English is a terrible language.
The first time I got a push notification to my iPhone saying “Rain sensor deactivated”, I wondered why the Rachio would want to ignore the input from my rain sensor. Seriously, I thought something was wrong, and almost contacted support.
I think the best way of looking at this is to look up the word “deactivated” in a thesaurus.
All those words imply that things are being shut down or being made inactive.
The root word, “active”, has very different connotations.
Things like “operating”, “functioning”, etc.
My suggestion was to talk about the function the rain sensor is doing. “Rain sensor is wet” and “Rain sensor is dry” are my best suggestions, though I’m open for other suggestions.
(On a semi-related note, I got dinged at a software development meeting for naming a SQL table column “deprecated” instead of “inactive”, even though deprecated was technically more accurate.)