I live in Plano (suburb north of Dallas). I’m on full flex - automatic everything.
I demonstrated the Rachio all day this past Saturday as one of the 5 subjects I covered to visitors at my residence for the annual Dallas - Fort Worth Solar (and sustainability subjects) Tour of Homes ( http://dfwsolartour.org ). I used Rachio’s advertising when demonstrating it: “WiFi connected, real time weather station controlled landscape watering system. Anticipates weather forecasts. Uses proven irrigation science, actual yard details, and advanced watering algorithms to create and continually adjust accurate schedules. Includes Internet browser, smart iphone and tablet interfaces. EPA Water Sense Certified.”
With these statements my expectation is that in the Winter, my watering will go to near zero, automatically, without any setting changes by me. And that if it’s below freezing, it’s not going to water at all.
If the watering doesn’t go to near zero, then the Rachio (in flex schedule mode) is not performing to it’s advertised billing.
To see if the Rachio is indeed ‘the real deal,’ I have it integrated into my monitoring system. I get various Web available charts of my of my water usage, viewable by anyone. One of the charts is here: http://www.welserver.com/perl/plot/WEL0343/Sprinkler2.png .
Here you see that my water usage was in fact no different in Sep. than it was in July - both months right at about 15 hours of watering. (I don’t have conversion to gallons implemented yet.) This was initially a disappointment, especially when I looked at the temperature for the two months: http://www.welserver.com/perl/plot/WEL0343/DD2.png . Here you see that degree days for Sep. was 480 as compared to Aug.'s 610.
So if it wasn’t as hot in Sep compared to Aug., why no change in water usage? My guess is, for now, that the Rachio is just fine, and that it’s due to less rain in Sep. than in Aug. If the Rachio is doing it’s job, then watering should be dependent on a number of things, including outside temperature and precipitation.
If I look at monthly recorded rainfall for my City ( http://www.planoweather.com/wxrainsummary.php ), I see that Sep. rainfall was about the same as Aug (about 4.7"). But, this is for the whole city, not where I am, so indeed it’s possible I’ve had less rain this month. And if so, it would make sense that water usage was about the same, Aug. to Sep. It became slightly cooler but there was less rain, and thus water usage was unchanged.
(I tried looking up rainfall associated with the weather station I’m using to feed my Rachio, MID_D1898, which is only 0.9 mi. away. But I couldn’t figure out how to get the monthly amounts for Aug. and Sep.
The degree chart above says temperature is going to drop a lot in Oct. Thus, I’m expecting the controller to likewise adjust automatically without any manual adjustments.