Moisture Level understanding

I know there were many discussions already on it and some very informative articles, but I did not really find answers to following questions when due to rain the moisture level goes above 100%. Maybe I over-complicate things or understand them the wrong way.

  1. When reaching 100%, does it mean the soil is full and cannot take more water?
  2. Should not everything above 100% be immediately going down as the excess water is going down the drain or simply cannot be absorbed?
  3. Does Rachio, when it goes over 100%, have kind of a formula so it lowers quicker the moisture level until 100%?

We allow a saturation up to 20% above field capacity. We don’t use the term 100%, so it might help if you don’t think in those terms.

If you are really curious this document has more information on all those topics and more.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for sharing, this is a great reading! I have to say it is not easy first time you start looking into the whole thing, but after reading all available resources on Rachio site, forum and the link you provided helped me a lot. Just final summary and validation with you to be sure I got it right:

  • If my moisture level is at 100% this is the perfect and field capacity. We then allow 20% which is saturation
  • Assuming the moisture level is at top already (120% which is saturation) and it rains another inch. All that rain is probably percolation and run-off then and will not be accounted for. So effective rain is 0. Would it make sense to see the total rain and the effective rain as shown in example on page 10?

Do we have some means to include Mulch into the whole equation or is it not enough relevant?

Is Rachio doing the Checkbook method as well on an hourly base?



That probably does make sense. For our Spring release we are moving to a more simple model that combines Fixed/Flex schedules and will simplify the adjustment process and should give even more efficiency. Flex schedules (water as needed) will be on a interval that will be adjusted automatically each month. Also, in-between intervals we will track daily evapotranspiration and decide if we can skip certain intervals based on real-time weather conditions.These graphs are nice, but we want to migrate away from users having to understand about field capacity, ET, root zone depth, efficiency, etc. if they are so inclined.


Right before the schedule runs, or could run, we perform all of this analysis.



Please add me to the Beta version, happy to test it out and play around with it. Hopefully you do not remove all the little tweaking for the people who love that (king of in a advanced settings), but make it easier for the case of install and let it run. :smile:

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Yea, I love my flex schedule. It’s dialed up so tight, if it was a woman, you bounce quarters off of her…

@rwabel, here’s the sign up form for the spring beta testers :slight_smile:

You nailed it. Trying to make schedules easier to setup and fine tune. Advanced Settings for only those who want to nerd out on it. :smirk: