Please help me not leave for hydrawise


#1

I’ve been a user of Rachio for over 2 years now and even upgraded from Gen1 to Gen2. I’ve been impressed with the support forum and user interface. However the ability to control more than 12 zones (I have 24) and the integration of proper flow meter with alerts has evaded me for years. I have connected 2 12 zone units together but this solution doesn’t offer true integration. I’m getting weary as I wait and recently read that hydrawise offers all the solutions that I need.

Here is what I need:

  1. True integration of multiple controllers. The current solution is not much of a solution at all, and managing watering restrictions on certain days without overlap of both controllers is too complex.

  2. Proper water flow meter integration that shows real time usage per zone and alerts for over use etc. Hydrawise tells you actual gallons in a myriad of ways- per zone, per day, per week, per month, etc. Hydrawise flow meter installed, it also can send alerts to your phone when water is flowing when it is not supposed to be, or if a zone is using more water than usual - all based on ACTUAL gallons per minute flows.

Please tell me this is all part of the planned sottware upgrade. Otherwise I may have to leave for the dark side.


#2

@control4reak, thanks for reaching out. While I cannot confirm nor deny what features will be released in our next app update, we are aware of both feature requests and hope you don’t leave us for another product.

Please excuse my ignorance, but I do not believe Hydrawise currently offers this per their support site – if they do, can you please share details so I can better understand how they do?

Out of curiosity, what flow sensor are you currently using? Do you have a flow sensor installed for each controller?

We hope you’ll stay :slight_smile:


#3

One of two is doable today.

The first, accommodation of a large number of zones, is typically not available until choosing a commercial controller at a higher price point than the Rachio V2. Rachio goes out to 16. And clearly that’s it.

Those who want 17 or more want the controller to work just like it does with 16 or less. That requires some feature the V2 doesn’t offer (yet?). Like what to do when the cycle needs to go past the midnight boundary, does the hydraulics support two valves open simultaneously, etc.

The second is doable to various degrees today with add on products, connected to the wiring outside of the G2 controller.

For example I’ll get alarm notes, via text or email or both, if any of my G2 water past a user settable limit, by zone, in minutes or in hours.

The capability includes in-the-cloud charting, available for anyone to see, showing quickly what’s going on (see http://www.welserver.com/WEL0343 , bottom few charts summarizing water irrigation performance.

Best regards,

Bill


#4

Seems you have to pay $60 / year for Hydrawise to be anywhere close to Rachio. For free they will allow you to use only the nearest airport station and make schedule adjustments only one time per day.

They do seem to support multiple controllers (limit of 3 on a free plan and 5 on a $60 / year plan).


#5

Not sure what type of emitters or spray heads you are using, but if you select lower precipitation rate head, such as Rainbird replacement made by Hunter, you should be able to run more than a single valve simultaneously.

In this case, two controllers would not have to be in sync with each other.

Watering times would increase, but would still complete.

The other option is restricting the watering times of each controller to a time of day where they do not overlap. You can still have watering frequency adjusted by the controller to accomodate weather.

What is the reason specifically you are unable to have the controllers running at different times of the day, OR, more than a single valve running simultaneously?


#6

Hydrawise offers a 24 zone unit now with the ability connect additional expansion zones. I currently don’t have the necessary water pressure to run multiple zone simultaneously.

I currently have not added a flow sensor as I cannot find a way to get a single flow sensor to connect to both of the Gen 2 units. The hydrawise flow meter is fairly inexpensive at $150. I would love to have real time monitoring of water usage with ability to be alerted if water is flowing when no valve is running or if excessive water flow has been detected. I’d love it if you offered a solution to add a flow meter to my current setup using 2 control units.

I really don’t want to leave but have been waiting for the last 2 years for the team here to sort through the needed software updates hoping that my requests/needs would eventually be addressed. I’m willing to wait another season if there is hope these will be addressed soon. I think the Rachio team and product has been great, but just hasn’t yet been able to fully meet my unique needs.


