Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller knocks it out of the park.  It is easy to install and easy to configure.  The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller allows you to take control of your yard watering. The Rachio app and website provide incredible analytics on water usage.  Adjust run times, start and stop your watering remotely, and check-in on watering while you’re away.  Rachio keeps getting better adding new features all the time and allows you to connect several different types of sensors for even more data.  Simply by installing this unit you could be eligible for a rebate from your local water company!  This is one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made.

  • Total Price: $199.00 – $249.00 (8 or 16 station – prices may fluctuate)
  • Time to Complete: About 1.5 hours (replacement project, not new unit install – including clean-up)
  • Level of Project Complexity: Basic to Medium.
  • Overall Rating: (5.0 of 5.0) Incredible!  Easy to setup, fun to use, a real pleasure.
  • Link To Amazon (8 Station Outdoor): Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller (8 Station)
  • Link To Amazon: (16 Station Outdoor): Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller (16 Station)

The Features

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller.  It’s easy to install and setup in under 30 minutes with no special tools or expertise required.  It quickly connects to your home’s Wi-Fi.  It replaces almost any controller and works with your current sprinkler system, up to 16 zones.  You can control it from the web, app, or manually from the controller itself.  It can be made waterproof with the optional outdoor enclosure protects your controller in all weather situations.

The App.  The Rachio App is a remote control for your watering.  You can start, stop, and change your sprinklers from your phone or computer.  You receive real-time notifications so you always know what’s happening with your yard, from rain delays to faulty valves.  Always know how much water you’re using from the detailed water usage report.

Scheduling.  Customizing your watering schedule is easy, robust and flexible.  You can tailor your schedule based on specific plant types, soil types, nozzles and sun exposure.  You can specify times and dates for when your schedules should run.  The “Smart Cycle” feature breaks up your schedule into smaller periods to maximize soil absorption rate.  Rachio is both certified and tested by EPA WaterSense and SWAT.  Rachio is proven to save water while keeping your plants healthy.

Weather Intelligence.  Rachio connects to a network of thousands of weather stations to get the latest weather so you never water in the rain!  It automatically skips watering due to forecasted rain, instead of just reacting to real-time rain.   In the case of very cold weather it automatically skips watering.  Rachio waters automatically based on past, present, and future weather, plus seasonal adjustments.

My Thoughts

Installation, Planning.  For basic installations, the planning and install is a breeze.  If you’re replacing an older controller carefully mark your existing cables (zones) and run-times associated with each.  For a more complex installation involving sensors or a new installation plan appropriately considering the number of wires for your wire bundle.  Sensors each require two cables, not one like a normal watering zone (turning on and off an electric irrigation valve).

Setup & Configuration.  Setup is a breeze.  There are many settings for each zone from slope, sprinkler type and plant type, so it can be a bit overwhelming.  Rachio does a good job of helping with default settings to keep things easy.  Configuring schedules is a bit tricky and one of the things I don’t like about the current software is the inability to modify a schedule once it’s built.  After running the schedule for a couple cycles, I found I wanted to make a few tweaks to it based on over/under watering, etc.  Currently I believe you have to delete the schedule and create a new one.

Mobile App & Website.  The mobile app is very robust and you really don’t need the website to do anything.  I love the app and I’m excited to watch the development and other beta programs Rachio launches.  Below you can see several screen shots I took.  You can review zones, water usage, detailed analytics, start and stop any or all zones and pretty much interact as if you were standing in front of the controller.

The NET NET.  This is a great purchase for any home owner with an existing or planned irrigation system.  The Rachio device, mobile app and website will remove any worries you may have regarding your yard and watering.  Plus, it is very easy to install, tons of new features and sensors being added and integration to some home automation systems is on the horizon.