Take Control of your Irrigation – Rachio Smart Controller

What’s This About?

Spring is here! In locations that experience freezing temperatures this means turning your irrigation systems back on for the warm season. Rachio makes the hands-down best and most intelligent smart irrigation system on the market.

Rachio makes the hands down best and most intelligent smart irrigation system on the market

Jumping right in the product, they now have a Gen 3 product, as well the the more cost effective Gen 2. Both base systems can control 8 individual zones (and there is a 16 zone version too for the super gardeners out there), but the magic happens once you start it up.

Setup is super easy when converting from the “dumb” irrigation controller. You simply follow the direction to remove the controller wires from each of your zones (and mark where they were connected so the zones don’t get mixed up!) and connect to the new Rachio system. Then you just remove the old box and install the Rachio in place and connect to power source.

Don’t want to install yourself? Hire one of Amazon’s approved installers!

Then you connect to your home network once it is powered up and the app walks you through the setup! Because the system is “smart” it will detect each of your zones to set up each one by giving it a name, adding a picture of the area of your yard for identification, then going through the soil type and type of plants/grass present. Then based on the current temp and humidity (and the soil/plant types) it will suggest a watering plan. You can always override a zone, but the suggestions should work for all but the expert arborist.

The magic of the Rachio system is the “set it and forget it” nature of the system. The system will self adjust for ambient weather to maintain adequate soil moisture!

We switched out our irrigation controller with the Rachio Gen 2 about 3 years ago when the installers of our back patio accidentally cut the power line! That allowed us to move the controller box to a better location and be able to provide power with a nearby outlet.

The magic of the Rachio system is the “set it and forget it” nature of the system. The system will self adjust for ambient weather to maintain adequate soil moisture. For example if there is same day forecast for rain, it will skip the watering cycle that day. Now you won’t be that house with your sprinklers on during a downpour!

Rachio can integrate into other “smart systems” like Amazon Echo for example. But unless you plan to say, “Alexa, water my garden” outside of your planned schedule, there is not a whole lot of use for this integration. But for the special tech geek, Rachio can connect with IFTTT if you want to track your watering to a Google Spreadsheet (for example), but for the average user this will not be needed.

Rachio can integrate with IFTTT

Tech Dad CO’s Take

…the Rachio is easy to install, simple to set up and schedule, and even easier to use!

The Rachio just works. Similar to the Ring Alarm System as previously reviewed, the Rachio is easy to install, simple to set up and schedule, and even easier to use! It really is “hands-off” once you have it turned on for the season. The only adjustments I make is for the zone that serves our 4×8′ raised garden bed. Before the seeds sprout I water a bit heavier (to keep the soil wet for the seeds to germinate) and twice a day on a fixed schedule (I override any weather adjustments), but other than that I don’t touch the other zones for plants and trees.

Here are the options available from Rachio (including a nice comparison grid):

Don’t want to install yourself? Hire one of Amazon’s approved installers!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Rachio, or any questions you have in the comments section below. Please leave a comment and subscribe to receive all updates to any and all Tech Dad CO blog posts.

Disclaimer: “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”

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3 thoughts on “Take Control of your Irrigation – Rachio Smart Controller

  1. Great review! We’ve had our Rachio for two years now and just love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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