Lost Ability to Adjust Durations by Percentage?


#1

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%).


#2

Here is the current “Durations” dialog: This is a step back from any dumb contoller, because all dumb controller allow adjusting all durations by a percentage (just like Rachio supported last year).


#3

Some Possible Solutions

Solution 1 - Enhanced Durations Dialog

Please consider giving us a way to modify all of the durations by a percentage. If you don’t want to have a separate seasonal percentage control (like we had last year), please consider a modification to your “Durations” dialog like this:

Solution 2 - Bring Back Seasonal Adjustment Percentage

Another option is to bring back some form of the Season Adjustment Percentage. If this was confusing for other users, hide it under advanced or something.


#5

Hi @MattS, I can see how the schedule you’d like to create is challenging with the existing schedules. Within our schedule scheme, I might recommend doing a specific days schedule for the entire season with Seasonal Shift enabled (it will be on by default). This will automatically vary durations for you based on historical ET in your area:

Another way you might get a similar to your old schedule, but let Rachio do the math for you is to set a schedule for say Tuesday and Saturday during the entire season with Seasonal Shift on. Then if you find you need 3 waterings, add a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule and enable it during July. You can disable the two day a week during this period so it’s saved and you can just re-enable when you want to drop back to two days a week.


#6

Thanks Brad.

I’m definitely trying to avoid a pure “Seasonal Shift” approach as I’ve always been taught that is bad. We should be modifying frequency, not duration (as much as possible).

The dual schedule idea is a clever workaround. I’ll play with that.

Brad, any chance you guys could look into solution #1 from my previous post? We really need a simple way to increase/decrease all durations on a schedule by some percentage.

Thanks


#7

@MattS I’ve definitely got it on our list of issues customers are having with the new schedules. We’ll likely be iterating schedules over the next few weeks, assuming nothing major comes up elsewhere :wink:


#8

In Las Vegas we have similar restrictions on the days we can water and time of day we can water. During the winter we can only water 1 day per week, in the spring & fall 3 days per week, and in the summer any day of the week. Also from May 1 to Oct 1 we cannot water between 11AM and 7PM.
I have set up the schedules for 4 times of the year; spring and fall (Tues, Thurs, Sat), summer (any day of the week but I do odd or even), and winter (Thurs. only). Each schedule has start and stop dates (new feature of 2.5) that coincide with the water restrictions. During the Winter I water once a day (Thurs. only) so I have 1 turf schedule and 1 drip schedule. In the spring (Tues, Thurs, Sat) I water the turf twice a day so I have 2 schedules and the drip once a day so only 1 schedule. In the summer (odd days) I water the turf 3 times a day (before 11AM or after 7PM) so I have 3 schedules, and the drip once a day so only 1 schedule. In the fall (Tues, Thurs, Sat) I water the turf twice a day so I have 2 schedules and the drip once a day so only 1 schedule. Also, I was able to find a local PWS on Wunderground that shares its data so I could get my weather information and use rainfall limits to skip days.
This method meets all the water restrictions but uses up 12 schedules which puts me close to the limit on the number of schedules. It would be nice if the memory could be expanded to get more schedules.


#9

@MattS, great discussion and ideas. Thank you for sharing them with us. Restrictions in general could be an entire app release; we felt interval and specific day schedules would address the majority of our users.

Moving forward, can we move this conversation to this thread in an effort to consolidate feedback?

Thanks, Emil


#10

@emil In some ways, I think this discussion is different than the “As Needed” feedback. Yes, I can see that “As Needed” could someday be enhanced to account for restrictions and might work for my needs. But, that isn’t a completely trivial problem to solve (making it easy to understand, configure, and work right). Specific Days are very easy to understand and configure.

This thread is about a much simpler problem. Over the years (using my old dumb controller), I’ve finally found the right duration watering ratio between all of my lawn zones. As a general rule, I don’t get one zone going dry. If I’m underwatering, they all start going dry. If I’m over watering, they are all soggy.

So, I’m really just looking for a way to proportionally adjust the durations all of my zones (on one schedule). We had that last year (and dumb controller have that) and I think there are some very simple approaches (solution #1 above) that would restore that ability. Thanks.