New here. Not sure if has been discussed before, but as a service technician it would be nice to run a manual start of each zone and not have to have the app or access to the homeowners phone to run the zones to check them. Controller should have a button to click through each zone individually to check for coverage and leaks. This is standard on all traditional controllers.
Hi @scottm, good evening. Welcome, and thanks for joining us.
We currently have the feature Shared Access for service techs to utilize – this does require them to download the app and create their own Rachio app, but otherwise they are good to go assuming their phone has access to the internet.
If this isn’t an option for the service tech, all service techs with any experience know how to manually start a zone without the need to access the controller via the valve boxes in the ground. Many of us [myself included] had to resort to this before the Iro existed as we didn’t have access to the garage or basement where the controller was installed. I would have killed to have Iros on my properties! It would have saved my business countless re-scheduled service calls.
Obviously I’m bias…open to your feedback and thoughts.
Thank you for your response. As a service technician for 20 years, I am not about to go to each valve box and open each zone manually. Some of our accounts have 20+ zones and opening valve boxes that have either been buried or hidden in landscape beds does not add up to time saved. I like the idea of your product, I would like to see the controller also as a standalone, where you have function at the controller and at your phone, then the service technician does not have to download app and get permission from the homeowner. This also only allows us as a company to send the same technician each time to the Rachio accounts, unless the homeowner is there for every new technician to get access through email or borrow the homeowners phone. I’m looking at this from a technician view on your product and moving forward, you should look at this as an option on your controller.
Hi @scottm, thanks for your feedback. I understand your perspective. I want to provide some additional feedback:
This is a common assumption to make, but if the service company sets up one master “admin” account, then they could share the credentials of the account to their team and anyone could have access to all of the Iros they manage without ever needing to bug the home owner for access. If you consider the scheduling and admin time required to coordinate service calls, this savings really adds up!
Do you see any added value to moving the controller’s interface from the controller to the app?
@Emil - You could offer a cheap Android tablet as an option that people could velcro to the front of the device. They sell for under $40 on Amazon but I bet you guys could get them cheaper in bulk.
Please see this thread - Shared Access Use & Requirements
I discussed my use case and view of the shared access function and intention as it is now. There is also input from Emil and Franz. Let me know here if you agree with my comments and request for functionality.
As a service technician…No! As a homeowner that wants to use newer technology to control there home/irrigation system, then…Yes. I have thought about how this product benefits the homeowner and with most controllers, you set it up and let it water, homeowner turns it off when you don’t want it to water. Using weather stations for your app is a good idea. It can control how much water is getting put down and interact with the current conditions.
As a landscaper/site manager that uses it to control there customers properties…Yes, this might be useful.
I just feel you need to add a service function for maintenance on the system. I’m just not all for digging out my phone to work on irrigation.
Thanks for listening-
I’m “old school” when it comes to irrigation controllers. I like the newer technology and am all for it. My feeling is that if the homeowner chooses to use this product, he chose it because he wanted to control the irrigation from his phone/ipad, not the contractor.
@scottm - yes, I chose the product because I want more control of the irrigation of my property and the benefits that come with it. However, I also choose not to do the break / fix maintenance. I choose to use my irrigation company for that. As such, I need to provide them with appropriate access that minimizes impact to them and their business model. The current solution from Rachio requires a download of their controller app. I don’t think that is acceptable for you or those who work for you.
Rachio had a solution in place from November '14 until April of this year. It only required the service company to have a mobile phone with a data connection. The homeowner provide credentials in advance and the service tech only needed to click a link and browse to my controller. They then had the ability to turn zones on and off as they needed.
For me and my service company, this was ideal. Anything more technical or requiring you to install a dedicated app is a non-starter. The only time this would be different is when these sort of cloud base devices reach the masses and irrigation installers / maintenance companies were installing and maintaining these as commonly as the current controllers that are out there. That will take some time.