Water adjustment

Hi all! I have 2 Rachios on our property. One allows for easy adjustments for more water and the other does not. Both are the 16 zone version. Any idea why?

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I haven’t seen it myself, but I understand that Thrive users get an adjustment like this, while others don’t. Perhaps you are using Thrive, but they’ve only “registered” one of your controllers?

That must be it! Wonder how I would “register” the other one?

It sounds like the additional “features” of the Thrive subscription will be coming to all controllers in the future, but in the mean time, if you have a Thrive subscription on one controller, contact support, or maybe @dane and they can get you a second code to include the other controller into the Thrive system. I had to do this with mine since I ordered/subscribed based on my whole lawn and didn’t even think about splitting it between my two controllers.

@danwink I am responding to you via DM, but want to post a reply here so it is public for other users who might interested:

As we end our subscriptions service and begin selling Lawn Champion and Weed Watcher as standalone products we will be opening features that were previously only available to a subscriber.

I understand that there is a lot of interest in Enhanced Watering, the ability to easily adjust zone watering based on your observations. This is a highly requested feature and we’re excited to help make watering adjustments smarter and easier.

We want to make sure that Enhanced Watering will fit the needs of all of our customers. We are opening this up to customers who would like to actively engage and help us improve it. We can activate the feature for you and you will work directly with the product team for questions and feedback, rather than our Support Team. Please reach out to research@rachio.com with any questions or feedback.

As with any beta features, there’s no guarantee that they will make it into mass market, so there’s also the potential that this feature goes away or is merged into other features. We ask that you’re good with that going in.

HI @dane, do we sign up via the research@rachio.com email link?

Yeah @Rfuentes - go ahead and email us there. Reference this post if you don’t mind. Thanks!

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How does the new water adjustment feature work?

Does it increase the duration or the frequency of the watering? Does it work the same with all schedule types: fixed, monthly flex and daily flex?

Is there a knowledge base article that explains it? I tried a search and came up empty.

@twin1, I do not know the answer to the new water adjustment feature. I presume you are referring to the “Enhanced Watering” that @dane mentioned. Are you a Thrive subscriber or did sign up to help? I just sent my request to help with this new feature and understand it more.

I have not seen much about “Lawn Champion” and “Weed Watcher” that @dane also mentioned, so do not really know what those are. However, I did notice “Thrive” kind of being up front seems to be gone. I did find under “Yard” a “Cultivate” and “Journal”. I have not figured out what those are either, but have not spent much time looking. Under “Cultivate”, it indicates “Vigor 80%”, “Lawn Champion level” nutrient level is low (I do give it nutrients), suggest mowing at 4" (which I do), and watering kind kind of a lot (but that is what flex daily is doing probably because of the high sand content and heat).

Hi @twin1,

As the data scientist I helped design the Adaptive Watering adjustment feature and I’m happy to explain it to you. We are still working on an article which I’ll share once it’s published.

Adaptive Watering gives you options to water a little/lot more or a little/lot less for each of your zones. It works on all 3 schedule types, but the functionality is a little different. Asking for “a little more” will increase your zone runtime duration by 20%. Asking for “a lot more” will increase by 60%. Adjustments are additive and can be stacked (e.g. +60% - 20% = +40%). The percentage is relative to runtime calculated from your default settings.

For Fixed schedules, this is it. For the Flex schedules, we calculate a maximum runtime based on the average evapotranspiration and your zone settings; watering beyond this cap may cause runoff and waste. So on a Flex schedule, if you ask for more water and the new runtime exceeds this calculated threshold, the system will instead decrease your frequency, then calculate a new runtime that will result in the average weekly runtime increasing by 20%.

For Flex Monthly, which runs on regular intervals (i.e. every 3 days), this would decrease the interval (in this case to every 2 days). For Flex Daily, which is stochastic because it tracks real-time weather forecasts, the effect is hard to predict without knowing the forecast precisely, but the average effect of asking for “more water” and surpassing the threshold is that your zone will water more frequently.

The idea behind this feature is to allow customers to dial in their watering and compensate for inaccurate parameters. For example, we use published manufacturers’ flow rates to estimate the precipitation rates of a variety of sprinkler heads. However, a customer with an old irrigation system that perhaps has some leaks, or low water pressure, will not get the manufacturer’s spec output when they run a zone, and will deliver less water per minute than we are modeling. This customer could ask for “a little more” etc with Adaptive Watering and tune their zone until it is watering to their satisfaction.

