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Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa
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- Highest-rated, best-selling. The smart watering category leader, overwhelmingly recommended by users.
- Easy to control anywhere, anytime. Get complete access to monitor and adjust your sprinkler system from your phone, tablet or laptop.
- Automatically adapts for weather. Rachio continuously adapts to local weather forecasts and changing seasons, automatically optimizing watering schedules.
- Save water and money. Save up to 50% of your outdoor water use while keeping your plants healthy. EPA WaterSense Certified, eligible for rebate options up to 100% of retail value.
- Water with precision. Rachio uses specific yard details, advanced watering algorithms and proven irrigation science to create accurate schedules customized to the particular needs of your yard.
- Connect with top smart home platforms. Extend your smart home out into the yard. Rachio directly integrates with the best-connected home platforms (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Nest, and more), so you have more options and more control
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|Item Dimensions||5.5 x 1.5 x 9.25 inches|
|Manufacturer Part Number||16ZULW-B|
|Shipping Weight||3.04 pounds|
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This item Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa
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|Item Dimensions||1.5 x 9.25 x 5.5 in||1 x 6 x 4 in||5 x 11.25 x 6.5 in||9.38 x 3.75 x 8.63 in|
The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller changes the way you water. It makes running your sprinklers easy and convenient while saving you water and money. Rachio automatically creates a watering schedule that lowers your water bill and ensures the beautiful yard you want, while the mobile app gives you access to your sprinkler system from anywhere. Plus, Rachio is compatible with nearly any sized yard and smart home platform.
Top Customer Reviews
The cost of servicing errors and troubleshooting known component defects, combined with their 'dumb' controller status (most wristwatches nowadays have 10 times the brains of these old-school controllers) was far more expensive than the cost of replacing them with Rachio.
We loved the 'Iro' (Gen 1), and have just installed our first Gen 2. Already:
- Connecting is much simplified: goodbye Wireless Imp, and its awkward 'Blink Up' process;
- It's more secure - we can change a network's SSID and Password, then very simply pass those updates to the controller via the app;
- Incremental app updates have fixed a ton of bugs over the last few months.
Looking forward to installing a few dozen more this year!
There are three ways To rain delay (major water savings for me):
1) In the web dashboard or the mobile app, just tap Rain Delay and the number of days to delay. The status area counts down to when it will rain next, "Rain Delayed until Thursday, November 16, 2016, 2:00 PM". That's cool.
2) The Rachio's logic is good at deciding whether to water or not based on past actual rain, and predicted future rain. You set an actual rainfall threshold for each scheduled program in increments of quarters of inches. The accuracy of this logic depends on your local rain forecast accuracy, and how close you are to a weather station for actual rainfall measurements (it's been pretty accurate for me so far). The status panel in the portal tells you why it does and doesn't run schedules ("Schedule 'Water Yard' was skipped because the predicted rain of 5/8" in the next 24 hours exceeds your threshold of 1/2".) You can take action on that notification of you disagree with the decision.. on your smartphone(!)
3) I attached a Hunter Wireless Rain Clic rain sensor as a third failsafe to prevent watering in the rain (also purchased from Amazon). This might be overkill for some, but I like the push alerts from my Rachio, "Rain sensor has been activated", and "Rain sensor has been deactivated"... I know when it's raining at my home, and I'm now 100% guaranteed of not watering in the rain even when the weather data Rachio uses isn't accurate for my neighborhood (microclimates).
I have enabled the Rachio skills pack with our Amazon Echo, which is very neat, but at this point, it's more of a novelty for me. You can start zones, start programs, and set rain delays, which I guess might be useful now that I thing about it.. I just think tapping a couple buttons in the app is so easy, sometimes getting the exact wording right and the Echo hearing me correctly is more trouble than it's worth. I have a zone for filling our pool which is only run on demand (not on a schedule), and I can say, "Alexa, run fill pool for 3 minutes". If I leave out the word "run", it fails, and it ends up taking three or four attempts.
Bottom line.. I really love this controller so far. I think it's light years ahead of the past generation of controllers in terms of water savings and landscape care, and I think Rachio has done a fantastic job with the user interfaces and logic, which is no small feat.
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...