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Showing 1-10 of 1,591 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,975 reviews
Style: 16 Zone|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
A lot of home automation solutions have "green" subtext of saving money because of adding more controls to ensure that use is when needed. Lawn sprinklers is actually the first generation of home controls... before the Z-Wave and Wi-Fi... watering lawns on a timer that will adhere to a 7x24 plan. Rachio makes this level of control the entry level, adding many more levels of water management that it almost seems like you have your own groundskeeper monitoring the weather forecast, evaluating what type of soil, runoff, and plants/grass. If we could possibly ignore the web and phone interface, just the feature of skipping watering when there's going to be a rainstorm, or a frost, is priceless. Well I guess not... You certainly can put a price on how much you save.

This is my second Rachio Iro. I purchased the 1st generation Rachio 8-zone for my last house and it was a champ. The only thing that I didn't like and was frankly, maddening... was the blink method of pairing the 1st gen to your Wi-Fi SSID. In fact, after many attempts of blink pairing, both my Rachio 1st gen and my Samsung S5 flew across the room. I eventually hid in a dark room, hid under a Harry Potter invisibility cloak, and paired it up. The resulting awesome watering made me completely forget about the blink pain... until dredging up the horrible memories for your benefit... thanks for that...

In my new house, the existing Hunter HRC 9-zone controller was ok, but how could I live with a Hunter fixed schedule controller after having an internet "cloud" irrigation solution... The Rachio Iro 2nd Gen 16 zone arrived before the irrigation was needed in Ohio. 1st glance... It's much bigger than a 1st gen, and the shape is similar to the spot that the Hunter left on the wall. No repainting needed... nice. This new controller has a cover instead of an install plate. I was happy to see that there was no blink sensor and that Rachio invested in wireless setup with RF.

I used my cell to take a picture of my existing Hunter HRC's wires ensuring that the colors and their termination was easily visible in the picture. Unscrewed all of the wire terminals and tossed the Hunter into the trash. I couldn't bear the thought of someone buying it used and missing the water saving opportunity of a cloud irrigation controller. The Iro was secured into place quickly with 4 screws... I'm sure two would have been fine, but there were more holes, more screws, and my Ryobi drill was barely used. Since I wouldn't need it again for this simple install... It was put away soon after.

I took a look at all of the zone wire leads and trimmed a few of them down to expose less conductor. Using my cell, I pressed the main valve and two commons into the C and MC accordingly. Following the colors from my cell picture, I pressed in the 9 zones... Simple... 5 minutes. Plugging in the Iro to the wall and controller, I used the cell application to register the controller. Because I have a Main Valve in my system, I opened the settings and advanced and checked the main valve on the Rachio app. I then had to go find the cover of the Hunter, because I forgot to get the zone labels... another quick phone picture and the Hunter cover was back in the trash.

This isn't my first Rachio Iro rodeo, so defining each zone with the name, type of irrigation heads, what is being watered (flowers, shrubs, grass, etc.), slope, soil type... pretty simple. While turning on each zone manually to test that they trigger, I took a picture of the good aqua shot, and updated the zone with the picture. Now my OCD kicks in and I use a soil moisture hydrometerDr.Meter® Moisture Sensor Meter, Soil Water Monitor, Hydrometer for Gardening, Farming, Indoor/Outdoor Use (4-in-1 Advanced Version) to put in an initial setting for the zone as well as use a laser to measure the area of the zone Laser Distance Meter, Handheld Range Finder Measure with LCD Backlight Display, Area/Volume/Distance/Pythagoras Calculation, Self-Calibration Rangefinder, Tape Measure 0.05 to 40m(0.16 to 131ft). My need for accuracy resolved, I go inside and find a comfy chair and login to rachio.com to setup my watering programs.

Since my front yard gets a ton of sun and my backyard is a forested preserve, I setup two programs. There will be times that I'll want to water the front without the back, so keeping them on separate programs makes disabling the backyard program a simple switch. My municipal water only allows watering on 3 days of the week depending on your street address, astrological sign, and great grandmother's maiden name (the one you liked). I use the "fixed days" feature or risk fines from the aqua police. Even though the flexible daily or flexible monthly schedule may be the most effective for water savings and ensuring watering is only when needed, limiting to 3 days a week still gives the Iro opportunity to skip and change watering duration based on weather data and seasonal impacts.

