Smart Cycle?

I’ve been using my Rachio Gen 2 8 zone for a few weeks and it has been great. I realized that i have smart cycle turned on my fixed interval schedule, but when i view my watering history, it doesn’t show it being broken it up into cycles. it just says watered zone 1 for 10 mins, i missing something?? Thanks!!

Smart cycling will kick in on zones needing longer runs… more than 15 minutes I think. I have zones needing 36 minutes, getting 18 minute at a turn.

@livewyr25 This will help with smart cycle and also shows the maximum runtimes a zone will have based on nozzle, soil, and slope. Also note emitters or bubblers in a schedule will not allow smart cycling.


Thanks for the info about maximum run times. But what about minimum run times for smart schedules to work?

If you are already below the maximum recommended runtimes (i.e. max is 9m, and you are 8m) than smart cycle will determine that the soil does not need soaking.


Would it be wise to change the wording to minimum run time? Maximum run time means the exact opposite as what you are talking about. Maximum infers the most it can do.

Is this still the case? I have read where people with previous firmware that if they had bubblers or emitters in a schedule, smart cycling was greyed out and disabled. When I set mine up initially I hadn’t yet read that. I had fixed spray and emitters in a schedule and smart cycling was not greyed out or disabled. I then read that and for comfort and safety’s sake separated the schedules even though I assumed it was something that changed in the firmware. I assumed that because it was not greyed out, newer firmware would allow certain zones within the same schedule to smart cycle while others would not. A friend recently installed his and also put schedules in with his fixed spray nozzles and his is not disabled either. Since his seems to be working properly, I did not instruct him to separate his schedules.

We haven’t modified smart cycling features (in firmware or software) so should be working as normal.


I would get really confused if it said minimum. IMHO, the wording in the article is pretty clear. “The following are the maximum allowable watering minutes without cycling”. Once you look up your nozzle, soil and slope for a zone, you will know from looking at the watering time for your particular zone whether it will smart cycle or not. For example, take the very first one in the chart. Fixed Spray Head, Clay soil, and Flat. If you are scheduled for 8 minutes or less, it will not Smart Cycle. If you are scheduled for more than 8 minutes, it will break it up and Smart Cycle.


Exactly. So you are saying the MINIMUM time needed for the smart cycle to work in your example is 8 minutes. Maximum means the most.

The maximum run for a smart cycle is 8 minutes (or whatever it turns out to be. for me, it is 18 minutes). Beyond that, the cycle is broken into sections, each with a maximum duration of ‘x’.

you say semantics, I say mathematics…

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So 18 minutes is the MINIMUM run time for smart cycle to work. Anything less than 18 minutes smart cycle will not turn on. Does anyone on this board know the definition of Maximum? Maximum means the most it could be. Minimum, the opposite. I.E there is no maximum age to drink alcohol. There is a minimum age.

Either wording is correct, you can either say “The following are the maximum allowable watering minutes before you need to cycle” or you can say “the minimum time needed for cycling to occur”. Max is probably used since the article describes the interval in terms of max time before runoff occurs. I also think using maximum makes more sense here since smart cycle is something we only need to use because of the soil conditions, it’s not something that we are trying to get to run just for the sake of cycling.

maximum allowable watering minutes before you need to = Minimum.

Maximum will never work in these sentences. Maximum means the most it can ever be. You can’t argue that.

I know I should let this go…

Smart cycling, unless you switch it off, is always there. It’s like gravity. There is no minimum weight at which it works. There is a maximum beyond which you may not be able to escape it and say… jump.

If you are set for a cycle less than the maximum allowed, you will not have a soak cycle. If you are set to water beyond the maximum allowed by smart cycling, you will have a smart cycle mandated soak. The most it will ever be at once is the maximum.

I have to go now, my rain sensor is active.

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Nope. Still minimum. But thanks For playing.

I know I should not play, but I like cigars and I want yours.
The reason that maximum is used here is because we are discussing velocity (inches per hour). The velocity at which a known quantity of water can be absorb into the soil within a descrete amount of time before the water pools and runs.

So I’ll state this another way, if you live in Chicago and you travel between 2 toll roads in 5 minutes that are 5 minutes apart, you get a ticket. This is because you have exceeded the MAXIMUM velocity of 55 miles per hour.

I can see your confusion as you have ignore the distance portion of distance / time = velocity.

Maximum speed limit= the most you can go without breaking the law. Once again… The most.

Maximum velocity…the most an object can move.

Maximum occupancy… The most amount of people
That can fit

The most…

By saying it needs to be at least this amount of minutes before smart cycles will work means that that time
Is the MINIMUM amount of time needed for the cycles to start working.

I can’t be that crazy where no one else knows what the definition of maximum is. It seems like a lost cause. I wonder if the people
Over at rain machine have the same issue.

This terminology appears to be industry terminology. It is used in documentation back in 2008 that is on

“The Maximum Runtime allowable before runoff occurs will be calculated from the following formula:
Rt (max) = 60 (ASA)/(PR – IR), minutes
All time in excess of Rt (max) will be accumulated, converted to inches of water and logged as runoff. It will also affect system adequacy and efficiency characterizations.”

Ok, I’ll argue that, if we state that 18 minutes is the minimum for smart cycle, what happens at 40 minutes?
you have defined an arbitrary point in time somewhere beyond 18 minutes as that is the minimum…or how about an unknown quantity. I can not take your statement of truth to predict a future event, I can only assume you are a quantum theorist providing me a probabilistic statement of,certainty.

Come on man, this basic Boolean algebra not quantum mechanics.