Rachio use with Homeseer (Home Automation)


#1

Hello,
I use rachio with my home automation hub and the plugin developer has said that a recent change in rachio API has removed the ability to retrieve the amount of time watered by zone as well as the number of days ago that it watered it. Since then, the only information that he has been able to retrieve from rachio are how the zone is setup (Zone Type, Spray Head, Soil Type, Exposure etc). Once these are setup, I really have no use for that information on our touch screens around the house. Also, all users have lost the ability to turn off a zone via the hub.

Is there any way someone at rachio could consider working with home automation hubs better? I have multiple Echo dots around the house but I want the system “Automated” and don’t want to have to tell Alexa to turn on and off my system. Alexa is “Cool”, new and flashy, but let’s work towards “automation” not just a fancy remote control.


#2

Just me speaking here, but your “touchscreens around the house” sounds way flashier and “Cooler” than the existing Alexa/Google integrations.

Can you be specific about what kind of automation that you’re looking to do that the Rachio doesn’t do on its own? I know everyone’s results are different, but the Flex schedule on mine is damn near perfect in regards to automating the operation of the sprinklers. I can’t think of any other system that I have around my house that could give it useful input. Always interested in hearing how others would expand automation!

We’re an iOS house, so the best I could come up for HomeKit use would be for other folks in the house (who don’t have the Rachio app on their device) to be able to say “Hey Siri, pause Rachio for 15 minutes” in case the the dogs want to go outside while it’s watering the back yard. I’ve got three quadrupeds that would appreciate that. Well, two… one picks a sprinkler head and then proceeds to try and “eat” the stream of water coming from it. :slight_smile:


#3

Another HomeSeer house here. I haven’t played with the Rachio plugin in a long time. I’ll have to give it a try again.


#4

Hi Scorp, unfortunately since an update to the Rachio API the plugin developer has not been able to extract useful information from the Rachio controller. As it stands now, the only information it can pull is basic zone setup data (ex. Soil type, spray head type, slope etc). Also, all users have had issues turning off individual zones. It used to be a great integration between the two technologies, but now there is a huge disconnect. Would have loved to upgrade to the new controller Rachio just came out with but with no integration to the Homeseer automation hub…it’s a segregated device that doesn’t work well with others.


#5

I have to agree with you, I use the flex schedules as well and have been very happy with how it performs. There have been times however when the weather Rachio receives is not correct for my immediate area. I have the automation hub use weather information from other sources and evaluate if a watering should be skipped that day.
I do use the Alexa integration with Rachio but not everyone in the house understands exactly what they need to say to control Rachio. So I have touch screens around the house with easy to understand controls. However, since Rachio made some big changes to their API, all of the control I used to have from my home automation hub (Homeseer) has failed to work correctly. Ideally, I would like to have a single interface that is simple for family or guests to use and not need to figure out how to navigate several different apps or what to tell Alexa to get something done.

Tech should simplify life, not make it more complicated.

I really have enjoyed what the Rachio team has built, the device uses a lot of irrigation knowledge and makes the task simple. I hope they will consider putting some time into creating better integration with home automation hubs.


#6

Can you explain amount of time watered? Would that be the last time it ran? I need to see how difficult to add back last watered date, not something we specifically track anymore.

:cheers:


#7

Hello Franz,
I believe the values used to be the Zoneruntime and Maxruntime. For the # of days ago, I’m sorry, I don’t know if we received the data ‘watered x days ago’ as a calculated value or pulled from a specific variable.

I understand that the new Rachio system no longer uses these values for its purposes, but if there is anything you can do to help provide similar data you have in the Rachio app to home automation hubs, it would be greatly appreciated. Right now consumers have several apps on their phones/tablets, one maybe several for lighting, irrigation, HVAC, security etc…etc…I believe consumers will soon get tired of having to search for the right app to control a specific thing and will eventually move towards a single app that controls/provides information on overall home status. True home “automation” is already here as demonstrated by your Rachio device, but each device is limited to the information each device has access to. To me the next step is to integrate all these automated devices into automation hubs where all sensor and device information can be shared across all devices. This will be where you can get status on everything in a home and if needed, to make changes, because let’s face it, life happens.


#8

Hello Franz,
Not sure if you have seen my reply as I didn’t quote your last post. The Homeseer user base would really appreciate if we could get our plugin working as it did before. We have really lost a lot of features since the API changes several months ago and have been patiently waiting for a resolution. I appreciate the advancements you have made for your app but the cost to the home automation community has been affected. If there is anything you can do to assist it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,


#9

I’m still unclear on the features missing. Zoneruntime and Maxruntime are just derived values used in flex daily scheduling (which are static).

Do you have the exact fields and response that are now missing data so I can see if we are able to render it?

Thanks!

:cheers:


#10

The API used to provide the following information for each zone:

  • lastWateredDate
  • lastWateredDuration

I have also noticed the following changes to the API:

  • ZoneStart with a value of 0 used to stop the zone. We now have no way to stop watering for a single zone without stopping it for all zones.
  • The weatherType is fixed at “clear-day”. Only weatherSummary is being updated.

Regards,
Ultrajones


#11

Hello Franz,

The plugin developer has replied above with the specific fields that you requested. Thank you for looking into this as it has affected a lot of users. We have been promoting your product because it had such a great integration with automation hubs, I hope we can continue that and work together to get this resolved.


#12

Hi Franz,
I am one of the Homeseer users.
When the plugin was first written some time ago it used to work perfectly with easy zone controls (manually run zone for X minutes, manually stop an individual zone) and you could easily see when a zone last ran and for how long it ran.
But for the last while the functionality has been severely crippled. We can no longer stop a single zone, only all zones at once. And there is no way of knowing when the system last watered a zone.
The soil type, slope, nozzle type etc is not really useful for the average user in our house. They just want to be able to occasional manually override the system and know when things last happened.
So I am adding my support for bringing back individual zone controls, last run date and last run duration.
Marty.


#13

@ultrajones @XCrosswordsX @Mminehan

Does this data look better? Worked hard to get this back for you. If yes, I can promote to production.

http://jsoneditoronline.org/?id=bc350b66652f44968dc750f16196d7ee

We have never supported stopping a single zone (not even in V2). The current mechanism is to just call stopWater

I have also fixed this. If the above zone data looks correct I will promote to production.

:cheers:


#14

lastWateredDuration should be a positive number. In your example, it’s negative.

“lastWateredDuration”: -4641805,
“lastWateredDate”: 1527603779000,

Once that issue is addressed, feel free to promote to production. Thank you!


#15

@ultrajones Interesting, I’ll look into that. The zones I was testing look correct but some of those zones definitely don’t look right.

:cheers:


#16

@ultrajones We don’t have permanent storage for lastWateredDuration so we need to use last watered start date and last watered end date. There are cases where the controller last watered start date is greater than the last watered end date (zone just started watering or we never received an end date for the run). In those cases I will have to return null for that value, the best we can do. I’ll promote all this today. Onto other things! :wink:

:cheers:


#17

@ultrajones Everything has been promoted.

:cheers:


#18

Thank you! All the changes are working great. :grinning:


#19

Nice!

:cheers: