There are several smart sprinkler systems in the market, but you must be wondering which one would be the best for your garden. Two of the best smart sprinkler systems are Rachio and Rain Machine. After testing both the products individually for over 10 days, we have come across their main differences. You can go through the below side-by-side comparison of the two products and decide which one will suit your need.
Both devices are EPA Water-Sense Certified. However, between both of them, we would suggest you Rain Machine. The reason is that Rachio is dependent on Cloud completely while Rain-machine is not dependent on Cloud to work and can easily work in an offline mode. You will have to purchase it once in the Rain machine case, and then you can use it easily without any hassle of cloud interference. But, Rachio offers more specialized sensors. It completely depends on you what you want to take. If you are comfortable with Cloud dependence, you can easily buy Rachio with a few more features.
Comparison Chart: Rachio Vs. Rain Machine
|Specifications||Rachio gen 1||Rachio gen 2||Rachio gen 3||Rain machine|
|Wireless Rachio Flow Meter||No||No||Supported||NA|
|Wired Flow Sensors||No||Supported||Supported||NA|
|Temperature Range||-4 degree F to 140 degrees F||-4 degree F to 140 degrees F||-4 degree F to 140 degrees F||32 degree F to 122 degrees F|
|Wi-Fi||2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n||2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n||2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n||2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n|
|Smart things,Nest.Wink||Yes||Yes||Yes||Via IFTTT|
|Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|App||iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+||iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+||iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+||iOS and Android|
|Warranty period||2 years||2 years||2 years||2 years|
|Outdoor use||With Enclosure||With Enclosure||With Enclosure||No|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
1. Cloud Dependence
Rachio has got more sensors and has easier smart home integration, but it has one major drawback: its dependence on Cloud to work. You need to connect your Rachio device to Cloud so that it can carry on the commands. Although the cloud server never goes off for more than 5 minutes, sometimes server-down leads to permanent damage to the device.
On the other hand, the Rain Machine is not dependent on the Cloud to work. It can easily function through a mobile-network when Wi-Fi is not available. If you want your smart sprinkler to be long-lasting and independent of any additional support, then you should choose the Rain machine over Rachio any day.
2. Manual Control
Both smart sprinklers have a manual control feature. All Rachio models have manual control except Rachio Gen 2. In this device, you will need to set it to make it work manually.
With Rain Machine, you get manual control in all its devices.
3. Zone Control
The zone control feature lets the house owner choose multiple suitable places to enable sprinkling control there. Rachio provides around 8 or 16 zone controls, which depend on which generation model you are buying. It is not a very suitable feature because 8 are very few and may not be sufficient, while 16 would be more than enough for an average-sized garden.
On the other hand, the Rain machine comes with a more flexible option as it offers 12 zone controls, which is pretty sufficient for an average-sized garden.
In terms of sensors, Rachio comes above the Rain machine as it has got a lot of sensors like a rain sensor, soil sensor, and flow sensor. They all make sure that you water your garden in the right proportion, and there is no water wastage. Rachio also supports popular third-party sensors like RAIN BIRD WR2 Wireless Rain Sensor, Orbit Wireless Rain Sensor, and Hunter Rain-Clik Wireless Rain Sensor.
Unfortunately, the Rain Machine does not provide soil and flow sensors, and it only has a Rain sensor, which is a bit disappointing compared to its other features. It also does not integrate with any third-party sensor or safeguards.
5. Outdoor Use
Rachio supports outdoor use. You can easily install it outside. But it is not the case with the Rain machine because it operates at temperatures 32 F to 122 F, which can support the model in a colder climate. It also does not have a weatherproofing feature, which means you will have to save it from other natural elements outside. This is why the Rain machine would be the most suitable for inside use only. In this feature, too, Rachio is above the Rain machine.
6. Smart Home Integration
Smart Home integration is an essential feature these days you can find in almost all home automation devices. Rachio is dependent on Cloud to function but offers support for voice controllers like Google Assistant and Alexa. It is also compatible with smart hubs like Nest, Wink, SmartThings, and IFTTT.Rain Machine does offer support for voice controllers like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but when it comes to integrating with any smart hub, it creates problems. To integrate with any smart home controller, you need IFTTT, which does not work in Rain machine by default failing to support any smart hub system.
7. Local Connect
Rain machine offers a big advantage, which Rachio does not that is of Local Connect. Rachio model needs a Wi-Fi connection if you want to set any schedule for the sprinkling time or make any changes in its settings. It will not work if you do not have a Wi-Fi connection.
