RACHIO on a well...is it worth it?


Let me explain my current set up and then ask the question.

Hunter I-CORE controller with 23 zones used.
Rain sensor is installed
Installer told me zones are about 12-15 GPM (three rotors per zone) but maybe he meant per rotor and not zone. We get great coverage with the set up right now.
Well only produces 4 GPM but we have a 2500 gallon storage tank to compensate for that
System creates continuous pressure at 70 PSI

Complete transparency…I’m of fan of most anything that is “smart” which is why I’m looking at this product. Since we are now on a well, city water cost is no longer an issue. The question I have is whether or not putting two RACHIO 3 with isolation controllers for each is worth it or just hang with the Hunter I-CORE. Not knowing how much to water as the seasons change in Texas is the main headache with Hunter.

Thanks for your advice in advance.

I know Rachio wont like this, but you have several options.

  1. Install a Hunter HCC2400 with Hydrawise smart software. It’s not that bright when it comes to smart controllers because it only does a percentage daily adjustment based on weather data from the closest airport station)
  2. Wait until Hydro-Rain comes out with their commercial grade controller with high station capacity during 2020. It uses the BHYVE software and I really like their app. it uses the same type scheduling (plant type, soil type, sun exposure, sprinkler type, and slope- plus you can enter the number of heads).
  3. Buy a Rain Bird ESP controller that maxes out at 22 stations. Their smart software is slightly better than Hunter, but you will need to do away with one zone. You will need the LNKWIfi module.

Maybe I am wrong but I do not see Rachio having a larger capacity controller.
No, I do not think it is a good idea to hang two controllers.

Thanks for the honest response. I’ll dig into the Hydro-Rain option a little more.

I agree with @robertokc , however If it was my own or a clients system I would take a step forward to upgrade my existing Hunter I- core first.

Your concern is seasonal change, so if you do not have already I would most definitely install the “Solar Sync ET sensor”

I would also get a ROAM remote as well.

These upgrades should give you both seasonal and Et daily run time adjustments that your looking for!

Best to you!


In Hunter’s product offering, only the Proc-400 and ICC2 have upgrade panels. Hunter has plans to sunset the ICore controller. So if you want to stay with Hunter, you need to buy the HCC2400 (same as ICC2, but with built-in Hydrawise). Hunter has just announced they are revamping their basic residential XCORE controller to go after the builder market. One can add the XWAND part to make it Wifi compatible with Hydrawise.

I’m not married to Hunter…just what the irrigation crew used on the install. I’m open to anything that takes more of the guesswork out of it. Having St Augustine on sandy loam in Texas with trees is proving to be a little more of a challenge than Bermuda on clay and no trees :slight_smile:

St. Augustine is a great lawn choice if you live in a high rainfall area of Texas. It is the best Texas grass for shade, too l. When I lived in Austin, my St. Augustine died because watering restrictions were too tough. Texas Cooperative Extension has a great deal of information on lawn irrigation. In Houston, St. Augustine is everywhere

You don’t “need” to buy anything except a solar sync, unless you want to go to WiFi

The “smart feature” then is the same or better than “Flex Monthly” since it has onsite solar and weather data. Rachio does not have. :cry:

This is the best cost effective approach to achieve smarter irrigation with the equipment currently owned. It also, answers the question and need, it’s a $150 dollar investment to get this weather intelligence on the existing equipment versus another $600 dollar investment plus installation to change it all out.