The Rainmachine irrigation controller is a WaterSense-certified system that can adjust your irrigation system watering daily as the weather changes.
The Rainmachine is easy to install and has an Easy Installation Guide. This unit is designed for indoor installation only. If you have an outdoor controller, the web site offers a solution by purchasing a third-party weatherproof case and installing the controller into the case. I do not recommend this solution as it is clunky and awkward.
Programming is done by using the Touch-Screen interface on the controller. In order to setup this controller, you have to program Start times, Run Days, Run Times, and other details. Essentially you are using this just like any regular controller, so you have to know your yard and plants and know what their water needs are. You generally will program it for the average hottest day of the year.
There is a feature that is turned off by default: Settings>Weather>Hi/Lo Temps>Extra Watering For Hot Days. I recommend you turn this on. It should be on by default, in my opinion. This will add water on those occasional heat waves.
Of course, you can control this unit from your phone and from any computer using an internet browser. Be sure your Wi-Fi signal is really strong wherever you place the controller.
Daily, the controller will gather weather data for your area, and adjust watering times for the type of weather. It will even turn off the controller if there is rain in your area. Keep in mind, it is only as good as the closest weather station. Check to see what your closest station is. You cannot add an outdoor sensor to this model so you are reliant on the local weather station to shut off your controller automatically if rain is forecasted.
Basically, this controller is really just a water budget manager. You have to tell it what the proper Run Times are for each zone in your system; all it does is adjust that number from 100%, down as needed to reduce water usage during cooler days.
I have had several errors with the controller at startup and during run. I believe the system is based on open-source Linux, which makes it adaptable and connects to IFTTT systems (Smart House and Life Management Systems). Tech support has been good and responsive, but have not solved my errors yet. Fortunately, I just remove power for one minute and the controller runs fine again for a week or so. So far, the errors have not stopped my controller from actually watering and doing its job.
Overall, this is the latest in a new generation of Internet-Enabled home management systems and Wi-Fi Irrigation Controllers. If you are looking for a Touch-Screen controller with all the latest bleeding-edge technology, integrating with IFTTT systems and features at a premium price, this is for you.
Easy to Install, Functionality, touch-screen, ifttt enabled, water-sense, weather-based
software needs updating