Stressed out grass because Rachio skipped schedules due to network issues


#1

We found recently that our Rachio had been offline due to network issues for 2-3 weeks. This happened while we were out of country on vacation. All the “Flex daily” schedules didn’t get run because the unit was offline. We got a neighbor restart our router and Rachio. Now it is online and working as expected.
But the damage was already done. We have many dry areas across zones because of missed schedules. We have one schedules that runs on “Fixed Interval” for couple of zones to water vegetable garden. That seemed to work fine regardless of network connectivity.
It is not good design that Rachio must have netwrok connectivity for schedules to work correctly. It should have gracious fallback mechanism when it detects prolonged network connectivity issues. Rachio is an appliance. Once configured, it must work without too much monitoring and reconfiguration.

Thanks


#2

@Videoguy I’m going to have our firmware engineer run some tests to simulate this behavior, I will have him reach out to you for more information. If this is the case it is unacceptable.

Flex “daily” schedules were designed to have a backup schedule that is run (default interval every 3 days, unless you have restrictions) since they are so dynamic, and we understand that the device can at times lose network connectivity.

Our firmware engineer will get in touch with you and we will get to the bottom of this. Thank you for reporting this behavior to us.

:cheers:


#3

Continuing the discussion from Stressed out grass because Rachio skipped schedules due to network issues:

I’ve been dabbling in home automation and recently ran across this device:
ResetPlug
"A smart plug to monitor your WiFi router/modem and reset power if WiFi fails."

I haven’t tried it yet, but it could come in handy for those times when you are away from home.


#4

I was recently out of the country and my wifi network went down. :poop:!!! I live in Hawaii and there is a lot of sun. I came back 10 days later to find everything still green. What a relief! Thanks rachio team!

I assume that the two weeks of flex daily schedules programmed into the rachio were still running. But what if I had been gone longer than two weeks during a wifi outage?

In the event of a prolonged wifi outage, the rachio should have a way to keep everything green at the expense of water savings. It knows my zip code, and potentially the average daily/weekly water use over the last x months could be downloaded onto the device.

@franz what exactly is the protocol for a rachio (set for flex daily) during a prolonged wifi outage? What happens when wifi goes down for <2 weeks? For >2 weeks?

Mahalo (thanks!)


#5

Fixed schedules and flexible monthly schedules will run normally with no WiFi. Flex daily schedules have a interval backup that defaults to every 3 days (or if there are restricted days waters around those). I haven’t received much feedback on the backup schedule. I was thinking of having the flex monthly equivalent as the backup but during winter months the intervals can be quite long.

:cheers:


#6

I don’t mean to dog pile, but I came across this thread because the exact same thing happened to me. We were out of town for an extended 4th and the Oklahoma Summer arrived. I came home to a pretty brown yard and parched beds. In looking into it, my 16z 1st Gen (which I installed about a month ago) went offline and never watered while offline. I have since been unable to get it back online for more than a minute at a time, and it was enough to see that the yard hadn’t ben watered for over a week, and it isn’t running anything while offline. I have 2 schedules, a fixed evening schedule, and an odd-day morning “main” schedule.

Side note, I’ve tried 2 entirely different routers and different network setups, following all the troubleshooting I can find, and can’t get it back online at all. I’m wondering if it might not be defective? I’m open to any ideas I might be missing to try to get this thing back online, as I’m a bit at a loss.

Thanks for any guidance.


#7

@ElJefeClicko

Seems like a solenoid valve went bad, wiring issue, or defective controller. If you reach out to support@rachio.com they will be able to help troubleshoot. If the controller is defective we can send a new one out right away. Be sure to include photos of your wiring if possible. Thanks and have a great day.

:cheers:


#8

Franz,

Thank you for your impressively prompt response. Before wasting your support team’s time, I did some further troubleshooting. I have been able to isolate it down to a 100% consistent, repeatable condition. Any time my “Front Garage Beds” zone is triggered on, it immediately kicks the Rachio off line into an “unrecoverable” state. When this happens, if I unplug the unit for 60 seconds and plug back in, it boots and immediately logs back in.

I have since disabled that zone and the unit has successfully stayed online for 48 hours and has run as scheduled. Nothing appears to be abnormal or out of margin in regard to wiring for this valve. Is there anything in your experience you might be able to point me towards to look into further in hopes to get this zone back up and running without issue?

Thanks again for your assistance.


#9

@ElJefeClicko That really sounds like a bad solenoid. With our Gen 1 unit a bad solenoid will trigger a brownout making the controller reboot as to avoid a power overload. If you replace the solenoid on that valve my guess is you will be back to normal condition.

:cheers: