Why can’t we see soil moisture for all zones?

Rachio is displaying this message (see last sentence at bottom):

But soil moisture is not displayed for the zones in this (fixed) schedule.

Clearly Rachio is tracking soil moisture for all zones so why not display it?

Soil moisture is only displayed for zones that are included in a Flex Daily schedule. Don’t know why - that’s a question for Rachio.

Did it rain, have cooler weather, or anything causing the “Climate Skip” which caused that message to be displayed?

Climate Skip
Backyard Fixed was scheduled for 07:19 PM (PDT), but was skipped based on weather and soil conditions. To check your soil moisture level go to individual zone details.

The first article below talks about Saturation Skip (previously known as Climate Skip) and why it happens (it does say soil moisture is part of it). The second article indicates soil moisture is only applicable with Flex Daily. So, this seems to reinforce the apparent dichotomy you are asking about. I do not know the answer other that I do wonder if it is a generic message or if some calculations are happening even on a fixed schedule but they are not displayed (maybe not as accurate?).


@sross222 @Thomas_Lerman - The Saturation Skip FAQ says the most important settings for saturation skip are vegetation type and shade - no mention of soil moisture. And based on the FAQ it sounds as if the calculation for Saturation Skip differs from that done for soil moisture and that it is not tracked on a daily basis but rather the Saturation Skip calculations are only done just before each schedule run.

  1. Check your zone settings.
    The most important settings for Saturation Skip are Vegetation Type and Shade, so make sure those are correct for each zone in your schedule
  2. Separate schedules by vegetation type!
    “Low moisture” is a subjective term determined by Vegetation Type. Separate your schedules based on this to improve the accuracy of Saturation Skip.

Under the heading “How does Saturation Skip work?”, it does say:

Saturation Skip uses evapotranspiration data (ET data) from observed weather and forecasts to calculate the soil moisture balance in your soil.

Is the “the soil moisture balance in your soil” different than the “soil moisture”?

The FAQ describes the calculation and it sounds different to me than what is done for the display of soil moisture for the Flex Daily schedules. At a minimum the calculations are only done before the run of a schedule not daily as is done for Flex Daily. That means Rachio could only display a “soil moisture” that is accurate as of the date the schedule was run - so to me that’s different.

Weather check.

One hour before a scheduled watering time, Rachio will perform a weather check to see if any of the Weather Intelligence skips can be triggered

Zone calculations.

Saturation Skip makes a simple calculation for each zone in a schedule that checks to see if the observed and forecasted weather will maintain the moisture requirements of a zone until the next scheduled watering.

You might be correct. The pages might be able to be clarified though.

@Thomas_Lerman - On closer reading, when the FAQ talks about soil moisture balance I think the calculations are just determining if there is enough moisture until the next scheduled run - in other words the calculations produce a YES or a NO. The calculations do not calculate a soil moisture percent. Maybe someone from Rachio will chime in.

Saturation Skip uses evapotranspiration data (ET data) from observed weather and forecasts to calculate the soil moisture balance in your soil. In other words, it knows how many “miles” your lawn’s “gas tank” has left and if you can make it to the next gas station comfortably.

Fair enough. I believe what @sross222 is asking is why it says to “check your soil moisture” when there is no soil moisture to check. So, some clarity can be made in my opinion.

When using a Fixed schedule, quite often you’ll set the times yourself, in which case Rachio has no idea what the soil properties or moisture is. Even if you use Racho’s suggested times, the best that will be will be for a historic average, and moisture graphs are based on actual weather conditions. Only when using Flex Daily are you attempting to balance moisture on a daily basis, for which the graph is calculated.

Seems that a zone stores all the information properties necessary to calculate inches of water regardless of the schedule it is in. If you turn on the zone manually, that water adds to the total. So obviously it tracks the water on a zone basis not schedule basis.

True, but the whole idea of the moisture properties is to water using Flex Daily. Only Flex Daily USES that information. And as we know, people complain all the time about the complexity of it, all the terminology, all the working to get the factors correct, etc. So, having the moisture graph and table is a reward once you’ve gone through all that, and are depending on it. Having it display when people have used other scheduling methods, without going through those same trials, is not required IMHO. Chances are it might be wrong, as you’ve not fine-tuned things, and then people will say “Rachio KNOWS it’s run out of water. Why doesn’t it #($&@()#* water!?”

IMHO it serves a purpose with Flex Daily, and shows complicated, possibly incorrect information without it.

I am seeing this behavior also. It started happening only in the past couple of weeks, and for only one of my two controllers. Both controllers run fixed schedules that haven’t changed for ages (except for the monthly climate shifts). Here in the SF Bay Area, it doesn’t rain between May and October, so there is nothing about my climate that would warrant a skip.

As the OP stated, there is no way to find out what triggered a climate skip if you are running a fixed schedule.

BTW, the history says “climate skip”, but the app notification that pops up on my home screen still says “saturation skip”.

Then again if you are on a fixed schedule and Rachio would show you the amount of water, you’d be able to see that it is overwatering on the fixed schedule and, you know, adjust it to save water.