Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

After it`s predecessor, the Rachio Gen 2 being an Amazon best seller, now it is being replaced by the new Rachio 3. This is a truly interesting smart sprinkler controller.

The new version has all of the smart and useful functions of the Gen 2 model, with lots of new features added, to help make your life easier.

 

Overview

The first and most important feature of the new Rachio 3 smart sprinkler controller is that it allows you to connect to it using your smartphone via the free Rachio app. It is available for iOS 10.3+, Android 4.4+ or the Rachio web app from any computer. This app lets you start/ stop and monitor the watering of your garden wherever you are. An upgrade from the old version are the buttons on the device, that allow you to Run, Pause, and Skip your watering directly. Though previous customers say they rarely or never use it, it`s nice to have the option.

rachio 3

Naturally you can preset the watering schedule and it will automatically make adjustments to it, as it will receive precise live weather data. This smart irrigation controller knows if it is going to rain or if it has rained already and adjusts the watering schedule accordingly. This function eliminates the need for a rain or soil sensor as it gets all of it`s important data trough the internet from more than a quarter million possible sources, narrowing it down to an accuracy of 36 feet radius. However it is still possible to hook it up to a rain sensor. That might come in handy if maybe your internet goes offline. Gen 2 Weather intelligence used to get it`s data from the weather station closest to your home. The Rachio 3 gathers data from multiple weather stations in your area, radar and satellite information to make it that much more precise.

As it`s predecessor, the Rachio 3 has Rain Skip, Wind Skip, Freeze Skip, Climate Skip, and Seasonal Shift functions. This will help your plants grow at their full potential while wasting the least amount of water..

Rachio Wireless Flow Meter

A very cool feature that is not available on the old Rachio Gen 2 is the possibility to connect with the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter. It helps with detecting leaks on your system. If it detects a leak it automatically shuts down the water flow and sends you a notification via the app. Just think how useful this can be if a leak occurs while you are out of town for example. The sprinkler controller is also compatible with any pre- installed flow meter you might have.

Rachio Wireless Flow Meter Installed

 

Technical data

What’s in the Rachio 3 box? 

  • Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller
  • Power Supply with 6-ft Cord
  • Mounting Hardware
    • 4 screws (1-3/4″ in length)
    • 4 drywall mounts (1/4″ diameter)
  • Quick Start Guide

Hardware Compatibility

Rachio 3 is compatible with:

  • Rachio Wireless Flow Meter
  • Master valve / pump relay
  • 3rd Party Sensors
    • Rain Sensor: Wired & Wireless Normally Closed (NC) sensors
    • Soil Sensor: Wired & Wireless Normally Closed (NC) sensors

Integrations

  • Rachio 3 works with Nest, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant etc.

Zones

  • 8-zone and 16-zone models

rachio 8 rachio 16

Power Requirements

The Rachio controller must be connected to the AC power adapter included. DC Transformers are not supported.

  • Power Supply: External Transformer
  • (6-ft cord – 2.5mm x 5.5mm Female barrel plug)
  • Transformer input: 120 VAC ~60Hz 300mA
  • Transformer output: 24 VAC 1000mA

In case you lose power, the device has a built- in battery. This helps to retain all settings and the time. Thanks to this when the power comes back it will continue where it left off.

Warranty 

  • 2-year limited warranty.

 

Optional Outdoor Enclosure

rachio enclosure

While the Rachio 3 itself is not waterproof the company sells an outdoor enclosure for the device. The outdoor enclosure is fully weatherproof and can withstand temperatures between -4°F and 140°F. The enclosure is interchangeable between the Gen 2 and Rachio 3.

Order from Amazon Rachio outdoor enclosure: https://amzn.to/2O5ijSK

 

A comparison between the old Gen 2 and the new Rachio 3 smart sprinkler controllers:

rachio gen 2 vs rachio 3

Order Rachio 3 from Amazon now: https://amzn.to/2uBssyb

 

Installation

installing rachio 3

The Rachio 3 sprinkler controller has a streamlined body, with an easy to remove magnetic front cover. The connectors are easy- press, not needing a screwdriver to hook up the wires. They accommodate 14- 22 gauge wires. The package contains a handy mounting template, with the holes cut out on it, making marking out their location very easy. The steps are easy and do not require expertise or special tools. The entire process can be completed in maximum 30 minutes. The Rachio app provides guided installation if needed.

If you already have a sprinkler controller, you should take a picture of the wires as they are connected and after changing the unit to the Rachio 3 simply reconnect the wires to their corresponding spots.

If you are already using the Gen 2 hardware, than it is going to be even easier, as the mounting holes are compatible with the new device. Also you can transfer your settings from the old version to the new in no time using the app. During the setup you have the option to set up your zones from scratch or to transfer your settings from an old Rachio controller.

installing rachio 3

 

App setup

What happens if you lose internet connectivity?

If you temporarily lose internet connectivity, your Rachio controller will attempt to reconnect to your network every 30 seconds for 24 hours, after which point your controller will go offline. If this happens, you will need to manually unplug your Rachio and plug it back in (you may also need to do this with your router). Each controller has a small amount of built-in memory. This means that any schedules or settings you had before connection loss will be saved. Your controller will continue to run those schedules indefinitely until it can reconnect (and update, if needed). So don’t fear – your lawn won’t be without water if you lose internet!

Sharing

If you wish to share access to family members or your irrigation specialist you are able to do it from within the app. You can do this without disclosing your account credentials (username or password).

There are two types of access sharing options: complete access or limited access.

Complete Access

  • Rachio account required.
  • Full access shared; zones, schedules, settings, etc.
  • Changes can be made & saved by either party.
  • Access does not expire unless manually removed.
  • Great for family, property managers, etc.

Limited Access

  • No Rachio account required; email address needed to send an invite.
  • Remote control access granted to the email address of your choice.
  • You set the expiration date, and access can be removed at any time.
  • Great for sprinkler startups, sprinkler blowouts & winterization, or service calls.
  • Please note that providing Limited Access can only be given from the Rachio web app.
  • Emails and in-app updates/push notifications will only be sent to the primary account holder.

In some areas watering restrictions may apply. Because of this Rachio has built in features that allow for users to easily plug in restrictions from the app.

rachio 3

Rachio 3: https://amzn.to/2uBssyb

Outdoor enclosure: https://amzn.to/2LequOY

I hope you liked this product review!

Questions and comments are always welcome!

You can read my article on underground sprinkler systems by clicking on the picture or here.irrigation

Amazon affiliate disclaimer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *