While You're At It (Merging Flex and Fixed Schedules)


#1

I’d sure like to see you offer an option that prevents sprinkling between two different times (i.e. between 10 AM and 6 PM).

I.e., start the flex schedule at the appointed time (i.e., 1 AM), figure out how much time is needed total to satisfy all zones, divide up the time appropriately into cycles (this is your Smart watering), get started at 1 AM, keep going until 10 AM, temporarily halt at 10 AM, and resume the schedule. Maybe even go past midnight if the next day’s schedule is shorter.

This would be a big help for all of us with municipal restrictions on when we can water.

Thank you for considering this.

Best regards,

Bill


#2

We are working on much more configurable schedules, end before, sunrise/sunset, multiple start times, etc.

This functionality won’t be available with our first Spring release, but will be released when ready. The between is a new requirement, I’ll pass it by the team.

:cheers:


#3

Thank you!

I’m surprised it’s a new requirement (suggestion). Most municipalities here in Texas now forbid watering between certain time(s) of the day, regardless of if it’s an ‘official’ water day or not.

For example, here in my Dallas suburb, we are prohibited from watering between 10 AM to 6 PM during the summertime, any day of the week. In the winter it ‘flips,’ where we’re only allowed to water between 10 - 6 PM. Of course, this is also only on the watering day allowed, summer or winter.

Best regards,

Bill


#4

@a0128958 Bill,

Here in Denver, where the Iro was born, the 10am - 6pm window is a “no sprinkler” period for most residences - similar to your area.

Perhaps @franz mistook your “between” request to mean “water ONLY between” and not “prevent watering between”??

Setting a restricted time period under Flex Scheduling would certainly be useful, and is likely in the works. :smile:


#5

I’m thinking if you can say finish watering by 10am, that should meet those requirements? We already support water after.

I don’t know if being able to say water before 10, OR after 6p on the same schedule helps here, seems like it would just add some more confusion? I think typically people would want one or the other? :wink:

:cheers:


#6

My guess is the ‘no watering between 10 AM - 6 PM’ practice was ‘born’ in your area!

Yes, you understand perfectly.

I want to use my Iro fully and completely in ‘Flex’ mode only. I want to save every drop of water I can for the community.

It would be nice if the Iro could simply understand that days really are not 24 hours to get in a day’s planned sprinkling. Instead, the hours available are determined by when the schedule is allowed to initially start, then all the way to midnight, minus the ‘don’t water during these hours’ time period.

Keep in mind that, at least here in TX, the restriction ‘flips’ in the winter time to when freezing is most likely to occur.

Since it’s wintertime here, now we can water during the 10 AM - 6 PM ‘window,’ but cannot water when it’s near, at, or below freezing.

My municipality drives around at night looking for errant sprinkler systems creating ice everywhere when watering when it’s too cold. And in the summer time they’re driving around during the day looking for those who are watering between 10 and 6 PM.

So it could be that a flex schedule is scheduled to start up at 1 AM but it’s at or below freezing. Then it gets to 10 AM where watering is again not allowed. Only when it gets to 6 PM is it both warmer than freezing and past the
Thanks!

Best regards,

Bill


#7

maybe another idea would be to use the weather forecast to decide when to water. Everything close to freezing should be a no-go for watering by Rachio


#8

We currently do this with fixed and flex schedules. If temperature is freezing we skip.

Our next release will allow you to determine the exact temperature that will skip a schedule.

:cheers:


#9

I’m just now seeing this.

I’m thinking that the municipality forbidden summertime 10 - 6 PM period is simply 8 less hours to work with for a flex schedule.

I.e., if a flex schedule is set to start at 1 AM, and there’s come kind of option to specify a municipal ‘forbidden time period’ of 10 - 6 PM, then the first check is to see if the flex schedule can be done in 24 - 1 - 8 = 13 hours. Assuming it can be, then the flex schedule simply gets started at 1 AM, executes it’s Smart Watering plan, ‘pauses’ at 10 AM, and then ‘resumes’ at 6 PM.

Like a laptop than ‘hibernates’ when you close the lid, and then, simply starts up where it left off when you open up the lid again.

Best regards,

Bill


#10

This all seems to be unecessary work for the software team. If you run your flex schedule at 6am, won’t it be done by 10am? Problem solved.


#11

Not if you are running 6 drip zones at 1 hour a pop. I don’t need it but I do agree with discreet end time coupled with a floating start time


#12

Great discussion. Watering windows and/or black out times are easier said than done when considering Smart Cycle, weather (rain delays), etc. Nevertheless it’s a great idea, especially if there’s that many users needing it.

I’m curious what other aspects you wished fixed and/or flex schedules had more in common?


#13

Agreed on an urban residential basis. Especially for a flex schedule that is allowed to run 7 days per week.

In fact, for my small urban residential lot, I count on the fact that if I allow each day’s flex schedule start time to be 1 AM, there’s no way I ever need to worry about going all the way past 10 AM - that’s 9 hours of watering x 7 days per week capacity.

But for a large property, or parks facilities, or golf courses, each day’s schedule, starting at 6 AM, and finishing by 10 AM, may not be ‘completable’ within 4 hrs.

Best regards,

Bill


#14

@a0128958, good point. I don’t think the Rachio controller is getting used on too many large facilities yet due to the 16 zone capacity, but that’s a valid management issue for said facilities.


#15

Not sure about your municipality, but here only sprays have daytime restrictions during the summer months. Drip irrigation can be done at any time, and even on non-watering days, as long as there is no runoff.

I’ve got my controller running separate programs for spray vs drip zones. Spray I have kicking off earlier so it definitely completes before the no-water hours. Drip kicks off afterwards. Until the next round of software updates, I’m also experimenting with having the drip zones on flex schedule just to see how it behaves.


#16

We’re similar, except that sprays have night time restrictions during winter months along with the obvious day time restrictions during summer months.

Like you, and like most municipalities, drip irrigiation can be done at any time. Thus, the makers of the Rachio have a lot of opportunity to make the Rachio as easy as possible to use for drip irrigation on a Flex schedule.

Best regards,

Bill


#17

Totally agree. I filed a few more product suggestions today after checking if anyone else has brought them up before.

I’m also in a Dallas suburb, so we probably have similar if not the same water restrictions. At least we’re no longer in Stage 3 restrictions!


#18

My drips on flex are perfect, I think you will like it.

I think I was making the point that having a end time would be useful as some municipalities have a hard cutoff time and like at my house I have 4 drip zones and the amount of time to water is very transient as some days only 1 drip runs and other days all 4 will run


#19

Totally agreed with having hard cutoff times/blackout hours. We’ll see what they give us in the next release… :smile:


#20

Our next release won’t have end before , but will allow an end date and restricted days.

Soon we will be rewriting how scheduling works and it will be able to support end before, multiple start times, sunrise/sunset etc. No dates but just a heads-up on road map.

:cheers: