Rachio Vs. Rain Machine

I am looking for your opinion. Not just the best compatible with Smartthings. I have 10 zones so I would have to get the 16 zone version of Rachio for $50 more than the Rain Machine. That is a small Factor. Both seem very good choice but only Rachio will be “officially” Supported. I think @copyninja made one for Rain Machine but no official support that I can see.

I do not have either, but I’m considering getting a Rain Machine…because there is local access. We have a service maintain our sprinklers - the blow out the system in the winter and we call them over when we have issues. If I use Rachio, I have to be there for them to be able to test different zones. With Rain Machine, they can do it themselves.

I have a Rachio and it is excellent. The Rachio team has been refining the software over the past year. The unit keeps getting better and better. The historical data is good to see. I have definitely saved a lot of water with the unit. Using IFTTT you can implement some cool recipes with Smartthings. The weather data and other features in the Rachio unit make it much smarter than the Rain Machine. Go for the Rachio unit definitely.

I have a Rain Machine and love it. I love the aesthetics and local control. If you require both of those, then this is the better choice. I setup @copyninja’s smartapp, and since it’s winter here in NY, I cannot really do much with it. I don’t have any use cases to use it with ST other than maybe notifications when it finishes or runs. I would really like the pause it when showering, but as of now, that’s not an option in the RainMachine API.

However, I think long term, Rachio seems to be a more polished play as it’s sold in major retail stores and has better integration (IFTTT and official ST support).

I think local access is really an important factor in case you run into any issues with your sprinklers. Unless you’re a DIY person and you know everything about sprinklers, you should opt for Rachio.

I highly doubt that they will release any official integration with SmartThings. It took them a while to release these APIs. Also, even there’s one, it won’t be sleek as Rachiio since cloud allows them to do webhooks.

I have the Rachio and love it… The Developers and Support team are great. I Love that I can use it with a Personal Weather Station thats in my Backyard…

The also have landscaper access as well

@franzgarsombke has been active on the forums

Happy to answer any technology related questions regarding the Iro. Finally finishing up the ST integration and we are working on version 2.0 of our mobile and webapp. Ground-up rebuild with much more schedule automation (flex schedules) and transparency into each of your zones (tracking soil moisture levels).

Starting to work with soil moisture companies on cloud-to-cloud integrations.

Anyways, feel free to PM me directly at franz@rach.io or through support@rach.io if you have any other questions.

Exciting times on the road map :smile:

I have a Rain Machine, and would definitely vote for that. I don’t think there is any functionality it lacks compared to rach.io, and the local control is a very big plus. The unit itself is very slick, and I actually mounted mine in my master walk in closet (which happens to share a wall with where our valves are wired) so I have realtime weather forecasts available on the wall when I get dressed in the morning.

All of these are good. Thank you. I think local access is important but not a deal breaker since 95% of the time I will be using my phone or laptop to program or whatever else I would need for my sprinklers. A big plus is one actually got on other forums and tells us they are working on better software.

I wonder if you could use a controller (like a minimote or some wall mount one) to manually kick off a zone on the Rach.io? That would give you local access. Perhaps it would activate the zone for 5 min or something like that.

Although the Landscaper access is good, the sprinter contractor is not the most high-tech! :smile:


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Are you able to keep your old controller and just add the Rach? I’d love to keep the old one so the Gardner has a familiar interface but just have it set to no presets and all off. All of the programming would be in the Rach but if he wants to change a sprinkler/test/turn it on/off can do that without needing a phone.

All the wires would go to one controller

@brianlees Talking to our in-house irrigation professional (he used to own his own landscaping company) his belief is that turning zones on/off can easily be accomplished at the valve boxe(s). Lots of sprinklers have been blown out without the user home and the timer inside :smile:

Just our 2 cents :wink:

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Yes, You can manually turn on and turn off the sprinklers using the valves. This totally eliminates the need for a local access. When you have an app like Rachio’s, I believe there is nothing to worry about as well. ; )

Also, Rachio has been constantly updating their software(for both the controller and the app)

Finally the integration with STs and @franzgarsombke updates, has really made me go for it!

I have a Rachio and love it. Easy, easy to install; the app is good for managing it, and most importantly the wife and kids like it (kids can simply turn on one zone independently to run in the sprinklers in summer!)

I am waiting for spring in Jersey when I can get one (who knows may be a latest model by then…). :slight_smile:

@smart FYI have been doing extensive talking to Green Electronics- The Rainmachine- new product release in 6-8 weeks. The HD12 but does not need port forwarding… I am helping them get on our water company rebate approve list… My water company is going to pay the majority of the cost for me… something to check into…

All sprinkler heads can be turned on locally i.e. at the exterior sprinker control valves. I have never seen a service company use an internal panel to check valves or winterize the system, regardless of whether its a wifi system or an old digital wall controlled timer. Access to the panel is only needed to program or adjust the program - you dont have to worry about this with any Wifi based system. Service companies don’t need access, so don’t worry about this as factor between the two systems. I just ordered a Rain Machine to replace my old Toro…and do all my own fitting, winterizing and repairs as its so simple. Good luck!

I was leaning towards Rachio but now there is a new one called Skydrop. It is pricier than the other 2 by $50, And if your like me with more than 8 zones you have to buy the zone expansion for another $60


I have had the new RainMachine for about 2 weeks now (got it the day it came out) I love it!!! It was/is so easy to setup and operate… and my water company paid for it… rebate program…