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Review ~ Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

 Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Is it worth buying in 2022


Rachio 3 review

This sprinkler system is better than ever, thanks to onboard controls and cleaner connectors. 

Rachio 3 16 zone review

Rachio didn't have to upgrade its best-in-class smart sprinkler controller, but it still did. This irrigation controller's third generation pushes even further away from the rest of the field.

rachio sprinkler controller hasn't upset the apple cart too much in terms of hardware. The controller is available in an 8-zone ($189.99) and 16-zone ($239.99) version (we reviewed the latter), and both now support 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. Setup is simple in either case: simply remove the cover (which is now magnetic and considerably easier to remove) to reveal the wire clip terminals.

I grumbled about the clips being difficult to manage in my assessment of the second-generation controller. rachio smart sprinkler controller has fixed this, so you can now insert wire leads into connections with your fingertip rather than struggling with a tiny screwdriver. Once your leads are connected, simply plug it into wall power, close the lid, and you're ready to proceed with the app setup. The entire process is even faster than previously, taking only minutes to complete; however, if you're mounting the unit outside, you'll need a $30 outside enclosure, just like with the original Rachio.

rachio smart sprinkler controller just updated its control software, simplifying the setup and scheduling process slightly. Rachio guides you through the process of setting your zones, which includes some basic questions about the vegetation and soil types in your yard, as well as its solar exposure and slope. It considers all of the information, as well as your address, to establish the best watering plan for that particular area of land. If I have one tiny criticism of the interface, it is that the setup system requires you to delete all unnecessary zones one by one rather than providing a "bulk skip" option.

Only use water when necessary. 

Choose "Flex Daily" or "Flex Monthly" schedules to allow Rachio entire control of overwatering, or set up a manual plan to water only when you choose. You can also turn on Rachio's enhanced Weather Intelligence, which will automatically forego watering if it's too wet, windy, or if there's a possibility of a freeze, depending on the option you choose. In the new app, you may go even deeper by specifying how much rain is required before you forego watering. The default is 0.125 inches, but you can reduce it to 0.0625 inches or even a whole inch of rain. You can also specify the maximum wind speed or the minimum temperature below which you would not water. This is as fresh as it gets for a gardening freak.

Protection against leaks  

This third iteration of the rachio wireless includes two key new features. The first is the introduction of a water flow meter, which will be included with new rachio 3 controller pre-sale units. (At a later date, it will be sold individually for $100.) While the Wireless Flow Meter was not provided by Rachio for testing, it is supposed to detect water leaks in your irrigation system and shut off the water supply to any affected zones if a leak is discovered, all while interacting with the rachio smart sprinkler controller app.

Perhaps even more intriguing is the presence of manual-run buttons on the Rachio hardware's face. You might overlook them because they're incorporated within the Rachio logo. Their capabilities are limited to picking a zone and manually beginning or halting a water run, which is simple yet useful if you need to provide an extra region a little extra water without having to get out your phone. All programming requirements must still be met through the app.

Do I have any reservations about the Rachio 3? Only one flaw, aside from the price (which is now $50 more than last year's), is that when the device is turned on, it generates a high-pitched screech that I can hear from a few feet away. It's not a big deal for me because my unit is in the garage, but if your controller is in a more crowded area of the house, it could be a problem.


  •  Better Water Intelligence features improve conservation

  • Wire connectors have been improved to make setup even faster.

  • Manual runs are easily accessible via onboard controls.


  • High-pitched squeal emanates from device

  • The same software treatment is not available for older Rachio machines.

  • Expensive
are smart sprinklers worth it?


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