What temperature for freeze skip?

I notice that freeze skip has settings from 32 up to above 40 degrees. Why is there such a range? Maybe this is silly but I assumed freeze skip meant 32 degrees?

Is there any potential for damage to grass/plants if I’m watering at say 6am when it’s 36 degrees and it’s going to 60-70 degrees that day? This is a pretty common scenario in Boulder and my rachio has been completely skipping schedules instead of waiting a couple of hours until the temps have risen significantly, so I’m trying to plan my workaround.

I understand that if you add moisture to cool, dry air it will cool off even more. I guessed that 36 degrees would give enough wiggle room but maybe I should just set it to 32 degrees. I guess I’m just trying to figure out if this is to prevent sprinkler damage vs yard damage, and what temperature setting most people use?


@clayineuro - the other issue is does the runoff/overspray from the sprinklers freeze on the sidewalk, in the street or further down the street before it enters the storm drain. One can get a ticket for watering during freezing weather and creating a hazard or potentially be liable for damages caused when others (cars or people) slip on the ice created by watering during freezing conditions.

So it depends on how early the schedule is set to run. If the schedule is set to run when it is already daylight and will be warming up, then closer to 32 would be fine. If the schedule is set to run when there are a couple of hours until sunrise, then one might want to have some more room in there so that any water would be absorbed by the time any actual freezing temperatures occur.

Finally, how does the temperature at the weather station, assuming you don’t have a PWS on premise, that the Rachio is looking at correlate to your actual temperature. Since Boulder was mentioned - if the Rachio is located up in the foothills west of town it might be actually cooler than WBU (Boulder airport).

So to paraphrase “your mileage may vary” - “the temperature you set for freeze skip may vary”.

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thanks those are good points. it’s my back yard so no issue with sidewalks and the weather station is 1 mile away across flat ground. Sounds like I can use 32/33F and leave the schedule to start watering after 6am and it should be good to go.

it was interesting because I have a rainbird rain/freeze sensor and that also goes from 41 - 33 so I was confused as to why there would even be a 41 degree freeze setting on these devices.

much appreciated.

I know the default settings on sensors is 37.

@clayineuro The higher temperature threshold is a good buffer just in case your weather station temperature is off and you are nervous about the sprinklers running in the freezing temperatures. I think the biggest concern here is pipe damage, which can get pretty pricey, so it can be a useful cushion for some :slight_smile:

We are based in Denver, so I can definitely understand the cool mornings and then warm days, I find myself wearing my jacket in and leaving in a t shirt (and sweating :joy:). I would set it at freezing like you said, considering freezing pipes isn’t a huge concern this time of year.

thanks for all of the ideas everyone. I guess I’ll just leave it at 32 / 33F during the Spring/Summer months when maybe we dip that low for an hour or less right before sunrise.



I dont recommend watering when temperatures are that low. Think most would agree. Yes, 37 degrees is a great buffer as Rachio says.

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What’s wrong with watering when temps are near freezing? Here in Tucson we get a few freezes and I let the drip run if it was scheduled. My thought is that it is better to have some water flowing in the lines than to let the lines freeze.

Prove it is necesary to water at 37 degrees. Plant growth is not happening.

In Colorado we have lots of nights where it drops under 37F but the day is 70F. It keeps skipping my watering when the lawn desperately needs water. This thread was started since there is no feature to delay watering that day until the temp is high enough.

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A solution is to have a later start time.