings just different enough from each other to basically assure that this never happens. Unfortunately, the “before sunrise” feature feels that it is possible, however, and always wants to start watering at 9 p.m. Though I was excited to see this feature added, I am sadly unable to use it.
I’d love to see this feature adjusted to always end close to sunrise, but I understand that was not what was intended.
As a side note, I’d also love to have a “maximum zones per day” setting to make my life easier
I also just started using the end before sunrise setting instead of a fixed start time. I believe that the app calculates the total running time for that evening in advance and don’t really understand why it cant calculate backwards a start time to achieve this goal. It has all the information there in advance and certainly knows when sunrise is by one’s location. I guess the kinks need to be worked out.In my neck of the woods, the winds generally die down during the deep night. Nice feature if it could work.
For now I have created an acceptable workaround for my situation. I split my single Flex Daily schedule in to two, using the odd/even interval days. This moved my start time from about 1:30 am to 3:45 am, getting much closer to sunrise. Luckily I do not have watering restrictions, so this was an option for me.
I have this problem as well. I get that Flex is tricky but I also believe it can do better. In my case, I have 14 zones which makes the schedule something like 12 hours.
So… on a typical day it may schedule 2-3 hours and run it from 4:30 PM to say 7 PM. It’s beginning near the hottest part of the day, definitely not the best time to be watering, and a time when we’re still using our yard, and not watering overnight at all.
This is my conclusion as well.
I’ve set it to start watering at 4 AM instead of “end before sunrise” and it seems to be a lot better even though it isn’t ideal.
Todd, how did you ‘split your single Flex Daily schedule into 2 schedules’? I need to do the same (for the same reason you stated), but not sure how to do this. Thanks!
I split my zones into two groups (I did plants and grasses) and then made two flex daily programs and set them on even and odd interval days.
Any zone can only be in one flex program, so you have to remove them from any existing flex schedules that you have.
Good luck, let me know if you have any additional questions.
Just adding my observation to this as I too was expecting the “end at sunrise” feature to calculate a start time for the zones that would result in a finish at or very close to sunrise. At the time of this post, sunrise is 6:02 AM. Tonight the Flex schedule has 3 of the 8 zones identified to run from 11:26p to 3:05a. I’m not sure how or why it chose those times. The weather forecast is hot (100F days) with no wind or freeze. The coolest part of the day is 5a to 7a at 78F.
Anywho, as a work around, I set it to “End Before a Specific Time” at 6AM, thinking it would calculate a start that would align with a 6a completion. Now the same schedule will run from 11:22p to 2:04a. So, I set to to complete at 9a and now it will run 2:27a to 5:09a…close enough. 10a setting will run 3:22a to 7:10a.
As a suggesting for future release, how about a “let Rachio choose” setting which calculates the best times based on the suggestions in this thread (wind, coolest temp, freeze, lowest fungus risk, lowest evaporation rate, etc). and then adjust the calculations for “end at sunrise” and “end at (time)” to be intuitive.
@theflexdude I had to read this like six times.
Is that max durr. for all zones in the schedule, or only the zones scheduled to run that day? If all (which is what you wrote), I see why a single zone would start so early on any given day. Would it make more sense to create a unique Flex sched. for each zone? This way the max. durr. is only one zone. Or, if done on your end; scheds within scheds.
Honestly, I’m trying to understand how a max. is calculated considering the variables you mention. Of course I don’t see the full scope. Not expecting an explanation either, just typing my random thoughts.
As for end-time; maybe not make it “firm”. Meaning, the ET may go over the desired based on actual run-time or other variables. Personally, I don’t really care if the system stops watering at exactly sunrise, or not. I’d think that a ~30-60 min. buffer is fine for most people. We’re only looking to reduce “night soak”. Obviously Freeze Skip is important too, better checked @ each zone start rather than only prior.
Keep up the good work. Cheers!
new user, seeing this as well with flex daily. if end by sunrise, it starts the day before, the wrong day than selected, odd, it will start on the even day , looks like 10:15pm
for example, its set to go from 10:15 pm to 11:30pm on the wrong day
start 10:15 to 3-50am
10:15 to 12:20
10:15 to 10:59 on the wrong day
not sure what to think or do here, set it off at 7am??
the shorter watering days, why wouldn’t this be pushed closer to the end time, vs the full water day start time ?? will the times change as the schedule gets closer ??
the 10-11 on the wrong day, then to sit all night. Full duration is like 383 minutes.
thoughts or ideas here ??
FYI, this approach no longer works, you are not able to create more than one schedule with an ‘end by’ time.
Sure you can. I just made two schedules both with an end by time 3 days ago.
Of course, it completely borked my entire system’s water timing. My schedule that has a total run time of 9 hours and is supposed to end by 7:30am started watering the day before at 12:30pm with an end time of 8:30pm. No idea where that math is coming from.
I don’t understand why this is still a problem with the Rachio software coding. It’s not a hard problem to solve. I expect better from a “smart” water controller than to have to tell it when to start manually because it can’t back calculate a simple schedule and then check the weather conditions 15 minutes before that start time.
Every day for each schedule, it should do the following:
For x = 1:number_zones_in_schedule
check soil moisture for zone x
If soil_moisture < zone_x_moisture_threshold_value
watering_time = watering_time + zone_x_watering_time
zone x = no_water
water_start_time = watering_end_time – watering_time
check_weather_time = Water_start_time – 15 minutes
At check_weather_time check the weather
If wind<wind_threshold and rain<rain_threshold and watering_time >=0
While I dont have a finish by sunrise setting I do have my flex daily set to end by 5:45AM. Oddly enough when it determines only 1 zone needs to be ran that particular day for the 23min, it starts it at the original start time of the entire schedule instead of at 5:23am.
I don’t really care about this, but isn’t it counter intuitive? We don’t want moisture to sit on the grass because it can develope a fungus.
Just wondering if the rachio team is looking into this or is that just the way the algorithm is to make sure the schedule completes on time?
We stack all of the zones in a flex daily schedule and currently start the schedule at the furthest back point. Not ideal but it is what we have today. If you put each flex daily zone into an individual schedule it will correctly water at each individual start time.
If I took each zone and put in its own flex daily schedule and set an end by X time (can only do 1 by sunrise right?), what happens when multiple schedules want to run on the same day? Will it control so that they don’t try and all run at the same time? Or do I need to control the end by X time so the schedules don’t overlap, including soak cycles?
Unless something has changed recently, you are only allowed one schedule to use End By Time or End By Sunrise. Once you have any one schedule using either of those, then none of your other schedules can use End By Time or End By Sunrise.
If you have multiple schedules, the Rachio does a good job of queuing them properly. The problem is, you can’t rely on End By to work very well if you have more than a couple of zones in a single schedule, and creating multiple schedules only allows a single occurrence of End By, forcing you to use start times for the other schedules.
Guess I’ll not use this anymore. Watering in the middle of the night doesn’t work for me
Please post in/heart this thread as well.