Request for simplified scheduling

I am coming on my fifth summer using Rachio and the biggest thing I wish you could add is simplification. After getting burned (well my grass got burned) with various automatic scheduling schemes like the flex schedule, I have settled to my city’s recommended and time tested system of watering once/week in the winter, every four then three days in early spring, every other day starting in June, then tapering off with the fall. That system works great with one exception — Rachio keeps getting in my way.

You see, when I put it at every three days, Rachio wants to come in on each month and increase how long it waters for those three days. Well, then I have to go in and reset the time back to what it was. And, of course, Rachio doesn’t know about the 7432 schedule so I have to set reminders to myself to change the frequency most months.

So. Request 1) Give me a way to keep Rachio from automatically adjusting anything what so ever. I would rather do it myself than have Rachio do it wrong.

Request 2) Come up with something like the 7432 schedule as an option to the flex schedule.

for Request 1) you can go into the schedule -> Smart Features -> Weather Intelligence -> and set Climate Skip, Rain Skip, Freeze Skip, and Seasonal Shift all to off. Then Rachio won’t automatically adjust things for the weather.

Request 2) – not a “one-click” way to do things, but you can set up your 4 different schedules for the 4 different fixed schedules you want, and put a start date and end date on each schedule. That way you would only have to set up the schedules once a year.

You said that you’ve had Rachio for 4 summers now. Did you give Flex Daily a try last year? It takes some thought and effort to get it set up right, but now that I’m set up, it just pretty much runs itself and my lawn looks great. There is a pretty helpful community on the forum.

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It would be a shame to have a Rachio and revert back to pure manual scheduling, where you have to make adjustments several times per year, and also possibly intervene manually during rains.

Why not give another person familiar with the Rachio your login code so they can check your system remotely to see if it is setup correctly. There may be a setting that is incorrect for your system. You can change your password again after it has been checked out by an experienced user.

As to whether I’m getting enough value from the system: The rain and freezing weather skips are valuable functions. The ability to test and program the system from the phone is super. Programming basic schedules is easy enough, compared to traditional systems, to make it nice. So I like Rachio for many reasons.

As to the first responder: I will go in and turn off the climate functions and see if that helps. That is useful advice.

As far as “getting flex schedule right” advice, well that’s a non-start for me.

I live in a desert climate and the flex schedule automation simply does not work and many of its idiosyncrasies worked against me.

The fundamental problem is that flex schedule automation is a pure open-loop control system. The system does absolutely nothing to correct for errors and these errors are huge when operating in the desert, outside the relatively lush environments that the system was designed for. Compounding this is that Rachio’s choice of system parameters are simply stupid. Rather than, for example, letting the user put a can in the yard and measure how fast the water falls (inches per minute), the system requires that the user back all this out in terms of nozzle efficiencies and flow factors… I’m sorry but from this Mechanical Engineer’s perspective: How stupid is that!

Then, compounding the problem is some features that actually work against the user. For example. When I was trying to use Flex, I noticed that my yard was drying out. So I told the system to manually water the yard. Now in a closed loop system, this action would tell the system that my yard wasn’t getting enough water and that it should increase watering in the flex schedule. But no. What Rachio did was to somehow calculate that my yard had gotten too much water and that the flex schedule should actually back off. Within a few weeks, I had gotten into a negative spiral where though temperatures were around 100F and humidity was below 10%, flex did not plan to water my lawn for another month.

I do not intend to use any flex scheduling until these fundamental design flaws are fixed.

I feel your pain but all I did after setting up the obvious, was change the inches per hour in the advanced zone settings to my liking. I had the opposite issue of over watering on a zone

Automated scheduling is a great idea. Too bad they choose an open loop implementation. Even then, it’s possible to create decent schedules. Transparency (it’s obvious how it works) is step one in that. (Rachio fails there too. Just look at how much effort people put into getting it right.) Albuquerque’s by the numbers works great and is so easy to follow and adjust for. Much less effort than figuring out how Flex Schedules works and getting everything right. Even when you have to adjust by hand. It would be nice if they offered something like that as an option.