I forgot to tell you that while I reconnected the rain sensor from the hunter, it was flapping activated/deactivated continuously. So I disabled it. It's 12 years old and probably fouled -- until I get a ladder up there to clean it, I'll leave it disabled... Then again... I'm not sure I really need my own rain sensor if I'm using a nearby weather station less than a mile away. So the old sensor may just be taken down -- how can it be more accurate than a local internet available weather station?

Both the shocking nature of seeing how many gallons are really used when you are watering, and the gratification of how much you are saving when the Iro skips, easily justifies the purchase of this controller. Other features that seem to just make sense are the cycle approach to watering and the newly added manual controls on the Rachio Iro. When watering, your Iro will break a 15-minute watering session into multiples - so instead of watering a zone for 15 minutes, it will water it for 5 minutes, go to the next zone, finish all zones, then start another cycle that will water the zone another 5 minutes... going through all zones... finally completing a 3rd cycle to finish. This minimizes oversaturation and runoff, allowing the water that you are spraying to soak in, using less total water for the same impact. awesome!

Now the Rachio app allows you to setup a guest to operate your system manually, or additional admin users to add or change your programming. If you are owner and have someone who is Rachio capable and maintains your property, these options will fit your specific need. But if you just want the guy that is fixing the last spray head that you destroyed with the lawn edger, he can turn on and off a zone by cycling through the manual controls on the panel itself... nice upgrade from 1st gen.

Integration? Well if you're the type that wants to add more controls and automation to your irrigation system. Odds are you will consider other automation in your house. Right now, your Iro will integrate with Nest Protect 2.0 sensors. So that if you have a fire, nest will tell your Iro to cycle through all of your zones continuously to create a moisture barrier to help prevent fires from spreading. I'm sure that if you just ran out of a house fire, some spraying water may also be able to cool you down fast or put out your clothes when you stop-drop-and-roll. We hope to never use these type of integrations, but they would be great if they work as advertised. I don't have Nest, but use MiCasaVerdi's Vera Plus home controller. The Rachio API is published and available, but there currently isn't an app developed for the Vera MiOS. I hope that there's future integration there.

This is one of the best cloud automations for your house. I've recommended to friends who have installed and become water savers. My parents have one installed... and I seriously recommend that you pick one up. If it’s too expensive for you... look for a warehouse deal, used, etc. These are great and you will recover your investment...
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33 comments| 207 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 9, 2017
I found this product to be exactly as advertised. The packaging was very good, the instructions were clear, it was very easy to set up, and they even offered an option to recycle my old sprinkler controllers (I replaced 2), I like the feature that allows you to take a photo of each of your zones and input it into the phone app so you know which zone is which. I'm now getting notices from the controller when it decides to change my watering schedule because it has rained and no watering is needed - great! Now I don't have to remember to turn off my controllers during rainy periods because the Rachio controller does that automatically. Couldn't be more pleased with it.
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on April 1, 2017
UPDATE: May 1, 2017

So I have been using the Rachio controller for a few weeks and I can confirm what many other reviewers have said here-- this is a terrific device which works exactly as advertised.

We have been having a rainy April here in the Northeast and the controller is paired with a local PWS (Personal Weather Station) which is about 4 miles from my home. There is no cost for this and there are many PWS available so picking an appropriate one should be no problem. It is a bit weird that someone in my neighborhood I don't know who happens to own a weather station is determining whether my lawn gets watered or not. When the PWS predicts more than about a tenth of an inch of rain for the coming day, Rachio suspends watering. If more than a tenth inch of rain has fallen, Rachio will suspend water for the day. Finally, if the rain sensor which is attached to my system has triggered (this will show in the app and can be sent to you by email) watering is suspended until the sensor drys. You can override this manually if you wish.

All of this leads to never seeing your sprinkler heads popping when they shouldn't.

I have integrated Rachio with Alexa which allows me to say "Alexa, tell Rachio to water zone 7 for 10 minutes' which works flawlessly and is cool. I have taken photos of each zone running and integrated that into the app so it is easy to see which areas are watered by each zone.

