FAQ

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FAQ

Contents


General

What is the difference in between RainMachine Mini and RainMachine Touch?

Both RainMachine Mini and RainMachine Touch are equally smart devices and they are running the same EvapoTranspiration science code. The RainMachine Touch has a local interface (color touch display) that allows you to fully operate the device, no mobile application required. The RainMachine mini has a simple 3 touch buttons that only allows you to Zone UP, DOWN and Start/Stop watering. Setting Programs, Viewing Statistics, are available only though the mobile app. Both Mini and Touch use the same mobile app. Both RainMachine devices look and feel identical when accessed via the Mobile App!. In short, the only difference in between the two machines (aside number of zones) is the local display capability. Remember, you will need a phone/tablet to operate the RainMachine mini!. A phone/tablet can be used to operate the RainMachine Touch, but it is not mandatory.

Does your controller communicates via WiFi? Does it communication via any other method (other than WiFi)?

Yes, it communicates via WiFi only.

What is the power source for this device? Does it plug in?

The power source is a wall 24 VAC adapter (included). You can plug it in any 110VAC outlet.

I forgot my RainMachine password. How to reset it?

The RainMachine password is stored on the device itself. If you forgot the password there are few easy steps to reset it with a new one. Please follow this link to learn more.

Can I install RainMachine outside?

RainMachine is designed for indoor use, and it does not provide any cover. Indoor operating temperature range: 32F to 122F / 0° to 50° C. The touch screen is not waterproof. If the temperature range matches your environment and if you can protect the unit against water or moisture, you can use it outside.

Can I use RainMachine outside US ?

The device was designed to work at 110V input. A 220V->110V step down transformer might be required to adapt country specific voltages. Also, at the current moment the RainMachine can fetch only US forecast data from NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), as a result the device will not be able to save water based on forecast data. If you are planning to operate the device outside the US, please make sure you check the “Ignore weather data” option for the respective zone.

What has been done to protect the unit from EMI and nearby lightning strikes?

We are using bi-directional TVS protection on every line as well as main 24VAC input with an absorption power of 600watts. We protect against catastrophic events (such as lightning) as well as against inductive kickback from the solenoids. Furthermore, unlike other cheap sprinklers we use opto-isolators to control the valves, so if lightning strikes and the TVS cannot absorb, one line will fry, not the entire system.

My sprinkler controls are in the garage, and I live in Michigan. Will the cold 0° F temperatures here affect my display?

We tested the unit at low temperatures (self-heating and cold starts) and the unit was still working (touch screen, WIFI, everything) at -40F (which is the lower limit of our environmental chamber). So we will take a conservative approach and rate the unit -5F to + 120F.

After the initial purchase, are there any ongoing costs? If so, how is that structured?

No, there are no hidden costs, monthly fees or any other expenses involved.

Does your controller include any sensors (rain, soil, etc.), and if not, does it allow for sensors to be connected? If so, how many and which type?

The Rainmachine has several high precision environmental sensors flying above Earth in polar-orbiting and geostationary orbits. These are the best satellites in the world and are operated , maintained and owned by NOAA.gov, therefore owned by you too! :) For more info on NOAA’s hardware, please visit: http://www.noaa.gov/satellites.html That is also why we do not charge monthly fees — we feel that the data produced by NOAA should remain free, 100%. Additionally, the RainMachine will be able to access other local based IP sensors using our network API.

Does your system have a visual representation of property and irrigation zones (or allow for satellite picture)?

This is top secret, we cannot answer today. :)

Does your system have any unique capabilities which are not found on your competitors (and not mentioned above)?

Above all features, our most unique capability / advantage is that the device is not dependent on our cloud servers. You own the machine, you own the algorithms, nobody will cut or interfere with your service: Just you, the Internet and NOAA. Besides, here are some features that competitors might not have: – Considering Quantitative Precipitation Forecast, not only Probability of Precipitation – Big touch screen, improving user experience and providing local control (in case your smartphone is not available for any reason) – Local connect – if your Internet connection is down, you still can connect to your RainMachine and manage watering – Active / Inactive Programs – Active / Inactive zones – Freeze protect – Hot weather adjustments


Device

How does Rain Delay work and how many days should I enter in?

RainMachine automatically adjusts for rain events, using quantitative precipitation forecast from NOAA. It will water less if the amount of rain is light, it will skip watering, or even suspend all cycles for few days if huge amount of rain is expected for your area. Manual Rain Delay is only for your convenience, if you want to suspend all watering cycles for a number of days, regardless of weather data. You can use it for heavy rain events or when you have a problem with your irrigation system and do not want to water for a couple of days.

What is Station Delay and Cycle and Soak?

Station Delay – allows you to specify an amount of time between two consecutive zones, to accommodate specific irrigation systems that require time to fill up water tanks or build up water pressure.

Cycle & Soak – allows you to avoid water waste. Each soil type can absorb a specific amount of water in a time interval. In order to avoid runoffs, you can split the watering interval in multiple cycles, allowing a soak time between cycles.

