Water Bill Largest I've Ever Paid

I live in the southwest Denver, CO suburbs and I am a home owner who bought the Rachio in July 2017. I also have advised water budgets suggested by the water company to stay at or under. I try my best to adhere to these limits. The whole reason why I bought the Rachio is because I was tired of having large water bills during the summer months and I was desperate in lowering them.
Well, I received my first water bill since installing the Rachio and it is the highest I have ever paid! I am none to pleased! i am not disappointed in the way Rachio works, but I do feel a bit lost when I look at all the different things you can select to identify your zones. I do get the notifications from Rachio that scaling has been applied when we get to certain times of the year, but I usually overrides those so that I do the exact amount that my water company suggests.
While I can get the Rachio to turn on my sprinklers when I want to, I don’t understand a lot of things. Here are my questions.

  1. I noticed that it keeps the total time that I asked it to keep when you add up all of the times per zone, but it will often break it up by cutting the time in half and go through each zone twice. The total time is the same, but each zone goes on twice. How do I change that if I ever want to?
  2. I really want to trust the Rachio, but I want to know that I have input every possible feature of my lawn (soil composition, grading [flat, moderate, really steep, etc.], and any other feature. The problem is that I do not know the make up of my soil here in Denver, CO. How can I figure that on my own? Or do you have a better suggestion?
  3. I sometimes want to skip a scheduled watering time. How do I do that without disabling the schedule, i.e. how can I skip that evening watering, and trust that it will go on the next scheduled evening time without me having to do anything other than that first skip? So far I have disabled a scheduled watering session, but had to make sure that I re-enabled that schedule so that it would not skip it.
  4. My water bill was outrageous! To be fair, I cannot rule out other things as I have a household of 5. So I have my water company sending out a Tech to make sure that I do not have any other leaks. But putting that aside, for my area, my water usage was extreme. This is more than I have ever paid during the summer months for a water bill.
  5. How can I determine how many gallons of water Rachio thinks I used versus what the water company says I used. I know that the meter is what they go by, but I just want to be able to figure it out so that I can at least compare.

*I would just love as much guidance as possible as I am about 50% competent with the Rachio. I want to get to the point where I can trust it completely and not fear one day to come home and see my lawn completely burned out. Any help articles that are already out there, or advice would be greatly appreciated!

I know I asked a lot of questions, but the the large water bill has gotten my attention. BTW, I have, for the few months I have owned the Rachio, never seen any savings in terms of the gallons used.


Before you had a Rachio controller, how much and how often did you water? If you were on the low side, a switch to a smart controller can actually increase water use. I would suggest talking with Rachio and see if they can help you get to where you want to be. I am in Oklahoma and saw my July water use stay about the same, but where I really saved last year was during the fall and spring. Keep up informed what Rachio suggests.