#7

The 24 zone hydrawise can be had for a street price less than 2 Gen 2 units

what flow meter are you using and how do you connect it to 2 units?


#8

I looked at the hydrawise this afternoon. It looks like indeed it can have by-zone control of 24 zones (up to 36).

It also has a different business model than the Rachio. Hydrawise charges at least $60/year if you want a weather feed from anyplace other than an airport. I would think, thus, that most people will have to digest $60/year in addition to purchase price - airport data just is not local enough if you want to put your controller on full automatic mode.

So I think the summary is, for those needing more than 16 zones, there’s indeed a solution on the marketplace today. But it’s going to cost you.

I measure the amount of time each zone is on. Here’s an example ( http://www.welserver.com/perl/plot/WEL0343/Sprinkler1.png ) showing the run time of zone 10 and all zones collectively. I monitor each zone wire’s voltage and bring it into a energy monitoring unit ( http://www.welserver.com ). And I have the monitoring unit configured to produce the example chart (along with the other two sprinkler related charts).

Via manual measurements at the water meter, I do know each zone’s average GPM. Via further configuration of the monitoring unit, I could easly translate time the zone is ON to gallons used. And if I wanted to do this for all zones and aggregate for the sprinkler system. But, for me, I’m good with simply the time durations.

My monitoring unit is an Internet Appliance, and thus does issue text messages or emails or both. I have it configured to send both for any zone that’s on more than one hour total during any given day. The Rachio has been reliable to the point that I haven’t ever had a stuck valve, and thus have not ever received the alarm.

Parenthetically, I’m a little uncomfortable stringing a cable from my sprinkler controller out to a water flow measuring device near the water meter. This cable will serve as an antenna for surges coming into the Rachio. I think I’ll wait for a wireless solution that transmits the flow information to the Rachio.

Best regards,

Bill


#9

Hunter/Hydrawise has a wireless flow meter on its way from what I’ve read. It may already be out. I have the same concern. As an irrigation contractor I’d really like a flow meter option. I’m really not sure what the hold up is. I’ve installed around 50 rachio controllers so far and have one at my house but really waiting to see how this year plays out for Rachio, Hunter and now rain bird. I’d love to keep selling the rachio. I just installed another today. I like how easy it is for my clients to share their controller with me. Rainbird is really lacking here. Hunter so far has too many stipulations for number of controllers and fees and then what happens if my clients don’t keep up with their subscription. I’m a fan of keeping things simple. If you need more money for more options so be it. Charge it up front and leave out the nickel and dime fees. Rachio I really hope you are working on flow meters.


#10

I’d love someone from Rachio to chime in on the currently available flow meters and their pricing


#11

Hey @control4reak-

I apologize for the delayed response. Our currently supported flow sensors were selected because they are the most common options currently on the market, and we don’t plan on expanding this list for the 2017 watering season. As flow sensors continue to become more and more popular, I do believe there is lots of opportunity for improvement in this area! Can you give me an idea of the flow sensors you are interested in, and what price point you think is reasonable? What are the motivators that made you decide to (or want to) install a flow sensor? Just trying to get a more complete picture of the need here and what is really important when it comes to flow sensor support.

McKynzee :rachio:


#12

I need real time water usage for my 2 controllers and notification of a leak/broken head. If you are serious about water savings, thats where the real $$$$ is for a home owner. If you have ever experienced a leak or broken head the water costs add up quickly. Also getting daily water output helps to determine if I need to scale back on the auto watering schedules.


#13

@control4reak I can really see the value in notifying of leaks, or broken heads. I think often you don’t find things like that until it’s too late and you’ve already wasted so much water :disappointed_relieved: Thank you for the additional context!


#14

@Pepirri, just curious, can you share what you’ve read this?

By hold up, are you referring to flow alerts?

That’s great to hear! Have you applied to be a RachioPro?

Sounds like you’re responsible for your client’s subscription fees? If not, could you please provide more context on this comment. I’m aware of the contractor plans and homeowner plans, but wasn’t aware they were dependent on one another…