Struggles with Flex- My Story


#1

This is not a complaint at all. I love this device and all it brings to the table.

Where I am struggling is with the flex scheduling. I am not happy with the results of the lawn at this time. The lawn is drying out big time in the front and in the back yard. My flower beds and sides of the house are fine. I have all rotor heads and a few fixed spray heads as well. One zone has a flower bed in it along with some grass area to be covered (can’t do much about it now except live with it) until I have funds to separate that zone out.

Now, me being the tech guy I am, I just turned it on, left all the defaults and let it fly. Why not, who reads the directions right?!?!?!?

Well before just turning it on and letting it fly……@franz is right. Do one zone at a time and dial it in. Get that zone where you want it and then move on to another zone.

I get the concept and love the concept, I need to figure out how to get what I want out of the flex schedule. Not the other way around. And in a month or so I am reseeding the yard for the fall.

My thoughts to help newbies and anyone else that may be struggling…

1 Read the information on the website, then read it again
2 Understand how this information is applied to your lawn
3 Implement one zone at a time and dial it in
4 Understand your landscape, soil type, root depth, grade, type of grass, head type, everything that may or may not impact watering
5 Watch your yard and see how it reacts
6 Ask questions on the website
7 Talk to your landscaper

I have gone back to every other day on a fixed schedule for now, I need to learn more and do some research into what the Flex Schedule will do and when it will do something based on my information. If there is anyone in the South Jersey area, let me know. I would love to get together with someone in my area to review my setup and get their feedback on it. That type of one on one is just as valuable as the forum. And I have a bar in my basement if that helps……seriously though, I’d love to pick someone’s brain about the device and how they may have implemented it versus my setup.

I am leaving for Ireland for a week of soccer with my boys. I plan on doing a lot of reading on the plane and between games to try and figure this out. We are really getting some hot weather here again in the South Jersey area and I don’t want to lose the lawn while I am away.

Again, I am very happy with the device. I am struggling with the Flex and all the information that it has and how it can change from one day to the next based on multiple factors

You know what was really nice. I turned off the Flex schedule with a click or two and created a fixed schedule in about 2 minutes. I wish buying a car was that fast……spent 3 plus hours at a dealership yesterday!

I’ll be monitoring the board while I am away so if anyone has thoughts or suggestions, please post them or pm me.


#2

Do you think it was a frequency or a duration problem with the lawn? Both? There are so many adjustments you can tweak to affect both of those things that it should be fixable. One thing to keep a close eye on is the moisture graph in the webapp. If you expand the details there, you’ll learn a lot about what it’s doing and planning to do.

I’m having a lot of fun creating and solving problems. In fact, once I really have things dialed in and it’s on autopilot, I’ll be sort of sad in a sadistic kind of way. At that point, I’ll have to switch to some other “smart” device to consume my idle time and further perplex / annoy my wife. :wink:


#3

man, i hear ya. in order to run flexies, you need to be a bit of a geek. you need to know exactly what needs to be done before you pull the trigger.

for me, i was lucky, this stuff gives me a huge chubby so i was way ahead of the information curve. i was able to sit down and tweak the scheduel until it met what i have been doing manually for the last 4 solid years (3 years of research/testing with my old shitty controller).

so i could not agree with you more, my flexie experience was painless, but only because i put in the time up front on the educational side, the only thing flexies had whcih i needed to read up on was MAD. that i had no experience with, but is probably the keystone of flexies.

i wish i could help you, i had to help 2 of my neighbors set up their flexies after it launched.


#4

We would definitely like to learn and get feedback and help dial in your flex schedules. When you get back if you could reach out to [support@rachio.com] to review, would be helpful.

The challenge is building something that works for most people and is simple, but dealing with a very complex problem (weather, nozzles, crops, soil, slope, shade, etc.). The other challenge we are dealing with is something that could affect someone’s yard, negatively or positively. IoT products like doorbells, thermostats, light bulbs, etc. have it somewhat simple in that they are less complex regarding scheduling (way less variables) and at the end of the day won’t kill your yard :wink:

So, completely understand where you are coming from. The best thing we can do as a company now is just listen to feedback, review what works well, and what doesn’t work so well, and what we can do to make it better.

:cheers:


#5

@canons900 Hey Scott, I’m in Toms River, NJ and I am dealing with a very similar situation. While June looked to be a very good month due to all the rain, the Iro and previous version of the app did an amazing job of saving me gallons of water. July has been very different… it has been very hot with very little rain and like you I want to see Flex Schedules succeed, but my lawn is also taking a beating. For me, it seems like Flex never wants to water my lawn or won’t water for a long time. At this moment, it’s showing me August 5th, more than a week away… Yikes, that’s frightening! It did rain today so I wouldn’t expect Iro to water my lawn for the next couple of days and obviously weather permitting would also effect the schedule. In the past couple weeks I’ve had to manually run a Fixed Schedule that I have setup cause of how hot it’s been. Just like you mentioned, I too am a tech and I love how easy it is to run a watering schedule and from anywhere!

