Smart controller it's not


#1

I have not had rain in many many weeks and it has been very hot outside. The Flex scheduler seems to cancel its watering every morning my grass is now dying and is brown. So I have switched off the flex scheduling have gone back to a dumb controller using my smart controller so until they get that fixed I would not say it’s worth the money. Just as a warning to those of you looking at.

With no rain for over a month and 80 -90 plus degree heat. Why is it not watering every other day or so? I think this has great potential and I want it to work so bad but this is the first time my grass has not been green and beautiful. After you improve its smart feature let me know and I will try again.


#2

@robkiller, good afternoon. I’m sorry to hear you do believe the Iro is a smart controller. I reviewed your watering history and it appears your Flex schedules have been running on a regular basis since you first set them up in July (see screenshot). It appears the longest delay between waterings was 7 days, which took place between 9/1 and 9/7, likely due to a weather change in your area (perhaps lower temps and/or rain).

At the moment, you only have two Fixed schedules setup and have deleted your Flex schedules, so unfortunately I cannot review the setting you had saved for them. If you’d like to give Flex schedules another try, I’d be happy to keep an eye on your schedules to make sure they are setup correctly.

Are all of your zones operating correctly? I’m curious if you maybe have a zone that isn’t turning on?

Alternatively, if a particular zone wasn’t watering frequency enough, it may need some fine tuning. If you remember the zone in question, I can review it’s zone attributes to see if there’s anything that would cause the issue. For reference, I’d recommend anyone having this issue to review this support article: http://support.rachio.com/article/385-flex-schedule-tips

Let me know how I can help further. I hope this helps you to regain some trust in the Iro.

Best, Emil


#3

For ‘those of you looking at it’ I respectfully think that @robkiller was a little harsh with the title, however, I do feel his pain and also went back to the fixed schedule. I had a very similar experience and caved into my wife recently when I was sick of hearing “our grass is browner than everyone else” (I do fertilize regularly). I have 7 active zones and just felt like I chased them all summer after going to flex. I constantly monitor and adjust heads at representative pressure and I’m certain it was the flex I was chasing. Worth noting is that there were only 3 zones I couldn’t fine tune enough, the other 4 zones I had nailed. I would have been more patient but you know, happy wife…

I believe in the flex, especially if you’ve got the time and patience to dial it in. We’re almost at the end of the season and I know the good folks at Rachio will be making improvements, I’m hoping to give it another shot next year. That being said, I didn’t purchase this controller for the flex anyway. I love the accessibility, the weather intelligence and the smart cycling. Even with fixed scheduling I’ve saved a lot of water and found this to be a wonderful product that I would highly recommend. On top of all that the support is second to none (as shown in the response from @Emil).

The concept of algorithmic flex scheduling is a difficult one to grasp; there’s a lot at play when trying to estimate the water levels in the soil and then make it simple enough for the average homeowner to use effectively. Personally I’m looking forward to affordable integrated moisture sensors - hard data - take all of the behind the scenes complex math and front end tweaking/fine tuning out of the equation…

:cheers:


#4

If I could only show the amount of fancy algorithms and hardware that makes this possible :wink:

Yes, the great thing about a cloud based IoT device is we will continually be updating, forever.

I really love this post for a variety of reasons. Thanks for understanding that applying a concept like flex schedules (managed allowed depletion, [water balance approach][1], etc.) is very difficult with mostly estimates of a zone characteristic and sometimes inaccurate weather data. I’m sure we do have a large number of customers where all of the data does work, but I’m also sure we have customers where it does not. Without sensors in every zone there will always be cases where flex just won’t work for someone. If it isn’t working our fixed schedules still have smart cycle, virtual rain delay, etc. that were equally difficult to build.

One change I do see for next season flex is allowing you to easily change the watering frequency, like we allow changing water duration. Yard too brown, increase frequency (some multiplier), yard too green, decrease frequency. This way, we abstract away all of the advanced zone settings (allowed depletion, etc.)

Like I’ve said before, when these sensors get to a point where they are affordable and durable, we have a great platform to easily integrate them.

Next year? Probably not, unless there is a sensor with IFTTT integration.

The year after? Who knows, but I feel a high chance.

Thanks for this intelligent posting. :sunny:

:cheers:
[1]: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/crops/04707.html


Simplification of Terms
#5

Bravo! It always seemed convoluted to me to have to reverse engineer the effect I wanted to the parameters that influence it.


#6

I’ve left my flex schedules go and my grass is greener than it’s ever been. Nice job Rachio team!


#7

Great to hear. Really means a lot to hear real world stories. Next season will be even better :wink:

:cheers: