Smart sprinkler controllers are quite popular, and a lot of people consider getting one to save money and water. There are dozens of sprinkler controllers on the market, and all of them promise outstanding features and capabilities.
Admittedly, not all of those statements can be trusted since the majority of manufacturers advertise poorly-built and nonfunctional devices.
Table of Contets
- 1 Rachio vs RainMachine: Pros & Cons and Verdict
- 1.1 1. Installation Process
- 1.2 2. Design
- 1.3 3. Features
- 1.4 4. Performance
- 1.5 5. Mobile Application
- 1.6 6. Advantages and Disadvantages
- 1.7 7. Support
- 1.8 Rachio Review: Key Takeaway
- 1.9 RainMachine Review: Key Takeaway
- 1.10 8. Comparison Chart: Rachio vs RainMachine
- 1.11 The Bottom Line
Rachio vs RainMachine: Pros & Cons and Verdict
In this article, we’ll review, compare and evaluate the most critical aspects of both sprinkler controllers. We’ll also present detailed charts, and lastly, we’ll come up with a reasonable verdict and crown one as the leading product.
1. Installation Process
Today, people don’t buy things that are hard to install. Everyone searches for DIY devices that are easy to activate. We need to be sure that Rachio and RainMachine have simple installation processes that don’t require professional assistance.
Setting up Rachio sprinkler controller is pretty straightforward. It takes a few minutes to complete the installation and setup process. Rachio’s package includes a well-written user manual that perfectly explains how to activate your sprinkler controller.
We’ve also linked an excellent video guide uploaded by Rachio that’ll explain the whole process.
If you still have questions about the installation, make sure to check the user manual for further guidance. Alternatively, reach out to Rachio’s support, and they’ll help with anything you think is relevant.
RainMachine is another DIY smart sprinkler controller that is so easy to activate that there’s no chance of getting lost. I’ve personally installed the RainMachine, and it only took around 5-8 minutes to have it up and running.
If you’re interested in the setup process, we’ve dropped a detailed video guide published by RainMachine. It perfectly explains all the steps required to complete the procedure.
If you still have any questions, RainMachine’s package includes a user manual, which you can use for additional guidance. Lastly, if the problem persists, reach out to RainMachine’s support. Those people are superb and will help with any question you might have.
It’s essential for modern smart home products to be both functional and visually appealing. Every smart home shopper looks for devices that improve the overall appearance of their houses. So it’s essential for RainMachine and Rachio to have eye-catching and attractive designs.
The design of Rachio is not attractive. It doesn’t look unique, and it doesn’t raise curiosity or draw you towards it. Rachio is only available in white, the dimensions of the sprinkler controller are 5.5 x 1.5 x 9.25 inches, and it weighs around 3 pounds.
Underneath the white cover, there are a few buttons that allow you to select zones and start or stop the watering. The simple, white design makes the sprinkler controller easy to use and avoids any confusion.
RainMachine is the most attractive and beautiful sprinkler controller on the market. It’s well-built, beautifully designed and eye-catching. The dimensions of RainMachine sprinkler controller are 5.9 x 4.5 x 1.1 inches, and it weighs 11 ounces.
The touch interface of RainMachine sprinkler controller works smoothly. Compared to its competitors, this irrigation system controller has the best design. I spoke with other RainMachine owners, and everyone seems to be in love with its looks.
When people decide to purchase a smart sprinkler controller, the decision will, to a large extent, be based on the device’s features and performance capabilities.
If RainMachine and Rachio weren’t able to meet our requirements, there would be no incentive to purchase. So that we can be informed about the main features – and hence the abilities – of Rachio and RainMachine, we’ve created a detailed chart that lists the features of both models.
So both sprinkler controllers have kinda good features, and it’s not surprising that people regard these two as the industry-leading products. One of the most significant advantages of RainMachine and Rachio is having the voice control. Controlling them via Amazon Alexa or Google Home (only Rachio supports it) makes the whole automation process a lot easier.
What we need to write about now is the performance capabilities of our sprinkler controllers. It’s essential to know how well these two perform and if they can save us money and water.
Based on dozens of conducted tests, Rachio worked quite well. The scheduling feature rarely glitched and mostly delivered satisfying results. The weather forecast was perfect too. If, for example, the scheduled watering was for the following day but the weather forecast then predicted a heavy rain for that day, Rachio will override the scheduled watering.
Integration of Rachio and Amazon Alexa was pretty smooth, and we had zero trouble with the pairing process. Another cool thing that makes Rachio attractive is the Google Home support.
So if you own either of these two, there’s no need for you to pull out your phone and launch the apps to give commands. You can just tell your voice assistant what the sprinkler controller should do.
The sprinkler controller is smart enough to determine when, where and how long the watering should take. It’s a third-party integration friendly device, and, as well as Alexa and Google Home, it happily integrates with other famous brands like IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest and Wink.
What we loved about Rachio is that it checked the weather forecast every hour. It uses that data to determine whether your garden requires watering. This way, it saves a lot of money on monthly bills, as well as saving water.
