Global Watering Restrictions

The problem:
My City and many across Canada have watering by-laws that state we can water only during certain times. This proposed feature will accommodate that without being fined for misuse of water. Saving water (money) is great, but only if you can avoid the fines which exceed the wasted water costs.

The ability to add a top level/global “watering restriction” feature, users could create, edit, delete these restrictions, and are not tied to a schedule but rather to the rachio controller itself.

A watering restriction would have the following:
Friendly Name
Flexible Calendar (Days of the week, Days of the month, Even Days, Odd Days, every nth day/week/month/etc)
Start and End Time (Optionally blank)
Type: Forbidden (Cannot water during this time) Exclusive (Can only water during this time)

A Watering Schedule would then be able to use one or more watering restrictions for its schedule calculations, some limits might be good (up to 5 restrictions or something, might need to be all the same type [forbidden / exclusive] for simple logic)

Optional: Make these restrictions either apply to all schedules or make each schedule pick which ones apply to it. I personally do not need the flexibility of per schedule selection, but others might.

Final Thoughts:
My current work around is wakeup at 6am even days of the week that I want to water and say water manually. I suggested this directly to rachio (a year ago) and this year again through the feedback feature, but was referred here. If Rachio does not fulfill this, I will be forced to look into using the API to control my watering times if real life lets me find the time. :grin:

So far Rachio only brings the improvement of manual watering from my bed :sleeping: , instead of going into my garage to do it.

I thought it might be good to add a use case.

I create a global watering restriction as follows
Name: Even Days 6am
Calendar: Even Days
Start: 6am
End: 8am
Type: Exclusive

I create a watering schedule that says Water weekly Saturday & Sunday starting at 6am that uses the above restriction.

Result: only Saturday or Sunday (the even day only) being the watering day for that week and the other is skipped entirely.

Thanks @dahrl. Greatly appreciate the recommendation.

What is your current restriction? We do allow restrictions on most of our schedules now.

What is your current restriction? We do allow restrictions on most of our schedules now

@benblackmer Honestly I have none, because I have no schedules, it is not possible for me to say water once or twice a week only on even days at 6 am without making a separate schedule for every month etc.

I have to manually trigger my watering myself. As there is no option to do what I want till it is created as I described above.

I am a software developer so as I said previously my backup plan is to talk directly to the api if I can find the time.

@benblackmer I just realized you might be asking about my local by-laws. We are only allowed to water on even/odd days at 6am or 6pm for up to 2 hours approx. The even vs odd has to do with your house number, if your house is even you water on even, if it is odd you water on odd, you can choose AM or PM for watering, but you can’t do both. so you must choose 6am or 6pm for the odd vs even.

But I don’t want to water EVERY even day at 6am, I want just 1 or 2 times a week for some zones and every even day for others. It is not possible without manually picking each day myself.

Which is why I do it manually currently. When (if) I get time and if Rachio has not created such a thing as I described, I will make a schedule and just have the API skip the days I don’t want (odd days) and let it run for even days.

This would be a useful feature. For example, my city has an odd/even and daytime watering restrictions between the days 5/1 - 9/30. The daytime watering restriction is from 10am - 5pm.

For these type of restrictions, we suggest a Fixed Interval schedule for either odd or even days, and start your schedule around 4am. It should be done by then. You can also set this schedule to run from 5/1 to 9/30.

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Why not have an option to ether start at a certain time, or stop by a specific time. For example, I see value having the ability to have watering completed before waking up and taking showers.

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Totally agree and something we’re working on with our backend project. Thanks!


My suggestion includes support for those who want to create a black out time (when they shower) or persons like me who need to legally follow a by-law to avoid a $5,000 fine. The by-law for my city was passed in 1995 (the last revision) so this is totally not a new concept, I am surprised that the rachio did not support this from the beginning.

My town also just put in some very strict water restrictions. I was doing flex daily on even days with good results. The total potential run time per even day was close to 10 hours under flex daily. I can now only water Tuesday and Friday between 5:00AM to 8:00AM and also 5:00PM to 8:00PM. My total run time on these days is now limited to 6 hours. Based on that, I think I have to switch to fixed interval. My question is under fixed interval with weather intelligence on, will field capacity be taken into account? In other words, I’d like the zone to be skipped if the field capacity is over its threshold. I see where it will skip based on rain but it doesn’t seem to skip if previous watering puts it over the threshold. Seems like there could be another on off switch under weather intelligence based on field capacity. Any insight would be appreciated.


Climate skip might be the feature you are thinking of? We allow for a modified version of tracking field capacity and ET. We will skip the schedule if it can make it to the next watering schedule based on last watering through next watering ET. Not as sophisticated as flex daily, but with significant precip or down turn in ET, could potentially skip a few waterings :wink:

Let us know if you have any other questions.