User Friendly Wizard to adjust advanced settings for each zone

So I have had the rachio gen 2- 16 zone model for a few years now but I have always struggled with getting flex schedules truely dialed in up until recently. I have now gotten much more dialed in every season compared to the last but it has been countless hours of tinkering and tweaking in previous seasons.

Problem:
Tweaking settings such as root depth, AWC, etc has a cause and effect (which is outlined in the advanced documentation of course but some people cannot read through that without being overwhelmed). In my case, my evaporation rate was being calculated much faster than what was really happening (would lose 20-40% AWC per day in Spring conditions). I finally figured out that my root depth was much shallower than the 9 inches suggested by rachio, but that did not help with evaporation. I had finally figured out that my crop coefficient was the culprit to the evaporation issue. Once I adjusted the crop coefficient to 40% from the 65% (rachio suggestion for bermuda grass), the evaporation rate is much more in the ball park now.

Frustration:
My step dad’s rachio has been all over the place and I have had to remotely tweak it over and over and over based on his input. He would call me monthly and say “all the grass is being watered too much, its muddy” or “the system just ran deeply on Sunday and it watered deeply Wednesday even though the weather was cloudy and mild” or “the system drained our 5000 gallon rain capture tank in one night”. Sure you can hop on the advanced settings and make a few adjustments, but a “Zone Tweaking Wizard” in the zone menu could be helpful for the most common problems we see in the forums to help get things dialed in for users like my step dad who dont have a tech guy handy.

Suggestion
I like having the advanced menu for tech nerds like me, but for regular users like my step dad, it would also be nice to have a “plain english” wizard where they can select the problem they are having for that zone and have the rachio adjust the advanced settings by a certain percentage for the user without making it confusing.

Example:
Click zone -> “Help my flex settings be more accurate” Wizard->
-What issue best describes what you want to adjust on this zone?

  • This zone is being watering too frequently (it looks like the rachio is calculating my soil is drying out too quickly when it really isnt)
  • This zone is not being watered frequently enough (it looks like the rachio is delaying too many days between watering)
  • This zone is being watered too long every time the system runs (my yard has visible run off or is excessively muddy after the system runs)
  • This zone is not being watered long enough each time the system runs (grass and ground appear too dry after the system runs).
    etc

During each subject, it can ask how bad is this issue to help gauge how much the wizard needs to adjust the advanced settings for the zone (a little or a lot).

4 Likes

That all sounds good. I suggested something similar with my “Cruise Control” suggestion: A New Schedule Type - Cruise Control