Flex Schedule setup for one day a week watering


#1

I live in Frisco TX where we have a watering restriction of one day a week. Currently, I have a Fixed schedule setup with Rachio to water on Tuesday mornings, which is the watering day for our neighborhood.

However, our city has said since I have a smart controller, I can water any day of the week as long as I follow the restrictions (once per week and not between 10 am to 6 pm).

How do I setup a Flex Schedule to restrict watering to once per week, but let Rachio pick the day?

Thanks


#2

I’m familiar with your restrictions. I live in neighboring Plano.

Your city approves the use of Rachio in daily flex mode. Just put the sign in your front yard that says you’re approved to water on any day your controllers says to water (like everyone you still have to respect the no watering any day between 10 AM and 6 PM stipulation - read further on this)

At the moment there’s no ‘water using all advanced daily flex schedule features as one normally would except hold up at 10 AM and then resume at 6 PM’ Rachio capability.

What I suggest is set your daily start time at 1 AM. Except for very large acreage, you shouldn’t have difficulty being finished way before 10 AM each day. In fact, you’ll discover that the Rachio puts down water in a repeating manner such that I’d sure be surprised if it gets even close to 10 AM.

Put your sign out and put the Rachio in full auto starting at 1 AM. I think you’ll be surprised how much less water you’ll use and how simultaneously your landscaping will have improved appearance.

Best regards,

Bill


#3

Hi Bill,

Thanks for responding. I’m a little confused by the Daily Flex Schedule, because when I set it up initially, it showed a total of 4.5 hours of watering, which is double of what I water currently on a weekly basis.

Also, not sure if it means that it will water every day or that it will water any day as needed, because I don’t want to water more than once a week.

I do have the sign out in my front yard.

Thanks


#4

Just to clarify, currently I only water about 1hr 45min, once a week. And my lawn looks pretty good.

Wouldn’t setting to a Daily Flex of 4+ hrs mean I’ll be using a lot more water?


#5

Hi @Lawnmowerman, @a0128958 is spot on with just changing the time your schedules start. You’ll always be able to see on your calendar when your schedules will stop watering that day, so there will be no surprises as far as running past your allotted times. Just know that anytime you alter a setting for your zones, it may change the run times.

As far as Rachio wanting to water more now, that is where you want to look into your settings. Post a pic of your zone settings and we can look that over to see if everything looks right


#6

If you are successful with an earlier technology sprinkler controller putting down 1.75 hrs of water once per week, hot or cool, rain or shine (success being defined as ‘lawn looking good’) then you’re better off than most because you already have the ‘benchmark to beat’ with your Rachio.

You’re mission is to use less than 1.75 hrs per week by using the Rachio. Let it choose everything automatically. If it doesn’t put down a lot less than 1.75 hrs per week for the same good looking lawn result, then you don’t have the Rachio configured correctly and/or the Rachio’s formulas still need more development.

Best regards,

Bill


#7

For example, I have one zone that’s just buffalo grass. I set this zone’s plants to be ‘trees’ so that the zone, without any rainfall like what is the case for us for the past couple of month, doesn’t water more often than about once every three weeks.

Whenever any rain comes down, this zone stops being watered, until the next summer’s heat wave, automatically by the Rachio controller.

For another example, I have another zone that has zoysia grass. I set this zone’s plants to be ‘shrubs’ so that the grass ends up being watered only once every other other week.

Again, whenever any rain comes down, this zone stops being watered most of the time too,

For a third example, I have another zone that has flowers in it. I set this zone’s plants to annuals. This zone waters every 2nd or 3rd day at the moment during the heat, but, the amount of water (time of watering) is very small.

Best regards,

Bill


#8

Here are my six zones and settings as recommended by the City Water Inspector.

Here’s my current fixed schedule of 1hr 44min as recommended by City Water Inspector.

Here’s the new Flex Schedule as recommended by Bill which shows 4hr 28min.

Please review and advice.


#9

@Lawnmowerman It’s recommended to group like plants/grasses into their own flex schedule. I would start there. Looks all but 1 are warm season grasses, so perhaps do 1 schedule for shrubs, and 1 for grasses. This will not change run times, but it’s a good start to organizing.


#10

Do my zone settings look right? These are based on the zones setup when I first installed the Rachio app, with some guidance from the City Inspector.

I’m not sure what Available Water, Crop Coefficient, and Root Depth settings to do the amount of water Rachio puts down. I did not set these values, they were set automatically.


#11

Hi Bill, When I setup Rachio initially on Fixed schedule, I let it setup the durations for each zone automatically based on the type of grass, soil, slope etc. So the 1.75 hrs was determined by the system.

I still don’t understand how the Flex schedule shows 4+ hrs of watering and Fixed shows 1.75. Why would there be a difference there?

Thanks


#12

They good for starting out. Here’s some tips on how the flex daily works and what the different settings mean.

Did the city inspector tell you what soil setting to use?


#13

Yes, we have clay soil here in North Texas.


#14

Ok, so Available Water would be correct. Clay means longer run times, but increased frequency between days.

Grass type: What type of warm season grass do you have, I don’t remember if you said before


#15

This shows the durations for the Flex Schedule setting. If I reduce the time for each zone, the % drops as well. What does the 100% mean? is it showing the required amount of watering?

So, by reducing the duration, will I be watering less than recommended?


#16

We have Bermuda grass.


#17

So the coeffecient of 0.65 is the correct setting. Basically that number relates to how fast water resources are used up with all things considered. I went the whole summer with a higher number, not realizing the default was 0.65. I have since dialed it down and things are still working just fine. Increasing that number will mean that the Rachio will want to water more frequently because water resources are used up faster.

Next up is root depth. 9" is a standard for bermuda. If you have an established, healthy lawn then you are good to keep this. If your grass tends to stress out fast, or is patchy, you probably should decrease your root depth since you may have not a strong root bed reaching down to there. Decreasing depth will decrease run time, but increase frequency.


#18

This screen shows the Durations for the Flex Schedule setting. If I reduce the time for each zone, the % drops as well. What does the 100% mean; is it showing the required amount of watering?

So, by reducing the duration, will I be watering less than recommended?


#19

Yeah that’s what it means, it’s an easy way to increase or decrease duration from what the controller thinks is needed.

One potential cause for longer watering times may be that your actual precipitation rate is higher than the default setting. If you do a catch cup test you can make it a bit more accurate. Do you know what nozzles/sprayheads/rotors you currently have installed? You might be able to find the ideal rate for them and at least do an initial comparison with the current setting.


#20

If you reduce duration, you will be watering less than what the Rachio determines to be ideal based off the numbers… doesn’t mean you are wrong, our yards are like snowflakes