Example 1: Instead of running Zone 3, which has compacted, clay soil, for 15 minutes, you can split that in 3 cycles (5 minutes each), allowing 30 minutes soak time between cycles. This will provide a better water absorption in the soil.

Example 2: Watering Program example: Zone 1 with 20 minutes and Zone 2 with 10 minutes with 2 cycles and 30 minutes soak time:

Cycle 1: Zone 1 – 10 min (20 min divided by 2 cycles) Zone 2 – 5 min (10 min divided by 2 cycles)

Soak: 30 minutes –> here is where the water soaks in.

Cycle 2: Zone 1 – 10 min (20 min divided by 2 cycles) Zone 2 – 5 min (10 min divided by 2)

Note: Although the water running time is only 30 minutes (Zone1 + Zone2) the total program duration is 60min due to added 30min soak time.

I would like to report an issue, how can I do that?

Please use our contact form and our support team will assist you as soon as possible. Thank you.

Does you controller have an iOS app? More specifically, do you have a native iPhone app, native iPad app, or both?

We have a native iOS app for both iPhone and iPad

Does your system consider different plant types for different zones and make watering adjustments based on that?

Yes.

Does your system consider seasonal weather trends for the particular location?

Yes our RainMachine devices consider seasonal weather trends for the particular location (rain, wind, temp, humidity, etc.) and make watering adjustments based on that and it gets even better: should data not be present (let’s say your router is down), we look at averaged (meteorological certified) historical data for your location. This data is stored on your local flash memory.

What weather data source(s) does your system use?

NOAA. To be more precise: National Weather Service, for more information http://www.weather.gov/ We have several more data sources we are working on, more information will be available soon!

Can your system take input from on-site weather station such as the Davis Vantage Pro?

The easiest way is to have your station integrated with Weather Underground and enable this parser on RainMachine setting your station name on Custom Station field. Alternatively if your station can be accessed directly from local network and you prefer not to rely on internet you can use the PWS parser.


Mobile Apps

Zone Setup

Can your controller be set to "not water" in this scenario?

1) has rained in the last x hours/days,
2) is currently raining,
3) is forecasted to rain in the next x hours/days?
What method does your controller use to determine if it has:
1) rained in the past,
2) is currently raining,
3) is forecaster to rain the future?
The RainMachine is a forecast sprinkler controller. The rain events in the last few hours were already considered in the last forecast.
The current and future rain amounts would be considered in the most recent weather forecasts. So, the answer is yes, yes and yes.

Does your system consider different soil types and make watering adjustments based on that?

Yes, it does, indirectly. You set up your Base Watering Amount, and that include your own experience in your soil type. Then, the RainMachine adjust your base watering amount according to weather data.

Does your system allow setting different flow rates per zone and/or nozzle?

We cannot compute flow rate because we are not reading PSI information. Our future API will permit various readings from various sensors.


Programs/Schedules

My area requires specific days of watering, i.e.: Wed, Fri, Sun only. Can RainMachine accommodate that type of schedule?

RainMachine provides high flexibility on scheduling watering cycles. You can select specific days of the week, water daily or every 2-14 days, odd or even days. It also provides seasonal adjustments and protection for extreme weather conditions.

What is going on when my RainMachine Touch HD shows 0% in the middle home screen (after a rain)?

'I assume it will not water that day. However, it waters roughly 50% of the values I have set.'
The home screen is a reference for Daily Water Need. If if you have programs that run every 2 days or more, watering might occur even during days with rain due to the fact that programs calculate water need for multiple days. NOTE: If rain amount is large, your programs that run every 2 or 3 days will probably show 0% as well.

Does your system provide reports/screen which show historical water usage?

Yes, we provide 5 day, 30 day and 1 year stats. They are very intuitive and they can give you information at a glance (easy to read and understand). Our website has a variety of screen shots.


Integrations

Will RainMachine work with my existing sprinkler timer?

RainMachine will completely replace your existing sprinkler controller on most existing installations. Please be sure your valves are rated 24VAC, 600 mA or less.

Is your controller integrated with any home automation systems? If so, which ones?

We will release a public API soon, that will allow integration with any home automation platform.

Is your controller compatible to replace a Hunter Pro-C?

Yes. It can replace most of the irrigation controllers available in the market today.


Tips & Troubleshooting

Is the controller capable of firmware updates and can that be done by the user?

Yes, it does.

How frequently do you release firmware updates for your controller?

Several times per year as needed to introduce new features, new devices or fix bugs.

When was your controller first released to the market?

Our first RainMachine was released in mid 2013.

Does your system send notifications? If so, what method (text, email, other)?

We have on-screen notifications when mobile application is started. Text notifications are planned only for ‘system down’ scenarios.

Does your system allow for different nozzle types?

Yes, it does, indirectly. You set up your Base Watering Amount, and that includes your own experience in precipitation rate for your area. Then, the RainMachine adjust your base watering amount according to weather data.