Need a way to handle precipitation that doesn't happen for Flex Daily


#1

It’s been discussed in a couple of different threads, but for Flex Daily Schedules we really need to way to handle the problem where the forecast says its going to rain, but it doesn’t.

I know that one of the goals of using my Rachio is saving water, but it’s also at the same time trying to get the right amount of water to the vegetation. AND do it in a way where it doesn’t need monitoring by a person. (I travel a lot so this is really important to me.)

Here’s a recent example:

On 6/22 it watered (don’t know why it went less time, that’s a different issue that appears to be solved now) and the ET was bad that day - more than normal. 6/23 and 6/24, same thing. ET more than is normally expected, so things are starting to get drier. On 6/25 rain was predicted, but I opted to do a manual water as the plants were showing stress. Glad I did as we only got .06 inches of rain, and again the ET was higher than normal. 6/26 we originally had 1.5 inches of rain predicted, but it wasn’t due in until after 10pm. So again, based on the plants showing a bit of stress, I did a manual watering. Luckily, we got the rain but it was much less than predicted.

One of the additional problems is that at least in my area, this time of year, we have the possibility of scattered rain/thunderstorms almost every afternoon, and they end up being very localized. So the plants need the water to make it through the day until that possible rain gets here.

When I’m home, I can visually watch things and manually take action, but when I’m traveling, that’s close to impossible.

You will probably come up with better solutions than me, but I’d like to see an option where if the moisture levels are 0 for one day, we could tell the system it’s OK to water the following day, even if rain is predicted. Not all people would want this, but from reading the forums, I think several of us would like this option. If you wanted to get really sophisticated, it might only kick in when the chance of precipitation is less than say 40% AND that precip is anticipated late in the afternoon or evening. This would be a setting like Wind Skip or Rain Skip.

Another option would be to allow the moisture level to go below zero (into the negative), but I sense that there may be other reasons you haven’t done this.

In my case, I would rather purposely overwater some of my zones, than underwater and have dead plants. I personally probably would just let my lawn deal with the shortage of water, but my perennials and annuals are much more sensitive to the lack of water.


#2

I’m not sure if this has changed, but that’s how it used to work (IIRC). If the day started with 0% moisture, the Rachio would water, even if rain was forecast later in the day. There used to be pretty regular threads with folks asking “why did my Rachio water on a day when it was going to rainr”, and I swore the answer was “because your zones were at 0% and the forecast rain isn’t guaranteed, so the Rachio waters just in case”.


#3

If it worked that way one time, it doesn’t now. It could just keep not watering if rain keeps getting predicted, and then it doesn’t rain.


Soil Moisture remaining at zero?
#4

I think there are 2 separate issues they should address:
(1) more accurate tracking of actual precipitation - a big help here would be to allow us to manually adjust the reported precipitation in cases where we know it to be bogus
(2) more options for refill (including partial refill)

These are the main reasons I don’t automate my watering with Rachio, instead making a decision each morning based on actual precipitation, a more refined understanding of anticipated precipitation, and a more logical approach to refill.