Rachio 2 is Watering Three Days after 6+" of Rain

Hello all,

I had a similar issue last July, when the Rachio watered three days after 2+ inches of rain (Rachio 2 Watering after 2 inches of Rain in 3 Days). I made some adjustments from feedback there.

This morning (Thursday the 2nd), three days after 6+" of rain over two days (1.66 on Sunday the 28th, followed by 4.66 on Monday the 29th), the Rachio 2 again ran through a cycle, watering for 98 minutes across six zones. There are spots in the yard that last night (pre-Rachio irrigation) water would come up through my toes as I walked from the 6+" three days ago.

So, looking for some input on what I can change to avoid this.

Because this happened last year with a big storm, I was watching the Rachio through the app to see if it was scheduling anything in the week after the deluge. I was surprised to see something scheduled for today.

Here are screen shots from the day after all the rain:

One Zone example (other zones set similarly, except for size, slope and spray head):

Weather station information:

And yesterday:

And today, after it ran:

So, the soil moisture dropped to 0% two days after 6+" of rain.

Ideas on what I need to do with this?



Looks like your allowed depletion is set to 25%, meaning that 75% of moisture in the soil are held in reserve and your controller has only 1/4 of capacity to work with. Try increasing allowed depletion and seeing if you see any negative effects with the setting set to something like 50%.

Rachio soil moisture % is somewhat misleading. 0% does not mean that the soil is desert dry, instead it means that 0% of allowed depletion is remaining. So in case of 25% allowed depletion, 0% soil moisture means that there is (100 - 25) = 75% or less of moisture remaining in the soil.

There is also an upper limit to how much water the controller will allow to be added to the moisture totals, anything over 110% of allowed depletion will count as a runoff, so not matter if you have 10" or 100" of rain, moisture will still start dropping from the same upper limit. If you weather is enough to burn through 110% of moisture in two days, rachio will think that it’s time to add more.

Well, that is exactly it then. I originally had it at 50% and meant to allow for more depletion. Instead, I allowed for less.

However, should it have gone from 110% moisture (day after 6+") to 0% moisture in three days? Clearly, my soil did not. How do I change settings to better match the actual soil?


Increasing allowed depletion will mean that it will take longer to drop from 110%, so if you are planning on going back to 50% (or more) deplition, it should already double the time (from 2 to 4 days) that current weather would take to burn through that moisture.

I recommend one change at a time, try deplition first and than other settings if needed.

Thanks, Gene. I appreciate your help.

As much as I love my Rachio and it normally does really well, it does not handle “super saturation” rain events like your 6 inches over 3 days. I have a rain sensor, and that normally helps to keep my system from watering for at least a bit. But when I have something like this happen, I normally go into each zone and mark it to “FILL” for a couple of days, until it seems like it has dried out enough for the regular Rachio moisture tracking to start happening.

I never knew about super saturation until I got my Rachio, and luckily it only happens to me maybe once a year. The soil just gets so waterlogged that the regular tracking mechanism doesn’t work, since it only goes to 110% (which is just fine in the huge majority of cases).

I’m hoping it’s something that they have on their roadmap to try and fix at some point.

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I, too, have a rain sensor but no soil sensor (I read somewhere when researching that Rachio does not recommend using a soil sensor … but, ultimately, it looks like more than I want to bother with anyway).

For my situation, I think Gene nailed part of it in that I meant to change depletion from 50 depleted to 25 depleted and did just the opposite. And that setting also affects the moisture estimate (I just saw, as I changed the depletion allowance).

I have filled zones before after a super rain. I did not this time because I wanted to see if the Rachio did what I thought that I was reading it would do (it did, again because I had screwed up the depletion setting and also because I did not fill the zones on purpose).

Is there a single “Fill all zones” option? I am only finding it within each zone (Rachio 2).


I think Gen is right, too. Changing the depletion is going to help alot. But with that much rain over 3 days, I think you would have had a problem anyway.

I wish there was!!!