Hi McKynzee. By “manual” I generally mean run a disabled schedule such that Rachio waters a set of zones in succession, so it’s just a single click to get things going. Where I’m at we generally get plenty of rain, and irrigation shouldn’t be necessary under average conditions. However, we’ll often have summers where we have several weeks of high temp.s without rain, and both the bluegrass part of my lawn, as well as flower beds will need weekly watering. So the irrigation system is only used under these temporary conditions, and I prefer (on waking in morning) to be final arbiter of when things get water, with the help of Rachio to make that decision (based on soil moisture tracking). And fortunately, with Standby mode and an enabled Flex Daily schedule, you continue tracking the soil moisture effects of this manual watering while still allowing me to be the one to initiate it. (You’re just not showing me the results of this tracking up front.)
Another example is where I have a flower bed that is occasionally watered via a split (Y) in the tubing from one of the lawn zone valves. In this case, after directing flow to the flower bed, I tell Rachio to water that zone using a terminal in the controller devoted to it (i.e., more than one terminal can be used with the same valve if you’re willing to direct flows and water manually), and Rachio thereby tracks moisture in the flower bed too, since it views it as a separate zone.
You could even have Rachio track soil moisture in zones that it sends no water to (i.e., no wiring or valve connection), as long as you turn the zone on and off (i.e., use Rachio as a timer) when manually watering at a known flow rate. (Even simpler would be if we could tell Rachio how much water was applied to such an unconnected zone, expanding on the “fill” and “empty” function.)
So the general idea is that you have all this intelligence built into Rachio for monitoring soil moisture and predicting when irrigation is warranted, but have unnecessarily buried the results of this feature when in Standby mode.
Fixing this would probably also be helpful for beginners who don’t yet trust the system, and who would prefer to see projections that they can trigger manually, rather than immediately giving up control of all aspects of watering to Rachio. That’s certainly what I would be inclined to do while initially fine tuning the system.