Weather Delay Feedback


#1

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere on the forum already…

I am using basic watering - not flex schedules. I had trouble setting up flex schedules because I can’t give it a recommendation on how long to water - had to instead give correct parameters to have it conclude the right watering schedule, instead of being able to give it a starting point which I think would be more intuitive. Anyhow…

I don’t feel the current weather delay feature is very effective and has some easy algorithmic improvements that could be done.

Watering is skipped based on the forecast - but this is fairly imperfect, and opens up several contingencies that are bad:

  1. If the forecast anticipated X inches of rain, but the actual rain was say 1/2 or 1/3 that amount, it may warrant additional watering the next day. I had a situation yesterday where the forecast was .34 inches, but we got .03. So, I ran manually. I think this is an easy thing to check though and correctly fix with a light watering the following day.

  2. Also, some watering strategies involve very deep infrequent watering, and expose a need for ‘ratcheting’ down of your watering based upon observed precipitation. Perhaps flex schedule has this feature, but I wish basic rain delay would sometimes as well. I run my established fruit trees on 1 hour drip ‘drench’ every 10 days in the summer (14 days for spring/fall and 21 days for winter)). Ideally, rain would be reducing this gradually down to zero. I don’t know the user friendly way to do this, but I feel like the Iro should know if there was significant rain in between the waterings and have a way to fractionally reduce somewhat based on a ‘reasonable’ guess of how many inches of rain the zone’s vegetation type is probably consuming. With current functionality, rain delay is basically useless for this zone because a skip is almost certainly incorrect unless it’s a big thunderstorm, AND it should basically be on perpetual rain delay in the winter, but probably will never get triggered then because of a lack of rain day-of.

I understand that Flex is supposed to solve some of this, but getting Flex to understand how much it should water your yard is a bit challenging in the first place, so I’m trying to use weather delay on basic watering to help me.


#2

Also, sorry if I’m misunderstanding the feature. I am assuming that it isn’t ratcheting based on what I’m looking at, but I could be wrong. I did notice that it didn’t revise and decide to re-water after no rain fell despite a high forecast.

I understand that flex schedule is where this sort of adaptive stuff has been left, and the goal is to do this sort of smart stuff there nad keep basic watering really simple. But, I do feel there is opportunity to do SOME optimizations to the rain delay feature to be slightly more ‘smart’ than it is presently designed without messing up the expectation that scheduled watering is pretty consistent not ‘too’ smart.


#3

I think the correction part isn’t that bad, but what are your thoughts on running the schedule outside of the days chosen by the user? Do you think we would need to know restricted days first?

I like this idea, we have been struggling with the all or nothing concept of skipping schedules. Will chew on this more to see if there is a nice middle of the road approach.

Flex does take these things into account by tracking soil moisture balance levels. If you need some help dialing in your flex schedules [support@rachio.com] should be able to help.

For next watering season we will be building out new ways to make flex scheduling easier to setup and configure.

Thanks for the feedback!

:cheers:


#4

Regarding the running the schedule on days not chosen by user – I would assume that this is mostly an issue for a user if it’s a regulatory one, so in cities that have gone forth with the ill-advised but still popular “only water on certain days” law… It might also occasionally be an issue if you don’t want a wet lawn for some reason. But, I am guessing the regulatory one is common and dominant for reasons to not want to water on a particular day.

If this is the case, you would simply auto-move for schedules on interval setting, and not for ones on calendar setting, since that would biforcate the users into ‘who knows’ and ‘not legally restricted’ and provide an option to be willing to water on ‘off’ calendar days for calendar setting programs when rain delay is triggered for people who use calendar but don’t mind watering off days. Or something. Seems like an easy problem to solve if you guys are clear on why people don’t want rain on a particular day, which I assume you know the reasons for at this point.


#5

Thanks, definitely something we will work towards. I agree, there should be a self correcting mechanism for false positives.

:cheers: