This is NOT Going to Work!

Okay, set my Flex Daily schedule, it’s supposed to start for the first time tomorrow. Giving it more time to complete, I have it set to complete watering at 9 AM. My normal (previous) watering schedule would start at 5 AM. Well, my new Rachio schedule is going to start, EVERY DAY, at 11:56 at night! Why? I guess because IF it watered for the entire week on one day, which everyone including Rachio knows it won’t, it takes 10:03 hours to water. Including a 2 hour drip irrigation. Tomorrow, it will quit watering a little after 4 AM. Checking other days, it stops between 4 and 7 hours BEFORE my 9 AM deadline.

With as smart as this thing is, it isn’t possible for it to start based on the total run time IT KNOWS AHEAD OF TIME, and start at an appropriate time to end at 9? So instead of starting at about midnight, it would start at 5AM to 7AM, and still complete by 9 AM?

I think I saw something about this in another post, but assumed Rachio would at least use the total time it would water for all zones AT ONE TIME. I doubt it would /ever/ water the full time for the week in one day, at least during a summer season.

I’m already working on work-arounds, while at the same time wondering why I should have to.

What you are addressing is a known shortcoming. Since you have drip irrigation, I would put that in a different schedule at a different time. I let my drip run starting at 9:30am in the morning since it doesn’t hurt to have that run during the day. Then just have your lawn finish up by 9am. In my case, I’m able to start mine lawn at 5:30am and even if it were to run all zones, it would finish before 8:30am.

Somewhere in the forum posts, Franz explained why it is so difficult for them to change this. He’s said many times that he wishes they had never done the “end before sunrise” option, I think because of this problem. Sounds like it is a pretty major rewrite to make this change.

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Yes, I determined that one of the first things I should do is separate the Drip zone. But that still leaves over 8 hours for watering all zones.

I was EXTREMELY unhappy when looking at the results of my Flex Daily schedule. It just made no sense to me. But (as I’m an engineer) I had to investigate further:

  1. I graphed minutes for each zone versus days. And while I really don’t like the way the watering of zones is grouped, I will say that it ended up with all zones averaging around 1.5" of water per week, which is about right. for this time of year in hot SC. And while it /seems/ uneven, the graph shows a fairly even application of water for each zone:

  1. Another thing that made no sense to me: while the Steeply sloped Right Front watering was broken into 3 smaller times, to avoid run-off, all the other zones are too! In fact, one zone was broken into 4 segments, even when I reduced the slope to level. But on looking more closely, I had entered the Inches/Hour of water for each zone, based on my previous water flow and square feet calculations. What Rachio was saying, in effect, was that the water was being put down too fast to be watered all at once. And that makes sense. I question my own figures on one zone, as the in/hr is a good bit higher, and it seems to be lacking water. I’ll have to check that with the catch cups and fine tune them all.
  1. I hate that in order to complete watering by a certain time, Rachio starts at the same time each day, regardless of amount of water to be applied, assuming ALL zones are going to run on the same day. Seems there should be an easy way within their programming to correct that. I’m a programmer myself, and would be happy to lend ideas if it would help. But it’s a limitation I’ll have to work with for now, by setting a Start time instead.

  2. Related to 3, there ARE days when Rachio waters every single zone on the same day, extending watering time greatly. Again, I think that could be fixed in future programming. I’m here to help! :wink:

  3. I am still not a fan of calculating FIXED watering times, and then varying what days the zone is watered, extending it out for cooler weather, and reducing it for hotter weather. Right now, Rachio waters about .75" to 1.00" of the needed water per week (about 1.5"). Meaning it’s averaging watering about twice a week. When cooler whether is here (Budget about 75), it will be watering only once a week. I’ve always read/felt that lawns should be watered twice a week, regardless of temperature. I still think that watering of fixed days, twice a week, but varying the amount of minutes (water applied) each time based on temperature and other conditions is a superior method, and it would be great if Rachio would allow for that. But I think I can manage with what I have now for the time being.

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