New Setup - Converting from RainDial

What does the flex daily schedule do / how does it work? And, more importantly, how do I turn it on? I’m still discovering areas of the app. Thx

first have your zones setup, are you done with that?

Yes, all the zones are setup.

Nice, one last thing I forgot before setting up your schedules… what are you using for your nozzles right now? Just the default “Emitter”?

1 Like

Most of the emitters are .5gph I believe, some are 1gph but honestly most of my foliage is ground cover stuff. The zone with just the trees use a 2gph red emitter and I created it and used it as such.

Ok, the last thing you need to think about in your settings is the nozzle type. If you selected the “Emitter” from the default list, you’ll see that it’ll water 0.5 inches per hour. Unfortunately there is no clear number to select based off your emitters’ GPH. And obviously your 0.5 GPH will put out far less than your 2 GPH… but you are also watering to a greater depth with your 2GPH for your trees… again, no clear answers @azdavidr setup another great reference to play around with your custom nozzle settings once you are familiar with things

I think your best bet is to leave the Emitter setting at the default 0.5 and you can play around w/ that later.

Do you want to test out the Flex daily with just 1 zone vs putting them all on the schedule right away? Some people like doing a test sample

1 Like

Can you describe the Flex Daily setting? Does it take into account my weather, season, and water requirements based on the settings we setup for each zone? Do you know when it’s scheduled to water and for how much or do you just read the logs? Thanks!

If you haven’t checked out the support docs, give them a once over. I think Rachio did a good job of making them user friendly.

That is what Flex daily is best at. It’ll account for weather conditions and adjust. So if the airport/weather station you are using gets 0.25" of rain, it’ll add 0.25" of water to your moisture balance without physically watering the yard. If it’s 10 degrees cooler one day, it’ll account for that by decreasing the amount of moisture that was used up by the plant. There is a cool feature called the moisture graph that’ll paint a nice picture of what’s happened/going to happen in your zone once you setup the Flex daily schedule.

You can see when your system will water next in several areas. The calendar will show you, the moisture graph (if you are using flex daily), and in the My Yard section, each zone will say when it’ll water next.

2 Likes

Hey @jeremysm1!
Jumping in here to drop some Flex knowledge. Flex, in my opinion, is how to really take advantage of your controller. The main key to getting it to work for you is to get your zone settings as close to perfect as possible, which you have already done, so you are all set there.
Flex runs off of this idea of Managed Allowed Depletion (MAD). Easiest way to think about it is a gas tank. It watches each zones “gas tank” and once it reaches a certain level (this is defined by your MAD setting) it refills the tank to the top. This promotes deep root growth and creates drought tolerant plants, basically it’s the correct way to water. It uses your zone settings to determine how much “gas” (moisture) your zones are using up each day, and it looks at past and future weather to see if there is precipitation that will help refill the tank. Each zone is handled independently, so if one is running low but all the others are fine, it is the only one that will be watered.
Flex does show future watering days, however it is important to note that these days can change with weather! If consistent watering days are necessary for you it probably isn’t the best option. The duration for each zone will be the same every time it waters.

Warnings for when you first set up: In the beginning flex wants to make sure your tank is full, so it may seem like it overwaters right off the bat. Don’t let it scare you! Also, the calendar can be misleading. It can say it is watering every day, but that is because zones can run independently of each other! Don’t let that rain drop make you think you are watering your whole system that often. Last thing is durations may seem long, but this is because flex changes the way you water. Times should be longer but less often!

2 Likes

Thanks! Flex sounds like the ideal solution. I have a couple more questions:

  1. How do I turn Flex on?
  2. I have 2 zones that apparently only have 1 plant on them a piece. For the life of me, I can’t find the plants on these 2 zones. Should I still set this to Flex? Should I setup the emitters as .5gph, 10 inch roots, and 50 sq/ft so it doesn’t overwater–or do you think I should somehow retire these zones and/or shut them off (maybe pop into a nearby line from another zone)?

Thanks!

You turn flex on by creating a Flex schedule! Check out this article for better instructions: http://support.rachio.com/article/404-create-a-flex-schedule. As for the two zones with one plant, that is really strange. In my opinion, you can absolutely still put them on flex, however for your questions on setup I may defer to @Modawg2k or @azdavidr. Is there only one emitter in each of these zones?

2 Likes

My vote would be to get them on another line. I’ve read that if the flow rate of a zone is too low, the associated valve may not turn on and off properly. I might be having that problem myself, which is why I’ve read up on it. If nothing else, it reduces your maintenance overhead for both managing schedules and dealing with a worn valve in the future.

3 Likes

Yeah, 1 plant… 30 plants, doesn’t matter.

Referring to what i mentioned earlier, i would just keep it at default drips as “Emitters”, you can do 10" roots if you want, that’s a bit shallow, but your plants have been trained to be shallow… over time increase it to 15"; and doesn’t matter about sq feet, it has no impact on how much water the Rachio will put out, it’s used purely as an estimated number of how many gallons your Rachio used… 50sq ft would be an overestimate for 1 shrub

If you don’t mind doing the work, it’ll reduce the risk of leaks since you are decreasing the number of used lines out there.

1 Like

Thanks! I just setup the Flex Daily watering schedule. The hard part was finding that area of the app (Edit Water Schedule, then clicking on the plus icon on the top right)–that was tricky as I kept overlooking that plus sign! I setup the time to start at 6am, that way I can visually see it in progress on mornings (when I remember) and spot leaks or problems before I leave for the gym or work.

I’m going to further troubleshoot my zone4 and zone6 to see if I can find what’s on those segments. My hope is to end up turning those zones off altogether leaving me with 3 zones (bigger trees, front yard, back yard). I’m guessing the next step also is to track the measurement of water via the Rachio app versus actual usage on the city meter.

Thanks!

3 Likes

Question: believe it or not it rained pretty hard and long here in Scottsdale last night. I have the flex daily schedule setup and it seems like it knew to push the watering schedule back several days. How can I check that it actually did that? Also, how do I check how much rain the local weather station received? I just want to see how to make sense of it all. Thanks!

Go to a zone, click on the moisture graph, and you’ll see the graph on November 3rd reflect a slight increase due to rain. Hit the More Detail button and you’ll see how much it accounted for preciptation. My system accounted for 0.24 inches yesterday.

Very neat! Here is a screenshot of mine. Got .18 inches of rain. What is the moisture balance supposed to be at? At what amount will rainfall affect the schedule?

1 Like

When your level drops to the “Allowed Depletion” line, the system will water. You can follow the math easily with the details expanded like you have in the screen shot. Basically you start out with the day’s (we’ll use yesterday the 3rd) current soil moisture level, your soil was at 0.48inches…, you didn’t add any Irrigation (which would add to your moisture level) , but it did rain (0.18in added to your moisture level)… then you minus off how much water is used by the plant and environment (Crop Evatranspiration, 0.11 inches… this number will be much higher when it’s hot out vs cold days). and the final day’s Moisture Balance is a the bottom, which is then carried over to the next day’s top number.

Click the arrow next to the Nov 4th at the top and you’ll see the watering predictions for the next 7 days based off weather forecast

1 Like

That is so cool! Thanks for explaining. Here is a screenshot of the next watering time for that zone—seems like my system is setup and operating as it’s supposed to.

2 Likes

Your graph along with watering amount (0.55) look pretty consistent with what I’m seeing on my setup here in North Phoenix so I would say you are looking good. Once you starting seeing how the system works like this, then you can get into tweaking like perhaps makea custom nozzle for each zone, etc.

1 Like