Negative Impact of Manually Watering on a Flex Scheduled Zone

What’s the thinking behind making manual waterings still affect flex scheduled zones. I see that when I manually water a zone then flex scheduling of future waterings for the zone is adjusted.

Is it possible to ‘slip in’ a manual session for x minutes without adjust flex scheduling for the same zone?



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We debated about this, and the more I think about it, the more I dislike manual waterings adjusting flex schedules.

I am making a few changes this week regarding flex (more data resiliency, fixing a few other issues), and will see what this looks like from an implementation standpoint.


@a0128958, in theory, a manual watering applies water to the zone; albeit small amounts if only ran for a few minutes, BUT if run for extended periods of time, said watering would throw off your moisture balance readings. It would be like making a deposit into your bank account and not recording it. A dollar or two doesn’t matter, but 20 or more adds up, especially over an extended period of time.

@franz and I are discussing removing manual runs. I need more convincing :wink:

Open to the idea and interested to hear what others think.

Here’s what’s happened to me:

One of my zone’s is messed up now. Definition of ‘messed up:’ It’s still pretty dry, needing water, but flex scheduling doesn’t have it calling for water for another week.

How can this happen. As part of my implementation of my Ira, I also fixed some zones that hadn’t been watered for a while due to broken heads.

I didn’t fix the zone until after flex scheduling started. When I did all of the manual waterings to catch up the very dry zone, flex scheduling now thinks the zone is so satisfied that it won’t water it for another week.

If fact, the zone is probably still a little short of water.

Thinking about this further, I think the request is to make it possible to re-sync Flex sched conditions to what’s actually out there.

Do it via allowing manual waterings to change the actual outside conditions without changing flex sched parameters, or the reverse. Continue to count manual waterings toward flex sched data but allow for a manual adjustment to the zone’s flex sched numbers

Either one would accomplish the mission.

The same challenge occurs with energy monitoring systems, where there’s accumulations for kWh or gals/min., etc. Needed is some way to manually adjust the accumulations when they are first set up or when something unusual needs to be reconciled.

Thx. Bill

I don’t think that you should remove the ability to manually execute a schedule or a zone…

As I see it, there shouldn’t be any difference between water added by a flex schedule, a fixed schedule or manually… the Iro knows how long a zone ran and thus it knows how much water was added… just add that amount to the “bank account”… if this throws off the flex schedule such that a zone waters by itself, I don’t think that really matters, at least to me anyway… my zones already water on different intervals because I have some zones with good soil and lots of sun and others with lesser soil with varying degrees of shade…

One reason that I’d like to keep the manual watering option is my landscaper asking me to water after the lawn is fertilized and I’d like that amount to be considered by the flex schedule… after all, if I water each zone for 10 minutes or whatever, that’s water added outside the flex schedule just as if it had rained, right?


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@a0128958, great example. I’m sure this happens to everyone on occasion.

Correct. This is most likely based on an allowed depletion of 50%. I’d recommend adjusting your allowed delation to 30 or 20%, this will increase the frequency of irrigation events.

Do you see this as a value override? Like changing the value in a checkbook register?

@jsurpless, good point.

Great conversation. Interested to hear from other users :blush:

Based on what I’ve seen, including comment on manual watering after fertilizing ‘counting’ (which I agree I’d want it to count too), looks like some situations make sense to not count manual waterings, others make sense to count them.

Thus, maybe for each manual watering the user has to specify ‘count’ or ‘don’t count’ toward flex sched values.

Or, always make manual waterings ‘count,’ and offer a means to adjust flex-sched values for unusual situations.

Thx. Bill

I like the way manual runs work right now, being counted with the total amount of water a zone has received and having flex adjust accordingly. If the flex schedule isn’t keeping a zone watered adequately most of the time, the zones parameters should be adjusted. Ultimately, I’d like to have flex dialed in to the point that I don’t have to think about it at all. For rare occasions – like after fertilization or when the grass is stressed after cutting during extreme heat – I’d like to be able to run manually and have the flex schedule adjust automatically like they do currently.


I definitely think manual waterings should “count” towards flex moisture balances.

I would be interested to hear of a way to re-sync observed conditions with what flex schedules are calculating, for the rare occasions mentioned. Not sure how to do that easily, but if one of you more irrigation-minded folks can think of something… :slight_smile:

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Manually watering should count, its water going into the ground. You have to count just like you count it if there is a sun shower and it only puts down a .25 inches or something small.

I think the right answer if you want watering more often is to adjust the depletion ratio, or for the example of a broken zone, you should have a way to manually set the zone as depleted so flex can do its thing.

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If you really need to “slip” in a manual watering, can’t you just manually activate the valve at the valve itself? Then Iro has no knowledge of it happening

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The Iro is a sentient being, so will be able to perceive a watering has happened and still apply it to the overall irrigation amount.

Sorry, just kidding, this will definitely get you the desired behavior.



I have a system that injects mosquito/bug killer into my sprinkler system when I run it. I don’t keep it on all the time as I don’t need it to run during my 3 + hour waterings for my yard. I only need it for 2 to 3 minutes a zone. That 2 to 3 minutes really messes with the flex schedules to a point where I have gone back to fixed at the moment. As I was playing with the flex, my yard dried out more than I wanted due to the 2 to 3 minute watering and flex not ever running. Now I’m playing catch up in my yard bit.

I agree that manual watering needs to affect the flex schedule. However, what is really needed is the option to delete/modify the irrigation history. In my case, the history was messed up in conjunction with installing the irrigation system; zones were tested and run before all the settings were set, with the result that the irrigation amounts were all wrong, some seriously so. Allowing the irrigation history to be modified/deleted would help this issue as well as the one I encountered.


so far, this has not caused me any problems.

since you are computing a evapotranspiration rate, you should also be able to compute an evaporation rate and if water applied via manual event - evaporation (not trans) gets accumulated? water applied mid afternoon most likely will not travel the vascular system of turf within the same day to transpire (ill have to verify tonight). other plants, im not so sure about…

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I also vote for being able to manually modify the moisture balance of zones.
My front lawn is now brown because I had a sprinkler break, which caused pressure of the entire zone to drop and not irrigate properly. I tried to manually catch up by running the sprinklers in a fixed schedule for a couple of days, but that put my water balance for the zone at 200%, which is obviously incorrect, since the soil is still bone dry.
I’m even at a point where I’m considering removing the Iro, because other parts of my yard are starting to go brown because I’ve tried to manually add more water, as the amounts calculated by the Iro are definitely off. Which then causes flex scheduling to not water for way too long.


oh snap, i have not even considered a reconciliation effort required by replacing faulty equipment.

Manual watering should probably adjust the water balance but should max out at like 100 or 125%? I would think once the soil reached 100% anyways you’d be having runoff and such that it would never be able to reach 200%. This way you would just manually run the zone(s) until the desired saturation was reached/maxed out in the Iro and the actual soil and you would be in sync from that point forward…

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This is a bit of a tangent, but I’d recommended the Iro to a friend who set it up in the last few days. His first and only schedule is set up for flex. Since there was no history, it assumed 0% on all zones and watered longer than he thought appropriate. It shouldn’t be a major or ongoing problem, but it would be another reason to allow manually modifying moisture balance.

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You can turn on your valve manually to get water out and not mess up the moisture