Flex daily water before sunrise broken

I finally started trying flex daily and began with the setting to finish watering before sunrise, yet it waters at 6pm to 9pm. So then I changed it to manually water only before 8am… And it changed the schedule to water from 9pm to 11pm. Anyone know why this isnt making any sense? Could it have a strange timezone setting somewhere I haven’t found or something?

Side note but when I created the schedule I set it to start on a certain date… Totally disregarded and started the day before.

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We are aware that it’s not ideal, actually a fairly difficult problem to solve for various reasons.

We’d like to tackle this when things slow down around here :wink:

For more information this will explain the current behavior.

Hope this helps.


If you really want the start before sunrise option, then start with just one or two zones in your shedule. The start time is calculated without considering which zones will water that day, and assumes all zones may water, hence the very early start time. If you only need to water each zone once or twice a week, split your zones across multiple schedules - if not, use a different scheduling option (e.g… fixed start time) until Rachio enhances this feature to consider which zones will water in each run.


@jkb My thoughts as well. Multiple schedules. Less zones per, less “max” runtime. No negative impact and closer to desired times.

@franz @theflexdude I just moved my flowerbeds to a new Flex Daily. Doing that alone made a significant change to the start time for the lawn zone(s) flex sched. Most days the lawn zones will start at ~3-3:30 AM, much better.

However, one new thing I’ve discovered is that because the lawn flex sched. was created before the new one. On days where both Flex Daily’s run the original sched. runs first. Lawn watering starting at about 00:00-01:00 and the flowerbeds after that. Kinda bummed that I’ll have to create a new schedule for the lawn and hope it places the lawn times after the the flowerbeds.

Would be nice if we could drag them into an order of precedence.

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Oooh. Now I know why my “finish before sunrise” schedule seems to come on before sunset! I have a single flex daily schedule with 11 zones and it is scheduling itself to start as if all 11 zones are going to run, but typically only a few zones run.

Somehow I had the impression that I could only have a single flex daily schedule, so this is why I did it this way.

Given this limitation (not calculating the start time based on the actual zones that will run), it seems like it would be better for me to create a separate flex daily schedule for each zone? What is the expert guidance here?

This should guarantee that the zones start as close to possible of your intended time.


Hm… not quite. IIUC, the accepted advice is to water just before sunrise, but you can only have one schedule end before sunrise. So, splitting into separate schedules is not going to help me either. I must not understand something about the problem. If I know which zones should be watered on a day, and I know I want to end by sunrise, why can’t the schedule just start at sunrise - sum(runtimes of zones for the day)?

You do understand correctly. The company line is “it’s complicated” and it has only gotten more restrictive over time. Try to make a small number of schedules (2-3) that group logically and then use a combination of “end by” and “fixed start” setups to target your ideal watering times. It isn’t optimal, and forces the user to be doing a lot of thinking that it seems Flex Daily was created to do, but it is what we have at the moment.

Curious. I’d love to understand better what is complicated. I suppose I know enough about “big data” to guess that there’s some pipeline in the cloud somewhere that does not led itself to adding another stage. I wonder if another approach would just be to estimate the start time based on looking at the average runtime of the schedule in the past?

For now, I’m just going to do that manually: I know that despite my single flex daily having a potential run time of 11 hours (if all the zones ran), usually only a few zones are up, so I’m having it start at 4am. If I don’t do that, it starts watering around 4 pm, which is the exact opposite of what I want.

I did the same, now I have two primary schedules. If they both run full duration they would run from 3 AM until 9 AM, but most days they run from 3 to 5 and again from 6 to 7:30.

I am having the same problem described in this thread this year (did not have the issue last year, but I did recreate the schedule).

Given the length the defect has existed, from all appearances, it does not appear that Rachio has any intent of fixing this. Am I wrong?

I’ve haven’t had any new problems with this, since adding multiple Flex-Daily schedules.
However, I’d love to see Rachio make better use of time. Meaning, when a zone is in “Soak” water another zone. Nearly all zone, in my set-up, can finish another zone within a 20-30 min. soak. My start times could be anywhere from 2-3 hours later.

A few years back @franz did explain the challenges with it, and the algorithm… but still, It would make better use of time. Getting more done as close to sunrise as possible.

You posted this 2 years ago about tackling this problem with the Flex Daily Before Sunrise being broken. Do we have any update on this being fixed?