Why FlexDaily Decides on 1 minute run time?

I have several zones of lawn, trees, and shrubs running for a couple of years on a FlexDaily schedule. I have a need to reduce water usage due to drought, so I disabled the lawn zones for several weeks. There has been no rain. The lawns are beginning to turn brown, so I enabled one as an experiment. Intuitively, I expected the app to recognize an empty soil moisture and start ramping up to “full” as rapidly as possible given other constraints, over a few days. That isn’t what I see. I am hoping someone can explain the bizarre behavior of the app:

  • According to “History” Rachio watered the brown lawn on Night 1 – but only 1 minute ?!
  • According to the “Soil Moisture” table for that zone, in that 1 minute, it thinks the the Flex Irrigation was 0.36 inches !!
  • On Night 2 it did this again — 1 minute total irrigation, thinking it laid down 0.36 inches ?!
  • No weather skips noted, hot weather persists, no rain in the forecast.

Needless to say, this isn’t helping the brown lawn much. I checked the Zone settings and they are fine and unchanged (and similar to my other lawns.) The Soil Moisture graph for the disabled zone shows railed to the bottom (Allowed Depletion) 0% as expected prior to Night 1, and now ramping up as it thinks it watered a lot the last two nights.

So under what circumstances would the system think 1 minute is correct?

The duration of watering in a Flex Daily schedule is determined by the settings for each zone, especially the advanced settings. If you provide sceenshots of all the settings someone here can probably advise on what is happening.

Given the .36" of water reported, I am betting that there is something wrong with the settings.

Sorry - nothing jumps out at me about the settings. I’m sure someone else here will respond.

Are you sure that the lawn in fact only ran for 1 minute, and that wasn’t one part of a cycle soak? 1 minute seems odd regardless, but there is a reason somewhere…

Can you post a picture of history of that zone? Can you also post a screenshot (preferable landscape mode on your phone or from PC) also the “more detail” chart?

What watering time is given by the Flex Daily schedule for your Front Driveway? According to the chart, Rachio is putting down (or thinks it is) 0.36" of water. Something’s messed up here:

The Advanced Settings indicate Rachio will apply 0.17 x 9.84 x .50 = 0.84" of water each time. Yet the chart says 0.36". Ignoring efficiency for the moment, with your 1.5"/hour nozzle setting, that would required 14 minutes for the 0.36" of water, 34 minutes for 0.84" of water. More, considering efficiency. Yet it’s watering only 1 minute? That’s obviously incorrect (the value, not you). Please check the Schedule settings, and be sure another schedule (non-Flex Daily) isn’t watering the same zone.

Looking at the Moisture graph, it looks like Rachio divided the water to be applied to 2 separate days. What’s it tell you will happen the next week on the graph?

There is only one schedule. The future event on the calendar show a 3 minute plan for the Front Driveway for tomorrow (I guess that is an improvement from 1 minute).

I have a couple of desperate moves to try soon:

  1. “Empty” this zone to see if it slaps something loose in the Rachio algorithm
  2. Delete this zone and re-enter the information from scratch.

I am fine with continuing to troubleshoot this as long as necessary though, since the issue seems to be well-preserved.

Could you post next week’s moisture chart? And the week after that, if available?

While I don’t think this answers the .36" in one minute, can navigate to Schedules - select the schedule this zone is in - select Duration. Can you confirm that you didn’t inadvertantly manually adjust the zone duration down?

You might be on to something here! This doesn’t make any sense and I do not recall ever seeing this nor manually setting anything here. This should be “default” - whatever that means. I intend[ed] for this to be 100% determined by the FlexDaily algorithms.

Well that is FANTASITC news!

Trying to think the best way to get those back to the “default” values. I think deleting the schedule and re-creating it might be the best. Not sure if removing just that one zone and adding it back will bring back the defaults or not…but you can try it!

Easy to find out. Simply change, say, the Inches per Hour to a different value. Save everything, update, then go back in and change the Inches per Hour to the correct figure. Update (F5 on a PC), go to your Schedule, Update/F5 again (just to be sure), and click on Duration, and see how long it intends to water that zone. You should also be able to confirm the amount of water being applied from the charts.

Thanks for the Charts, btw, it now shows the correct 0.84" I mentioned above as being the water to be applied. And it’s applying that about once a week.

I’m guessing the new watering time will be about 44 minutes. (There I am again, sticking my neck out.)


And also regarding the 1 minute vs. 2 minutes, I’ve noticed it on my Gen1 (not so much on my Gen3’s) that there are times where the first minute doesn’t register in history…mute point for me since my shortest zones run for over an hour each, so I never worried about it…

I deleted the entire schedule, and setup a new one (all defaults). Yes the answer is 44 minutes (give the man a cigar!)

I note there is some strange results for my drip zones that I will look at - I never paid much attention to this before.

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Weird in what way? Those drip times are pretty close to what I see for mine…unless you have some really high output drip or bubblers, your previous times were really low, IMHO. We can work on those next! :upside_down_face:

[modest mode]Aw, shucks, t’weren’t nuthin’[/modest mode]

Drip zones can run a long time, and often are best on their own separate schedule, running during the day. But you know the drill: Let’s see the Properties & Advanced Properties. :wink:

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Ok here are the Zone properties for the Backyard Trees. I suspect I am confused about describing trees as “square feet” – this is coming back to me.

the watering duration with that setup is

Zone setup looks good, other than possibly nozzles inches per hour. Root depth could be more, could be less depending on the age of the trees, but that is only going to change frequency of run. I personally don’t worry about the area, it is only used to calculate gallons used/saved on the home page, and is REALLY hard to get right for drip.

What type of irrigation do you have for the trees? Emitters? How many GPH do they put out? How many per tree?