My Wireless router has been reset or gone offline a few times n the past month and Rachio has reconnected without any effort each time. I have not had to reset Rachio a single time for any reason.

The Android interface is quite good, easy to use and is fully functional.

The app offers an opportunity to get fairly technical about what types of sprinkler heads, soil and topography you have. I have chosen to use the defaults in most cases and the results have been satisfactory. I imagine that engineer types out there would find the app satisfactory as well.

In summary, I will confirm my original impressions about Rachio-- someone has taken a traditional product (sprinkler control box) and by integrating it with the internet has augmented and amplified its usefulness. This is NOT like an internet enabled waffle iron. The fact that Rachio knows that it will probably rain today saves thousands of gallons of water over the season and internet accessibility (whether by app, voice or desktop) gives you the ability to put water on your plants when and where it is needed


It is still not watering season here in the Northeast however I thought I would start my review on Rachio 2nd Generation (16 zone) controller by discussing the installation, app and 'philosophy' of this apparently excellent product. I say 'apparently' only because the water is not on yet and I haven't runthrough a watering cycle yet.

Anyway, packaged and delivered well. The product comes with a well written install booklet however installation is really straight forward. You will identify all of the common (usually white) wires and attach them to the 'c' terminals on the Rachio wiring blocks. The c wires are all 'common' meaning that they are connected together-- there is no order to them and I imagine that you may not need to hook all of them up--however I did.

The remaining wiring is just moving the wire for each zone (16 of them in my case) from their connection in your old sprinkler box to the Rachio box. You should take a few photos of the old wiring 'just in case' however I found it useful to mark each wire in the old box with its corresponding zone number. You can do this with tape or with professional wire markers which are sold at Home Depot or on line. If you have a rain sensor, you can hook that up as well and there is also a place to put a moisture sensor if you have one so that the Rachio brain knows how moist the soil is.

Both the rain sensor and the moisture sensor are extraneous apparently as Rachio can calculate when it has rained and how much using local area weather stations--both governmental and private.

Rachio is powered by a 20v transformer which is included.

Once all is attached, you download the Rachio app (free) and enter your serial number and password to get the Rachio box to find your WIFI and pair. This process was flawless and the four blue segments on the box lit up as described.

The application is straightforward-- you enter the type of plants that are in each zone-- the app provides appropriate choices including several types of grass. You enter the number and types of sprinkler heads and the type of soil (clay or loamy for example) to give the algorithm a chance to figure out how best to water each zone. There is an option to find a weather station near you which will allow the unit to know how much rain has fallen-- or is about to fall. A cool thing is that Rachio will not water your lawn if it is about to rain-- it will wait and see how much rain you actually get before deciding whether to top it off or do a full watering cycle.

You can extend control of your system to your sprinkler guy, your landscaper or your neighbor--- temporarily or in full. These permissions can be revoked as you like.

It appears as though you really don't need to set up a watering schedule--Rachio can do that autom,atically if you want and you can override that if you want to. However, you can set up a traditional schedule for each zone--but Rachio will adjust it as the weather changes.

This is all I have done so far, I will come back after the season starts and give an update on how it works in practice.
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on July 10, 2017
Super easy to install yourself. Took us about 15 mins. Love that you can set separate watering schedules for different zones based on soil, plant/lawn, sprinkler type and sun exposure and it does the rest. You can choose how often you want it to water or like we have set it based on weather predictions from your local weather station. It is accurate 95% of the time in not watering when it's going to rain. In fact I think it's more accurate than the weather on the news, though that's not too difficult. Haha. Our yard is green and lush and our water bill this month is half what it was last month with less wasteful watering. Hubby was skeptical when I bought it, but Hess believer now. Though it is a bit speedy I'd say it's totally worth it for the money saved on our water bill and will pay for itself within 2 months. Although there isn't an onscreen display for controls since you control it through the app there is a manual control inside the cover. Bonus is it's linked to out nest thermostat and if the nest detects a fire inside the house it turns on the sprinklers so the fire won't spread. All in all I'd say the Rachio is a good deal and we're completely happy with it. 4 stars only for the time or 2 itvwatered and then it rained, but then again if the weather station isn't predicting rain can you really blame it on the rachio? Probably not.
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on July 9, 2017
I installed this and to my dismay the first two wires needed to be removed and put through the provided hole so the cover would fit back on. I tried and tried to get the first two wires out. No luck, so zone 1 and the common were unusable. I hooked it up and it works fine but missing zone 1 I was not happy. I contacted the company and they promptly sent a new controller out. I installed it the next morning with no issues at all. The wires were much more cooperative with the new one. Not sure why as it is the same exact type connector (push to release or insert). Reset everything so my Samsung tablet could connect to the unit. Set it back up and all working fine with zone 1 (and all others). I put the old one in the box and off to FedEx to the company. This works great with Alexa and my tablet. I would like to see some improvements in the app and Alexa. It would be nice to just say "turn on the sprinklers" but you have to "ask Rachio" and give a zone and duration.

