Top positive review
148 people found this helpful
A great use of technology, interfaces are very well done.
on April 29, 2016
I wasn't very good at remembering turning my traditional irrigation controller on and off, which caused a lot of water waste (overwatering), and damage to my landscape (underwatering and overwatering). I researched smart irrigation controller options, choose the Rachio 2nd Gen, and really couldn't be happier.
There are three ways To rain delay (major water savings for me):
1) In the web dashboard or the mobile app, just tap Rain Delay and the number of days to delay. The status area counts down to when it will rain next, "Rain Delayed until Thursday, November 16, 2016, 2:00 PM". That's cool.
2) The Rachio's logic is good at deciding whether to water or not based on past actual rain, and predicted future rain. You set an actual rainfall threshold for each scheduled program in increments of quarters of inches. The accuracy of this logic depends on your local rain forecast accuracy, and how close you are to a weather station for actual rainfall measurements (it's been pretty accurate for me so far). The status panel in the portal tells you why it does and doesn't run schedules ("Schedule 'Water Yard' was skipped because the predicted rain of 5/8" in the next 24 hours exceeds your threshold of 1/2".) You can take action on that notification of you disagree with the decision.. on your smartphone(!)
3) I attached a Hunter Wireless Rain Clic rain sensor as a third failsafe to prevent watering in the rain (also purchased from Amazon). This might be overkill for some, but I like the push alerts from my Rachio, "Rain sensor has been activated", and "Rain sensor has been deactivated"... I know when it's raining at my home, and I'm now 100% guaranteed of not watering in the rain even when the weather data Rachio uses isn't accurate for my neighborhood (microclimates).
I have enabled the Rachio skills pack with our Amazon Echo, which is very neat, but at this point, it's more of a novelty for me. You can start zones, start programs, and set rain delays, which I guess might be useful now that I thing about it.. I just think tapping a couple buttons in the app is so easy, sometimes getting the exact wording right and the Echo hearing me correctly is more trouble than it's worth. I have a zone for filling our pool which is only run on demand (not on a schedule), and I can say, "Alexa, run fill pool for 3 minutes". If I leave out the word "run", it fails, and it ends up taking three or four attempts.
Bottom line.. I really love this controller so far. I think it's light years ahead of the past generation of controllers in terms of water savings and landscape care, and I think Rachio has done a fantastic job with the user interfaces and logic, which is no small feat.