At the simplest level, schedules are programs that run a sequence of zones in succession. From there, Spruce provides many options to configure schedules to your needs.
Creating a Schedule
A Spruce Controller can accommodate up to 20 concurrently enabled schedules. Only Connected and Basic schedules count towards the limit; an unlimited number of Manual schedules may be defined.
Add a schedule by navigating to the Schedules tab –> tap the gear icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen –> tap Edit Schedules. At the bottom of the screen, tap “Add a new schedule,” then select the schedule type you wish to add.
Spruce offers 3 different types of schedules: Connected, Basic, and Manual. Connected and Basic schedules can water automatically based on various settings; Manual schedules are presets that are triggered manually via the app by the user. The reset of the information in this article will pertain to Connected and Basic schedules.
Connected Schedules are the most feature-rich of all the schedule types. It is also the schedule that can generate an EPA WaterSense approved watering program. Connected Schedules offer the settings described below, as well as the ability to variable days of the week, water based on Spruce Sensors, Auto Cycle, and utilize time restrictions. See here for more information specific to Connected Schedules.
Basic Schedules are defined by watering times that are manually input by the user. Durations and cycles can be set for each zone, for each day of the week. The features described below also apply to Basic Schedules.
Manual schedules are preset programs (with durations and cycles) that can be triggered on demand via the app. This is ideal for any touch up watering on a specific set of zones, or a quick test routine.
Scheduled Start Time
Connected and Basic schedules will trigger once per day, on desired days. At this time it is not possible to make a schedule run multiple times per day; to achieve this, multiple schedules must be created.
A schedule can be configured to start:
- At a specific time
- Relative to sunrise (the start time will change throughout the year)
- Relative to sunset (the start time will change throughout the year)
If another schedule or zone is still running at the configured start time, the schedule will instead start at the next time the controller is idle.
Weather Watch – Skip watering based on predicted weather
Connected and Basic schedules can take advantage of Weather Watch, which monitors upcoming weather and skips a schedule if conditions are sub-optimal.
Connected schedules can skip watering on a per-zone basis. For example, if a zone waters a greenhouse, which is not exposed to rainfall, Rain Delay can be ignored, while another zone watering an exposed lawn, can be configured to skip if rain is predicted. Another example is Wind Delay – a drip zone would be safe to water in windy conditions, while a zone with a spray head (which would be susceptible to water loss) could be configured to skip if windy conditions were predicted.
For Basic schedules, Weather Watch will skip all zones if a condition is met.
Weather Watch thresholds are user-configurable, and are global to each Spruce Controller. In other words, all schedules for a single controller will use the same Weather Watch thresholds.
Spruce uses the darksky.net API – the location used is the latitude / longitude that is set for your Controller on the Devices page.
- Skips watering if predicted rain for the current day is above a specified number of inches. The value used is the predicted rain for the entire day.
Rain Sensor Delay
- If a rain sensor is connected, the schedule will skip if the rain sensor senses water at the time the schedule starts.
- Spruce can skip a schedule to avoid watering in freezing conditions, which could damage pipes, or generate icy conditions on plants or walkways.
- When a Basic or Connected schedule starts, Spruce will check the weather forecast. If any hourly temperature will dip below the Threshold Temperature within 6 hours of the start time, Spruce will skip watering.
- Manual schedules, nor manual watering from the app or from the physical device, do not check for freezing temperature before running.
- The Threshold Temperature setting allows the user to set a custom temperature to skip watering. This value is in Fahrenheit and can be a whole number between 20 and 60 degrees. The default is 35.
- Spruce can skip a schedule to avoid watering in windy conditions, which could result in water loss and inefficient water application.
- When a Basic or Connected schedule starts, Spruce will check the weather forecast. If any hourly wind speed exceeds the threshold Speed within 6 hours of the start time, Spruce will skip watering.
Troubleshooting Weather Watch
- Spruce didn’t skip watering when it rained
- Check your threshold watering value vs the predicted or actual rain amount for the day in question. You may want to consider lowering your threshold value.
- Check that the location for your Spruce Controller is set correctly.
- Location is set in the Devices Page –> Weather And Location
- Verify that the marker on the map is the correct location
- The latitude and longitude values shown are used to determine your location when Spruce makes weather calls to darksky.net.
Climate Adjust can scale down watering times throughout the year based on user-defined rules. This setting is available for Basic Schedules, and Connected Schedules with zones running in Fixed mode.
The Climate Adjust Rules will dictate how watering times will be adjusted for each month of the year. The default values for each month are calculated based on the latitude of your controller’s location.
If the Spruce Controller is offline
The Spruce Controller will check in with the cloud at each watering event. If your Spruce Controller has power, but is offline, or if Internet is not available at the time the schedule starts, it will run an offline version of your schedule.
The offline schedule is an average of the watering that is projected for the next two weeks.
While your controller is offline, the Spruce Controller will record the actual start and stop times for each zone. When the controller comes back online, it will send this information to the server so that the record of these events can be viewed in the app.
See WiFi: Resetting, Specs, Security for additional details about how the controller connects to WiFi.