RainMachine vs Rachio Iro Smart Irrigation

So I am trying to figure out what everyone’s thoughts and opinions are on the RAINMACHINE VS RACHIO IRO SMART IRRIGATION.

I have gone to the Rachio Iro Smart Irrigation controller chat and the Rainmachine chat. From what I got out of it was how to us control them via ST. I will still set it up with ST, but I also wanted to see what unit is more user friendly. Am I able to

I have to make sure my non tech savvy wife can still work it if I am not available to do so or where she can call me and ask me to fix the issue via smartphone/computer.

Both are excellent sprinkler controller and they work very well without integrating with ST. The difference boils down to:

  1. RainMachine local panel that any sprinkler service men can use. Rachio only offers mobile app control. You can however mount an unused phone to solve that problem :wink:
  2. RainMachine doesn’t have IFTTT integration, Rachio however has it.
  3. No official for RainMachine. Rachio will have an official ST integration in the future.

Personally, I have RainMachine and I wrote device type for ST. However, I’m not creative enough to find much use case of it with ST.

I’m curious what you plan to do with the ST integration. I have the Rachio and love it. However the minimal modifications i make to it is all done through their app. Only thing i can think of is deferring a watering schedule if motion is in the area…

I just sold my RainMachine on eBay and picked up the Rachio on sale from Amazon for $199. I felt Rachio had better integration options with IFTTT and that was my compelling reason to switch over. I want to be able to pause my sprinklers automatically when showering. That is my use case.

I realized the lack of local control was not a big deal as I didn’t use it once in a year of owning the RainMachine. The RainMachine looked cooler but who cares, it’s sitting in my garage! The one thing I will say is the RainMachine seemed to do a better job with weather prediction. For example, it rained about a week ago on and off all morning and the Rachio watered every zone like normal before the rain started. I can bet that the RainMachine would have skipped. Also, RM adjusted every day depending on weather where as the Rachio seems to run the full amount each day. Not sure if that is a big deal as RM might be overanalyzing.

Either way, both controllers are good choices but I felt Rachio offered more support and seemed to have a better backing(RainMachine has been sold out for months without newer inventory). Rachio’s mobile app is superior as it’s much snappier, offers push notifications and historical information and they are coming out with a software update to 2.0 soon. Not sure what RM’s latest update provided though.

Security is a weakness of RM IMO as it requires you to open up ports in your firewall. I never pen tested the device though but still vulnerabilities can be introduced more easily. Rachio is cloud based which some can consider even a more of a security issue but not me.

Rachio offers the ability to connect a rain sensor, RM does not. Personally, I feel rain sensors are pointless with smart irrigation controllers as they should know when to water and when not to.

Lastly, I do have some wifi challenges with my 2.4ghz band in my house and the RainMachine seemed to need to rebooted every once in awhile where as the Rachio seems to have more of a stable wifi signal.

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I have been speaking with Rain Machine almost daily. The new machine comes out in June and will not require port forwarding. That is why I am waiting. I also have been able to get my water company to pay for most of it.

@dfairbro1 Since it has been about 7 months now. I was wondering what your thoughts on the new Rain machine are. I still have not made the jump yet for either the Rain machine or the rachio.

So far I love it. I have had no problems with it whatsoever. It is very sensitive, if it even thinks about raining it will not turn on. However that can be adjusted. I never did get it connected to SmartThings because of all of the up-and-down issues SmartThings has been having lately. perhaps someday but standing alone I am very happy with it

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Thanks for the info!

I struggled a bit deciding between Spruce, Rachio and Rainmachine. I went with Rainmachine primarily because I want there to be a controller that a maintainance person could access when I’m not around; and in the event we ever sell the house, again, there will be a controller there that someone can access. I also didn’t like the idea of having to maintain the Spruce sensors in terms of batteries and our lawn guys potentially killing them. Really like the idea of Spruce with its ST integration, but the truth is there are only very limited use cases for that, and frankly I can’t come up with one that matters much for my purposes.

