Frustrated with settings. Need simple buttons

I’ve really tried to set up my device to my yard. I’ve tried to set the sun exposure, plant type, soil type, root depth, etc for all zones but I’m still having problems.

In some zones the grass starts to wilt and I have to manually run a zone. In other zones, after it runs I have standing water.

It would be great if there are idiot buttons. Each day I can walk around the zones and hit a button that says “this zone is too dry” or “this zone looks good” or “way too wet”. After a while, the program can figure out what changes to make.

That would be nice.


Have you walked through and done a complete system check to make sure the sprinkler coverage is good?

Yes, it is the whole zone that it’s over or under watering.

Have you read through the support articles? There is lots of info on fine tuning zone characteristics to help with over or under watering.

It would be nice to have buttons to help with that, but there would still need to be specific input from you to fine tune the button. That being said, read the support articles and find which specific button or adjustment works for you. I’d start with the crop coefficient button.

The Rachio only knows as much about your yard as you know. You’ll have to learn together.


@Tomtennant I like the idea, and our developers are hard at work on improving the interface to be more user friendly and intuitive.

In the meantime, as @sprinklerman suggested I recommend taking a look at our Advanced Zone Settings support article. It can take some fine tuning at first, but once you’ve tweaked your individual zones and found that sweet spot I think you’ll find that you’re getting the most optimal amount of watering!

After reviewing your account I see you’re still utilizing the default thresholds for the Allowed Depletion and Efficiency settings.

Per the above linked article, your Allowed Depletion (AD) essentially represents how frequently your Zone needs to water based on how much moisture you’d like to allow leaving the soil before watering. A higher AD% means less frequent watering.

Efficiency (DU), simplified, affects your watering duration times. A lower Efficiency % means longer watering durations.

Hope this helps! Might not be a bad idea to share pictures of your zones and vegetation types and gather some advice from our other friendly users about what settings might work best for you :slight_smile:

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I agree with this – please share with the community. There are lots of folks who may be able to help out.

If any of your zone’s nozzles are set to “Rotor Head”, I’d suggest you verify that they are actually putting out the amount of water that Rachio calculates that they are.

The Rachio default for “Rotor Head” is 1 in/hour. The Hunter I-20 rotor heads in my yard only put out .38 in/hour, so I had to make a custom nozzle for that. I don’t think that you can tune the other parameters (sun/plant type/soil/root depth/etc) to compensate for situations where 60% less water is hitting the grass than calculated.

@mitchell, Brilliantly put.

If you want your Flex cycles to water more often and for a longer duration, slide the “Allowed Depletion(%)” and “Efficiency(%)” sliders to the left. Adjust to your vegetation’s sweet spot.

Feature Request: It would be nice for these reminders to be displayed under the sliders, or maybe have a little “info” button with a popup explanation of how they work.


Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll keep messing with it.

Personally I still like the idea of just some simple dummy controls added to the app that will automatically adjust these values for you. I know that after I installed my system I just wanted it to work and I didn’t want to have to invest time digging through articles, links, suggestions, and what not in order to have it operating. I’m still not dialed in on this thing but after messing around with it for months last year making adjustments I’d had enough.

There are times where it seems to be doing alright and then times where it just does the exact opposite of what you would want. Such as watering 2 days after two solid days of heavy rain where there’s still water in the ground but because the field capacity is capped and it can’t go above that value and the math of the numbers is telling is that the water in the ground has evaporated or been consumed.

Some of these advanced settings might be okay if I was a geologist, but I’m not and the advanced terminology gets hard to understand. (And yes, I’m well educated and a ‘techy’ guy, just not in soils or alike.)

I second the dummy controls!!! My weathertrack may not have had a fancy user interface, but it was easier to understand how to set up without getting into depletion rates and such.

I’ve been having a long exchange with support about this - and it wasn’t until I saw a community post that I see you can manually change the percentage a zone waters (above or below 100). I didn’t even see that in the manuals.

They spend too much time on crop deletion and soil blah blah. Where’s the REAL ENGLISH for people who want to know what to do if a zone is covered by tree canopy and doesn’t get any rain when it rains, so the Rachio has to be told to water this zone 50% more.

My suggestion is that the guides and the zone setup wizard should begin with simple stuff like that.

I third this. I’m getting pretty tired of my lawn dying. Why can’t we have a simple button that says “this zone needs more water” or “this zone needs less water” and let the automatic settings reset based on that? If the system had a camera and the camera saw that the lawn was dying it would be pretty bad programming to just say “well, the loam is set to x, so we’re sticking with this plan”. Come on guys, I’m an engineer too. This is not that hard.