Decision-Making As A Consumer
Tech Gear – New Learning Curve
Hunter/Hydrawise Controller – NOT Wise, NOT Smart
- The first unit did not work at all – the screen was black. My irrigation installer brought a new unit the next day.
- There is NO company customer service backup in the US from Hydrawise – none – a big red flag. Reaching out to Hydrawise via email yielded the following response: “Hunter appreciates your business and places high importance on answering emails within 5-7 business days. Please allow us slightly more time if we receive your correspondence over the weekend.…”. Are they kidding? NOONE EVER followed up over the following weeks either.
- Hydrawise’s app makes things a guessing game about what HCC unit my installer brought. Our installer had no company training and hoped to set this up with YouTube videos.
Specific Installation Issues
All of this explains why it was impossible to set up irrigation zones, open the master valve, and get the system running even in a basic way.
We reached out to Hydrawise’s media team for comment on this article. We have yet to receive any responses from Hydrawise/Hunter.
Lessons – Know The Important Differences
- When your irrigation company suggests a Hunter/Hydrawise controller – RUN!
- There are way better options from Rachio, Rainbird, and others – it took 30 minutes to set up the Rachio 3 Pro smart controller.
- Don’t just rely on your installer’s recommendations – get smart yourself.
- Most importantly watch and learn from independent experts like SHG Living’s Smart Home Solver and CaliKim’s Container Watering to educate yourself on your smart irrigation devices!
- Know important differences among smart irrigation controllers.
I recently had to add a new zone. Given the extreme summer heat of late, I wanted to avoid making a mistake. So I called the Rachio customer service number. The service representative helped me through the process. Literally, 5 minutes later it was done. Voila.!