Flex Daily - zones didn’t run

I just started a new Flex Daily schedule this month (July). I have 4 zones. Rachio calculated that zones 1-3 should run for 11 minutes and 4 should run for 7 minutes when I created the schedule. Today was the first day for the new schedule and only zone 4 ran. Why?

Did it rain?
What is your bucket % at? Need some more details to understand what’s going on.

It did not rain. In fact, it’s hot and dry and will be for 10 days. Where do I see “Bucket %”?

Maybe it was the soil type I picked. I had everything set to Sand. I changed it to Sandy Loam and the soil moisture went way down. Maybe that will cause them to run tomorrow.

You need to compare the settings for the zone that ran with the settings for the zones that didn’t run. Also, are the zones that did not run scheduled to run in the next few days or week? The Flex Daily schedule uses the weather and the zone settings to determine if a zone should run. So not all zone will run on ever scheduled day.

I think %bucket is the soil moisture for each zone. Go to zones and it should show the soil moisture %. If you open a zone and then click on the % you will see a graph for the zone.

I’m not sure but I get the sense that you expect each zone to run every day. If that’s your goal I wonder if you would be more satisfied with a Fixed or Flex Monthly schedule. I say that because the Flex Daily schedule will try to water until your bucket is full and then not again until it is depleted to 50%.

My zones were originally defined as follows:
1 - Perennials, Sand, every day included on schedule
2 - Perennials, Sand, every day included on schedule
3 - Warmer grass, Sand, every day included on schedule
4 - Cooler grass, Sand, every day included on schedule

Zone 4 was all that ran today. I have now changed all soil types to Sandy Loam. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

When you say “every day included on schedule” that doesn’t mean that zone will run every day if you are using a Daily Flex schedule. In a Flex Daily schedule the zone will only run if the soil moisture is below a certain level. The calculation to determine soil moisture is based on a number of factors, and the crop type also plays a role in determining when to water. You have three different types of crops. So it would not be surprising if all zones don’t run each day.

Sorry, one more thing. You don’t need to wait until tomorrow to see which zones will run. You can open the calendar, select the schedule icon for July 2 and it should show you the zones that are scheduled to run on July 2. If a zone isn’t scheduled for July 2 you can look at other days to see when it is next scheduled to run.

I am very confused over the Flex Daily schedule. The zone that really needs the water the least (zone 4) will run tomorrow while the other 3 will not. Zone 4 ran today and it will run again tomorrow. I don’t understand the algorithm being used. If I switch back to Flex Monthly and tell it all days are watering days, will it run every day? Is there a good video explaining Flex Day algorithm? I love the theory, not the implementation.

Here’s a link to a Daily Flex FAQ from Rachio. There’s a video that is a good beginning. Also, I was wrong about the definition of PWS - it is preferred weather station, not personal.

And just to add to your confusion :grinning: every night at midnight the schedule will update the forecasted weather data with observed weather data so it is possible that your zones will run tomorrow.

Regarding the Monthly Flex - the system will scheduled the zones based on the type of crop. Each month - not each day - the system updates the schedules by adding or reducing the duration of each zone. Try creating a Monthly Flex schedule and see what happens. You might be better off creating a separate schedule for each type of crop. So you would have 3 schedules - 1 for perennials, 1 for warm grasses and 1 for cool grasses.

All of my zones are the same crop - cool weather grass. I fooled around with Daily Flex schedules and finally settled on a Monthly Flex. I just didn’t feel like dealing with all the different settings involved with the Daily Flex and didn’t want to start obsessing about them.

Thanks, I think I’m headed to a Flex Monthly.

I just created a Flex Monthly schedule for my 2 garden zones (1 & 2) and it starts them watering tomorrow and doesn’t water again for 5 days. Ugh. Guess I’m going to a manual schedule. I didn’t see any ability to set zone type, soil type, etc in Flex Monthly. I assume that is as designed.

After watching the video on all 3 schedule types, it appears that even though the schedule says it’s not going to water again for 5 days, it may actually water the next day because it says it evaluates the situation every day and hour before scheduled time. I might try that again on 1 zone and see how it goes.

