Smart Schedules Don't Seem Very Smart

We’ve been running the Rachio 3 on Flex daily for the last year or two hoping to get the biggest savings. Unfortunately, The saving statistics and the usage tab are pretty much always zero. We live in Central Virginia. We used almost all the default and recommended settings, except I adjusted the rotor head nozzle rate to 0.6 from 1.0 after a catch can test. I have only been notified of a rain skip in October, went ahead a fixed schedule set to run three times a day for 5 minutes each zone to keep seeds moist.

I turned on our irrigation system this year early (beginning of March), hoping that the weather intelligence would realize there’s lots of rain in the spring, and it would only run if it was really necessary. My sprinkler system wants to run every 4 days for 45 minutes per zone…in March and April… When the high temps are 50s and 60s and it’s rainy season.

So I decided to play with the schedules, and created my first flex monthly schedule. Using all the defaults, the Flex monthly schedule will run every 4 days in April, every two days in May, and every single day in June, July and August for all zones. So I went into the schedule and adjusted the recommended duration from 45 minutes to an hour and a half each zone, assuming twice the water would decrease days scheduled. I went back and checked the calendar, and nothing changed. Still going to water every single day in June and July for 1 and 1/2 hours each zone.

I know I’m not a big irrigation expert or mathematician, but the smart portion of this controller just does not seem to be functioning. On what planet would you water a zone for an 45 minutes, much less an hour and a half, every single day in Central Virginia?

We don’t want super lush, have to cut it every 4-5 days kind of grass. We want a nice green, not going to die, use as little water/$ as necessary to make that happen kind of grass.

Thanks for any information that can help shed light on how to get the best out of this controller to get the most efficient watering schedule.

Thank you!

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Fixed schedule isn’t smart.
Flex daily is smart. As far as I know, the “savings” is based on the skips the controller does due to rain. Basically, saying, if you were on Fixed schedule, you would have watered, but we knew it rained and didn’t. What isn’t shown on savings is, we calculated less water loss than normal so we moved the watering out a day or 2.

Basically, the water savings is useless info.