Watering Start Time: Automatic Sunrise Adjustment

Well, my big question of course, since I was the one suggesting this feature, can I look forward to some royalties now :wink: - Just kidding, haha! Thank you so much Rachio team for implementing this into your app! You guys are awesome!

Big thank you and best wishes from Dallas, Texas!

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I still don’t get this, it feels awkward especially for the “smartest” schedule type. :frowning:

Our system ran today for the first time this season and watered all 7 zones as expected. The schedule shows it will water only 5 zones on the 11th from 1:53 AM to 3:22 AM. It has decided this 48 hours in advance based on zone settings and forecast. It also has tentative custom schedules for the 17th and 18th.

The system knows what a full schedule needs for time if all zones were empty moisture. Let’s call it 210 minutes as an example. I’d expect it to do a recheck of conditions at something like oh maybe 240 minutes before sunrise, validate how many zones need to run, if wind/rain skip is in effect, and then adjust the start time closer to sunrise if fewer than all zones will be run.

It is hard as the consumer to understand this device can do magical voodoo schedule planning weeks in advance, yet also cannot subtract today’s runtime length from today’s sunrise time. :slightly_smiling_face: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The current logic sort of feels like it’s own worse enemy and preventing the underlying benefit from being fully realized. I am :crossed_fingers: this relatively new feature becomes more logical for us flex daily users in the future. :pray: :slightly_smiling_face:


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Thanks @scorp508, now @theflexdude will not sleep for weeks. I know he wants to revisit this when we have time.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Agree 100%, feels half-done in its current form. It’s not a huge deal since I understand how it works, but I think most new customers will continue to be confused by this feature until it is updated to finish today’s watering by sunrise, instead of the total schedule runtime, which includes time for zones that may not be watered today.


For now I have created an acceptable workaround for my situation. I split my single Flex Daily schedule in to two, using the odd/even interval days. This moved my start time from about 1:30 am to 3:45 am, getting much closer to sunrise. Luckily I do not have watering restrictions, so this was an option for me.

I absolutely agree with everything that is brought up. The perfect functionality requires an enormous amount of state for just one schedule type configuration. Limited on time we went with a stable yet imperfect implementation. Once there is time this will definitely be revisited.


I’m hoping this is revisited sooner rather than later. I’ve had to revert to “Start at a specific time” because “End before sunrise” (which is recommended) starts watering at 11:23 pm and finishes way before sunrise. Now I have mushrooms growing in my yard, which I’m not super thrilled about…

But what happens when when all your zones align and all water in one night? You’d still be starting at the same time…how is that any different?

I manually set the start time for 3am. If they all have to run, I’ll be watering past sunrise. I’d rather water past sunrise than grow a ton of mushrooms.

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@theflexdude - since you guys are looking at this for a future release, I’d love to see an OFFSET option for “finish by sunrise” Ex. so you could finish watering by sunrise - 30 minutes

It would help me evade the sprinkler police that roam the neighborhood in the early AM to make sure we are watering on our assigned days :wink:

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What will be worse is when the fungus starts. The whole point of not watering in the evening is to avoid having the grass wet all night. I split my schedule into two, split by odd even, and have it stop before 6am.

I second the need to enhance the app to address this. I ran into this tonight and glad others are talking about it. Add one vote from me.

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I agree the “end by” functions are completely worthless. Only way to get anything close to.acceptable requires multiple jumping through hoops to guess and hope it will continue to work. Please make this function actually work to end at a the time specified and be able to calculate based on only the zones that run.


My overall impression (as a first summer Rachio user) is that Flex Daily is not the mode that the average person is intended to use. It seems quirky (such as the bug under discussion here) and the UI is full of stats that don’t pertain to it. It feels like Flex Daily is an afterthought in the product.

My lawn is brown and I am thinking the solution is Flex Monthly not fiddling around with Flex Daily. :frowning:

I’ll add my name to the list of the people that would love to see this updated. If I have one or two zones running on Flex Daily, I don’t want it running from 2:20 - 3:24 am. If that subset of my full system needs ~1 hour to run, I think it would be the hour before sunrise. I also would like to see an offset with positive/negative adjustments around the sunrise time.

It sucks that you feel that way, and I’d argue the opposite…I think the Flex Daily is the driving force behind Rachio, and the other Flex or fixed schedules are there for those that want it, or for the rare cases where flex truly just won’t work (like watering days limited to just 2-3x/week).

My tree’s and grass look better and are probably healthier than they ever were on my Hunter Pro-C clock. It took a while to fill Rachio with the correct information for my soil, nozzle PR, etc…but what took the longest was to re-train my vegetation for the new, and correct watering methods. I adjusted all my root depths over the course of a year, and now are at the default levels.


I dunno, I’m really happy that I switched to Flex Monthly. Now I get emails from Rachio when it adjusts my schedule with an explanation of the change and the rationale. It also shows me neat stats about how it is saving water when it rains, etc. By comparison, Flex Daily just silently edits the schedule all the time which is cool in theory but confusing in practice.

Relatedly, I wish Flex Daily had a feedback loop. I want it to ask me “How is your lawn doing?” and I can tell it that my lawn is brown and it can help me adjust the 1000 variables that go into the calculations. Flex Monthly only has one variable to play with (watering duration) so it is easier to use.


This is my mission in life :wink:


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Any updates on whether calculated time from sunrise will be updated to only use the sum of the zones being run vs all zones? This also causes conflicts with interval rules setup for Flex Daily as a “full” run pushes me back to watering on odd days (restricted by address in my area).


Same question, i resorted to starting at midnight, since the done by sunrise starts at 10pm on the wrong watering day every time, regardless of run time.