I just received my 3 16 zone gen3. I am hoping over time that I will be able to have my 3 units acting as 1 and tied to 1 flow meter. I am surprised there is not a demand for this. Looking forward to testing the units before I go live.
I’m a newbie deciding between purchasing 2 rachio gen3 16 zones, versus 1 Hunter HC with 2 expansion modules (for a total of 36 zones). I currently have 30 zones on 3 acres, using 4 independent dumb controllers. Trying to avoid conflicts between zones feel like a full time job.
I’m not concerned with the purchase price between these two options, since I figure it will cost me one way or another. I’m also not concerned with the Hunter limits on weather accuracy, since I live within 1/2 mile of an airport, and regardless I assume I can manage weather changes manually if needed.
I would love to jump onto the rachio bandwagon, since it appears that it is the type of company I would like to support, and customers appear happy.
But, my biggest concern is being able to “really” handle all zones in one system, which Hunter HC does, and rachio does not. I see in this thread that this is something rachio is working on for some future date, but I don’t understand if this will require hardware change, or just software.
Do I invest in current rachio hardware, knowing that at some point there will be the software solution many are looking for? Or when the improvements are finally rolled out, will I need to dump my investment for new rachio hardware? Are the bells and whistles of the rachio software so good as to warrant me not simply going with HC?
Any suggestions are welcomed !
@trustedlawyer - I have no experience with Hunter, but Rachio has worked well for me and the company has been very responsive to feature requests and the icing on the cake is this community where there is a wealth of information from folks that aren’t employed by Rachio. I don’t know what the water cost is for your installation (i.e. city water at $/gallon or well water paying for pump and maintenance, etc.), but I think the two Rachio units would pay for themselves over four independent dumb controllers.
Without more information about the setup (e.g. watering restrictions, water supply capacity (i.e. can two zones be run at one time), water pressure, head type (rotor vs spray vs drip), etc.) it would be hard to make any recommendations. One option would be to set controller one to a Flex schedule with Monday, Wednesday and Friday allowed for watering and the set controller two to a Flex schedule with Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday allowed for watering. That way there shouldn’t ever be two zones running at the same time.
Thanks @DLane. It is what appears to be the company culture, and the community input, that makes we want to join in.
My usage - I’m on a multi-family well system, so cost of water is negligible. I have no watering restrictions. I would not be able to run more than 1 zone at a time due to pressure. My head types are a wide mix… from long distance impulse for pastures, to rotors for large lawns, down to drips and small spray heads for herbs and vegetables.
If/when the fix of having multiple Rachio units work as one true systems comes to fruition - is that going to be a hardware change, or software only?
@trustedlawyer - I have no insight into Rachio’s plans on this request. I could see it being either. In the mean time, the best option with no watering restrictions is to have each controller allowed to water on days that don’t overlap.
Boy…depending on what your zones are, and what type of emitters you have, your system would struggle to find time to run all zones of they all 36 worked as one…I promise you, your Rachio run times will probably be longer than you are used to, but rest assured, it’s the correct way to water…
Even with my 16 zone, my zones fight over time when both grass and drip needs to run in a day. I have a second 8 zone that runs independently, but I can run multiple zones on my supply line without issues…
This thread is sad. Literal years have gone by and support for multiple controllers (programmatic merge of schedules) continues to go undeveloped. I can’t upgrade to the gen3 controllers because the wireless flow meter won’t function with more than one controller.
- Does Rachio have an update on this?
- Have any of you found a better product that will allow multiple controllers to merge?
With increasing heat in the S.W. this season, managing my Rachio system becomes more and more annoying as each new feature is either incompatible (new flow meter) or unreliable without consideration of the other controllers (“intelligent” features don’t know whether the other controllers are running and so can’t be used as they cause overlap). Desert irrigation requites precise pressure tuning and that is why we typically don’t want to see multiple zones running at once.
Thanks @DLane, I missed that one.
I am a programmer, work with programmers. The significant and primary reason that this would be complex is due to the stated, “more sophisticated weather intelligence features across schedules”.
What about allowing multiple controller merge only with Fixed Schedules? That is what most of us with multiple controllers are using anyway. Grey-out the “intelligent” features with a caveat that explains the feature is not available for multiple controllers once merged. Schedule data is stored on the controller itself. The iOS/Android/Web interfaces are talking to the controllers and affecting changes to databases anyway. I don’t need a dB in the cloud (would be nice of course as then you could implement intelligent features), just simple coordination of timing across controllers with Fixed Schedules. Let the app check for busy true/false for the desired start/stop time and if the app sees a conflict, warn the user. if the user persists and is okay with two zones overlapping, notate it in the app and display the warning.
