Meet Team Rachio - Michael I

Hello everyone! My name is Michael and I am the new Director of Engineering here at Rachio. I have been a passionate Gen 2 16 zone customer since 2016 and am excited to be joining the Rachio team.

Delighting our customers is one of our core values and something that is important to me. To help bring our Community and Engineering team closer together, we will be introducing you to the exceptionally talented group of people who build the Rachio experience.

Also, we will be more actively engaged here in the community to better understand your world, experience, and challenges. The goal is to use that knowledge to build an even better product for you.

So to kick things off, I wanted to share a little about myself. I hope to get to know you all well soon too!

What’s one thing on your bucket list?
Circumnavigate Australia on a motorcycle. What an incredible experience!

What do you like to read?
History or non-fiction books as there are so many incredible true stories we can learn from and hopefully that information from previous generations on how to make things better.

Who do you look up to/your biggest influencers?
People who serve and have done things. So many amazing people who do great things every day in service of others. Those who have experienced trials and tribulations and come out stronger on the other side have the most to learn from in my opinion.

What about your new position at Rachio are you most excited about?
Making the transition from customer to contributor of such an incredible product. Getting to meet the team and experience the culture has been fantastic. I am very much looking forward to helping build an even better Rachio experience moving forward.


WOOOOO!!! Welcome to the team, Michael :slight_smile: I’m excited to have you and the rest of the eng team hanging out with us on Community!

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Michael! Welcome to the team!


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Hi Michael!
I’m glad a passionate Rachio user has joined the team as head of Engineering, hopefully you can fix the shame of HomeKit integration that has plagued the Rachio 3, I hope you know all about it and have a fix out to us mere users soon!


If I were in Michael’s position, this wouldn’t make the top ten list. It only affects one Rachio product and is limited to users with iOS devices who have a suitable hub and have chosen HomeKit as their home automation solution. I’d guess that this is a small percentage of the user base, though they sure are vocal!

What’s strange is that they gripe bitterly about the missing feature, but rarely note the benefit(s) that they are lacking. The only one frequently mentioned is the ability to start and stop zones with Siri.

I agree that voice control is important. If you are adjusting or cleaning sprinkler heads, with wet/dirty/gloved hands, controlling zones without touching the phone is very useful. But you can do that just fine with Google Assistant. It’s IMO the more elegant solution, because it works with both Android and iOS, works with Rachio 1, 2, 3 (and I presume 3e), doesn’t require any hardware other than phone and controller, and is not dependent on specific networking setups.

I’d like to hear from HomeKit users why they feel it is an essential part of the Rachio experience.

Because when every other product in your house that that was advertised to work with HomeKit works with zero issues, you’d expect the Rachio to work as advertised.

I should not have to setup and maintain yet another smart home interface (Google Assistant as you suggest) because Rachio can’t get their act together in over a year. I purchased the Rachio because it was advertised to be HomeKit compatible out of the box.

Your scenario is a great one though – When working, I’ve used Siri to initiate my Rachio system quite a bit – especially after planting new plants and needing to run more frequently than scheduled.

So a product sold not as described is fine by you! Awesome I have a bunch of things to sell you. They are all insanely over priced and have features you might like but the won’t work with one part of your IMO inferior choice of google home ecosystem, you must also be fine with google making money from all the sales of your data. I’m in no delusional that Apple doesn’t do the same, but I have seen the data they grab via the HomeKit ask and it is a lot less than google “monitor”.

But back to the point of this thread, Welcome Michael, as you can see you have some challenges ahead of you. Good luck, and I wish you great success in this new role.

I agree completely with you that Google Home is a lame automation platform. I primarily use SmartThings, with Alexa as the main human input source. However, although Echo devices are normally always listening, the Alexa smartphone app requires tapping an icon before you speak. Google has a Voice Match option that causes it to always listen, which I enable when no-touch interaction is needed. (It’s normally off, not so much for privacy, but because it degrades battery life.) Rachio is currently the only device enabled in my Google Home.

