I work for a large distributor that does not sell Rachio. Instead we sell mainly Rain Bird and Hunter controllers. My coworkers make fun of me that I have a Rachio controller. When i ask the reps from Hunter and Rain Bird why they do not have scheduling software like Rachio, they immediately dismiss Rachio as too involved. The Hunter rep went so far as to say there was just a five percent difference in water use between Rachio and Hydrawise. I totally disagree. The only thing RB and Hunter do is change the percentage adjustment. The truth is most contractors here are not very well educated and the majority of homeowners lack the common sense to program a controller like Rachio. I have pretty much given up on smart controllers. Instead, I am more inclined to recommend pressure regulated heads, and either a Toro or Rain Bird soil sensor. These items act like the equivalent of a low flow toilet in the house.
Rachio can be a basic “smart” controller for those that want to just have phone access to make adjustments to their system or wow their friends and family, but it can also be an all out, truely SMART controller. At that point I do agree that Rachio can get a bit more “involved” than a majority of consumers can, or want to handle. Doesn’t change the fact that I love my Rachio, and I think it is the most powerful smart controller on the market.
I agree that Rachio is hands-down best smart controller on the market. Those of us who own a Rachio are get smart irrigation. Rain Bird and Hunter reps tell people that very few can understand a zone setup like Rachio. Contractors listen. Rachio could expand their distributor base or even license their technology to a major manufacturer. But i do not see this happening.
I agree the Rachio is extremely involved to set up, and the descriptions for determining what sort of equipment you have are not clear enough. I also think that there are so many settings, that many are contradictory, since the output is simply runtime and periodicity. It’d be great if you could see how your settings affect each as you make them, or simply offer “a bit more” or “a bit less” watering.
That’s what is great about Rachio. You want it to be simple (fixed schedules), you make it simple. You want it to be complex and utilize ever bit of amazingness that is built into it (Flex Daily), you can do that too!
If I wanted fixed schedules I would not have bought a Rachio, because enabling them removes all the weather smarts.
What I want is to use the Flex Daily, but for me to know how my changes are affecting the amount of water I’m going to get.
And if my lawn is looking a bit brown, to easily make it water a bit more.