What changed in flex scheduling?


Interesting that you are 20-30% above the listed ET for your area - seems consistent with what I observed in the Phoenix reports. I speculated that Rachio uses a different ET calculation, possibly using daily rather than hourly values - but it’s hard to say without actually having the math. I’m looking forward to hearing from @Support on the differences.

I’d say you can definitely compensate for any sort of absolute error (as long as it is consistent) by reducing crop coefficient. As @Modawg2k concluded, if he used the crop coefficient recommended by AZMET with Rachio’s calculated ET, he’d be watering way more than he wants. Reducing the crop coefficient will just proportionally reduce the ET value Rachio calculated, and you should be able to monitor things from there.


I think ultimately we are doing this to make our yards look good, but save money. To pull something from my professional world, when you start a new medication, you start low and go slow to taper to appropriate results. So you can look at it this way with the watering, start at the recommend coefficient (which would mean a high ET), and slowly taper to where you are decreasing frequency yet maintaining the healthy looking yard you want.


Wow, root depth of only three inches? This is a clear sign of overwatering. This fall aerate your yard to get oxygen into the rootzone. I have a mix of fescue and Texas bluegrass and my root depth 6 to 8 inches.


DiGregorio. Thanks for confirming that the rest of us aren’t crazy.


The Rachio support team has been extremely quiet the past few months. The support was the absolute best thing about the product. Questions like this would have been addressed in 24 hours previously. The V3 update is still without any public information on release and its already mid-season (July). This isn’t normal for the Rachio team.

This feels like Rachio is seeking a sale or buyout from a larger irrigation partner. This is simply an educated guess on my part, but from seeing similar startups in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if emergency financing or a partner buyout is being seriously looked at by the Rachio team.


Hi all-

I understand that many of you have concerns that your flex schedule is watering too frequently, and apologize for not responding sooner. I want to be very clear in reiterating what @franz said in a very early response to this post- which was that nothing has changed in regards to algorithms. After reviewing a few accounts that had reported higher ET values and more frequent watering than last year, it was discovered that there was actually very little to no difference compared to last year. This can be seen in post #18.

@control4reak, I am sorry that our lack of response caused concern on your end. There are a couple reasons that these responses take longer. One of which is that because flex is a more complex system that has many variables, it takes a while to identify where things are going wrong. The second reason that this post in particular is difficult is because there have been no changes, and it’s very involved to pull the yearly data that Franz pulled in a previous post. Third, and finally, things are just pretty busy here over at Rachio! Season is in full swing, the community is at an all time high for engagement, and it is taking a little more time to get back to questions- especially complicated ones like this!

All of that being said, I do not want to dismiss these concerns especially because I know this group is very tuned into their systems. If you would like us to look into your system to compare your ET values, and you have not changed any zone settings that would affect flex scheduling, please comment below. For a more immediate fix, I recommend dialing your crop coefficient down to make your waterings less frequent.

McKynzee :rachio:


I am one of those crazy people that keep a lot of data I a spreadsheet for my own analysis. At first this year, I thought things were different myself. Then I started looking back at my data since I started using my Rachio back in 2015 and I was able to see it was functioning pretty much the same. As far as weather data, I only keep track of precipitation and temperature highs and lows. The ET used by each zone by date is just too much data to capture by hand. But even with this, i can see that in my area, we had much less rain and even drought conditions the last two years. This year, I am getting too much rain!

The one change that was made last year that has impacted me is the saturation level being set at 110%. It used to be 120% and at that level things would dry out too much before it watered. But I was also in drought kind of weather and just had the occasional rain. Now with it set at 110% the soil doesn’t dry out enough before it wants to water. But I’m in a pattern where I am getting lots of rain. So that’s the only difference that I’ve seen when I go back and look at the data I’ve collected.


Thanks for the clarification, @mckynzee.

I myself started tracking this thread at the beginning of the season, when my Flex scheduling seemed off - different than I remember it acting last year after I got it tuned in.

I think part of what I was experiencing was maybe that I had finished my tuning in at the end of the season last year, but that tuning wasn’t quite right for the beginning of a season. Which might mean I wasn’t dialing in using the best parameters, since, in theory, the ET equations and such should automatically adjust for the season.

Anyway, just a thought for some others out there - maybe I dialed into fall, which didn’t match spring. I’m sure that’s not everybody’s issue, but might be a rector for some.


Quickly chiming in. No emergency financing or partner buyout, our company is healthy, strong, and growing. The entire team is just working hard on our new platform and products and can’t spend as much time as we’d like in the forums.

Like @mckynzee said…

The team is excited to be building some amazing things for this year and next!



Those of us in regions where seasons change hope to see those changes arrive during the watering season this year. :slight_smile:


Here in the Phoenix area, we have seasonal changes, too. Hot, hotter and hottest.:laughing:


After much analysis, last month I decided to adjust my cool season grass coefficient from 0.70 to 0.60 which is where it was last year before the default was changed. I did this to compensate for a higher than expected ET rate I observed 1 month ago. After a month with the new configuration, it seems to have helped. I think I overshot a bit since some of my lawn seems to have yellow patches. This week I adjusted the Coefficient up to 0.65 to split the difference and hopefully that will do the trick.

I am not sure why my water usage was so high last month vs this month, but once I adjusted the coefficient, the usage seems to have come back in line with what I would have expected. My water bill dropped by $124.00 between last month and the one before. I am pleased with that result.

I guess the lessons for me are;

  1. I had my system tweaked perfectly last year and when Rachio changed their default coefficients up to 0.70, I assumed that re-creating my FLEX schedules with the new coefficient value would improve my systems efficiency but it obviously did not.
  2. Don’t try to fix what isn’t broken. I still think based on my calculations that my ET rate is higher than it should be for my area but now with the tweaked Coefficient it doesn’t matter.


ET’s have seemed to normalize since I started this thread. I did however record my highest water bill ever. We’re billed for water every 2 months and it was 110 percent higher than last year.

Bet there are others that had extreme water bills this spring as well.