I am quite happy since I can now turn on any sprinkler zone from my tablet while I'm watching to check my heads and coverage etc. Neat!!!
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on March 13, 2017
This a wonderful product. Replacing your old unit is simply plug-n-play wiring, mounting the unit to wall and pluging in the unit to a power outlet. My "R-bird" controller had four zones and I wanted to expand to 10 and have the option for 16 zones with this unit. WiFi App is great and well thoughout to program. Sprinkler head-soil-plant-tree-bush-flower by type are already there and it is easy to change after setup without going thru the entire process - for each zone you can take a picture of that area of the yard. I purchased this from Amazon Warehouse and the item was in perfect condition and not a problem. I ran 1100 feet of 3/4" pipe for six zones. I wanted to specifically put in a zone for my front porch, the landscaping "pods or mulched areas", two different gardens, etc. Just find a ground trencher to rent ($40-50 4-hours or $80-100 8-hours) and you can trench 100 feet in five minutes. It is not difficult and with proper Pre-planning on Rachio, Rainbird or Orbit websites you can design your Sprinkler-Heads/coverage in advance. Do it! You will never regret taking control of your new Garden of Eden!
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on May 27, 2017
I love this! It was easy to replace my existing mechanical unit and only took about 15 minutes. The software set up is easy and intuitive. What I really love is that we travel a lot in the summer and always having the sprinklers on a fixed schedule I was either over or under watering even with a rain sensor so far the Rachio has recognized the local weather and adjusted accordingly. I also love the seasonal automatic adjustments. I am so happy to be able to travel without worrying that I was either wasting water or going to end up with a dead lawn.
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on July 9, 2017
I have really enjoyed the Rachio irrigation controller. Wherever I have a WiFi connection - at home or traveling - I can control the irrigation system. What's really handy is the ability to control the system when I am out in the yard. This allow me to test the sprinklers to make sure everything is working. The Rachio controller has the brains to figure out when to irrigate, using information from the nearest Weather Service station. This is a huge upgrade over my old analog controller where I had to turn a switch on or off, depending on the weather forecast. I got a small price break by purchasing a remanufactured system.
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on June 5, 2016
I love this irrigation controller. Until I installed the unit I had to walk around to the side of my house and get into a shrub bed full of flowers, shrubs, and mulch to make changes to my irrigation schedule. That gets old very quickly! The controller was very easy to install and get up and running. I absolutely love being able to make changes to my irrigation schedule from the comfort of my favorite chair inside the house. I have not had to track through my lawn or shrub beds since the day I installed the Rachio. The flex schedule capability is awesome and I really like being able to program and enable multiple schedules for irrigation based on the season and the weather. If you want the capability to control your irrigation from the comfort of your home, you cannot go wrong with the Rachio.
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on February 11, 2017
This was super easy to set-up. I replaced a Rainbird controller and kept my Rainbird wireless rain gauge, it is compatible with the Rachio controller. The Wi-Fi set up was fast and easy and Alexa synced right up with it. Highly recommend this controller! I can use the Rachio App and walk around the yard to check each station, no more back and forth to the controller box!! I also used the water proof controller case since my box is outside and it was an easy install as well, just wire your old plug into the Rachio outdoor box and you're good to go. Don't forget to take pictures of the old wiring before you remove them from the old controller, I have 14 stations so a lot of the same colored wires for different stations so I labeled my wires for no guess work.
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