Flex daily, how does it compare to Hydrawise?

Hello everybody,

I own a self-designed and self-installed irrigation system based on Hunter PGP, the equality is reasonably well. The lawn is watered by three stations at 9-11gpm, all in the same schedule as they fill the hydrozone together. Deviation from the average precipitation is nowhere above 10%.

Still, I haven’t yet found my final irrigation controller.

My ideal controller should act like a moisture sensor: Account for soil depletion and re-water when the soil is down to a safe minimum.

I bought us a Hydrawise HC-1200 controller for two reasons:

1.) The system is officially supported in Germany.
2.) Hunter claims that their “smart schedule” can do what I want.

I found that Hydrawise does not really live up to their promise:

  • This july started extra-hot, but the weather dropped about 10 days ago. Since then, noon temperatures are just slightly above 20°C (68°F). Hydrawise still claims an evaporation of 5-7mm (1/5-1/14 inch). This is absolutely unrealistic for the current temperatures. The chart I use claims 2-3mm at these temperatures.

  • Rain is not well accounted for. We just had 5mm of rain on Friday and 7mm on Saturday, temperatures dropped to 17°C (62°F). Hydrawise said the zones were almost depleted and wanted to water one zone on Sunday, the other two on Monday. I paused watering, and empirically the lawn is very well watered - lush dark green, moist feel.

It seems as if Hydrawise relies more on historical averages than the current weather. Support was not helpful, they suggested changing to a time-based schedule instead of a smart schedule. Hey, I bought this controller so it adjusts the days between watering for me. So, please… :-/

This wonderful brick of broken promises is still within the return period.

So, I am thinking about switching to Rachio, although they don’t officially sell to Germany.

  • Does Rachio calculate the state of the lawn more realistically than Hydrawise, and can it account for unusual cold/hot weather well?
  • Should I expect the same accuracy in Germany that you guys get in the US? I don’t know about the quality of weather predictions for Germany from your provider. I have a Netatmo PWS that feeds to Wunderground, so tapping into hyperlocal weather is not a problem.

Or should I bite the cost-bullet and hook a moisture sensor to my system?

Thanks a lot,


Yes. We track moisture levels daily, using real time weather and precipitation data from PWS of your choosing.

We can definitely use WU stations for precipitation. For forecasting and weather observations put in your location here and see how close we can get.



Franz, thank you for your fast reaction. Actually, Hydrawise does the same claims for their smart schedules. I found at my own expense that Hunter fails at this, though.

What would be nice: If it was possible to setup a virtual controller without hardware, and see how the system reacts over a few days. Are you aware this is possible with Hydrawise? I don’t think it would be much effort, the calculations are done on the server anyway.

If you create an account, DM me your email address, I can share one of our controllers with you to experiment on.