Noob Question Regarding "Wait"

Total beginner so forgive me!

In Basic Rules, is there any functional difference between a single rule that says "Do A at time A" then Wait then "Do B at time B", and two separate rules, one saying "Do A at time A" and another saying "Do B at time B"?

Is there any reason one way would be preferred over the other?


The net effect should be the same--both rules will create a "subscription," internally, that will wake the app to perform the desired action at the specified time. If your rule actions are related, some people prefer to keep them in one rule because that is fewer apps in your list and fewer places to look to modify the automation if needed (but on the other hand, I wouldn't recommend trying to cram everything into as few apps/rules as possible just because you can, something you occasionally see with new users of "full" Rule Machine; I do this only when it makes sense).

So, either way should be good, and with a simple example like this, I'd say it's just a matter of preference.


I prefer separate rules personally, as I like to see the actions being executed at a given time separately. It also allows me to adjust the rule specifically for that event later if needed, for example if I wanted to add extra conditions for the OFF rule as opposed to the ON Rule.

1 Like

I can see merit in both ways. Thanks for your viewpoints.

I'd also say that it depends on the intended length of the wait. Having a 15 - 30 minute wait for an action I'd have in a single rule, but waiting hours isn't something I'd do in a single rule.

1 Like

I guess this was my question, though I didn't make it clear in my post. If I have an 8-hour Wait in a single rule, is it eating clock cycles for eight hours, and does it matter at all?

I don't think it's wasting clock cycles, as I'm pretty sure it just registers a task in the scheduler. Waits can be messed with if the rule executes again though, hence my preference to just schedule via a second rule.

1 Like

If you are worried about schedules and how they impact any rule or app, click on the gear icon next to the rule in question, then scroll down to Scheduled Jobs section - it will show you what timers the particular app is running and when.

1 Like

BONUS: if your schedule shows a series of numbers, odd characters, and question marks like the picture below:


Then the schedule is a "cron expression". You can decode the schedule with a cron expression generator like the following website (just copy/paste the expression):

1 Like

No, what I meant above is that it will create a scheduled job (as bobbyD showed above), then go to "sleep," then wake at the specified time to handle the schedule. That is the same whether you do this in one rule or two--both are scheduled jobs, and then it's just a matter of whether they're spread across one app or two, which will have no real impact on the outcome.


Download the Hubitat app