Weather intelligence fail after 6 inches of rain

After 1+ years of running, my rachio gets a thumbs down for the month. We just went through a drought for 5 months in central Texas. Then we had heavy rain all week. Many of the storms were concentrated so it wasn’t 100 miles of solid rain. We measured almost 6 inches of rain that ended two days ago Monday. This morning Wednesday, my lady told me the sprinklers are on. What? I have weather intelligence set to not run when more than 1/4 inch of rain occurs or when the temperature is below 38 degrees. Rain skip and freeze skip are on. Smart cycle is on. The darn zones rand for 2 hours. Model GENERATION3-16ZONE, firmware iro3-firmware-hk-5-632.

Well, what do you have set up for your weather station? If you have WI+ set up, it takes an aggregate of weather stations, and may not work that well with localized weather climates. If you are pointing to a specific weather station, is it reporting accurately?

Also, 2" or 20", doesn’t really matter. Rachio caps the zone at 110% moisture, with a somewhat loose assumption that beyond that, the soil won’t absorb and water may run off. Last year when areas got hit with major hurricanes there were many questioning running so soon after HUGE rainfall, but the logic behind the cap does make some sense…just may not work for EVERY occasion.

Thanks for the info. The drought was common knowledge and the weather event was very large. Dallas got hit with flooding rains. We didn’t flood, but the weather line was large for several days. I don’t think anyone in CenTex received less than an inch. The weather intelligence has worked before and it surprised me. Whatever the algorithm is, it didn’t work. I would like a big fat button on the app screen that says “Did it rain?” where I can enter an amount without having to delay or disable each schedule.

From the home screen, you may want to go back through the calendar and see how much rain the controller observed for each day. It’s possible the reported amount doesn’t match what you actually received.

We’re in the reverse scenario from what you described. While many areas around us received multi-inch rain in the past week, we barely hit a few tenths for a couple of days. On many days that the controller thought it rained based on aggregate data, we were actually dry. I don’t have my own PWS and the closest individual station is 15 miles away, so I’m using “Weather Network” as my source. I saw the radar and the rainfall reports from surrounding areas. We just missed out the last time, so I had to cancel a few skips that it was going to use.

Interesting, in my history the last two weeks, only the old hunter rain click sensor detected rain and stopped the controller for a day. I think the battery is shot in that sensor. But the rachio didn’t detect anything. Today, thankfully, another 3.5 inches in 2 hours. The hunter activated again. The rachio still not noticing. Does smart watering run on a batch schedule? See my attached precipitation from weather underground. See my controller history.

Like I asked before, what do you have set for your weather station in Rachio? There are obviously a lot of areas in your map with zero precipitation, so whatever Rachio is pointing to is not showing moisture.

The setting has been Weather Network - Aggregating 300k. When that is selected, there is nothing on the map to the right except my controller. Yesterday I selected a weather station down the road that measured over 4 inches of rain. Nothing changed in terms of delaying the system. We are saturated still. So then last night I decided to go to weather underground and register a weather station based on some python code in a raspberry pi. I figured out how to publish weather data and was able to update 4.25 inches from my station. My hope was to improve the average in my area. However, I don’t see my station showing up in the Rachio list of weather stations. I wonder how long it takes Rachio to update or if they are using weather underground vs. other weather sources. My goal was to have a big button available to me from my laptop or mobile that says “Add the 3 inches of rain you just received.”

The “weather network” is great in theory, but in areas like yours (and most others for that matter) that see localized heavy rain, you are better off pointing to a specific weather station near your house.

At the end of the day, like I said earlier in your post, you are still going to be limited to the max 110% moisture level that Rachio will record. 4" is going to record the same as 6", and 10", and 20"…you get the idea. The theory is that the soil is only going to hold so much water, and the rest is going to run off. That obviously doesn’t necessarily work in the case of HEAVY rain and/or flooding scenarios.

Change your weather station to a solid and accurate local weather station, and I think you will find the results to be good…

Thanks for the responses. I changed it to the station that saw 5 inches last week and 4 yesterday. Will smart weather immediately calculate “enough water for a while” or does it start on the day the station is assigned?

Don’t quote me, but I believe that it will adjust to match the weather station you switched it to…

Keep in mind, again…5" last week wouldn’t mean much this week as the soil moisture would decrease starting the day after the rain. The 4" this week is still only going to max out at 110% moisture, regardless.

Scanning through this thread, I don’t know that you ever mentioned what schedule you are running? This will change how all of this works…

I am running the only schedule allowed during the drought. Wednesday morning each week starting at 4:00 am. Then another at 7, then at 11, to cover 15 zones. The only exception would be a skip in watering, which would mean move to the next week. Right now I added a three day manual skip.

Ok, so fixed schedules? Or are you running a flex schedule with limited days?

I guess I should have started with the question off which schedule type are you using.

Fixed schedules are the dumbest schedule type on a smart controller. In the case of weather skips (rain, wind, freeze, etc), it will only skip that days watering, and continue to water on the next scheduled time.

Here is where I think your issue is…I’m assuming you have saturation skip enabled on the schedule, so Rachio determines if your yard has enough moisture to last until your next scheduled watering time. Since you are only able to water once a week, Rachio is most likely determining that your yard is going to dry out too much before the next allowed watering, so it waters…

Yes thanks again. I didn’t have saturation skip on. When we had almost 6 inches last week, that is far more than I would water in a week. Also, the rain skip has worked ok in the past. Just not sure what is happening these last two weeks with a ton more rain coming.