For me, Flex Monthly doesn’t necessarily provide enough water because it is based on historical data, not on current data. I would set everything to Flex Monthly and then take one zone and set it up for Flex Daily. If you post your settings for that zone on the community, and then even post what you are seeing in the moisture level details, the community can help you get it dialed and help you to understand how Flex Daily works.

Also, do you have any empty zones on your controller? If you do, you could set up the empty zone like one of your real zones, put it into a test schedule, and then monitor that to see what it would do. (I’ve done that several times to test things out.)

Are you garden zones by any chance drip emitters? If so, you probably need to play with the nozzle inches per hour to get it right instead of using the default for drip emitters. See Drip Emitter Calculator for Precipitation Rate & Area

The Monthly Flex uses the settings for your zone. It then creates a schedule based on those settings. Your zones 1 & 2 are for perennials. Rachio “thinks” your perennials need watering every 5 days based on the type of soil you have, the root depth etc. You can “fool” the system by, for example, reducing root depth. But if you want a zone to run every day then you should probably used a Fixed Schedule. But having said that I’ve never used a fixed schedule so don’t know if Rachio will schedule it based on type of crop. But schedules are easy to create and delete so you may need to experiment a bit.

I did a search on Rachio Community and this thread may be of interest. Note that Rachio recommends you turn off Weather Intelligence if you want to water every day. If you select the link you will need to scroll up to see the entire thread.

Linn, thanks. No the garden beds use all fixed heads that can spray 360 deg or be limited to a smaller angle. It seems like every time I look at the Zones window, the soil moisture % changes. So right now, I have my 2 lawn zones on a fixed manual schedule. I have the 2 garden bed zones in one Flex Daily schedule. We’ll see what happens tomorrow but if the soil moisture stays that high, I doubt they’ll come on and then I’ll be forced to run them manually.

@kentinada Flex Daily can be pretty demanding – see my posts Flex Daily Woes and Weather Intelligence Data Wrong. TL;DR after like 100 hours of tweaking to get it right, then it went off the rails because the weather data was wrong.

The thing to be aware of is that just because it says it will run tomorrow doesn’t mean it will: the projection is from the forecast but something else happens overnight when it gets the “actual” data. Your profile says you’re in MI? So likely my story doesn’t apply to you (here in CA temperature can vary by 30 degrees over 30 miles). But to make sure you should look on your home screen and compare what temperature it says for yesterday vs what it really was – that is what tipped me off.

The other thing to check is under each zone what “Crop Evapotranspiration” is. IDK what is normal for MI, but in summer here I see values in the 0.2-0.3 range. If it still isn’t running enough (I had this happen for planter boxes), under Advanced set Root Depth low (like 4") and Available Water low (like 0.12) – this is what I did to get it to run every day to protect young, shallow-root vegetables.

PS small world: your profile says you use Universal Devices? I did my irrigation off of that until 2018!

@mfuller thanks Mike. I have been watching the one zone I have running on Flex Daily pretty closely. I know that even when it says next watering date is several days away, that’s not always the case. For example, we’re in a pretty good heat wave for SW Michigan. It has been in the low 90’s for 10 days and looks like it will continue for another 10 days. My flex daily zone has watered sooner than it said it would. But I did change the root depth just now down to 5" from the default of 9+". I don’t see anything about Crop Evap… though. I’ll see how this goes for a bit.

And yes, I use a UD ISY994 as the basis of my home automation. I’m about to add a Polisy polyglot server to the mix so I can interface my Rachio controller to it. We’ll see how that goes. Trying to scare deer away in the middle of the night by turning on sprinklers based on motion sensors. They have been really bad this year for eating my wife’s flower garden. She’s not too happy about it so I’m trying to see if this will help.

@kentinada sorry, Crop Evapotranspiration is an output not an input. I.e., it is under Soil Moisture -> More Detail. The higher, the more moisture was lost. Once you’re familiar with what is normal for your area and season (which you can probably find by searching for some state agricultural information) you can determine if the Rachio is computing something sane or not. E.g., mine were roughly half of what they should have been.

It’s very interesting guyz thanks !