Smart Controller, burned grass no intelligence

Rachio = disaster, our grass never looked that bad, even with the dumb controller.
Zipcode 46040, Flex Monthly. Temperature is in the high 90s, system self-adjusted to run every third day in August when it was running every second day in July. Yesterday was a skip because it thought there will be a rain. There wasn’t. So imagine 6 days w/o watering for a grass that got used to be watered all the time.

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When this happens, I simply do a manual run. It’s easy.

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If you give the system crap data, it will give you crap in return.

In all cases, there must be something wrong with the data you have given it for your zones - be it the sizes, the wrong soil, the wrong crop coefficient, or wrong nozzle inches / cm’s per hour

I suggest you post the details of one zone and someone will hopefully notice your mistake


Nothing wrong with the data. Sizes are correct, soil is ok, cm per hour is fine.
The issue is that FlexMonthly switched to watering to every third day in August. So you have watering two days skip etc. While it was correct for june water every second day. But the worst part it did not water even on the third day because somehow erroneous forecast. What do you think would happened to a grass that was heavily watered in July and stopped cold turkey in August.

Very strange so. How far away is the pWS that you have configured against your controller ? Could it be that it is offline, or recording spurious data ?

It’s best if you post moisture graphs and detailed moisture tables for all these days. Then people will be able to help with more than just guesses.

Last year I had the same thing happen. I was so excited to have the Rachio system but my grass looked awful. This spring I had an egress window put in. My soil is almost solid sand deeper than 3 inches. So I changed my soil type from sandy loam to sand. Life is good! It waters every other day pretty much. So my disappointment in Rachio last year was pretty much my goof up. Rachio is right on this year. With sand specified it seldom skips.


Flex Monthly doesn’t respond to variations in temperature, up or down. It uses historic temperatures. And if you check, while it’s watering only every 3 days in August compared to 2 days in July, you’ll find it puts down more water each day in August.

That said, if you really want the “intelligence” portion of the program, you need to use Flex Daily. Only it considers the amount of rain received and actual temperatures in deciding when to water.


I would agree with the others who advised a review of your settings. I don’t know anything about the conditions for your area, but I wonder why your grass needs such frequent watering.

I use Flex Monthly because I live in South Texas in a city with frequent periods of irrigation restrictions to once weekly with limited hours. As such I have a number of different settings ready to go when the restrictions stages change, all of them flex monthly. Currently we are not on any restrictions, and Flex Monthly is watering every 5th day with absolutely no signs of stress in the lawn So I’m puzzled that your lawn far north of here requires such frequent waterings.

Brown Tiger,
I have had the same issue on occasion. When I get the notification and don’t agree with it I check the weather service (Weather Underground) in my area to see what the forecast will be. If I agree, I let Rachio do its thing, if I don’t agree, I just cancel the skip. I’m also on Flex Monthly. I read the comment that basically said “garbage in, garbage out”. Though the commenter may be correct, it could have been stated with a little more tack. Hang in there, it takes time to tweek the system. I have a Gen2 controller and I like it.

I am in the same ZIP code and have the same issue.

I wish we could override the skip frequency and go back to having it water every other day, as it did in July, which was much better.

Also, we are all using a Rachio system, because it is supposed to be automatic AND “intelligent.” I want to not have to think about watering the lawn and fiddle with setting frequently.

What did you put down for soil type?

Hey, that was me!

Tactful, maybe not…but it is true, and is a “technical term”! If you put garbage information into Rachio, you will get garbage results out (maybe that is a bit extreme).

In computer science, garbage in, garbage out ( GIGO ) is the concept that flawed, or nonsense (garbage) input data produces nonsense output. Rubbish in, rubbish out ( RIRO ) is an alternate wording.[1][2][3]