So, ordered a RM last night. Looking forward to it coming in and getting it set up. If there eventually is ST integration I’ll probably go for it, but if not, that’s fine too. Irrigation is one of those things that is probably just left to a controller to “set and forget.”

For anyone out there looking, I just received my RainMachine today, installed it in all of 15 minutes (including mounting). Absolutely love it. Slick interface, on the machine itself and in the gorgeous app. For the first time I have all the zones named and know what each one controls. It’s really easy and works great. Big fan, would recommend highly. I haven’t used Rachio or Spruce, but this seemed to be the only one that met my needs by also including control at the device itself (for maintenance workers, when there may not be someone with the app handy, etc.).

I may or may not tinker with getting it integrated into ST. Truth is, as others have pointed out, I’m just not seeing a use case that matters enough for me that it would be worth the effort. If at some point there is really easy ST integration, I might try. But for now, my water runs in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping. I just don’t see a need for control based on motion or doors opening etc. (If I stumble home drunk some time at 2am, a little water won’t kill me…).

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I have both the Rainmachine and SmartThings integration. I was not sure if I would use it either. However yesterday when I realized it was going to be 100°and I knew it was not my normal watering day for my vegetable garden, I sat at my desk at work in gave my tomatoes a little extra water. .Now if I can figure out a way to hook the Rainmachine up to one of my temperature sensors I could have that happen automatically…

Otis would be much more interested in watering his potatoes I would imagine.

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You can CORE to monitor outside temp and turn on

Are RainMachine and Rachio integratabtle with ST? I would like to know which one is a better buy too. I’m considering getting a sprinkler controller and it’ll be nice if someone can offer any insights.

No one mentions orbit :joy:

I’ve been using RainMachine for like 2 years and it’s been perfect. They both work the same way. Advantage of RainMachine is that it has a touch screen display if you need local control. Also, it can take weather forecast from multiple providers and combine them. There were a many software updates lately, based on user requests and feedback.
Advantage of Rachio is that you can connect a rain sensor.
I had RainMachine integrated with ST. Did not see any use for that so I separated them. Now I use it as an independent system and works good.

I got rainmachine and have loved it since. It has a touch screen if you get the 12 plus zones or if you have 8 it’s just phone/pc based. I have yet to see a reason to connect to ST. You can connect a rain sensor to it but no point to do so since you can connect multiple weather systems to it.

Which models are you all referring to? My new home has an older non-smart RainBird and a Hunter wireless sensor receiver (haven’t located a rain sensor/transmitter anywhere). Debating getting a new system rather than invest any money into the old. I have never owned/used an irrigation system so don’t really know anything about them yet. As mentioned by others, I would like a controller…
-compatible with my existing RainBird valves (or are they all the same???)
-with local control for service/resale
-works with or without cloud connection
-smartthings compatible, just because :slight_smile:
-other important features???

Anyone already do a pro/con/price summary for these: Rachio ($150), Rainmachine mini or touch ($225), Orbit 57950 ($82 sale today), RainBird ($139)

Thank you in advance!

Most all existing valves will work with any irrigation controller.
The one I currently have is rainmachine HD12
The other one that is listed is the Rachio
I have not used the the Rachio since I went and got the rainmachine.

  • Will have resale…
  • The rainmachine is the only one that can have local control if you are not wanting to use a phone/computer (Cloud).
  • Not using it with ST b.c there is no real reason to connect with ST.
  • other features, Connect to Wunderground and NOAA to have it not run on days when it’s predicted to rain, snow, wind at a set speed you pick, freezing and so many other features.
  • Make sure whatever you do when buying a new irrigation controller will be able to handle the amount of zones you have. The Rainmachine does 8/12/16 zones. Where the Rachio does 8/16 zones
  • Rachio does work with Alexa, Google home, IFTTT, ST and Nest. Rainmachine is only compatible with IFTTT but there are talks of them integrating Alexa, Google home.

The youtube videos I watched that got me to lean towards the rainmachine are:

Hope this helps with your questions and buying the one you want. The install on any of the irrigation systems are very easy and if you are not completely sure you can watch youtube videos on how to do the install.

Good Luck!!

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