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.