Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller: Are They Still The Best? You Be The Judge…

With so many smarts getting around nowadays, smart TV, smartwatch, smart lights, and now Rachio have just released their new Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller… the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

The company over the past years has really honed in and focused its intelligence to bring watering your garden and lawn to the next level.

Being featured on Forbes, PCMag.com, Cnet and a few others, quality is what they are all about.

You have a choice of two models their original and best seller which isn’t surprising as the new model hasn’t long been released when writing this.

You have a choice of two controllers with 4 options and they are as follows.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller Review

We will now give you a rundown of these choices so you can decide which one to go for and also find out the differences between each one!

Rachio 2nd generation smart sprinkler controller 8/16 zone capability

  • Rachio Generation 2 was the pinnacle of the smart sprinkler controller that set the standard in the industry. You have a choice of the standard 8 zone controller or 16 zone system.
  • Works with Alexa but you will need to use the Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa and connect to the system.
  • The 2nd generation is their best selling controller and has the most 5 star ratings for any smart sprinkler controller on Amazon.com
  • Works with all the top home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google home
  • The controller intelligence is amazing. It uses its intelligence and data it gathers and automatically adjusts your irrigation settings based on your local forecasts.

Both this controller and the new Rachio gen 3 shares quite a few similar features and as the old saying goes if it ain’t broke, well you know the rest.

Rachio 3 wifi smart lawn sprinkler controller 8/16 zone capability

Rachio gen 2 controllers as said before is their best selling smart controller and also has been #1 best seller on Amazon.com and it still is, but.

The Rachio gen 3 smart controller has only been our for a short time and already the reviews and customer opinions speak very highly and I believe this will be their best controller for 2020.

  • Runs on the latest hardware and most advanced technology available. Works on operating systems of 10.3 IOS and higher and fro android fans 4.4+. You will need a mobile app to connect to wi-fi.
  • Can expect to save 30-50% off your current monthly water bills.
  • Do you have either a master valve, pump relay, or indexing valve? No worries the Rachio 3rd generation is compatible to them.
  • It has all the same features as the gen 2 controller.
  • With the easy to use app, you can control your system anywhere in the world all with your smartphone, tablet of choice of device
  • Easy to do a DIY installation, this one will retrofit and replace 99% of all controllers on the market today and only takes around 30 minutes without any special tools required.

This is just a few of the features of these two controllers and you can see the rest of the features of these two controllers and you can see the rest of the features these systems have and compare right here.

Here are a few common questions regarding these smart controllers.

Does the Rachio 3 allow for one zone to run regardless of rain while other zones don’t?

Yes, you can have its own separate zone and water any time of the day or night, even if its raining or windy just choose the features in the program the best suits your needs.
Can the controller be hardwired ethernet?

At this stage the only way connection is possible is via wi-fi. There are plans in the future I believe in the new model that may have that option but who knows if that is possible.

Does the controller have a delay between zones?

To stop water hammer and pipe chatter the Rachio gen 3 has this feature where the next zone in line will come on 10 seconds before the zone running now finishes.


  • Compatible with 99% of system on the market today.
  • Will save you $$$ on your water bill
  • Easy to install – less than 30 minutes
  • Is the most connected smart sprinkler controller on the market


  • Support can be average to deal with at times
  • The gen 3 can be too advance if wanting a simple controller the gen 2 will be a better option

Customer Opinion

Looking at the customer reviews and opinions on Amazon.com you will find that the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller is one of the most popular control boxes.

With an outstanding average of almost 5 out of 5-star rating for the 2nd gen smart sprinkler controller, the Rachio gen 3 will have a name to live up to and by the reviews already I think it has already done that.

The gen2 has over 3300 reviews on Amazon with a 4.7 average star rating, whereas the gen 3 has over 1300 reviews on Amazon.com and a rating of 4.6 stars and fast catching the gen 2.

There are a couple of reviews left with sour grapes more so the support is letting them down at times and one lady had trouble connecting the wi-fi system up.

Overall from the thousands of reviews left, between the two great smart sprinkler controller systems with close to 5,000 reviews left, only 5% of all reviews were given the lowest of just 1 star.


If you are looking for an irrigation smart controller for the home, commercial then you need to take a serious look at Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

They will easily install and adapt to the system you have now and will start to save you a ton of money form the very day installation.

If you want a reliable easy to operate controller the Rachio 2nd generation smart sprinkler controller 8/16 zone will be your best choice.

If the latest and greatest is your thing and want the best then I recommend the Rachio 3nd generation smart sprinkler controller 8/16 zone.

You won’t be disappointed with either choice just the degree of features is all that separates them. We use and highly recommend Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller for all our commercial and residential customers