I have a 16 Zone Rachio 2nd Gen located in a rural part of Austin, TX (Dripping Springs area) running daily flex schedules successfully for several seasons. Due to location, we are just over 15 miles away from a reliable and accurate weather station. NOTE: We were using a few PWS’s closer to us in previous years but their data was not reliable enough when comparing it to a known good weather station maintained by the US govt (NOAA, FAA, US Military, etc). The closest accurate weather station to our house is in/near downtown but we are 15 miles South, so rainfall amounts can vary drastically in that short distance (especially Spring/Summer random showers).
A set of scattered rain showers dropped about 1.5 inches of rain at our house over two days but did not do so at the weather station that our unit gets weather data from. As a result, the controller wants to water a normal cycle because the controller does not know that rain fell locally and the ground is fully saturated (mushy when you walk on it).
Inadequate Current Solutions:
- Rain Sensor - It will stop the watering right after it rains but it tends to “clear” the sensor before the ground is anywhere close to dry. Plus the calculated soil moisture is now wrong going forward
- Ground Moisture Sensor - Again this will not adjust the calculated soil moisture for each zone
- Delay Watering - This will prevent the schedule from running but the calculated soil moisture will now be wrong going forward.
- Standby Mode - This will prevent watering but it wont automatically re-enable (can be forgotten unless user manually re-enables).
The solutions listed above would prevent the controller from watering but they do not “true up” the soil moisture levels, thus resulting in a deeper watering than is needed at the next scheduled watering because the controller thinks that the soil is extra dry and it needs to water more to catch up.
Best Solution Currently Available:
The ideal solution is to “Fill” the water capacity for the zones to accurately reflect the moisture content of the soil. The only way to currently Fill the soil moisture for each zone is to do it zone by zone. Going zone by zone is tedious, especially with 13 active zones (I understand that the zone by zone “filling/emptying” option has it’s place).
A way to “Fill” or “Empty” all zones at the same time for scenarios where weather conditions at the controller do not match the weather station’s conditions and all zones need to be adjusted accordingly but be able to do it in one easy adjustment vs. going zone by zone.