Questions and suggestions about Rachio 3

I recently got a Rachio 3, and right now I am running it in simulation mode (no valve connected), to get a grip on the various settings.
While doing that, I came across some issues and suggestions below

  1. Why with all settings being equal, do a Flex Monthly Schedule produces a watering time half as long as a Flex Daily Schedule?

  2. With two different zones, one for perennials on drip lines with deep roots, and one for lawn on Sprinkler with shallow roots, a single Flex Monthly Schedule water them both as often (on the same exact schedule). Normally the lawn on sprinklers should water more frequently, especially in the summer. If creating two separate schedules (one for the lawn and one for the perennials, they will indeed end up with different frequency (lawn watering more frequently).
    Is a single schedule unable to differentiate watering frequency by zone?

  3. When looking at the calendar, there is no visual cues to differentiate the various schedules if they are of the same type, they all show up as the same color drop.
    Given it seems to be necessary to create separate schedules to get appropriate watering frequency, it would really help if each schedule could be given a different color or even icon on the calendar, regardless of the type.

  4. Any reason why we can’t edit the Schedule type? Right now we have to delete and recreate the schedule…

  5. In Flex Daily, Rachio does not predict the schedule beyond the forecast. It would help a lot if it could predict all year long using historical data like it does with Flex Monthly. This would help in the initial setup phase to see the type of frequency behavior that is being calculated.

  6. For Soil types and Exposure, we are given a set of options which are great. That said given these directly drive watering times and frequency, it would be nice to have an alternate option of a slider so we could adjust the impact more precisely than just the few existing choices.
    EDIT: I realize that for fine tuning of frequency, I could use the Advanced slider for Allowed depletion. by allowing less depletion, I can increase watering frequency. To fine tune watering time, I could also use the advanced nozzle inch per hour.

  7. The online manual seems to be out of date with the current options in the App. This should really be addressed both for users to find out all the settings meaning, but also for prospect buyers who could get the wrong impression about what the system can do.

Thank you for listening

I also posted my first impressions in the thread below

This is a GREAT way to get started. I’ve done this and highly recommend others do this if they have time during the non-irrigation season in order to get a good feel of Rachio.

If as you say everything is equal, beats me! Maybe Flex Monthly waters twice as frequently and so waters half as much?

I don’t know. Watering time should at least increase with root depth unless it’s a wash due different nozzle in/hr values. I think Monthly tries to set the best fit frequency so that people can feel comforted by a regular watering regime vs Flex Daily’s as-needed regime.

This has definitely been brought up before in these forums, so you’re not alone in this desire for a better way to differentiate schedules on the calendar.

Flex Daily relies on the forecast to forecast crop evapotranspiration. That’s already basically a wild guess, especially beyond a few days, so I imagine using climatological daily averages to determine crop ET in the long term isn’t worth the effort? Note that I recall Rachio uses some variant of the Penman-Monteith equation to calculate ET and the daily inputs required for that might not be easily available in a climate almanac? E.g., wind speed, solar radiation and humidity? The availability of mean temperatures would be assured. Adding long-term calculations may also impact cloud processing time and add expense. Just spit balling here :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t change the MAD since 50% seems to be a well accepted value for most crops. The Soil Type modifies the Available Water value, which you can find possible useful values using the NRCS Web Soil Survey:

I’ve noticed this especially Yard vs Zones buttons. The constant refrain I hear is that redoing screen shots is soul sucking lol but yeah that’d be nice to see resolved since it means I have to add “Yard” instead of “Zones” button/tab to forum responses.


When you set up flex schedules you are setting what is allowed not necessarily what will happen. The weather determines what will happen as far as watering. Almost all rachio settings simply slide duration and frequency with the same net water being applied. I think only nozzle rate and crop coefficient actually apply or subtract total water.

Agree that most settings just affect how frequency and duration are balanced to achieve the needed water.
In all logic, the only setting that should drive the total water needed should be the crop coefficient.
Everything else is about how to get that based on the site condition, soil, depth, evaporation…