If any of this doesn’t make sense, or you have any further questions, please reach out.


That sounds pretty good, but those are awfully big steps. Wouldn’t a slider from -60% to 0% to +60% be no harder to implement (you already use slider controls for changing Advanced settings), allowing 10% increments? In the end, it’s just a factor by which times will be multiplied.

I’ve been playing with this a little (I’ve had access to it for over a year) in the last couple months since people have been mentioning it more around here. I do like how it works. There is no denying that when Arizona hits a string of 115+ days in a row, ANY sprinkler system is going to struggle, smart or not. While not completely needed in my system, I did use the water “a little more” on a couple of my shrub zones that have some newly planted shrubs that are less than 5 months old. It looks like it moved my frequency up by 1 day, which I think will be helpful for these new shrubs. Seems like a simple fix for “temporary” changes, but I still think people need to work on dialing their settings in.

@drew_thayer, Do you think that 60% bump in either direction is a bit much for “a lot more”, especially since you can stack?

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@rraisley Those are good suggestions and we’re likely going to implement smaller steps before rolling this out to more customers. Perhaps a slider, but definitely smaller increments.

@tmcgahey Thanks for that anecdote, it’s super helpful for me to hear how people are using these features to solve their real-world problems. Your climate conditions in AZ highlight the need for on-the-fly adjustability, you really experience some dramatic ET pressure! The way you used the “little more” adjustment for those shrubs is in line with how we hoped people would use this feature. Which schedule type are you running on those shrubs?

Agree, we rolled out 60% in the pilot program and are reviewing that magnitude, it certainly seems to be too much and we’re likely to scale it back.

I run everything on Flex Daily, and have been for 5+ years. My settings are dialed in, so it is rare that I have to do anything. In June when we get these runs of 115+ degree days, some vegetation will show stress, regardless of how much water you try to apply…they just aren’t meant for a desert climate, but heck, we will force them!

I think the “a bit more” is helping my newly planted shrubs. I dropped in about 30 new small shrubs this year, and I knew they’d probably need some supplemental watering in the heat of the summer as the establish fully. I could manage this with hand watering, but wanted to see how the new features worked, so seemed like a great time! Sure, the established plants are getting more than they need, and I’m not maximizing my savings, but overall, I’ve saved a ton with Rachio over the last 5 years.


As Adaptive Watering Adjustment is apparently not a currently supported feature, in that we can get no information on how it works or how much it adjusts, how the heck can I get rid of it from my app!?? I’ve uninstalled the app, and re-installed, and it’s still there. Apparently it’s set to my account, rather than the software itself. That being the case, please remove it from my account. Without knowing more about it, I just can’t use it.

You can remove beta features using this link by searching Rachio beta and clicking the link. I would post it but I’m unsure if it’s specific to my email/account. I have it in emails when I first signed up.

I have installed a Rachio 3 with two fixed waterings a day. I do have weather intelligence activated.

My problem is that the home was built on 5 feet of fill SAND (no dirt). Because it is sand, I found that I must water twice a day to keep the grass from dying.

I really don’t understand why this controller follows it own made up schedule. I have 5 zones of varying sizes and after 3 years of working with a Hunter system to establish a watering schedule that works. I found that the total watering time in warm weather needs to be 28 minutes twice a day. My first watering goes OK. The second watering is the problem. I have each zone set to run 1 minute less than the first watering for the second watering as I read that it can not be the same time as the first watering (total of 23 minutes).

Day 1, both waterings take place with no rain in the forecast. Day 2, the first watering runs OK, but the second watering only operated zone 5 for 3 minutes when it is set to run 8 minutes. NO other zone ran. Day 3, the first watering was OK, but the second watering only did zones 3 and 5 for a total of 13 minutes. Zones 1, 2 and 4 did not run. Day 4, NO watering took place and there was no rain in the forecast. Day 5 shows only the First watering is scheduled.

The programmed schedule is to run EVERY DAY, TWICE A DAY.

What is going on? Help.

Can you post a screenshot of both schedules?