What is the relationship between "Water Skip", rain sensor and weather station?

Installed Rachio Gen 2. Also installed and wired and tested a Hunter Wireless Rain-Clik. Configured a govt weather station located approx 15 miles from my home - nothing closer.

Regrettably, there are times when it may be raining cats and dogs over there, but over here it’s dryer than a desert.

Which is exactly what happened last night - it rained over there (0.37), but it was bone dry over here. And being as it is Rachio was using the default values - it skipped watering.

So my question is - what is the relationship, if any, between the data the Rachio gets from the weather station AND the rain sensor? If the weather station is “ok, it rained” but the rain sensor says “no rain here !” - which one takes precedence ?

I’ve found no way to disable the weather station on the web interface - or a setting that says “local rain sensor takes precedence over weather station report”.

Weather Precipitation data can stop a watering cycle and so can the wireless rain sensor. I think it works like this:

if (weatherStationPrecipitation OR localRainSensorActive)
then skip water cycle.

The local sensor helps for the scenario where you have rain at the house but not at the station 15 miles away. But not vice versa. 15 miles is a significant distance, you might want to find a closer weather station or disable this feature.

If that is indeed the logic, it is a pretty poor logic - and needs to be fixed. There’s two inputs - WS (Weather Station) and LS (Local Sensor). True (T) means “reporting rain”, False (F) means “not reporting rain”, and then the outcome - so we have

WS | LS | Outcome

As you can see, the local sensor (if configured) should override whatever the weather station says - because if the Weather Station says “hey, it’s raining here !” - who cares, if the local sensor sees no rain ? Ditto if the negative - if the Weather Station says “hey, NO RAIN HERE” - do you want to water if the Local Sensor right here is telling you “Bone Dry here !”

I would like to hear from the Rachio support how this is supposed to work. And about your suggestion to change to a Weather Station closer to me - that’s the closest PUBLIC one :frowning: - and I can’t find any way to DISABLE this feature from the Web interface . . .

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I would check and see what Personal Weather Stations you have near you. Like you, my closest non-personal ones are 10-15 miles away, so I us a PWS about 2.5 miles from my house.

Once you click on a link to look at a PWS, check to see if the MADIS rating has a check and a 2 thumbs up. That’s a good sign that it will probably be OK. And take a look at much precip it’s been recording to see if it looks like it is in the ballpark for you. (I use the “FINDU” link on the page to look at that info. There may be other ways, but that works for me).

From reading the forums, I know that many of the Rachio users are using PWS’s with success.

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@Cazzorno A physical rain sensor will always disable a schedule if the rain sensor is engaged.

If we detect rain from yesterday or today that meets your precipitation threshold level set on the schedule we will skip the schedule if you have weather intelligence enabled. If you like you can disable this feature or modify the threshold. This is much more sophisticated than a physical rain sensor in that we use a blend of observations and forecasts, where a physical sensor will detect current rain and then eventually dry out. It will not obviously detect forecasted rain.

This will help explain the concepts behind rain skip.


Weather data takes precidence. The rain sensor is merely a shutoff device.