Flex daily, finish by sunrise

I’ve decided to go all in and place my trust in flex daily. One of the things I’ve noticed is that it always starts my watering around midnight. I’ve always read that you should avoid watering overnight because water sitting on the grass may provide more fungus pressure. In the past I’ve always started my watering at 4am and it ran until 7ish. The Rachio’s longest run has been about 5.5hrs with some soak time. Even with shorter watering cycles where it’ll only run a hour it will start at midnight.

Curious why it always starts so early and if I should set a fixed start time or this is okay to go against standard conventions.

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take your pick :slight_smile:

Will “before sunrise” be fixed this year? - Product Suggestions - Rachio Community

Start Time Determined Backwards From Sunrise - Product Suggestions - Rachio Community

and there are more… :frowning_face:

So do people just live with it or is it better to set a fixed start time?

Until it’s fixed, why not go with what you know works. I start mine at 5 AM. If all zones are running, it won’t finish until around 11 (most references suggest you finish by 10), but that’s unusual, so I go with it. If I notice all zones will run on one day, I can also manually run one or more of them to prevent that. Flex Daily keeps track of all the water put down, even from fixed schedules or manual watering.

No big deal for me; and I definitely avoid watering over night. The problem is if the water doesn’t have a chance to evaporate and stays moist all night, fungus can occur.

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I start my two drip zones at 12:01 am and it finishes at 7:07 am, each running for 3 hours 33 minutes using the start at a specific time. I know for sure that this works.

I would start with Rachio’s recommended run time for your zone and manually enter the start at a specific time or end before a specific time.

I’m not sure how Rachio would handle finish by sunrise as it rises at 5:30 am here in June. Would it start at 10:00pm or so the previous day for example?

Whatever it takes, it will start at that. Finish by sunrise might make sense in a public area where people start using the area as soon as there’s light, but for residential watering, it really need not end that early. Water loss in early morning is negligible.

For Arizona summers, it can actually be a good idea to run your drip at the hottest part of the day to give your plants a little reprieve from the heat. With drip irrigation, there really isn’t a reason to water at night as there is little to no issues with evaporation like there is with sprinklers.

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One advantage of running sprinklers at night (at least for me since I don’t have a dedicated irrigation flow meter) is that it makes water usage tracking a bit easier as irrigation would be the only activity consuming water.