Whoa Rachio! Why you watering?


#1

Woke this morning to find my system watering despite the fact we got almost 2" just less than 36 hours ago.

I’m in a water restricted area of Dallas - Sundays and Thursdays.

Sunday Rachio properly skipped because we got over an inch on Friday night/Saturday morning.

This morning (Thursday) Rachio allowed my schedule to run despite the fact we got 1.80" on Tuesday afternoon.

The data is showing from my weather station (which is data from my personal station at my house) and Rachio almost always gets this right. Wondering what happened this time?


#2

@petercw2 - I use KDAL (Love Field) for my weather station and my system skipped this morning. Rachio uses the most sensitive zone to trigger watering the whole schedule. What does the moisture graph look like for the driest zone in the set up?


#3

Hi @petercw2,

I’ve taken a look at your account and found that the Rachio is operating as expected based on your current schedules. You’re currently utilizing two Fixed Days schedules.

Fixed schedules’ Rain Skip only relies on the past 24hrs of weather data to determine if it should skip watering.

On Sunday, your Rachio observed 1.32 in of precipitation from the previous 24hrs and determined that it could skip.

In this instance, the rainfall occurred over 24hrs prior and therefore was not considered for a Rain Skip.

You may wish to consider switching to a Flex Schedule. Flex Schedules will water as needed (using user imposed restrictions). Each zone will have it’s own “bank account” that will increase with “deposits” (watering events, rainfall, etc) and decrease with “withdrawals” (evaporation, wind, etc). A minimum and maximum budget for each zone will be set and the water level will automatically be kept within this budget given watering rules you set. Think of it as automated watering times with real time, seasonal adjustments on a daily basis.

In short, a Flex Schedule is a smarter way to utilize longterm historical and real-time reported weather data to determine whether your lawn needs watering.


#4

Thank you Mitchell!

I appreciate the thoughtful explanation. I did set up the Flexible schedule, but did have to manually adjust the amounts due to what appears to be excessive times per zone (knowing my yard). I’ll give this a shot and see how it goes. Again, great customer service. many thanks.


#5

@petercw2 If you haven’t already feel free to startup a new thread in the flex forums to help you get past those initial setup hurdles


#6

@petercw2 - having only two days allowed to water may drive Flex nuts. I think there is Climate Skip that can be enabled on Fixed schedules (what I have) and I’m think that is what caused my Fixed schedule to skip today. So, I’d turn on all the weather intelligence features on the Fixed schedule.


#7

yeah i’m pretty sure 2 days only is no good for flex


#8

but it says, “3 or less days” - lol.
Yeah, now that I think about this I’m pretty sure had Flex setup previously and got frustrated with it. I also am pretty sure I had all of the “skip” “smart weather” settings turned on. dang it… . maybe today was just a one off.


#9

It always seemed to me… and maybe I’m nuts… but towns with watering restrictions SHOULD wave them for people that can prove they have a system like these. In other words, if a neighbor were to complain, and they come by to issue a summons, as long as you can display that you’re actually HELPING and not HURTING…


#10

That’s exactly what Charlotte does when we go into watering restrictions. I get a bye until we get to Stage 4 drought – and if we get to there we will be in so severe a shortage that I wouldn’t feel right watering anyway. (Also, we don’t get rebates, but I only get charged for one tier of water – if you are not in the Smart Watering program, after you use 16 ccf of water in a month, you start getting billed almost double for each ccf used!).


#11

Hey @petercw2-

Another option before diving into flex would be enabling our Climate Skip feature on your schedules. This feature take a more holistic view of weather, and also looks ±7 days rather than the 24 hrs of Rain Skip.

McKynzee :rachio:


#12

thanks. and I did, in fact, have climate skip turned on when I was on the fixed days schedule. I have switched to Flex, but already am having odd results (all of which appear to be normal). My issue is Dallas is experiencing it’s wettest June and now July in decades and because the rain is falling 24+ hours before my Sunday or Thursday slotted days, the system wants to run anyway and I don’t need more water.

I’d love to know for those of us on a two day limitation what is the best program to set schedules?


#13

To be honest, for strict restrictions like yours, I would recommend a fixed days schedule (and I am the queen of pushing flex). You just won’t see the flex benefits when you can only water twice a week. There are a couple things I would recommend to optimize your setup:

  1. I would check your weather station to ensure it’s reporting correctly. Our weather intelligence is only as good as the data it’s receiving!

  2. I would create separate schedules for your different vegetation types as well as separating your turf nozzles from your drip nozzles. Different vegetation types have different water requirements, and this affects Climate Skip. Breaking them into separate schedules will allow your trees to skip even if your flowerbed needs to be watered that day.

  3. I would make sure all Weather Intelligence features are enabled (sounds like you already did this though)!

If you want to try flex, I absolutely won’t discourage you, and can help get it fine tuned. I go back and forth with what to recommend because ultimately, with your restrictions, the reward from flex won’t be as noticeable. I question if it ends up being worth the heavier lifting in the beginning to get it fine tuned if you aren’t going to see the results as much. I would be curious to hear from other users using flex on restrictions, maybe I’m underestimating it, but it is difficult to work within such strict bounds.


#14

Happy to report I have all of those things cared for. The WX station is my personal device mounted at my home so I’m very confident in the data. What I hadn’t done was break up the grass zones from the zones with bushes and shrubs into different schedules. I assumed the system accounts for this on its own, but will make that modification.

I believe all of the WI was turned on for a fixed schedule, but if you’ll list them for me I can confirm just to be double sure. thanks!


#15

I would definitely have Rain, Freeze, and Climate skip all enabled! Seasonal Shift is up to you, I don’t know if you also have watering duration restrictions, if so I would stay away from it.


#16

For anyone wondering. The reason we don’t really recommend flex daily with so many restrictions is that these schedules will pretty much be constantly playing catch-up with the zones to keep them from dropping below their allowed depletion levels.

If you lose 25% of your moisture each day, and can only water twice a week or so, there isn’t much that the flex schedule can do to help, as it will always need to run to bring those moisture levels all the way up until they fall down again over the course of a few days.

A fixed schedule with climate skip will be your best bet, as on the off chance that you get enough rain to skip a whole schedule, the schedule will certainly do so.


#17

thank you kpontis, and after everyone’s input I will switch back to the fixed. But I will remind what started this whole thing was I had the system set with CS and a fixed schedule, but it was still running a schedule despite not needing the rain. What I was told here it may have been due to the fact the rain had fallen 24+ hours prior to the schedule - so the system ran the schedule due to the separation of time - but the reality is I’d gotten 2+" of rain in the preceding seven days.


#18

Hey @petercw2-

Sounds like a good plan. Have you checked out your weather station data? If you would like, you can post the link here and I can take a look.


#19

Feel free to poke around. Here is the Gladstone link and you can pick which set of data you would like to review. It’s from a Davis Pro Vantage 2/WeatherLink.


#20

Looks good to me, let’s see how things run from here on out! Let us know how it goes :smile: