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Rachio Sprinkler Review: Is it the Best Smart Lawn Irrigation Solution?

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Rachio Sprinkler system in useCan you imagine being able to water your lawn from your office or when you’re on vacation with total control? Welcome to the world of smart sprinklers. With the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, you can take command of your yard, no matter where you are. The technology may sound unbelievable, but it’s here and now. If you want a hand’s off way to keep your yard watered, read our Rachio Sprinkler review to see why we chose the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller 2nd generation as our number one pick for the best WiFi irrigation controller on the market.Rachio logo

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Ease of Installation & Programming
WiFi Connectivity
Integrations
Pricing
Customer Service

4.55/5.00

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller is incredibly easy to set up and connects seamlessly with WiFi. It also is the most customizable and integrated product of its kind. Further, users rave about the company's great customer support. The only drawback? It's pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Key Features of Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

  • Rachio Sprinkler Controller and smartphone Can save you up to 50% on your watering bill.
  • EPA WaterSense and SWAT certified (worthy of a rebate up to 100% in many local municipalities).
  • Control your sprinklers from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
  • Automatically adapts to local weather by skipping scheduled watering cycles when rain is predicted and by adjusting watering times as the seasons change.
  • You can input zone details like soil type, plant type and sun exposure to let Rachio automatically set up the best watering schedules for your lawn.
  • Works with Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, IFTTT and other top-tier home automation systems.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy DIY installation
  • Up to 16 zones
  • Automatically adapts to weather forecasts and rainfall amounts
  • Customizable programming is better than competitors
  • WaterSense and SWAT certified
  • Integrates with Nest, Wink, Google Home, Amazon Echo (Alexa) and more
  • Excellent customer service
  • On the expensive side
  • Outdoor waterproof enclosure is an additional $29.99
  • Some consumer complaints about glitchy apps and WiFi connectivity issues

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Rachio IRO 8-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller: $199.00
  • Rachio IRO 16-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller: $249.00
  • Supports iOS 9.0+ and Android 4.0+
  • Temperature Range: -31F to 140F
  • Supports dedicated 2.4GHz and dual-band networks
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Transformer Power Input: 120V AC / 60Hz
  • Transformer Power Output: 24V AC

Rachio 1st vs 2nd Generation: What’s the Difference?

If you have a 1st generation Rachio, you may be wondering if upgrading to the 2nd generation is worth it. So, what’s the difference between rachio gen 2 vs gen 1?

  • Gen 2 is easier to install, thanks to more space for wires inside the unit.
  • Rachio gen 2’s control box is smaller.
  • Rachio gen 1 features a front and back plate. Rachio gen 2 has a single plate design, which allows for wire testing with a multimeter.
  • The set-up process is simpler with Rachio gen 2.
  • Rachio gen 2 has additional buttons on the controller, which allows you to select a specific zone and manually start or stop watering — a huge plus if you don’t have your smartphone on-hand or your landscaper needs to check the system.
  • More capability to use multiple rain, flow, or freeze sensors.

Is there a Rachio 3rd generation release date? Rachio currently has no plans on creating a third generation product; however, a v3 software is in the works.

Do Users Think Rachio Is a Smart Choice?

As part of our Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller review, we dug around the web to find out what users had to say about their Rachio purchases. We found an overwhelmingly positive response — thousands of five-star reviews. But we always like to give our readers a balanced sampling. Here are some positive and negative reviews we found.

Positive Rachio Reviews

I seriously love this product. I had some interaction with the customer service and they were simply amazing. Everything is oriented towards the customer satisfaction and the needs of the customer. I had a sprinkler person come for some other repairs and he was very impressed with the unit. I would definitely buy this again and recommend it to anyone that wants to save some water and be able to control and monitor their sprinkler system from anywhere in the world. Many thanks to rachio. – Rod, Lowes.com 8/18/2017

Rachio is freaking fantastic! I honestly thought the whole weather intelligence / rain delay thing would be a bit hokey and that I wouldn’t use. But guess what, it really works great and I now trust it totally. Install was crazy easy and app integration has been flawless so far. Very happy. – Joe P., HomeDepot.com 7/26/2017

Negative Rachio Reviews

I do wish they had more in-depth descriptions of the various modes, so I could better understand how to configure it to get the right amount of water in the right place and the right time without waste. Also, the settings assume your system has all above-ground nozzles, requiring some guesswork on my part as I have a mostly subsurface system. – Jeff, Lowes.com 8/5/2017

Super flimsy hardware, the wire terminals are cheap and can only be plugged in a few times before breaking. Doesn’t work well with heavier gauge wiring. Depending on how much wiring you have the wires may not fit behind the cover. Software is great, hardware is super flimsy. – Gabe, HomeDepot.com 6/21/2017

Want to See Rachio in Action?

Check out this brief video by Rachio to see how easy this smart sprinkler controller is to use.

Looking for Other Smart Home Gadgets?

We highly recommend Rachio as the best smart sprinkler controller, but we also encourage you to see how Rachio stacks up against its competitors in our WiFi sprinkler controller reviews. And if you’re ready to go all in on the smart home bandwagon, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to smart home living, which includes information about all the ways you can smarten up your home as well as tons of other smart product reviews.

Why are you considering a smart sprinkler system?

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Sally is a passionate writer but her interests do not stop there. She spends a lot of time daydreaming about the beach, however, she spends most of her time taking advantage of all the activities her town has to offer in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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2 Comments on "Rachio Sprinkler Review: Is it the Best Smart Lawn Irrigation Solution?"

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Addy
Addy
One question (and kind of important thing to note here) this is for the control system only correct? Not the actual irrigation system itself? Just wanted to clarify as “easy to install” would apply just to the system control (not installing in your yard).
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