Flex Schedule question and thoughts


#1

I’m a new Rachio user. I’ve been waiting for a Flex scheduling system, and so far Rachio hits most all my needs! I’ve been closely watching the system to ensure it does what I’d expect (or that I understand differences).

I’ve worked through some confusion in the moisture levels. What I can’t reconcile is why my Iro didn’t water until the zone was at 100% of it’s moisture level. It did for two zones (planters with custom nozzle rates), but not for my lawns (custom nozzles also, rates based on catch cup results). Why not water to 100% of capacity? One zone watered to 76%, the other to 81%.

I’d had a suggestion about Smart Cycle and drip/bubblers, but it JUST occurred to me that I could probably put drip/bubblers on their own Flex watering schedule? That would free up the remaining zones to be Smart Cycled, correct? If so, what happens when two watering schedules have the same start times? What gets priority? Does the first program run through to completion before the second one starts, or can the subsequent schedules start DURING the Smart Cycle times of the first watering schedule?

Some thoughts or suggestions:

  • Soil moisture levels: The reports show a percentage, and I was alarmed when I saw my moisture level was below the 50% mark, where it should have started to water. I finally realized that it’s reporting a percentage NOT from 100% to 0%, but rather, a percentage from 100% to the allowed depletion level. I found this percentage OF a percentage reporting to be confusing. I had expected to see a graph with my actual soil moisture levels (bottom is 0%, top is 100%). Even if you left the graph display as is (bottom is the allowed depletion level), seeing the percentage of usable moisture in the soil would be easier. Then those numbers would not change, regardless of what the allowed depletion level is.

  • Drip/bubber nozzles and Smart Cycle: I’d really like to see ONE zone using a bubbler or drip system not prevent all zones from using Smart Cycle. To add to that, I’d like to see a way to designate zones that can be run concurrently (for example, two drip zones could run concurrently). I’d also like to see a mechanism for the Iro to allow users to put in a gallon per minute rate. Perhaps use the area (in square feet) for the zone plus the gallons/minute to calculate the inches/hour internally?

  • Watering schedule calendar: All the reports show my irrigation system (on Flex Scheduling) watered today. However, there is no green water drop icon on the calendar on the app or web login. My initial response was to believe the Iro had NOT watered today. Should there not be a green drip icon there?

  • Flex watering schedules: I’d like to see more triggers. For example, I’d like to set my Iro to water my fescue for 5 minutes or once a day at 3pm IF the reported temperature exceeded 100 degrees. I’d also like to see time frames during which to water (for example, no watering between 10am and 4pm Mon-Fri, OR no watering after 8am on Sat and Sun, etc). I always adjust my watering start times based on when the rises. It’d be REALLY great if I could set the watering start time to be 60 minutes before the reported sunrise! Then I could leave it alone all year long!

Finally, is there a place I can see what items are being tested or looked into for future updates? I love knowing whats coming!

Thanks,

  • Garrett


#2

Welcome!

On a given day evapotranspiration (ET) will always be pulling moisture levels down. So, on a day where it looks like 100%, you must have had some left in the tank from the day before, or else the current day’s ET values will pull you down.

Yes, that!

We aren’t that smart, the schedules will run sequentially. :wink:

Thanks for these, I have forwarded to the product team for review and potential prioritization into our backlog.

Damn, I wish I knew what was next :smiley:.

Seriously, will try to get better at a coming in 2.x is…. We are working on some internal projects right now, but as soon as we have our next theme we will publish features coming and tentative dates.

Hope this helps!

:cheers:


#3

Thanks Franz for all your input and responses.

On the watering the soil level to 100%, I think my confusion was because I was checking the data literally an hour after it watered, and it shows the soil moisture levels as 76% for zone 1 and 81% for zone 2. Since that was at about 5:30am and the zone hadn’t used any water, I presumed the moisture level would be 100%.

If I’m understanding you correctly then, the zone watered long enough to bring the calculated moisture level to 100%, then subtracted the ESTIMATED water loss for the upcoming day based on weather forecasting?

If that’s the case, at what time of the day does the Iro compare what the actual values for the day were vs it’s earlier estimates, and adjust accordingly? I’m assuming 11:59pm or so, just before it calculates whether to water or not the next day?

  • Garrett

#4

Yes that is correct.

Roughly one hour before the flex is scheduled to run, we take past observations, and today’s forecast, and determine whether or not the schedule needs to be sent to the Iro ro run.

:cheers: