Thoughts from a new user

Hi, Here’s a collection of thoughts, ideas, impressions, etc. from a new user. I installed my 16-zone Rachio last Friday. My system wiring is a bit complex but other than that I think I have a fairly normal install.

  1. I purchased the Rachio for ease of adjustment and the promise of the Flex Daily schedule. So far the easy of programming, playing, testing, etc. is awesome! The Flex daily schedule is clearly going to take some faith and time to demonstrate its benefits but I’m optimistic that if I can get the soil setup correctly it will work well. I’m a bit surprised there’s not more of a user heuristics based “knob” for tweaking schedules without tweaking the properties of the lawn (i.e., a “this zone needs more water” button). Maybe the desire to convert “more water” to a reason that more water is needed creates an undesirable one-to-many-mapping and/or misleading data that is sub-optimal in the long run?

  2. Initially, I was a bit concerned that the Flex Daily schedule wanted to water for 9 hours. Then I realized that the initial assumption made by the Rachio was a soil moisture level of 0%.

  3. It would be nice if a new setup asked if the grass was new or existing and, if existing, allowed the user to set a default moisture level for all zones. It would also be nice to have more resolution than 0% or 100% when setting the initial moisture level.

  4. The Weather Intelligence Plus Weather Network doesn’t seem to be working all that well. On 07/05 we received at least 0.8 inches of rain, but the power went off as the rain started so many non-professional weather stations didn’t report data. However, the ones that I could find within a few miles of my house that was reporting all showed 0.8 inches or more. Weather Intelligence Plus shows 0.03 which is a big difference. Does the Weather Network algorithm ignore stations that have not been reporting for a while since they are misleading sources of data that need history for accuracy?

  5. Similarly, I had 0.21 inches of rain in my backyard last night but Weather Intelligence Plus shows 0.14 inches. 0.07 inches isn’t a huge deal, but with a weather station in that network that is directly in my backyard, I would expect it to be more accurate. I was initially inclined to use the Weather Network number for events like the 07/05 power outage but am leaning towards using my own weather station as it was more accurate in both cases.

Here’s a screenshot of the Weather Network Data for Weather Intelligence Plus

  1. I completely agree with the request to make precipitation history easier to find. It’s great that it’s there but if users can’t find it without looking at the forum then the value of the time spent programming it is diminished…

  2. I’ve read the support pages a few times and don’t understand the difference between having the M Terminal set to master valve vs. pump/well relay? Sorry if I missed something obvious…

  1. I have a shallow well that refills quickly. Is there a way to tweak the settings for delays between run times such that I get the recommended amount of water between sunset and sunrise but the controller also maximizes the amount of “off” time? The Cycle and Soak settings don’t seem to support that as they let me control the max run time and delay but the runs are all consecutive. This may all be a moot point for Flex Daily as it seems like it wants to run for very long times less frequently when compared with my previous setup that had more regular, shorter run times.


Thank you for this collection, very helpful!

We are currently researching ways to do this. Agree there are simpler approaches.

The WI+ interpolated data seems to do better in some areas and is a bit off in others. I usually recommend choosing a close-by PWS if you find one that seems to be reliable. A PWS will always be more accurate and timely, since interpolated data can take a few hours to retrieve. If the PWS does stop reporting we actually fall back to using interpolated data.

Agree more data transparency would help answers questions.

Not without a lot of wrangling. Possibly by setting up a manual cycle/soak and using the soaking to get your delays. Would have to know exactly what you are looking for.

This is probably more “true” and you are correct could make the other wrangling moot.

Thanks again for the feedback, welcome to the community, I will make sure our product team receives this.


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Hi Franz,

Thank you for your reply! Your posts on the community and encouragement of customer feedback are a large part of why I posted. I hope I didn’t come across as so much of a pain. My goal was really to be helpful and write down some first impressions before I forgot them.

Thanks again,


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No, never. We love any and all feedback. Especially thoughtful feedback which was provided!