Not ready for Prime Time

I thought the Rachio might be a good upgrade to my current intelligent controller . . . since it is not cloud based and had no iOS app. I loved my old controller and it saved me thousands of dollars in water cost, but it just wasn’t as user friendly as a cloud based unit. In the last two days I have spoken to Rachio support no less than 4 times. I have identified several major shortcomings with the Rachio software/device and I think it is going back to Home Depot in the AM.

First, and most troubling is the telephone support. Of the four calls I made to support, on three of the calls, I knew more about the software and hardware from reading the support articles than the agent I was speaking to did. They just didn’t have the answers and made absolutely no effort to get the answers. Two of my questions were answered completely incorrectly (will manual watering work when a rain sensor is “active/on” and when using a flex schedule, can watering be forced daily). If telephone support was outsourced to a 3rd party, that would be one thing, but each time I called I was told they were Rachio employees. Don’t get me wrong, these were very nice folks and very apologetic when they didn’t know the answer… but it was like “oh well…” and they moved on.

Second problem has to do with flex versus fixed watering. I need my zones watered daily. Although every zone is sod, all but one zone also have flower beds, and they need watering daily. Even with watering daily, I still want the savings of customizing zone times based on temperature, humidity, etc. (my old controller can do this and it saved me between 12% and 17% in water volume). Evidently, a flex schedule cannot have days of week selected (even though the app allows it) and a fixed schedule will not adjust watering times based on temp/humidity. At least that is what I was just told by telephone support.
Based on this information, I might as well go back to my old mechanical controller and save the $200 investment!

Lastly, as an IT professional, I have a very hard time with unilateral firmware updates without first proactively giving the consumer the option of accepting an update, or, at the very least, explaining what they will change/do… again, first. Rachio pushes updates silently. In addition, there is no way to display the current firmware version on the device or any other pertinent diagnostic information.

I guess I could be misinformed about what the rachio will or won’t do, but that gets back to the lack of meaningful telephone support. I am just not ready to risk $200 and not know for sure. There are plenty of other acceptable solutions out there… sorry.

Mr. Disappointed

@charlieo, thank you for the post and comments. I’m reviewing your support ticket and will be giving you a call shortly to discuss. I’ll add detailed comments to your concerns following our call.

Thanks, Emil

Excellent… However … You will need to do quite a bit of searching… I don’t remember ever being asked for a user ID, name or device ID, etc. That includes today.

I hope they track by caller ID…


I too am an IT professional (retired) so I visited this forum and the website support link before purchasing my Iro. I thought all of us professionals did that sort of research.

I really do not know why the support techs did not know the answers to some of your questions, but the answers to the two above understandings are readily available on the site.

Quick response:

Flex schedules are designed to pick watering days based on various parameters, so daily is pretty much contrary to their intend.

Fixed schedules have settings to allow weather related watering time adjustments. These are typically forecast and applied weekly. (For flex schedules that is what causes the frequency variation.)

Thanks @sbillard.

@charlieo sorry for the miscommunication, will make sure our tech support is better informed. These features are relatively new (flex) so there might be a misunderstanding. That will be corrected.

Flex you can set any day you like, but the more the better so we have more options.

Fixed has a virtual rain senor (weather intelligence) as well as weekly water budgeting based on weather. It picks durations based on current weather then adjusts every week. I will be moving those to more traditional seasonal adjusting (set for July, back off, then adjust monthly till hit high point the next back off again in a later release).

I’m the CTO so if you have any more technical questions feel free to PM or email directly. If sure @emil can help get you up and running as well.


sbillard, very funny. Thanks for the advice. Let’s try and not make this forum too personal. Your answers are not quite accurate, but I do appreciate the thought.

I just got off the phone with Emil. Extremely knowledgeable of all things Rachio. More to follow as I continue to test and evaluate.