Fixed or Flex Schedule Recommendation

I have 2 Gen 2 Controllers installed for 22 zones. I live in an area where we have restricted watering schedules. For my location, I am limited to watering on Tuesday and Friday each week. In addition to being limited to a specific day, watering is also limited to time of day - Midnight to 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM to midnight. Being able to program these limitations into the system might be good future updates to the Rachio system software and firmware.

OK - let me get back to my original question. I have been reading quite a few of the posts about Fixed, Flex Daily, and Flex Monthly schedules. Right now I have a set of Fixed Schedule programs setup to “implement” watering schedules that accommodate the limitations. The only adjustments I know that occur are the monthly seasonal adjustments and data from my PWS (primarily the rain gauge). I was wondering if anyone has implemented a Flex Schedule given similar limitations. BTW - my Fixed Schedules usually complete by 6:00 AM and do not start again until 8:00 PM so I can avoid the higher temperature parts of the day.

You can currently put in those restrictions. Watering specific days of Tuesday and Friday, you know. For Midnight to 8 AM, just specify to Finish before 8 AM. For 6 PM to midnight, specify Start at 6 PM. The real concern is if you can finish watering all those zones within those times. Most zones will probably need watered twice a week, so most zones will water every day you can water. Some in the Morning, some in the Evening.

I don’t think it’s practical to use Flex Daily or Flex Monthly with your restrictions. Flex Monthly wants to very how often you water as the temperature varies. Flex Daily and Flex Monthly have a specific amount of water they want to apply, and if that lasts beyond the next day available to water, it won’t water. I think you could force them to work, but you’d lose most of their advantages, especially with Flex Daily.

IMHO, for lawns you’ll end up wanting to water twice a week, at least in hotter weather. Shrubs and trees could go once a week without problem. But I’d hate to have the lawn only water once a week in the summer, and the only way I see to RELIABLY water twice a week, on specific days, is with a Fixed Schedule. And it will vary the number of minutes over the year to accommodate temperature changes.

Hope this helps.

@rraisley Thanks for the quick reply. You definitely confirm what I originally thought and how I have implemented it. The challenge is coordinating the schedules with 2 controllers. The Rachio instructions concerning this type of HW installation with Isolators and a Master Valve implied I could run a zone from each controller at the same time. I have yet to be successful with this. Another SW/FW update suggestion would be to allow multiple controllers within the same installation to communicate and coordinate with each other.

Multiple controllers is waaay beyond my pay grade. :wink: Good luck with that! If I can help with any of the factors, the most important of which IMHO is Nozzle Inches per Hour, let me know.

I think I have all the parameters dialed-in. However, I have another suggestion for an update. For systems that do not have a large number of zones, the Collection Cup method is a good way of determining the Nozzle Inches per Hour. However, with are large system this could be a rather laborious task. In the setup, the system could ask the number of heads in a zone, the square footage of the area being serviced by the zone, and the Nozzle Inches per hour rating for a single head as determined by the manufacturer.

Number of heads doesn’t really matter. Nozzle Inches per Hour is not for a single head, but average for the whole zone. If you know or can measure your square footage for the zone, IMHO the best way to calculate Nozzle Inches per Hour (which in my opinion should be called something like “Applied Inches per Hour” as it has nothing to do with individual nozzles) is record gallons used to water XX minutes for your Area of zone by:

Applied Inches per Hour = 96.25 x Gallons Used / Seconds Run Time / Area sq ft

If you’ve measured Area accurately, this will give you the best value for applied water.