Smart Home & AI

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Review: Zone, Flow Meter, Flex, Hose & More

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The Rachio 3 smart sprinkler with a picture of the smartphone app and its features.
The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler can save you up to 50% on your monthly water bill by applying automatic adjustments to rain, wind, freeze events and more.

Ever seen sprinklers going off in the middle of a rain storm? With Rachio, you can forget about that. Rachio will water your lawn at the most efficient times and you can adjust its watering schedule to local weather so there is no more wasted water. The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller (pronounced rah-chee-oh) lets you water your lawn while you’re away from home using the app. Now you’ll be able to control your sprinklers from the office or while you’re on vacation.

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Rachio Logo

Product Name: Rachio

Product Description: The Rachio smart sprinkler is an 8 zone controller that works with Alexa. Reduce your water bill by sensing rain, wind, and freeze events and reducing unnecessary watering.


The Rachio name is well known in the smart sprinkler world. Their 3rd generation device supports up to 16 zones, features an updated and comprehensive mobile app, and allows for easy DIY installation.

Overall Score

  • Customer Service
  • Scheduling
  • Run-Time
  • Overall Value


  • 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 cost

Consumer Reviews

4 1 vote
Reader Rating

This is the aggregate score of reader reviews we’ve received. Have a good or bad experience with Rachio? Feel free to leave your own review in the comments. Please note that only ratings with valid review content will be published and counted.

6 Key Features

  1. Can save you up to 50% on your watering bill
  2. EPA WaterSense and SWAT certified (worthy of a rebate up to 100% in many local municipalities)
  3. Control your sprinklers from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop
  4. Automatically adapts to local weather by skipping scheduled watering cycles when rain is predicted and by adjusting watering times as the seasons change
  5. 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
  6. Works with Amazon Echo, Google Home, Nest, IFTTT, and other top-tier home automation systems

Pricing & Tech Specs

  • Rachio 3 8-Zone:  $159.00
  • Rachio 3 16-Zone:  $199.20
  • Supports iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+
  • Temperature Range: -4F to 140F
  • Supports dedicated 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Transformer Power Input: 120V AC / 60Hz
  • Transformer Power Output: 24V AC

Rachio 3 vs 2 vs 1

If you have a 1st or 2nd generation Rachio, you may be wondering if it’s worth upgrading to Rachio 3. This comparison table highlights the main differences between the models.

 1st Generation2nd Generation3rd Generation
Work with almost any existing sprinkler systemGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Installation in under 30 minutesGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Weather Intelligence with rain, freeze, wind, saturation skips, and moreGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Available in 8 or 16-zone modelsGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
2.4GHzGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
5GHz Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Optional waterproof outdoor enclosure Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Premium Weather Intelligence Plus (hyperlocal accuracy) Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
On-unit run, pause, and skip buttons Green checkmarkGreen checkmark
Leak detection and blockage notifications  Green checkmark
Instant zone shut-off triggered by leak detection  Green checkmark
Precise outdoor water usage monitoring  Green checkmark

Customer Feedback

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.


My Rachio controller was super easy to install myself. Really took my time so was about an hour to finish. App is one of, if not the best I’ve used .. very well designed and super easy to learn & use (Wi-Fi is awesome to have!). Couldn’t be more satisfied.

Keith L., 9/8/2022

Easy to install and when I needed support they actually responded on a holiday. Here is an image with the cover off showing how simple it is to do the wiring.

Sharing Sunshine, 7/8/2020


Rachio 3 does a poor job of determining weather in our area. It wants to use mom and pop personal weather stations (most without rain gauges) and refuses to stay locked onto NWS stations that are more reliable.

Susan W., 11/12/2018

I used to love my Rachio, but the current software has bugs. My system will only water on every 3rd day now, no matter what you do to the schedule. It isn’t a “rain skip” or “seasonal adjustment”.

PDX, 6/12/2019

How Easy Is It To Install Rachio?

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

What’s The Best Smart Sprinkler Controller?

View Rachio on Amazon

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 smart sprinkler controller comparison. 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 products reviews.

Sally Jones

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance. Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more. Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

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