Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Review

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Review

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Last Updated on January 1, 2024 by Daniel Osakwe

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Review:

PROS

  • Installation is simple.
  • A weather-based watering system
  • This smart home platform integrates with others.
  • It supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands.

CONS

  • It is pricey.
  • The mobile app no longer displays year-to-date water usage data.

Smart home systems have been big news over the past few years. The idea of having a smart home system that automates and controls the home is a pretty big deal, especially since there are more and more smart home systems being made. Rachio 3 is one of those smart home systems.

In this review, I will be looking at Rachio 3. The Rachio 3 is one of those smart sprinkler controllers that control a sprinkler system. These are the more high-end sprinkler controllers, as opposed to the cheaper ones that simply turn your sprinklers on or off.

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Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller: Design and Features

  • The included round button makes it easier to use.
  • LED light indicator.
  • It includes a dual-band wi-fi radio.
  • can be controlled via an app.

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Review

Compared to its predecessor, the Rachio 3 controller has some notable differences. The white plastic enclosure measures 5.5 by 9.1 by 1.4 inches (HWD), around the same size as the previous version, but the round button on the face of the controller allows users to manually start and stop watering for specific zones. The cover features an LED light bar that tells you which zone is being watered and flashes when there is a system or connectivity error.

It is very easy to remove the magnetic cover to reveal the eight wiring terminals (there is a 16-zone controller available for $279.99). Additionally, the terminal has two common connections, two sensor connections (for rain or flow sensors), and a jack for the power brick that is included. Using quick connectors makes wiring easy. For $329.99, the Rachio 3 + Flow Meter Bundle comes with a wireless in-line water flow meter that monitors water flow rates and detects leaks. Whenever a leak is detected, you will receive an alert on your phone, and the leaking zone will be automatically shut down.

The new Rachio 3 controller features Premium Weather Intelligence Plus technology that pulls weather data from over 300,000 weather stations, satellites, and radar sources to determine the most appropriate watering schedule based on local weather conditions. In addition, the controller now includes a dual-band Wi-Fi radio that allows it to connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks.

The Rachio 3 can be controlled via a mobile app (available for Android and iOS) and a web app. On the dashboard, you’ll find a weekly weather forecast. Each watering day is marked with a green raindrop. 

The status of the daily watering can be found below the forecast. If you press the Skip button, you can stop the cycle and restart it if you press the Run button. Swipe down to the bottom of the screen to view monthly usage statistics in time or gallon units. Additionally, you can start watering manually for each zone by clicking the Quick Run button at the bottom of the screen.

The Dashboard screen contains five buttons labeled Home, Schedule, Zones, History, and More. You can use the Home button to return to the Dashboard screen and the Schedule button to view and create watering schedules. Flex Daily schedules are based on local weather conditions, forecasts, and zone settings, providing the greatest potential for water savings.

The Flex Monthly schedule updates every month to account for seasonal changes, and the Fixed schedule creates a customized watering cycle based on day, time, and duration. For example, you can use the Wind and Freeze skips to delay watering in windy or cold conditions, and Cycle and Soak to delay watering temporarily to avoid puddling and runoff.

By clicking the Zones button, you can adjust parameters for each zone, such as the soil type, sprinkler type, sun exposure, and slope. Using your camera, you can take a photo that is used to identify the zone in the app. Using your camera, you can take a photo that is used to identify the zone in the app. The mobile app no longer offers year-to-date water usage reports and charts, but the web app allows you to download a CVS file containing a complete history of water usage. 

If you select “More,” you’ll be taken to a screen where you can set whether intelligence parameters, such as how much wind or rain will trigger a skip. On this page, you can edit the controller name and Wi-Fi settings, enable a noise reduction feature to reduce banging noises that may occur when sprinkler valves open, and change the location of your home.

Besides supporting Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, the Rachio 3 has its own IFTTT channel where you can create applets to trigger other smart home devices. Additionally, it is compatible with smart home platforms such as Nest, SmartThings, and Wink. In comparison, the Orbit B-Hyve 12-Station Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Timer offers Alexa voice support but does not integrate with other smart devices.

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller: Installation and Performance

  • Easy to install.
  • Easy to set up
  • a great performance.

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Review

Rachio 3 is extremely easy to install. In order to make sure that the zones were matched up properly, I took a picture of my existing controller wiring before starting. In my case, I already had an account from two previous reviews, but if this is your first Rachio device, it’s time to download the app. After removing the old controller, I connected the common wire and the zone wires to the appropriate terminals. My basement has a wall where I plugged in the controller and power brick.

After opening the app, I tapped Add Controller on the Dashboard screen and scanned the barcode on the wiring terminal with my phone. As soon as the controller was recognized, I moved on to setting up the Wi-Fi connection. I gave the controller a name after it connected to my home Wi-Fi and waited a few minutes while it updated. Once my zones were set up and tested, I was done.

In my experience, the Rachio 3 performed flawlessly. When the weather forecast predicted significant rainfall, it initiated rain delays in accordance with my schedule. Using my IFTTT applet to toggle a Belkin WeMo Mini Smart Plug on and off when a watering cycle was completed, it responded immediately to my Quick Run commands, as well as to commands to stop and start scheduled watering cycles. Additionally, Alexa voice commands to start and stop specific zones worked without a hitch.

Final thoughts

With a price of $229.99, the Rachio 3 isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a smart sprinkler controller that you can control from your phone or PC, it’s hard to find one with more features. During our tests, it did an excellent job of rescheduling watering cycles when significant rain is forecast, thanks to its Weather Intelligence Plus technology. It also works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT applets, and it is compatible with other smart home products.