A smart sprinkler control system can keep your lawn green in a convenient and efficient way. Two of the most popular models in the market now are Rachio 3 vs RainMachine. They both come with great features, but there are a number of things that set them apart. Which one is better? Read the detailed comparison below to find out!
After reading this article, you will gain the understanding about:
– The similarities between Rachio 3 and RainMachine
– Which system that is suitable for outdoor use
– The sensors and additional features on each model
– The connectivity options available on Rachio 3 vs RainMachine
– The available size options on each model
– Which smart sprinkler system that is better for the money
Both Rachio 3 and RainMachine are smart sprinkler control systems that can work automatically to water your lawn whenever needed. They both have sensors which will prevent them from watering when not necessary such as when the day is raining or when the soil is still wet enough. See also: Rachio 2 vs 3.
The latest models of Rachio 3 vs RainMachine have on-board controls. Most of the time, you will monitor and control your system through a mobile app. But having a way to start and stop the sprinklers through the device itself can be very handy.
Both Rachio 3 and RainMachine can connect wirelessly to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Furthermore, they can integrate with smart systems with voice controls such as Alexa and Google Assistant. They both are compatible with IFTTT for home automation. Finally, both of them are available in several size options.
Design and Weatherproofing
Rachio 3 is relatively larger than RainMachine. It measures 9.1 inches x 5.5 inches x 1.4 inches. It will be a bit bulky if used with the weatherproof housing. This can be a slight problem if you have a very limited space. You can find full controls right on the device. So, when you are right in front of the device, you don’t need to reach for your smartphone for configuration.
One very important difference between Rachio 3 vs RainMachine is weatherproofing for outdoor use. Rachio 3 can withstand usage in extreme temperatures ranging from -4oF to 140oF. So, it can still operate even when the weather is freezing, or when the sun is harsh. It nevertheless requires an enclosure for outdoor use, in order to withstand rain and snow.
RainMachine is quite smaller and slimmer than Rachio 3. This device measures 6.0 inches x 4.0 inches x 1.0 inches. So, it can be a good choice for a limited space. There are manual controls on the device. The 12-zone and 16-zone models even come with touchscreens. So, direct control will be very easy.
Unfortunately, RainMachine is not really suitable for outdoor use. It can only withstand temperatures from 32oF to 122oF. It won’t be able to withstand freezing weather. And, it doesn’t have an enclosure to protect against environmental factors. You need to keep it away from rain and snow.
Sensors and Features
Rachio 3 is the best when it comes to sensors and features. It comes with the essentials such as the foil sensor, rain sensor, and water flow sensor. In addition, it is compatible with many of the popular third-party sensors. So, you can easily build the system that perfectly suits your needs.
One notable improvement of Rachio 3 over its predecessors is the Wireless Rachio Flow Meter. This feature will monitor your water usage, so that you can observe the data wirelessly. This feature will also stop leaks automatically so that your lawn won’t get damaged and your water bill won’t inflame. Rachio 3 also has the Advanced Weather Intelligence to monitor local weather forecasts for the most accurate adjustments.
RainMachine is already equipped with the most important sensors that you expect from a smart sprinkler control system. It has a rain sensor and decent weather technology. So, this device can also adjust its performance according to the weather forecasts.
Unfortunately, RainMachine is without any foil or water flow sensor. It doesn’t have much third-party support. As a result, this system won’t know if the soil is still wet enough or not, or if there is a water leak that may damage your lawn.
Connectivity and Integration
Rachio 3 is generally more flexible in terms of connectivity and integration. It supports 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz Wi-Fi bands, so you can choose whichever band that suits your home’s network. This is a big advantage if you are using the 5.0GHz band. Furthermore, Rachio 3 can integrate seamlessly with services like Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, SmartThings, Nest, and Wink.
RainMachine only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. The unique feature of this model is the local network connectivity. So, when the Wi-Fi is down, you can still access and control the system through the local network. RainMachine supports Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. However, it can’t connect to SmartThings, Nest, or Wink directly. It can only connect to these services via IFTTT.
Choosing the right size of a smart sprinkler control system depends on your lawn’s size and layout. If you don’t have too many different zones, an 8-zone system should be good enough. But, if you have multiple different zones that require careful control, you may need a 12-zone or 16-zone system.
Rachio 3 is only available in two models, which are 8-zone and 16-zone. The 8-zone model is good for small lawns. Meanwhile, the 16-zone model is designed for medium and large lawns. This should cover most people’s needs.
RainMachine offers slightly more flexibility with three different models. There is an 8-zone model for small lawns. If you need more but not too many, you can choose the 12-zone model for medium lawns. If you have a large lawn, the 16-zone model can be your choice.
Rachio 3 vs RainMachine
All in all, Rachio 3 is much better. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, thanks to the excellent build and enclosure. It also has better features. It has rain sensor, soil sensor, and water flow sensor. The system can also detect and stop water leaks, saving both your lawn and your bill.