No precipitation info on soil mosture

Hi Everyone,

I have my Rachio 3 recently installed, with a Flex Daily Schedule. However, I think there is some problem with the weather data gathered from a nearby wunderground station. If I look at that station’s history on the wunderground website, it correctly states that last sunday there was some rain. However, when I look at Zone Soil Moisture detailed info in the Rachio app, it says that there was no precipitation on that day.

Here are two screenshots, one from the Rachio app, another one from the wunderground site.

On several occasions a PWS I was using just stopped reporting precipitation but was still connected to Weather Underground. I discovered that because my schedule ran when we had had a lot of rain. Then I had the opposite problem when a PWS across the street from me starting reporting cumulative precipitation instead of daily amounts. I noticed that my schedule was not going to run for some time and in looking at the soil moisture discovered that the PWS reported 38" of precipitation on one day.I now use Weather Intelligence Plus because I decided I don’t want to keep checking on the PWS.

I believe that I am indeed using Weather Intelligence Plus, as it is under a menu that says so that I choose which weather station I want to use for data.

@Spanish-garden based on the screenshots you provided you are using the PWS IMAJAD5 not Weather Intelligence Plus. If you were using Weather Intelligence Plus the section labelled Weather Station would be WI PLUS as shown in the screenshot below.

I think that’s because I live in Spain, and I seem to recall reading that WI PLUS only works in the US? In any case, the station I am connected to is supposedly a good one, with a PWS gold medal and I checked it’s historical data and it seems consistent and right.

Oh, I see. Sorry. But I suspect that somehow the precipitation data from IMAJAD5 is not being reported to Rachio. That has happened to me several times when I used a PWS and would explain what you have experienced. But perhaps others here will have other suggestions.

I see. Let’s see if someone from Rachio or another user has any suggestions. I did have to manually skip watering on monday, as it was set to run after a rainy sunday.


Is there another PWS in the area you can change it to for troubleshooting purposes?

There’s quite a few stations in my area. I am planning on changing and trying different ones, but I already changed to a different one this morning and I wanted to give it at least 24h.

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You can look at the history of any WU PWS and see what one seems to best match your area. From the web, a link like this will work (this one’s to my PWS):

Yes, I know. I have chosen the one which had a “gold medal” which means it has consistently proven to be accurate, but I cannot find any other proof of quality or whatever for the stations.

Here’s the Tl;DR summary of the below: Personal weather stations’ rain meters are constantly getting gummed up. You can probably count on a local TV station’s weather station having their rain meters be accurate.

However, some ‘dude’ in your neighborhood who puts up a PWS might not be saavy enough (or care) to regularly clean out the rain gauge on his PWS, so many of those stop reporting rain after several months.


Several years ago I worked for a pivot irrigation company that also sold weather stations to farmers - that weather data was integrated into the farmer’s irrigation system control.

This weather stations were de facto ‘Personal Weather stations’ that provided the usual PWS data (air temp, humidity, wind speed and direction) as well as having soil moisture sensors (typically four soil sensors at 1’, 2’, 3’ and 4’ depths).

As much as us Rachio users are dialed into our lawns and how the weather affects the sprinkler system, most farmers obsess over it as it’s their livelihood.

That said, almost all PWS systems have rain meters that measure rain amounts in one of two ways: the rain water is collected in a funnel shaped rain basin, and the bottom funnel opening is a small, precisely sized opening that drips onto either a ‘see saw’ sensor that toggles back and forth (more prevalent) or a ‘flip board’ that drops down them back up. Each of those toggle/flip actions is counted vs time by the PWS. Each of the mechanisms is calibrated so that the PWS output provides a very accurate precipitation amount and rate/ hour.

The rain meters described above are much more susceptible to ‘failure’ because of dust/dirt/debris clogging up the rain meter, preventing the counting mechanism to work. Their funnel shape collects junk in it.

All the rest of the PWS sensors are pretty durable - the temp / RH sensors rarely have issues, and the spinning wind cups for the wind speed have sealed bearings, and the spinning motion naturally clears out any debris.

The above was the advice we were telling the farmers regarding maintenance of their weather stations: every few months, go and clean out the rain meter parts, as they get gummed up most often.

My advice: Before you pick the nearest weather station for your Rachio, make sure it’s rain reporting has been accurate and consistent!!

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