Soil Moisture remaining at zero?

Why didn’t the soil moisture rise above zero? The back lawn is getting crisped but it only watered for 9 minutes last night and it still says the soil moisture is zero after that. The minimum allowed depletion is set to 50%. See the following captures. My expectation is that it would at least try harder to bring the soil moisture closer to 50%…

I will bet that you had rain in the forecast that didn’t come to fruition. See Need a way to handle precipitation that doesn't happen for Flex Daily

I don’t see any runs under the Irrigation row in the last few days on your moisture chart for that zone. Did you by chance accidentally set an end date or remove allowed irrigation days from your schedule? Another zone must have watered for 9 minutes on the 7th? Double check your schedule and also while you’re at it, consider manually watering your zone in the meantime. Rachio should have watered if everything is set right (but Linn’s reply could be a reason)

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@Traveler I see “Empty” events for July 7th and 8th for that zone. Moisture graph will not reflect irrigation events (we are planning on improving this) and will just set balance to zero in those cases. The zone watered both days, but the moisture balance is changed to zero by user.


Very interesting! Yes, it would be nice to somehow see that a Watering was done and then it was set to empty afterwards.


Your watering precip rate is 3.96 in/hr. That is far higher than any default nozzle rate. That would result in very short watering times. Can you reset that to the default for your nozzle type, that should give you a longer watering time when the zone runs.

Your zone was probably drying out even though Rachio thought the zone was saturated, since you were putting down less water than the Rachio was recording, and you started to empty the zone to force watering.

Ok, I set it to 1.0"/hr. We need to use the cups to get a more accurate measure…

And yes, I emptied it to try to force it to top up. Is that valid?

Yes, I set it to zero after seeing zero in an attempt to get it to “top up”. Is that wrong understanding?

@Traveler it will force it to water as soon as possible, but end of day balance will be zero. A good use case is if you want it to run the next day.

Does that mean that it will remain at zero? I don’t see any way to “clear” the setting.

@Traveler For that day it will remain at zero. Empty bucket tells the system that the moisture level should be zero at end of day. No way to clear it once emptied, only option is to fill the bucket.

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@theflexdude - can you elaborate… if i had a flex schedule which normally runs at noon, and i empty a zone at 10 AM, will that trigger the noon flex run? Will the moisture level be updated when emptied, or does it wait until end of day? How dynamic is this, for instance do you need to empty a zone 1 hour before schedule start?

Normal case for me is to empty a zone after my early morning schedule start times to get watered the next morning, but clarification on the logic/sequence of events would be appreciated,


Once you empty/fill, the calendar will rebuild immediately.

If you empty any time before the runtime for today (e.g. at 11:45 and scheduled is configured to start at noon) it will water today and will also water tomorrow, unless precip > et tomorrow. This happens because empty overrides moisture level to zero for entire day. Therefore any irrigation that will happen today will not have any effect on ending moisture balance and will not be reflected in the graph. It forces it to be zero at end of day. This makes the flex daily schedule to water today, because the level is zero for today and also tomorrow because previous level stayed at zero.The run for today will be added immediately, and the run for tomorrow will be added at next rebuild usually 12 hours before the tomorrow start time.

If you empty today after the runtime for today it will water only tomorrow because it cannot water today anymore. This is the recommended way to use ‘empty’.

Let me know if you have more questions.

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Thanks @theflexdude for the explanation.

Seems odd to me, it forces balance to zero immediately, and also at end of day. I would expect one or the other , but not both. But I didn’t try to design your flex scheduling processes, either.

If you look at your nozzle precipitation rate it is at 3.96 inches per hour, this is almost an impossibility with a residential system. What manufacture of head what type of head and what number nozzle is installed or if a spray what is the throw and arc of spray nozzle. A typical residential rotor has a perspiration rate of .5-1” of water and a spray head has about 1.5. This is most likely your problem since the app thins it’s getting quadruple the heater it is actually getting. Good luck

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