Flex daily watering duration changing. I thought it wasn’t supposed to

Hi, everyone

I think I’m confused. I thought I had read on many occasions, that flex daily does not change your watering duration

I have 2 different schedules set on flex daily, both have 2 zones

I have water restrictions and can only water on Sun, Wed & Fri

So far flex daily is working great.

May 22nd was the last time both of those schedules watered

Zone 1 ran for 30 minutes and zone 2 ran for 19 minutes

Zone 4 ran for 31 minutes and zone 6 ran for 21 minutes

Tomorrow May 24th is the next time they’re supposed to water.

It shows zone 1 running for 15 minutes and zone 2 not running. Right now both of these zones are 14% and 30% moisture.

It shows zone 4 running for 18 minutes and zone 6 running for 12 minutes. Right now both of these zones are 9% moisture

Nothing has changed, in fact it’s been very warm in the mid 90°’s unseasonably hot, and a couple days ago we hit a record of 92°

Then I looked at the calendar for May 27th and it skews my flex daily schedules zone 1 running for 26 minutes & zone 2 running for 19 minutes, zone 4 running for 28 minutes and zone 6 running for 19 minutes.

What’s going on, did I misunderstand that it’s not supposed to change the watering duration.

Thanks

Flex daily has a concept of filling the bucket when there are watering restrictions. If it feels like it won’t make it to the next available watering date it will top of the zone in order to help it get to the next allowed watering day.

:cheers:

Ok

So watering duration is based on the fill bucket not temperature like my Hunter solar sync I had on my hunter x core controller that at midnight each day it would increase or decrease the watering duration.

I’ll check tomorrow after it waters, but if I remember correctly last time it watered, it didn’t bring the zones up to 100%. I could be wrong but I’ll verify tomorrow.

Alright this is really strange to me. Several hours so when I posted my initial post, my water levels were lower than they are now?

All my zones water levels are 1% higher than they were. It’s actually warmed up 10°

Thanks

Zones water % up 1% https://imgur.com/a/KRizfkB

Yeah, the system does not increase or decrease duration due to temperature, just frequency.

Zones will never really achieve 100% due to evapotranspiraion occurring on the day of watering which will always pull down the %, unless there is a significant precipitation event that pushes the moisture way up.

As our model gets new temperature information that affects evapotranspiraion numbers assuming you could see small shifts throughout the day.

:cheers:

This is an area that I hope gets improved, my system is tuned well to work in July/Aug, but over waters in the spring.

Dynamic crop coefficients along with some other schedule learning modifications are on our road map, next spring hope to have this functionality.

:cheers:

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Ok, This is Crazy!

I’m about fed up with Rachio!

Been in the 80°’s and sometimes in the 90°’s this last week. Today is supposed to be cloudy.

Today all my 6 zones were supposed to water, only the 2 on fixed are going to. Why because all my moisture level in my flexed schedules went to so much by themselves.

How did my moisture go up so much in one way when it was hot and no rain or watering?

Zone 1 was 15%, zone 2 was 31%, zone 4 was 10% & zone 6 was 11% yesterday 5/23/20 and hasn’t watered since 5/22/20.

All my zones 1&2 are on flex daily, zone 4&6 flex daily are now on 110% in one day without rain or watering?

They aren’t going to water today because there moisture levels went to so high.

How is that possible?

Now the next day they are supposed to water is in 7 days, 5/29/20.

My zone 3 & 5 which were are on fixed (they are my drip zones) are watering.

What is going on?

Then looking at the calendar Rachio’s deciding to water one of my zones outside its restriction?

I have 3 schedules. 2 flex schedules and 1 fixed schedule. They are all set to water on Sun, Wed & Friday.

On my calendar it shows the next watering as Wed only 2 zones Zone 3&5 which are fixed.

Then on Thursday (outside its watering restriction) it’s going to water zone 3 & 5 again even though it just watered them the day before. Why is it going to water outside it’s water restriction and the way I have it setup in the settings to only water on Sun, Wed & Fri.

Then look at the 1st and 2nd week of June.

The 1st week of June it’s going to water almost everyday! Then the 3rd week it’s going to go back to its restrictions and use the settings I actually have set up?

Again how can the moisture in my zones go up over 60% in one day with no rain, high temperature and no watering and decide is not going to water?

Then again how come it decides it want to water outside of the days I setup up in the settings. It’s going to water outside of my watering restrictions. This is not only going to use more water, but could cause me to get in trouble with the city for watering outside if the watering restrictions.

Unbelievable

What good is a controller that is not going to go by its settings on watering days.

I never had this issue with my previous Hunter XCore controller that I had the Hunter Solar Sync hooked up to.,

Look here for the moisture levels and not watering https://imgur.com/a/pqgFxpc

Look here for my zones, calendar & watering outside if it’s restrictions https://imgur.com/a/Rwed3gK

To start figuring this out go into zone 4 and 6, look at the moisture levels, do more details, and you should be able to see what caused the zones to go to 110%.

I love Flex Daily, but with watering restrictions of only 3 days a week, you might be better off with fixed schedules.

I went into zone 4 & 6 as you suggested.

I looked at the moisture in more detail and it shows +.50 for moisture today which I would assume is 1/2”. What’s funny about that is I’ve had 1.49” moisture at my house since Jan 1st and this month, I’ve had 1/2”. It hasn’t rained for a while.

My Davis Vantage Pro2 which is my pws shows no moisture in last 24 hours while Rachio shows .50” for today?

Now zone 6 shows “no upcoming watering”

Yea I probably should go in and set up as fixed, exactly the same schedule I had with my hunter, except with my hunter I had solar sync that everyday at midnight my hunter solar sync would adjust my watering duration up or down according to the temperature.

