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Irrigation solutions to replace EZFlora/Insteon


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I am the proud user of the Universal Devices ISY994i Controller for over 5 years. I am on version the latest version 4.7. I use it primarily for lighting (over 50 insteon switches and outlets), heating thermostat (insteon), and irrigation for which I used two EZFlora/Insteon (one for the front yard and one for the back yard).

Although mounted carefully on a surge protector, these EZFlora/Insteon do not have the best top reliability. I had to replace 2 over the past 5 years, and they sometime crash (red light) requiring to cycle power on them. What is worse is that EZFlora/Insteon are no longer vailable:
https://www.smarthome.com/smartenit-insteon-ezflora-8-zone-sprinkler-controller.html
https://smartenit.com/product/ezflora/

What hardware are you guys using for your irrigation?

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I moved from 2 ezfloras to the 16 zone rainmachine 3 years ago. It does great standalone, and I also integrate it with my ISY on V5 firmware using nodelink

The ISY lets me centralize notifications using pushover with all my other automation notifications. It also lets me do specialty applications like managing hotzones and use the hydreon rain sensor to delay watering after it rains enough.

I really like it. This the only HA project that has paid for itself in reduced water consumption that has cut water bills. My irrigation is 100% automated, no manual intervention, just notifications of key events. If you're thinking about V5 ISY Firmware its really worth it

Paul

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Again, Paul Bates hits the nail on the head.  RainMachine/NodeLink/ISY combination works like a champ.  I've written ISY programs to perform supplemental watering, based on a variety of conditions that I get from my WeatherFlow weather station and my CAO Wireless Tag soil moisture probes.  Additionally, the RainMachine has no cloud dependence and the software is open sourced, if that's important.

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I had the same issue with controllers eventually failing, and over the last year have switched over to Rachio, which I have found to be very dependable and reasonably robust.  In addition, the UI is much better, including a photo for each zone.

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Thanks Paul & all for all your fast replies and contributions (I had actually read Paul's posts on the topic before).

Anyway, I finally  got back into it this weekend, and found a spare EZFlora in my box of Insteon spare parts.
I reprogrammed it and I am back up and running, but will definitely not buy another EZFlora as they do not have the reliability of my other Insteon products.
So I need to be prepared when my next EZFlora fails me...

Understand that I leave in silicon valley, weather is predictable (as opposed to earthquake). Therefore, I do not need too many bells and whistles and fancy screens, and certainly do not need any artificial intelligence on weather big data for my simple silicon valley watering: from April to November is no rain, then hopefully some rain;-)

I do understand there are Rachio vs RainMachine arguments like this one:
https://www.leadsrating.com/sprinkler-controllers/sprinkler-controller-comparisons/rachio-vs-rainmachine/

We are used to operate our sprinklers by phone app (we currently use the MobiLink Pro), and we love a phone app (the question is do we need yet another app)

I thought Rachio without any screen is all I needed, as the device goes in shed in the back yard (not in the house).
However, I need 16 zones (using only 12), and in that case the RainMachine Pro-16 is actually cheaper and has the screen
https://www.rainmachine.com/products/rainmachine-pro.html

So it looks like RainMachine/NodeLink/ISY  is going to be it.

Now I play with big data beta software all day, will I dare to go with V5 ISY Firmware now, I am tempted...
Is there an exact new feature list and screen shots somewhere?

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I've had the HD 16 for 3 seasons. I use the RM app and its nice. The zones show up as devices on the ISY, but I don't know that any mobile apps are controlling v5 nodeserver nodes at this time. James Peterson is considering it for Agave, but its not there yet and a daunting task.

I just used the RM app to blow out for the fall, and do the reverse in the spring to make sure the zones are all working. You can use alexa to run zones and programs too. But I rarely manually run RM programs; only when I'm putting down grub control, etc. The RM, with some help from the ISY, takes care of everything on its own.

It looks like the Pro 16 is easier to wire than the HD 16. I have complex irrigation system wiring and had to buy a work box and terminals to install the HD.

Going with v5: Are you all Insteon? I've been on V5 for 3 years and have selectively upgraded to new sub versions when its something I need. If you decide to upgrade, save your V4 backup so you can go back if you want.

Paul

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Thanks Paul. Yes, I am pretty much all Insteon: switches, dimmers for indoor and outdoor with sensors, outlets for xmas lights, garage doors, heater and of course irrigation.
The only thing I did not connect my ISY to is the pool controller (Pentair Intellitouch), I don't know if someone did, but that should be a separate thread.

Back to sprinklers, my wife loves the app to manually run a zone when she fixes water heads and changes something in her gardening.

It looks like my ISY will be upgraded to v5 is going to happen then.

 

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