Hunter’s Hydrawise already allows up to 36 stations. On July 10 they are rolling out expansion to 54 stations on larger station capacity models. But I hate the Hydrawise product. Basically a regular controller with percentage adjustments.
You are asking for things that are currently available only with sophisticated commercial equipment or low-end smart controllers like Hunter’s smart controller line with Hydrawise. Rachio is a residential controller and the majority of residential systems are 6-8 stations. Examples of fine large products are Irritrol Rainmaster Eagle plus and Hydropoint WeatherTrak ETPro. The price: $2,000 or more. Schools, parks and large commercial landscapes are suited to these products.
I install a bunch of sprinklers down here in South Texas, 99% on water wells where we have to make a lot more zones most of the time. I have a lot of my customers switched over to the Rachio and have them all on my phone which is amazing…until recently I have ran into the no more than 16 zone problem and now after reading this I am really worried. I know I have several customers that will be over 16 zones one day, and my current personal house is maxed out at 16 zones. I do not want to deal with two separate controllers that are not linked in some way. I do not care if I have to buy expansion boards or another controller, but it does need to be implemented soon. There has been so many smart controllers coming out and they all do 16+ zones.
I added a drip line to my house around my slab before I realized that my controller is maxed out…so I am buying a Hunter node to remedy, which I do not want to do, but I have no other options really.
I think I am going to try the OpenSprinkler, up to 72 zones!! Even in Texas the TCEQ requires that we still install a manual rain sensor on the Rachio controller, so even if the OpenSprinkler smart feature isn’t is good, at least I do not have to have the complexity.
Hopefully Rachio fixes this…I have been die hard Rachio…until now.
So, I’ve read this entire thread… 3 years. What I see from Rachio is a series of non answers, vague implications of a fix, etc… stringing along customers begging for a fix. How about honesty. What ya’all are asking for us not coming anytime soon. Period. I love the controller in my condo with 6 zones and I will stay with it. What I need is a solution for a large yard with 22 zones. I don’t care if I need to link two zones within the app, or if I need a unit with 24 zone capability… just one or the other.
I’ve quit holding my breath. The Hydrawise controller will do what I need today. May not have all the trick features, but I can control all zones.
Our CTO, Franz, made an official statement regarding this in June. See below:
Read the statement from Franz. Since this is not currently possible with Rachio, there are a couple of options. I believe Hunter is introducing the ICC2 controller with Hydrawise, but you need Wifi. And I believe with Rain Bird’s ESP4ME modular controller with Lnkwifi module you can go up to 22 stations. But it is Rain Bird. Neither brands have the capabilities of Rachio. I hope this helps. Another great option is Irritrol Rain Master Eagle Plus with ZipET, but you are talking $$$.
I just got the Gen 3 system installed and ran into the same problem with 2 zones. Even the installer thought this was possible and why went with this verses the Hunter.
It’s a shame the software won’t be modified to access across multiple controllers. It really does have a nice interface.
Please let me know how to get a refund.
I think I am appalled - Over the past 2 years I have had multiple conversations with Franz, he always acknowledged the need and desire to make this work and even explained to me what new framework Rachio was going to to enable the features that are needed. In fact I ran into one of your programmers in Frankfurt Airport one day about 18 months ago and we discussed it there to for a moment.
We have a number of programmers on our staff in the USA, Canada and Germany who work with far more complicated database structures that are real time functions and cloud based in Linux on a daily basis. I get the “commercial viability of a feature” has to match the resources it requires to create the backend, and I realize there are many people who would never have a need for more than 16 (OH MY!!!) stations. But the specific reason I chose rachio was the planned inclusion of building out the systems to manage larger projects.
Perhaps I will put someone on this. What ever happened to the API that was discussed.
Plus one more who would like to integrate more than 16 zones into one controller. I do not own a second Rachio and I’m not sure I will for my next 8 plus zones.
With 35 zones( 3 controllers) you must be on a fixed schedules and not on flex schedules. I have 30 zones ( 3 controllers) and tried flex schedules and got zones conflicting ( reduce water pressure) with one another so I was forced to go back to fixed schedules. I would be interested to know if you are on fixed or flex schedules.
I live in Southern California so very minimal rain.
Right now Rachio’s target market is residential, with 16 stations or less. Until they come out with a controller with a higher station count, you are stuck with multiple controllers. Or you can buy a competitive product like Hunter’s HCC that can go up to 54 stations. But that product’s software DOES NOT allow input for zone info like soil type, plant type, sprinkler type, sun exposure or slope. This makes it an inferior product to Rachio.