On the other hand, the Rain machine does not need a Wi-Fi connection to change the settings or set schedules, and you can easily perform these functions with the help of Local Connect. You can easily connect your system with Local connect and make any changes you want to make in your system.
8. App Control
Both the devices use two different apps to work. Rachio Smart Sprinkler uses iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+ while Rain Machine only uses iOS and Android to work.
Both the Rachio and Rain machine offers a two-year warranty, which is pretty sufficient. All three generations of both the model offer the same warranty period.
2. Rain Sensors
Both devices have rain sensors. Although, Rachio comes with soil and flows sensors too that the Rain machine does not have.
These devices are easily compatible with voice assistants like Google’s Assistant and Amazon Alexa. They are also compatible with smart hub systems like Wink, SmartThings, Nest, and IFTTT. However, you need first to make your IFTTT work in the Rain machine to integrate with any other home control systems.
4. On-device Control
You can control both devices from their models themselves. They have got a control panel on their device model. You do have their respective apps to control them commonly, but you can control it from their main model as well, which is a plus point.
Additional Features And Technical Specifications Of Rachio
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
- Easy set-up often takes 30 Minutes or less; replaces current sprinkler controller box. Android or iOS device required...
- Operate from anywhere using a Wi-Fi connection to your mobile iOS, Google Android, or Web Application
- Compatible with Rachio flow meter
- Has dual-band Wi-Fi that is 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
- Has extended range with long-distance flex radio
- Has magnetic cover locks
- Weight is 19.19 oz
- Available in white color
- The frequency band is 2.4 GHz
- Dimensions are 9. 14” * 5 5/8” * 1 5/8”
- Has got freeze sensors as well
- Compatible with both iOS and Android
- Has got a master valve and pump control
- Its package contains Smart Sprinkler Controller, AC power, Adapter, Mounting Hardware, Installation Guide
Additional Features And Technical Specifications Of Rain Machine
- SMART SCHEDULE & SAVE WATER - Save water with real-time weather adjustments. (EPA WaterSense Certified, check for...
- CLOUD INDEPENDENT - All personal data stored locally. RainMachine continues to work even when WiFi is down. Forecast...
- FREE WEATHER DATA - Direct access to NOAA, METNO or Wunderground, OpenWeatherMap, NetAtmo. Use National or Personal...
- Has got a dashboard to monitor temperature, rain, etc.
- You can set as much as 12 zones
- There is reliable weather data that it provides
- Has the feature of looking into the future through the weather predictors
- Has simple touch interference
- Its dimensions are 115” * 115” * 27” mm
- Wi-Fi and USB is
- Its forecast spatial resolution is up to 1.5 km
- Has a location-based weather forecast
- Has freeze control and heatwave protection
- Has onboard rain sensor connector
- It is not dependent on Cloud to work
- It has an outdoor enclosure available
Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Rachio Smart sprinkler is very complex, with several smart features to make your life more convenient. It has a SWAT approved smart sprinkler controller. It has its separate app that is Rachio Intuitive app. You can easily customize your water preservation activities through the app, such as detecting pipe leaks or knowing your water consumption via a flow sensor. There is also a fixed interval and zone-by-zone control facility where you can easily customize the sprinkling activity according to the amount of sunlight, type of soil, etc.
Rain machine Smart Wi-Fi Controller
The Rain Machine Smart Wi-Fi Controller gives you the facility of a local touch interface. With the touch screen facility, you can easily operate the functions of your smart sprinkler very easily. It has an ultra-bright display that gives you a clear view of the screen to operate your device. You can easily operate this smart device in your Android or iOS app on your smartphone.
Its best advantage is that it can operate itself even when your Wi-Fi switches off. You can easily use your mobile network instead of Wi-Fi to use this device, so it is a better product than Rachio.
It does not matter what is the exact speed of your Wi-Fi when it comes to the Rachio machine. It needs a stable internet connection to work. It does not consume a lot of data so any Wi-Fi connection with pretty sufficient data would be suitable for your smart sprinkler.
If you have no experience in installing any device then it might take a maximum of 30-40 minutes to install. If you have installed a few smart devices in your home then it will hardly take 10-15 minutes. You can easily watch online tutorials on how to install it. In case if you find it too difficult to install then you might call a professional who will take extra bucks from you.
Yes, you can set a security password on your Rain machine model. You store the password in the device itself and in case if you have forgotten it, you can easily get access through its app via your smartphone. Setting a password and then resetting it is not a difficult task in Rain machine water sprinkler.
After going through the review, we hope that you have a fair idea about the product that would suit your need. Every garden needs a smart home sprinkler system that would conserve water and reduce water bills too. As per our testing Rachio is the thing to go for.