I feel like the new schedules (v2.5) are a step back for us with day of week watering restrictions. It seems Rachio is most needed where water is scarce and thus most likely to have water restrictions. BUT, it seems the new schedules are really optimized for places that don’t have restrictions.
Here is my use case / setup:
- One “schedule” for my lawn
- Seven different zones
- Some zones use spray heads with short durations
- Some zones have wide area rotors with long durations
- Restricted to water Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Here is approximately how I have watered my lawn using a dumb controller for years:
May 1-15: one day a week; duration set to 75%
May 16-30: one day a week; duration set to 100%
June 1-15: two days a week; duration set to 75%
June 16-30: two days a week; duration set to 100%
July 1-15: three days a week; duration set to 85%
July 16-30: three days a week; duration set to 100%
Because of my restrictions I cannot change only frequency. I need to make some change to duration to help make the big jump from one to two days per week.
Now, I would love if Rachio could make the adjustments to duration and frequency. However, none of the new schedules get close to this. “Water as Needed” has no support for restrictions. It seems “Specific Days” has no support for adjusting frequency as we move from Spring to Summer.
OK, so Rachio really isn’t that “smart” for my case YET. I’m OK with that. I’m willing to manually adjust my frequency (just like I did with my old dumb controller). HOWEVER, with v2.5 it is now much more difficult than with my dumb controller. When I manually change the frequency from once per week to twice per week, I need to adjust the duration by a percentage. I could do that last year, but it is GONE in v2.5. Yes, I can pull out a calculator and manually calculate a new duration for each zone individually, but that is VERY painful.
I’m OK that we don’t have a persistent percentage adjustment that is separate from our durations in v2.5. However, when modifying the durations, we need the ability to increase all zones duration by a percentage (ex. increase all by 25%).