Should there be one flex daily schedule per zone?

Continuing discussion from other thread, zones out of sync:

It appears that this is expected behavior for watering to be out of sync for similar zones (vegetation, slope, sun, sprinkler type) on the same flex daily schedule.

One of the side effect of this is it looks like the flex “schedule” will run and water my lawn every day or every other day. In reality I found it is watering one of the 3 lawn zones each day on different days. When a fixed or flex monthly schedule runs all the zones in the schedule are run in series on the same day(s).

Is it standard practice to setup a different flex daily schedule for each zone? I think this would improve the schedule reporting. Any disadvantages to this config?

The one disadvantage I know of would only apply if you have smart cycle enabled. I have all of my zones on one schedule and several of them run on the same day so the total length of the schedule is shorter since the controller can water the different zones during the pause between cycles.

@JPedrego Do you put only non-drip zones in the one that is smart cycling ? If I remember right if you have a drip in the zone none of them will smart cycle. Or am I thinking of Flex Monthly ??

@azdavidr, you are right about the drip zones.@jcholpuch, I run 3 schedules with Flex Daily – One schedule is all my lawn zones (and I agree with @JPedrego about the advantage to the way it smart cycles). A second schedule is my 3 drip zones. And my third schedule is for a zone that has rotor heads misting/spraying some annual flowers. I like to let that that zone run around 8 am so that the leaves don’t stay wet.

All of my lawn zones are on the same flex daily schedule. The rest of my zones are drip and have their own fixed schedules. I know a drip zone won’t smart cycle but I don’t know if that would prevent other zones from cycling if they are on the same schedule.

Having just one drip zone in a schedule will stop smart cycle for all zones in the schedule.

Wonder what the rationale for that is. I understand not smart cycling a drip zone if it’s on it’s own schedule but my preferred design would be for a drip zone to water while the other ones are cycling or at the very least that the zone would be watered before or at the end of the smart cycle zones.

@JPedrego I agree. I currently have 4 zones, one for the lawn which is using rotators and three drip. Is there really any advantage or disadvantage of me putting all 3 drips together into one schedule ?

I’m OBVIOUSLY not aware of how the Rachio guys have coded this, but my guess from the way I’ve seen things work, as designed right now, it takes the entire schedule, knows how long each zone is supposed to run, and what the maximum allowed time is that it can water before it must smart cycle, and then does all it’s calculations on that. So if one zone in the works can’t/shouldn’t/won’t smart cycle (like a drip zone) then it puts a fly in the ointment for the calculations.

Once I understood it, I’m fine with it. But based on the number of questions I’ve seen in the forums, I think it would be really nice if when you’re setting up a schedule, the smart cycle option would be grayed out if you have a drip zone in the mix. Maybe even having a comment come up like “A drip zone is included in this schedule, and smart cycle will not be activated. Are you sure you want to do this?” I’d rather be ever so slightly annoyed and answer, “Yes, I really want to do this” than not have smart cycle work and not know why.


Great idea! Between that and color coding the moisture graph to show predicted vs. actual data, I would think a fair amount of confusion would be eliminated.

Agree! And changing “today” on the moisture graph to reflect what actually happened with schedules for the day (and not thinking it can run again even though it’s time is past) would be the third thing. (especially since that will affect the color coding on the graph).

As long as the zone are similar I don’t really see a disadvantage.

How about an advantage ? It seems to me it becomes more of a user preference with regards to the GUI, but am looking for others’ opinions that may know better. I’m getting ready to re-do my Flex schedules to take advantage of being able to change crop coefficient. Thanks!

The only disadvantage I can think of with having all three of the combined, is that you will most likely see that schedule running every day. But I find that with all these zones combined that it is just easier/faster for me to look at the pics of each zone where it shows when it last watered and when it will water again. And maybe it’s easier for me because my zones 1-7 are lawn, 8-10 are drip and 11 is the flower sprayers. So it’s not really much of a disadvantage.

The advantage to having them separated would be if you want to have them run at drastically different or specific times. For me, I’m happy to just get them started and let them go one after another, with the exception of that flower zone.

Yeah I don’t see an advantage either. I don’t really use the GUI calendar either at least to look at watering schedule. I typically just do what Linn does, look at the individual zones.

This is relevant to me, thanks for bringing it up. I have a long shrub & tree cycles and prefer to have my garden run 1st. I’ll probably put trees & shrubs together, and leave the other two on their own. Thanks @JPedrego & @Linn ! And thanks @jcholpuch for posting the topic.

Outside of causing your schedules to run much longer because of soak intervals, I don’t see what you gain. The zones will still walk away from each other and you will have the same exact watering behavior.

Put emitter or bubbler zones in a separate schedule from your turf.