Manual Precipitation Entry


#1

I suggested this to support while resolving a different issue and wanted to post to see if there is anyone else with a similar interest, you never know the number of people that a suggestion could help until you post…

I’m in Colorado right up against the foothills; we have many micro-climates here and as the folks at Rachio know the weather can be significantly different in very short distances geographically. I’m currently using a reliable, accurate weather station 1.2 mi away from my house, it seemed to work well for fixed schedules but for flex not so much.

On more than one occasion it’s rained pretty significantly at my house but not at my weather station and as a result flex is overwatering. I’d like to have a way to log on and manually input the observed precipitation at my property after a storm. A simple, cheap rain gauge is accurate enough and much more cost effective than setting up and maintaining weather station…

If it rains at my house I could log on and tell the program how much I got, flex could then re-calculate moisture levels based on my input. If I don’t input anything it could default to the weather station and the way it’s working currently.

Another related thing that I’d like to see is a notification that flex is going to water. Typically I just wake up to the notification that watering of A,B,C, zones has been completed. I’d like to get a notification 'flex is going to water zones A,B,C on ‘date’ at ‘time’ (maybe 12 hours before the watering) and have the option to cancel or postpone to a different date - no response and flex just waters as planned. Maybe I’m having a party or am going to mow early, just applied chemical, etc… Or, maybe it just rained at my house (not at the weather station) and my yard doesn’t need water. You could select ‘cancel watering’ and the reason ‘recent rain’, get a response ‘your weather station did not report rain, how much rain did you get’, enter the appropriate value and flex recalculates moisture levels…

Of course integrated moisture sensors would eliminate this request. However, based on other posts related to that it’s clear the technology (at a reasonable price) is a ways out.

As @franz has said “flex schedules are only as good as the data we collect”, I think being able to manually enter observed precipitation would greatly increase the efficiency of flex scheduling for those who are so inclined.

Thanks for reading!


#2

I think there is some merit here. This is the natural extension beyond a simple “rain delay”. If you have solid resource management algorithm, you need to be able to trust that and let it make the best decisions with the best data.

So rather than simply saying you had rain and want to delay today, or for 2 days, you would actually specify how much rain you had, and let the algorithm figure out optimal watering. Maybe that is tomorrow, maybe 4 days away. It would depend on forecasted precipitation and ET.

You could potentially remove the existing rain delay function and leverage this new (proposed) functionality. You either enter an exact precipitation rate (advanced), or select from an option of say light rain, medium, heavy, downpour etc (simple approach) and behind the scenes it makes a precipitation entry, rather than just delaying.

One point: it would of course need to be possible to both add and remove (positive and negative precipitation). It could be that the local station received rain, you did not, or vice versa.

(I could also use this to fix my issue where Rachio believes my moisture levels are higher than they really are).

db


#3

Sweet, so am I :wink:

This is a good solution, the ability to manually input watering events.

As an interim solution we are adding the ability to fill or empty the zone soil moisture reservoir. This will be available very soon.

Allowing the ability to manually input data is further down the road map.

Ironically, this does happen an hour before the schedule runs, and there is a ‘skip schedule’ on the event in the activity card which most people probably never see unless they are up at 4AM watching their app. We started with an 8 hour window before and the weather forecast changed so much that we shortened the window. Still an open item the best way to do this…

Don’t get me started :wink:

I tend to agree, but not a trivial development effort across our clients, but I completely understand.

:cheers:


#4

Thanks Franz! I’m intrigued by this and am looking forward to playing with it. I think it’s a step toward the flexibility I’m looking for but I’d still like to see the ability to input precipitation someday. Rachio is much smarter than me when it comes to the specifics of my yard (soil, slope, etc…) and thus would be better at determining how ‘full’ my zones get from a certain amount of rain. I can make a guess and without a doubt it’s better than no input at all.

Ha! You’re right, it does happen and I actually was awake to notice it last night. I had no idea, like you said, typically not awake 1 hour before my system runs…. I know it’s a tough one, weather changes so quickly and you’re trying to stay on top of the latest – I have no idea how you’d notify flex users too far before the run. You’ll probably need to buy one of those crystal balls or something :smile:

As always, thanks for listening!


#5

Just wanted to add my 2 cents that this would be a great feature.

Twice now it’s rained at my nearest station (1 mile away) while we got nothing.
Using the empty option selectively on each my ~28 zones would take quite some time of thought and a lot of button pushes.
Not even sure how to work around this right now… wish I could just get to that precipitation value! :slight_smile:

-Kyle