Hello folks.

Forgive me if this has already been posted but I couldn’t find an exact answer to my query. So, here goes.

I will be ordering my Rachio 8 zone controller tonight. I am interested in adding either a rain sensor or weather station.

Would your recommendation be to jump in with both feet and go with a weather station and Rachio right of the gate or to start with the Rachio first and add to it later.

If you would recommend jumping in with both feet is there a community preferred weather station that offers the easiest integration with Rachio?

I apologize if this has been answered before but I am looking forward to this new journey of smart watering.


@AGossJr - welcome to the community.

Let’s split this into two parts.

  1. A local hard wired rain (and freeze) sensor can be a good failsafe to prevent watering when the climate at the Rachio is a little different (more rain or colder) than the chosen weather station. So, I’d say go ahead and get a rain, and depending on where you live a combination rain/freeze sensor.

  2. Weather station - this depends on how close an existing weather station is to the location the Rachio is installed at and how different the climate is at the installed location versus the weather station. I use a National Weather Service (NWS) weather station that is less than four miles from my house. The NWS stations are typically the best, but if a NWS station isn’t close to the installed location then one could consider a personal weather station (PWS). When choosing someone else’s PWS one runs the risk of not knowing when that station is taken off-line (e.g. moving, power outage) or how well it is sited or maintained. If you have a good site for wind fetch and rainfall at the installed location then one can put in a PWS. While most PWS report to WeatherUnderground, Rachio uses PWSweather (and CWOP) to pick up PWS stations. If the PWS that is chosen doesn’t directly interface with PWSweather @Gene has written WUFYI.COM to continuously move a station’s WeatherUnderground data and mirror it on PWSWeather - I’d recommend using the side as that is where Gene has been doing recent development. There are several community members that are waiting on WeatherFlow to get their new PWS fully out. You can find that on Indiegogo - the air and humidity part is out, the wind and rain part is in final manufacturing - so no immediate satisfaction there.

Hope this helps.


Welcome to the community, @AGossJr! The Rachio community is fortunate to have a bunch of folks on here with various fields of expertise and are willing to help.

@DLane’s quick response is indicative of the helpful people here! @Gene is a wealth of knowledge.

Fast typing, @DLane! :wink: You must not be working too hard today–like me.

@DLane Thank you for the quick response. Is was able to locate a NWS which appears to be less than 1/2 mile from my house. At least that was appears based on the forecat location for my area and coordinates.

So, based on that I am not going to pursue a PWS as I am not sure I will find anything closer. I will watch the forecast at that location the next couple of days to see how accurate it is to my observations.

@sunny Thanks for the welcome. I am looking forward to getting my Rachio all setup and being able to monitor my watering. Plus, I am hoping I won’t have to worry about the wife wanting to string me up by my toes when she sees the water bills during our Texas summers.

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@AGossJr - depending on where you live in Texas the local watering restrictions can play havoc with the Flex schedules. I’m in the Dallas area and I’m only allowed to water two days a week and can’t water from 10 AM to 6 PM. Flex would probably water every time it was allowed to water as it would probably think that the zones can’t make it to the next watering. So, I went with a Fixed schedule and turned on all the weather intelligence and skip features.

Great advice — so now I’ve enabled my PWS on PWSWeather. I noticed last night that the only climatological similar station, 28 miles away, got way more rain than I got. That station also is in a convergence zone with lots of thunderstorm activity that we don’t get. And on the other side of The Valley, 18 miles away, they also got way more rain. They also don’t get our north winds. So soil moisture levels weren’t calculated as best as could be. If my station goes nuts at least I’ll have a couple of alternatives until I fix but none of them are great.

Amazing what a difference location makes. Geography is amazing.

Thanks for the advice!