Rachio 3 Ignoring Days to Not Water

Hi, all, first post, long time Rachio user. I recently switched from a fixed MWF schedule to a Flex Daily with M-F selected as days I allow watering. I did not check Sat or Sun as I do yardwork over the weekend and do not like mowing a wet lawn. Yet, when I check my future schedule, it has watering scheduled for Sundays. What am I missing?


Is your previous schedule still enabled? You can Disable any schedule by clicking on it, and choosing Off for Enabled. I have never seen where a schedule will water on days not selected. When you click on the future Saturday or Sunday, does it say your new Flex Daily will water?

No, I had two Fixed schedules and I disabled both before I did my Flex Daily. Yes, when I click on the next two Sundays, both say I will have Zones running under my Flex Daily schedule.

Did you by any chance do an “end before sunrise”? If so, there’s a chance that your total water duration is longer than the time from midnight to sunrise, and it might start before midnight on the day before.


Ah, Linn, you nailed it. It is starting 2 minutes before midnight on Sunday night. Thank you!

I guess I have the same problem, on a Flex Daily schedule.

I don’t want my schedule to run on Sunday night/Monday morning. I also don’t want it to run any time after sunrise or before sunset. I do have short cycle times and long soak times to avoid runoff. Right now I have the schedule set for interval: M, T, W, Th, F, Sa and time: “end before sunrise.” Anyway, right now it often runs on Sunday night/Monday morning even if there are other days during the week where there is no watering. How can I fix it?

@PEvans - the “end before sunsrise” setting is the culprit. When this setting is selected, Rachio always calculates the maximum run time - all zones, full duration, full soak - for when to start. It doesn’t take into account than only certain zones will run on the Flex Daily schedule on a day. So, I’d specify a specific starting time - say Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 PM.

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So it sounds like you are saying I should set the time as “start after sunset,” in which case whatever the Flex Daily schedule wants on a given day at least I will know when it will start and I can reliably enforce non-run days. Is that correct? I guess I would also have to check to see that in practice every given day’s schedule completes before sunrise. Honestly I don’t think it ever happens that every station runs in a day.

@PEvans, yes.

I’m not sure “Start After Sunset” or “Start at 7 PM” will automatically enforce the non-run days. Many days it will start one day (as stated) and still be running into the next day. Agreed, it will probably end by 7 AM but it can be running 2 days each time.

Linn suggested in another thread having several Flex Daily programs, one for each couple of zones, and vary the starting times, maybe 2AM, 4AM, 6AM to help finish a little earlier. If it’s not absolutely necessary to not water during day time, I think a start time of 5 AM works well. Watering at night can cause its own problems, but I don’t know your requirements.

I’m not aware of anything at least in my situation that would be a problem for zones running between sunset and sunrise. If the schedule extends into the morning daylight it isn’t a problem, just wasteful. I’ll just have to see if that ever occurs in practice; I can’t recall ever seeing more than a few zones run on a given day once the Flex Daily schedule settles down.

How to treat “overnight” schedules is hardly a new problem. My legacy controller, a Rainbird Rainclox RC-23 from the 1970s (huge metal rainproof enclosure that you might see at an old school campus) turns over to the “next” day at 6am. This controller knows nothing about sunrise or evapotranspiration, but it did let me schedule start times for a given day, including multiple start times for a crude cycle/soak feature, in the evening or night before or after midnight without getting too confused.

Watering at night is generally considered a Bad® thing. Just do a search:

Popular Mechanics: The absolute best time to water your lawn is the early morning, before 10AM.

Scotts: The later you water, the greater chance of disease becoming prevalent in your lawn.

The truth is: watering at night is a bad idea.

There are certainly conditions where it may be necessary, but…

Thanks for the resources (one of which is an ad btw). These seem to suggest the benefits of “end by” schedules, which of course is the Rachio default. I probably have less risk of fungus and more risk of evaporation in CA.

Some of this has to do with the mystery (to me) of how the Rachio implements schedules. My defaults are 5 min cycle and 30 min soak, so the Rachio should be able to get through two cycles for six zones in one hour if it has to. But I don’t know an easy way to tell what is really happening.

Looking back over this thread I think I have over-thought it. I could keep my “end by” timing, but move the non-watering day to Monday in my case. If I now understand correctly, the Rachio would not initiate any irrigation on early Monday morning, or Sunday evening if the schedule calls for it, which is what I want.

Maybe the thing that creates the confusion is that a schedule that “ends by” sunrise Monday actually shows up in the calendar on Sunday.