I feel like I’ve done a lot of research both on the Rachio site and in the forum before even purchasing the Iro and ever since. I’ve learned as much possibly could about soil but my lawn just looks bad in comparison to my neighbors. In Iro’s defense, this year is no different than previous years… Most of my neighbors have sod but both my front and backyards are seeded grass… Hoping to get the Iro Fixed Schedules dialed in as best possible as well or I may just have to use the Fixed Schedule which works fantastic.

@franz Wondering if it were possible to show a Rain Symbol on the Watering Schedule calendar that rain in the forecast is what’s effecting Flex Schedules’ next watering? I see a grey icon for Rain Delay in the Calendar note area, but I don’t actually see that being used for anything on my calendar.


#6

The best way to see forecasted data is to use the soil moisture graph, now in webapp, but coming soon to mobile!

This will show forecasted precip, etc.

Also, this might help with fine tuning flex (+/- run times, +/- frequency)

:cheers:


#7

I’m in a similar situation - it was supposed to water for the past 3 days but it hasn’t…


#8

the long enough time to me speaks to a incorrectly configured zone or you need to bump up the water time for the zone in the scheduler.

the frequency issue would be a flexie issue. i would try moving your MAD downward to a lower value to help increase the frequency.

im still very very fuzzy one what efficiency impacts, im currently set at 100% because 100 is better than 99?

at the end of the day, flexie nor iro is a silver bullet, everything they do are estimates, damn accurate, but still estimates. until we get soil sensors, it is up to the user to make the small tweaks needed to operate as correctly as possible.


#9

Efficiency (Distribution Uniformity ) is a nozzle attribute. This audit tool will acutally generate it for you based on catch cup values (http://irrigationaudit.hydrorain.com/get-started/#/audit). Efficiency only affects irrigation run time. As efficiency goes up, run time goes down, and vice versa.

I’d argue that a lot of the data is not an estimate, especially if the system has been audited, but yes, there are a lot of assumptions/defaults chosen to allow the system work for a majority.

Are moisture sensors a panacea? This will bring along expense and more complexity. We’ll definitely integrate once a viable solution presents itself.

:cheers:


#10

Is there any chance that we can have this link and the nozzle chart etc… on the support home page to make it easier to find.


#11

@emil Thoughts?

:cheers:


#12

Ok, so it’s tremendously hot here today @ the Jersey Shore… I just fine-tuned the sliders for Allowed Depletion and Efficiency based on the information I have gathered from this Flex Schedule Tips page: http://support.rachio.com/article/385-flex-schedule-tips and now the calendar schedule looks more appealing as to what I believe my lawn requires. Thanks everyone for your constant help!

Progress leads to Success!


#13

Let us know how everything goes, feedback is great so we can incorporate into later releases to make the overall system/user experience better.

:cheers:


#14

So that didn’t work for me! Woke up to find that the Calendar Schedule that I had configured using the Allowed Depletion and Efficiency sliders was completely different this morning so only 1 zone (perennials) watered for a total of 8 mins this morning and none of the other zones that seemed to be set water actually did. So, I manually ran a pre-configured Fixed Schedule that I normally kept disabled but now have had to enable cause this week is supposed to be brutally hot and humid with no sufficient rain expected for the next few days!

NOTE: Currently my web app shows no rain in the forecast for Local Weather:

However, the Moisture Levels graph shows Forecasted precipitation for tomorrow July 30th:


#15

Since upgrading to the Rachio 2.0 Beta app, Flex has only watered my lawn 3 times for very short amounts of time in comparison to the Fixed Schedule I have used. I have used IFTTT to record the info onto a Google Sheet, hope this helps. Today’s Flex ran for 8 mins:

Trying to help as much as I can…


#16

@johnesc

Can you reach out to [support@rachio.com] to do a quick review of your scheduling? They can probably help dial this in.

Thanks.


#17

@johnesc, I haven’t seen any emails from you into support yet. I noticed you’re using a PWS. Could we try using a different weather station to see if it impacts the schedules at all? I believe the forecasted rain is keeping your Flex Schedules from running.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks, Emil


#18

@JNotar, sure thing. I’ll add some support articles on this topic. Will be adding more articles and visuals on Allowed Depletion/Flex Schedules as well :smiley:


#19

Hurray. :heart_eyes: Its getting to the point now where we are repeating ourselves, all in search for the same resources. :laughing: Lol
You guys Rock


#20

You’re absolutely right @emil, I haven’t contacted support regarding any of my issues. I haven’t felt the need to bother you guys just yet… LOL Honestly, that PWS seems to be the only one that’s on point with what happens. Should I try shutting off the Personal Weather Station option instead? I just switched to a different one that’s about 2.5 miles away from me to see if effects anything…


Personal weather station NOT to get