Based on our test, this latest generation of Rachio's smart sprinkler controller adapts to hyper-local weather predictions.
This intelligent smart sprinkler controller will skip watering before it rains or freezes, or if your soil is already saturated so you can conserve water and keep your lawn and plants healthy. Installation is DIY. Our tests found the app and video tutorials make it possible to accomplish setup in under 30 minutes with no special tools required.
Like a cable modem, a few individuals noted that this unit may need to be unplugged occasionally to be reset.
If you are looking for the most affordably priced, four-zone smart sprinkler controller, this model should be a top option.
This model works with Android, iOS, or web-based app control. The unit receives live weather feeds to help the system deliver smart watering based on changing conditions. You can manually override the system, as needed, without losing your watering programs.
Depending on your prior experience with smart sprinkler controllers, setup via the app may be a little confusing.
A reasonably priced option that gives more expensive competitors a run for their money.
Features WeatherSense technology for personalized watering based on individual garden conditions and local weather forecasts. Water Sense certified. Robust, weatherproof case can be mounted indoors or outdoors. Easy installation and use. Works with Amazon Alexa.
Initial Wi-Fi setup and pairing can be a bit tricky. Not the most elegantly designed unit.
This smart sprinkler controller also doubles as a security camera for optimal versatility.
This versatile device not only helps to conserve water, it can also guard your home. By combining the two, this system turns on your sprinklers to frighten away curious animals. Water restriction database updates with the latest local municipal regulations.
A few individuals noted that installation was difficult and required a call to customer service to complete.
A cleverly designed and intuitive smart sprinkler controller that won't break the bank.
Complies with local water regulations and restrictions. Utilizes weather forecasts to automatically adjust watering schedules and volumes. Self learning feature compiles a personalized schedule based on in-app user history. Handy plant library with more than 1,000 species. Compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Lack of clear instructions can cause some initial hiccups, but these are usually quickly resolved thanks to excellent customer service.
After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.
Keeping the flowers beautiful and the grass green is something nearly every homeowner tries to accomplish. It can be challenging in the hot summers with old-fashioned irrigation system timers. They run regardless of the weather – even if it’s pouring rain – which can be a waste of energy and resources.
Designed to give you remote access via smartphone to your sprinkler system, a smart sprinkler controller can help you easily control the amount of water you use on your yard.
All smart sprinkler controllers are designed to give you some kind of interface with an app on your smartphone. These apps allow you to easily control your watering system from anywhere. You can change the watering amounts or times in the middle of the day, track how much water you use, and adjust the schedule as you see fit.
Below, we explore the two basic types of smart sprinkler controllers on the market today.
Basic smart sprinkler controllers turn any irrigation system into a device you can control from a smartphone app or with your Amazon Alexa. They’re a major step up from the timer-driven models most homeowners use. You can easily adjust zone watering and also track how much water and time your system is using.
The WaterSense program is an EPA-approved program that helps consumers improve water efficiency. If you’re interested in conserving water, a WaterSense-certified smart sprinkler controller is the best route to take.
Controllers that are certified by the WaterSense program provide you with system access via a smartphone app, but the device is designed to work more like a thermostat than a pre-set timer system. It’s a completely “smart” system that can sense when your lawn needs water by checking the weather forecast and, in some cases, checking ground moisture.
A smart sprinkler controller can customize the amount of water received by various zones in your yard. The controller determines the ideal watering amount for each zone based on factors such as the following.
Slope of the terrain
Type of plants
For example, a particular zone of your yard might need less water than another zone because there is more clay in the soil. Clay is known for its water-retaining properties.
Smart sprinkler controllers are made to be compatible with your devices. Many are designed with specific voice commands that work with controllers like Amazon Echo and Amazon Alexa. Even low-end ones made to hook up to a hose are designed for use with downloadable apps for your smartphone.
The app function allows you to see how much water your lawn is getting zone by zone. You can control it yourself or can choose a system with a WaterSense design that uses WiFi to check the forecast.
Place the outside sensor portion of your smart sprinkler system in an area that reflects the general sun exposure of your entire lawn.
Keep your smart sprinkler within range of your WiFi router. Otherwise, it will not work properly.
Are you interested in water conservation? A smart sprinkler controller with “WaterSense” EPA certification is your best bet. WaterSense models actually control the watering based on the weather.
Q. What exactly does a smart sprinkler controller do?
A. Smart sprinkler controllers have a WiFi-enabled sensor unit you install in your yard. The unit controls your irrigation system, giving you the ability to make watering adjustments from your smartphone based on the weather. Some smart sprinkler controllers make the adjustments themselves; others require a manual override.
Q. Can I use a smart sprinkler controller on my manual lawn sprinkler?
A. In some cases, yes. You do not necessarily have to have an in-ground irrigation system to benefit from a smart sprinkler controller. Some smart sprinkler controllers are made to hook up to your water line and control the water flow. These will allow you to use the smart technology with any sprinkling system.
Q. Can I install a smart sprinkler controller myself?
A. High-end models often require hardwiring to your existing pump house system; you may want to hire a professional to complete this task. Low-end models, particularly those designed to work with hoses, are easy to install; simply plug and go. Most homeowners feel comfortable installing this type of smart sprinkler controller themselves.
Q. How many stations can a smart sprinkler controller support?
A. This number varies by system. Eight stations can be supported by many systems. Higher-end models can be expanded to support up to 20 or more zones.