Don’t be scared of mounting your Rachio outdoors. It’s wrapped in a weatherproof cover and can easily withstand harsh environments.
The most significant advantage of Rachio is that it combines the knowledge it has about your yard with weather forecasts and creates a specific plan that better fits your needs.
Rainmachine is another functional irrigation system controller that works perfectly. RainMachine is a best-selling sprinkler controller and has thousands of satisfied customers.
Like Rachio, it gathers information from various weather forecast companies and carefully analyses the data.
The scheduling feature of RainMachine works flawlessly. You can do it from the touchscreen, and it’s effortless to navigate. RainMachine offers kits for 8, 12, or 16 zones, which offers a good choice of range.
RainMachine is integrable with weather stations, and it delivers accurate weather reports. The company claims to provide around 80% water savings as a result of RainMachine automatically adjusting sprinkler/water usage (due to a forecast of rain, for example).
Besides Amazon Echo integration, RainMachine can work with IFTTT, SmartThings and Netatmo. The most significant advantage of RainMachine, as people say, is the local access since some don’t like using mobile apps to give commands and monitor activities.
RainMachine is entirely independent of the cloud. In other words, even if your Wi-Fi is down, it won’t interfere with the sprinkler controller. It’s also EPA WaterSense certified, and you can manually set the schedules, or you can allow the sprinkler controller to do it for you.
As for the savings, RainMachine does a beautiful job. We’ve estimated that in the first month of installing the sprinkler controller, we saved around 60% on water.
In short, if you’re looking for complete on-device controls or if your connection is unreliable, RainMachine will be a better fit for you. Besides the touchscreen, there’s an app for Android, iOS and a Web to run/supervise your sprinkler controller.
The most prominent drawback of RainMachine is that it should be installed somewhere indoors (a garage will do fine) since it’s not a weatherproof sprinkler.
RainMachine is not good at setting schedules, and, sometimes, it has trouble changing them. RainMachine requires you to create schedules since it can’t do it on its own. You need to tell the sprinkler controller which days to water and set the length of the processes.
Luckily, there’s a feature called ‘weather adaptive watering’ and, if activated, RainMachine will start acting upon weather forecasts. For example, if there’s a heavy rain tomorrow, it’ll override your original scheduling cycle and act as it sees fit.
5. Mobile Application
What we need to write about now is the mobile applications of Rachio and RainMachine. If these two had bad mobile apps, the user experience would be low, and people would look for alternative sprinkler controllers.
Since we mostly use our apps to control, monitor and schedule our irrigation system controllers, it’s essential for both devices to have functional iOS and Android apps.
Rachio’s mobile application works quite well, and it’s free of bugs. We’ve never encountered the mobile application glitching, crashing or freezing. It’s well-structured, easy to navigate and intuitive.
The mobile application of Rachio offers some great features and flexibility. While setting schedules and customising your sprinkler controller, it’s better to allow the device to automate everything without you intervening since it will create the best option for saving maximum amounts of water.
We activated all of the smart features (Smart Cycle and Weather Intelligence), and Rachio offered a plan of its own which seemed to be a bit off. However, after a week of testing, the grass looked quite healthy and green.
The interface of the mobile application is one of the most user-friendly and intuitive ones we’ve tested. The homepage of the app shows all sorts of things including local weather, forecast (five-day), watering schedules, and zones.
As you see from the picture of the zones, it shows the last time it was watered and when the next cycle will begin. The mobile app sends all notifications on time, and the best thing about the app is that it sends an alert whenever it’s about to start watering.
That’s an excellent feature since you won’t be showering your visitors unexpectedly. If you think that you no longer need a scheduled run, there’s a button for this, and you can cancel (there’s also a resume button) whenever you see fit.
The integrations of Rachio are lovely. It connects with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, SmartThings and Wink. All of those connections are native and smooth.
RainMachine’s mobile application is superb. It’s clean, functional, comfortable to use and well-built. We’ve never experienced the app bugging, crashing, freezing or glitching. It’s well-structured and intuitive so you’ll have zero trouble finding what you came looking for.
The interface of the mobile application is simple and gives some interesting insights. It displays the local weather, forecast, rain amount, next watering cycle, temperature, devices and zones.
There’s also a section for the zones where you can check the configuration. What people love about the app is the ‘restriction’ feature that works smoothly. For instance, if you live in a place where the weather is easily predictable, you set a thing like, ‘don’t water in February’ or ‘don’t water on Wednesday’.
The application itself isn’t as good as Rachio’s. It doesn’t offer much guidance, and you’ll need the user manual to find all the hidden gems.
RainMachine can integrate with great smart home products like Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and SmartThings. We’ve paired the sprinkler controller with Alexa, and it was a smooth integration. Whenever synced, you can give voice-enabled commands and enable watering cycles without launching the app.
6. Advantages and Disadvantages
It’s important to know the pros and cons of these sprinkler controllers to avoid any misunderstandings before making a purchase decision.