I purchased this Rachio as its speed to be a smart sprinkler and I shouldn’t have to go in and dig for details to see why it hasn’t watered.

Then to not water and say I’ve had .50” and I haven’t is crazy.

Why would it more want to water 9 days in the next 14 days on a Flex schedule that is set to only water in Sun, Wed & Friday. It should only water 6 of those days.

Pictures showing water level and how Zone 6 now shows “no upcoming watering” https://imgur.com/a/NTv3o09

You’re seeing the forecasted precipitation for the day. You’ll see the same value at Weather Underground for today’s rain forecast. Rachio is banking on it raining today. If it doesn’t, then it’ll water tomorrow (assuming rain isn’t again forecasted in significant amounts tomorrow). Rachio is doing the best it can to save you water, but forecasts are certainly never perfect.

https://www.wunderground.com/weather/us/co/denver/80603

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Ok, thank you for explaining that it’s the forecasted rain or moisture but that still doesn’t explain why my moisture level jumped over 50% in one day to keep Rachio from watering and why I’d now going to water so many days outside of my settings if wed, fri and Sunday.

Also why is now saying no upcoming watering for zone 6

Rachio is adding the expected rain to your moisture balances, so then it adjusts watering dynamically into the future. This will adjust again, likely downward, if no rain actually happens today at your PWS. You’ll see there are columns for the forecast to the right of today. You can look at the table to see how it is adjusting the moisture balance in the future based on the forecast and expected irrigation. Seems like ya’ll on the front range are in for some weather! I’m jealous.

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Yea, we’ll I hope it rains quite a bit.

Zone 4 faces west on my corner lot on one side of the grass is the street and the other side of the grass is the sidewalk so it needs its moisture as it dries out faster than my other zones and zone 6 faces south. Both zone 4 & 6 don’t have much shade.

It’s been in the high 80°s and 90°s this week and both of these zones really need moisture, since Rachio is showing an inflated moisture level and didn’t water based on a predicted moisture that may or may not happen.

Now zone 4 isn’t set to water from Rachio for 3 days and who knows about zone 6 since it shows “no upcoming watering”

Understood. In areas where forecast can be hit or miss, it can be frustrating to watch a zone that needs water to not get any water. Depending on how well you know your local weather patterns, you can always run a schedule anyway. Going forward, Flex Daily should account for that watering. I’ve done this when I knew the rain shadow effect would keep me dry despite rainy forecasts. Most times, though, I just end up with really soggy ground since the rain ends up coming. It’s a struggle during the spring because forecasts usually suck as it’s a transition between “stable” winter and “stable” summer air (if Denver EVER has stable summer air lol).

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You stated “ Depending on how well you know your local weather patterns, you can always run a schedule anyway. Going forward, Flex Daily should account for that watering. I’ve done this when I knew the rain shadow effect would keep me dry despite rainy forecasts. ”

As for me manually running a schedule, I shouldn’t need to, should I? That’s why I purchased Rachio to do the thinking and watering for me. Also when I had my hunter x core, the only time I manually ran my controller is after I fertilized the grass.

You also said “ Going forward, Flex Daily should account for that watering“ ok, what happened today then? Of course it’s going to account for watering.

Look at my flex calendar https://imgur.com/a/K552j2S, May 31st - June 14th Rachio is set to water 12 of those 15 days. That’s definitely not according to the Sun, Wed & Fri I set in my settings.

Just out of curiosity, I disabled my flex schedules and set 2 fixed schedules 1 for zone 1 & 2, and another for zone 4 & 6. I set both schedules to only water on Sun, Wed & Friday.

Fixed is even worse.

Fixed calendar https://imgur.com/a/FZ78Qmo

Even though it set to water Sunday, Wednesday & Friday according to the calendar from May 31st - June 14th Rachio has it watering 13 out of 15 days.

What good is it to set up specific days when Rachio is not going to follow the schedule I set.

I thought I read flex will water more days per week to bring moisture levels up unless you set to specific days.

Then I thought I read fixed doesn’t go by moisture levels.

When I 1st setup my Rachio in April it was great and only watered on the specific days I set, Sun, Wed & Fri.

Now Rachio will water when it wants.

It doesn’t matter.

I understand your frustrations. Guess I can’t help. Sorry.

Thank you.

Maybe Franz can explain and help me understand how Rachio and why Rachio is going to water so much in the next few weeks when it’s not supposed to

I recommend starting with one or two zones in flex daily, seeing how they perform, dialing in if you need to, and then rolling out to other zones. It is really a different way of watering that gets used to and difficult to diagnose a lot of zones at once, versus focusing on just one or two. Happy to answer any questions as you get one or two zones dialed in.

Regarding the watering on Tuesday if you only allow Wed - Fri. In order to end by sunrise for your stacked schedules it has to start Tuesday night to meet the restrictions you put into place. If you disable cycle/soak it will definitely be able to hit those targets.

:cheers:

Hi, Franz

I understand what your saying about flex and getting it dialed in.

I’ve had those 2 schedules on flex since middle of April about 6 weeks and they’ve been doing good until recently.

You bring cycle and soak. I went in and disabled smart cycle which was recommended, and enabled manual cycle and soak and all my watering days went back to Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, where they should be.

In the manual cycle and soak I don’t know what the settings should there, should I leave them at default (15 min cycle and 30 minute soak)

Thanks for helping me figure out the issue.

The default should be fine. If you are seeing any zone runoff (water on sidewalk/streets) I would decrease the cycle a bit (15 --> 10). That could push you back to Tuesday, so just a heads up there. A 30 min soak is usually recommended, but could probably drop that to 20-25 minutes and still be fine.

:cheers: