What is the REAL reason to abandon Flex?

Reading posts on this forum for a spell, I tend to think there is more to Rachio’s decision to transition from Flex to As Needed than meets the eye. It must require considerable computational resources on Rachio’s part to support Flex. Think about it, they must continuously monitor specific microclimate data for every Flex user location in the world and communicate the results to the respective IROs. Yes, to some extent this is probably true with As Needed, but I would venture not nearly as complex and data/communication intensive. Couple this with a perception the majority of users do wish to deal with collecting and entering the parameters necessary for Flex to function optimally. Add the staff necessary to support Flex functionality. So, in conclusion, has management/marketing decided to abandon the technically astute professional and home users in favor of what they perceive will be the majority of future purchasers? It would seem so. I would encourage Rachio to reconsider. Charge a premium if you must, but continue development/support of Flex.

I’ve purposely stayed away from the forums for the last couple of days to let our product and support teams get more invloved, and also I wasn’t getting any development done. This post struck a few chords and I wanted to provide some clear answers.

There really isn’t, I promise. The main factors were due to our desire to make a simpler product and reduce our support burden. This and other discussions in the last few days on the forums really has shown us that we underestimated the sophistication and power that a part of our community appreciated.

This is relatively negligible and wasn’t really a factor in our decision. From day one we have been and always will be a software company that builds hardware, not the other way around.

We truly felt that overall we were building a superior product by adding simplification.

Please understand that we are listening, aggregating feedback, and continue to iterate. Obviously if the feeling is that conceptually flex schedules are lightning in a bottle we won’t abandon a feature that is ultimately superior, especially since we’ve already built the IP.

Give us some time to reflect, listen, and move forward.

Thanks for taking your time to offer opions and feedback, it means a lot.



Thank you Franz, sincerely. I am now feeling much better regarding my commitment to the Rachio route. I know you will do what is right for the customer base.


I was astonished to see that my Rachio created an ‘as needed’ schedule, as part of simply selecting the defaults to build it from my ‘flex’ schedule, that has every zone now watering 3 - 4 minutes every day.

What a change from the ‘flex’ schedule I had that only watered each zone when the soil was dry!

And my swimming pool zone, the one that ‘flex’ maintained its fill based on actual environmental conditions, changed from ‘flex’ scheduled 1 minute per day (it’s winter and cold right now) to an ‘as needed’ schedule 10 minutes per day.

I stand in the street now, looking at the pool’s overflow, and watching 9 minutes per day of wasted water, every day because I’m using the improved ‘as needed’ technology.

And my grass and shrubs are being watered every day for just 4 - 6 minutes, again because I’m using the improved ‘as needed’ technology. C’mon, you guys know that in the Winter grasses are dormant. It’s cold here (Dallas). Take a look at all of the municipality issued watering guidance emails at the moment that say "there’s just no need to put down any water this week.

I wish I could give jemanner +10 ‘likes.’ I wondered the exact same things before coming here to see what’s going on.

I even went to the Rachio ‘who’s who’ page to see who is responsible for what. Who the marketing guys are that are trying to tell us that ‘as needed’ is this amazing step forward from ‘flex.’

And now I see the $7.1M infusion of funding. I’m with jemanner. I really wonder if the investors said ‘you’re not selling enough fast enough’ and so those on the ‘who’s who’ page decided that ‘flex’ was consuming too many people resources to support.

I actually started looking at the approved lists for neighboring municipalities for what I could buy to replace my Rachio. And started thinking about how I might use my influence to these municipalities to help them understand that the Rachio is no longer the most frugal controller available any more. That they finally had to prioritize product sales of a simpler product versus the ‘flex’ capable Rachio.

Looking around here, though, I see I’m not the only one having this kind of reaction. And that maybe ‘flex’ schedules aren’t dead after all.

So I’ll use the other link provided to see if this will get me my ‘flex’ schedule back.

I just want my ‘flex’ schedule back, the one that caused my Rachio to only put out water when the soil needed it.

Thank you and sincerely,


I just signed up for the forums because I tried to create a new as needed schedule to replace my flex schedule. Thank God i didn’t delete my flex schedule! The as needed schedule is taking Rachio back to being a dumb controller. I also found setup to be very confusing, mainly due to all the features i was losing. I don’t understand why every zone has to be watered the same days. The tip to set them all up on separate as needed schedules is absolutely crazy. That is the opposite of simplifying. Flex let me set days I can’t water and I need this feature. I know you guys are going to make this right. You were on the right track with the flex schedules and the new schedules are a huge step backwards.

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@a0128958, WAN & Flex schedules use management allowed depletion to calculate watering durations. The differences you’re seeing are related to the combination of zones you have enabled on the schedule. Please see our WAN best practices support article to reference in future schedule creation.

WAN schedules are not intended to be used with restrictions.

I do beg to differ, but value your opinion.

Moving forward, please post all WAN feedback in the thread below. Please understand that we are listening, aggregating feedback, and will continue to iterate the product to improve it. Thank you for taking your time to offer opinions and feedback, it means a lot to us.

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@franz Hey there Franz. I actually started with FIXED, moved to AS NEEDED, then FLEX (As Needed (now Fixed Monthly) | Scheduling Tips & Feedback). I didn’t find FLEX any more complicated than AS NEEDED. I’m not intending to be negative or critical about AS NEEDED, but rather am wondering if I missed something with regards to setting up FLEX? I set up nozzles, grade, soil type, etc., but I felt it was needed for both AS NEEDED and FLEX. I’m just curious as to your intentions as to which parts of the process you were hoping to simplify with AS NEEDED vs. FLEX ?

Many thanks.

Mainly the unpredictable nature (which I understand is a huge benefit of flex) and our support burden.

Please know that we are working on a solution which I think will work for everybody.