To find out the advantages and disadvantages of Rachio and RainMachine, we’ve created two detailed charts that list the pros and cons of both.
|Zones||Faulty Amazon Alexa Integration|
|Amazon Alexa & Google Home||Can’t Run Multiple Zones at Once|
|Flexible Mobile Application||Limited Onboard Controls|
|Reduced Water Bill|
|Easy to Install||Purchase Rachio|
|Beautiful Hardware||Can’t Expand to More Zones|
|Touchscreen||Average Scheduling Capabilities|
|Good Mobile Application||Less Flexible|
|Rain and Wind Sensitivity|
|Amazon Alexa Integration||Purchase RainMachine|
So both sprinkler controllers have good features and a few cons. Rachio and RainMachine are both functional products with thousands of satisfied customers and high ratings. With the incredible features that these two have, there’s no doubt people consider them as the best irrigation system controllers on the market.
Rachio and RainMachine are well-known for having top-notch customer care areas. When people purchase new smart gadgets, they often get lost during certain processes and can’t complete them without professional assistance.
After failing to find answers on their own, the last resort is reaching out to the support team for additional help. So it’s essential for companies like this to have outstanding customer care areas.
Luckily, Rachio and RainMachine have good customer service. I’ve reached out a few times and always been given professional help and tips.
Rachio Review: Key Takeaway
Before concluding our article, we’d like to mention all the critical features of Rachio so that you understand exactly why it’s one of the best sprinkler controllers on the market.
- Integrations – Rachio integrates with popular devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. If you connect Rachio with either of these two, you can give voice-enabled commands that make the whole process a lot more comfortable.
- Weather Forecast – The mobile application shows a weather forecast and your sprinkler controller will gather the data and adjust sprinkling times accordingly – hence saving money on bills more effectively.
- Zones – You can configure zones and activate the ones you think require more attention. You can also automate this process and let the irrigation system controller handle all the planning.
- Mobile Application – Rachio’s mobile application is lovely. It’s easy to use, intuitive and well-structured. It never glitches, freezes or crashes.
That’s pretty much everything. Rachio is one of the best sprinkler controllers on the market with a beautiful set of features and capabilities. It has thousands of satisfied customers and can meet, or exceed, your expectations.
RainMachine Review: Key Takeaway
RainMachine is a favourite sprinkler controller that has high ratings and lots of positive reviews. It’s a best-selling product with a lot of potential. RainMachine is widely regarded as one of the best irrigation system controllers and boasts having one of the best features’ set and range of capabilities.
- Local Control – The main advantage of the sprinkler controller is that it doesn’t rely on cloud service to keep your system running. Even if your Wi-Fi is down, it won’t interfere with RainMachine’s functionality.
- Touchscreen – Besides using the mobile and web app to control your irrigation system controller, you can use the touchscreen to give commands. That’s a huge plus since not everyone is keen on using apps for monitoring and controlling their smart devices.
- Integrations – RainMachine works with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and SmartThings. The pairing process is simple, and you can complete it without any complications. Alexa enables voice-activated commands. On the other hand, IFTTT and SmartThings let you ‘mix and match’ a wide range of integrations.
- Mobile Application – The mobile app is well-built, but it’s not as functional as Rachio’s. Still, RainMachine’s mobile application is intuitive and easy to use. It never crashes, freezes or glitches.
So RainMachine is a superb sprinkler controller that takes the top spot on the market. It’s reliable, functional, beautiful and durable. RainMachine has exciting features and a lot of potential for continuing upgrades from its manufacturer.
Compared to its competitors, RainMachine offers more features, flexibility, and stability. It’s one of the best products in its niche.
Before moving to the last part of our article, we’d like to present a detailed chart where we directly compare these two irrigation system controllers.
So both are reliable sprinkler controllers that deliver amazing results. Our findings strongly suggest that Rachio and RainMachine can meet and even exceed your needs. These two are well-known on the market and have high ratings and best-seller statuses on Amazon.
The Bottom Line
While both sprinkler controllers are top-notch devices, we still need to choose a winner so that it’s easier for the buyer to decide which one is a better buy.
Rachio is a first-rate irrigation system controller with outstanding features and capabilities.
If you want a sprinkler controller that works with Alexa and Google Home, Rachio seems to be a better option since the pairing process is smoother.
RainMachine is a sprinkler controller for those who love using a touchscreen. RainMachine doesn’t rely on cloud services, which can be a real bonus since it will work even if the Wi-Fi signal is down (whereas if you regularly have issues with connectivity, you’ll have a horrible time with Rachio).
So both of these two offer significant value, and the choice must be made depending on your needs. If you want to own a sprinkler controller that is integration friendly and offers more flexibility, Rachio is the way to go. On the other hand, if you love touchscreens and the concept of local control, RainMachine will do just fine.
Lastly, Rachio is a superior irrigation system controller since it offers more features, freedom and flexibility. It’s third-party integration friendly and has a lot of potential to improve. If you want to own the best sprinkler controller on the market, Rachio is the way to go.