Watering times seem way too long?

Just installed my first Rachio Gen 2 and it’s all connected and working just fine. Pardon how much of a total newb I am at all this watering business! I’m in SoCal, have 5 zones, 3 of which are grass and 2 of which are a mix of perennial trees and misc shrubs.

With my prior “dumb” system, I’d water each zone about 3, 5 or 8 mins, twice a day, every other day, depending on the amount of sun/shade they got. For example if zone 3 gets any more than 3 mins, it’ll be soaking wet and could get muddy if walked on. That’s about 50 mins of watering for all zones in 1 day.

I set all the zones in the app as best I could, and applied Flex Daily. When I look at watering times, it tells me 4 hours and 19 mins. Could someone tell me what that total is exactly? Is it for the rest of the month, for a set amount of time? Daily? I’m way confused about that! It wants to water that Zone 3 I told you about, for 11 mins, despite me labelling as having mostly shade. Sure it won’t get any more water for 4 days after that, but it’s going to me soggy.

Anyway, hoping someone can explain these times, they seem way out of whack to me but what do I know?!

The flex daily is a touchy watering method for the 1st time Rachio user. In order for this to work for you in your comfort zone of time over delivery, you would have needed to plug the unit in and let it settle for a week or 2 without actually connecting it to the valves.

When your system runs on this type of schedule, it will assume that your landscape is completely dry and try to establish an appropriate water table or saturation level so that it can do its thing.

Sometime it is better to write another schedule on a fixed mode and run it for a couple weeks until your Rachio unit has enough watering history to start working as you would expect it to work.

Once your levels have established, you will be able switch back to your flex schedule and your unit will be closer to what you have hypothesized.

Over all, give it time and you will never use another smart or dumb controller in your life…

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That makes sense and it’s what I figured after seeing it at 0%, that it would need to ramp up so to speak. I’ve set my desired manual schedule for now and we’ll revisit after a couple of weeks as you suggested. Thanks!

@DM661 @spscoutenPhD has great points. If you are ready to try flex daily in the future I recommend starting with one or two zones, getting them dialed in, then if you like the results applying to the rest of the yard. The community is great at helping you tune individual zones for that schedule type.

A good overview of flex daily.


Hi, new to the controller and have the same problem. @franz the link above is broken.

Thanks in advance,

Here you go!