Suppose I buy a device advertised as “100-240 VAC, 50-60 Hz” and upon receipt, it is marked 120 V 60 Hz only. Well, if it was for use in Bangkok, I’d ask for a 220 V replacement, or a refund. But if it’s for use in the US with no intention of ever taking it elsewhere, I’d keep the device and have only a slightly lower opinion of the maker. With no intention of ever using Rachio with HomeKit, the discrepancy is for me a very minor issue.

Back on topic, the purpose of Rachio is to keep your crops nice with little effort, not to provide eye/ear candy. Given a choice between better integration that makes manual schedule overrides easier, or improved algorithms or sensors that reduce the need for overrides, users would IMO overwhelmingly choose the latter.

Many requests for new capabilities have been posted here. Some are very easy to implement, e.g. “run a zone for less than a minute” or “run the pump with certain zones only”. Others are more difficult but widely requested, such as coordinating multiple controllers to increase zone capacity or simplify valve wiring. I’d like to see Michael prioritize upgrades like this, if for no other reason than to sell more controllers.

Wow, ok, so I’m guessing either you haven’t heard of bait and switch and the legal protections we are offered in this great and free country or you are one of those internet trolls who has too much time on your hands…

So why do you sit in judgement of those who have chosen to use HomeKit? This would be like to use your analogy of the person who travels the world routinely buying the US only transformer. It would really suck to be that guy if the company you bought the device from didn’t care that you were only a small percentage of the market… so who care about you right?

Actually I disagree. The way this product was marketed to me was the same as many of my “smart” things, to effortlessly integrate (with HomeKit) in to the home of someone with physical disabilities, function easily with the existing eco system they have and not be a source of constant grief. I rely on Apple voice automation, for my home management, when one component fails, I have problems. (so far other than batteries needing replacing, Rachio is the only device to fail this way for the past 3 years), and yes watering your lawn may not seem like an issue for you. But then again you are not living my life, walking in my shoes, facing my challenges. If you were, maybe your view would be different. So please don’t be fo quick to judge.

Yes, yes and yes a thousand times over, I have even asked for that feature myself, give me a soil sensor that will stop a zone when it has been soaked enough. But keep the foundations of the product and the reason people purchased it, working, for more than a few months at a time.

But these are tomorrows promises and tomorrows challenge. Today the product was sold supporting a small feature set. If you can’t make those work reliably then why should I have faith that you will deliver on the new more complicated challenge?
Please make todays product work with todays promises then I will happily buy more features add ons the next version of the controller and so on. Leaving the people who bought in with something that is only partially functional is a lemon and poor business ethics. I for one didn’t struggle for this great country of ours to not see companies have ethical values and not to treat the consumer as having a valid stand when our products don’t work.
I have a somewhat dated sense of right and wrong, if a product doesn’t do what it says it should that is wrong. In my line of work (yes I support a software product) I do not rest till the product does what it says it will (as advertised) and make sure the end customer understands where the limits are (and I do not rest with either chasing our partners facilitating developers and communicating with the customer base).

But again as I ended my previous reply on this thread. The topic here is to welcome Michael. You are stuck with the un-enviable task of pleasing all the people all the time. Good luck on this endeavor.

Thanks for the engagement everyone! I am still getting my feet under me and appreciate the suggestions for areas to dig into. I will dig in this week and see what I can learn and come up with for next steps.

Hope you all had a great weekend. :slight_smile:



Wow, somebody has drank the apple kool-aid… Google Assistant works virtually anywhere and isn’t vendor locked. The bigger question is where doesn’t Google Assistant work. Besides apple devices, where does homekit work? Also, how many integrations does homekit vs Google Assistant have?

BTW, you can even use Google Assistant with Siri…

I just wish someone would respond to my help ticket I put in 4 days ago…

@bd08037, what is your issue and I’ll escalate to our customer service team.



@bd08037, I reached out to our customer service manager and he or someone will be reaching out (if they haven’t already) to assist with your issue. Apologies for the delay, always feel free to reach out to me if your support request is not answered in a timely fashion and we will get it handled.

Thanks and have a wonderful weekend.


Still nothing. Unbelievable

Hey @bd08037 - can I have your ticket number or have you DM me the email you used to send in your request?


@bd08037, I followed up with our team, have you heard from them?