Spruce or Rachio?

Looking at replacing my Hunter controller.

I know Spruce has ST integration and Rachio needs to be coded…but…

What is the better controller. Looking for something that will help me save water.


I have Rachio 1st gen and I am very happy with it. And even though it doesn’t have native ST integration, the IFTTT and Echo are sufficient for me. I am not familiar with Spruce, but Rachio in terms of water savings, it will definitely save you money big time.

I think it will be tough for you to determine which was provides better water savings although I tend to lean towards soil moisture sensors as more accurate than weather (which gives Spruce the edge). That being said, I have a Rachio 1st gen and love it also. ST integration will eventually happen whether officially or community developed. I personally wouldn’t get Spruce as it’s dependent on ST to operate where as Rachio isn’t. If you ever decide to switch platforms, you now need a new irrigation control.

I haven’t used spruce but I have had my 1st gen rachio and it works great.

I just got a spruce and so far I have had no issues with it. It was very easy to setup and get in Smartthings and the water sensor have a pretty good distance to them. I have a water sensor about 100 feet from the controller with no issues. So far i’m very pleased with it however I couldn’t give you any more information then that because I really haven’t used it for watering yet.

I have Spruce running for little over a week. I have subsurface drip irrigation and soil sensors help a lot. I can’t see sprinklers working :slight_smile: so I rely on soil sensors to determine if system works. I have them placed in each zone. Distance on them is good. I have new sod that was installed a week ago so I haven’t really used full power of scheduling and moisture sensors but so far it skipped days when it rained and it seems to keep track of past rain as well

The whole 1 egg in a basket Spruce-ST is a concern…but for right now I am happy with ST.

I really like the sensor idea for getting correct data to the controller, I wonder if there is a way to use sensors with the Rachio.

I would be looking at the 2nd gen Rachio and using the external housing.

Spruce is working on a solution to not depend on st too much. Currently rachio doesn’t support soil sensors. It might change later

Considering that Spruce will most likely pay itself in less than one year, may not be a bad choice over Rachio. Worse case scenario, you can sell it if you want to switch… You would still make money over all.

Spruce has the option of soil sensors (if you need) and it works with ST directly today… And like someone said, they are working on making it independent of ST. Rachio definitely is a great system too… But I would choose Spruce over Rachio… I’ve been using Spruce for 6 months now… Its awesome!

You can use it with Rule Machine and create use cases like - “when I arrive and sprinklers are on, then pause for few mins” …The native Spruce smart app lets you pause the sprinklers when a door is opened.

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Think I am leaning towards the Spruce.

You notice a water savings over the 6 months?

How many sensors do you have and are the only in your lawn?

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I sure did see a ~50% reduction in my water bill. I realized later how inefficiently I had set up my sprinklers before Spruce.
I have just two zones in my home… And i used just one sensor … Where the plants and flower beds were… The other zone was just lawn.

Well…after watching my landscapers run over a small toy that was left in the yard, I am afraid for the $$ sensors I might be putting in the lawn.

Also, Spruce is backordered and they do not make a outside housing. I know I could get one, but it would not be theirs and I don’t know how the warranty would be if it got wet.

So, I ordered a 2nd gen Rachio with their outdoor housing. Will be her on monday.

I have the Rachio and really confused by the scheduling, it wants to water for over 3 hours twice a week…that is more watering then what I do in the summer.

Not a water saving at all if I do not figure this out.

Maybe I do wait for the Spruce??

I would contact their support.

Installed Rachio Gen2 this week. I could not be happier. Set up is a breeze, the app is fantastic and trouble free, and the system is so smart I am amazed. I haven’t added my rain sensor or a flow sensor yet, but plan to. Ground moisture data are estimated by local weather station fed data, soil type, slope, sun, and vegetation type. It’s literally worry free, and if I had a worry, the online community is huge and knowledgeable. I’d be nuts trying to keep sensors in the soil online in an acre anyway. JMTC, YMMV, falalalala

I would agree, setup was a breeze, app is great…only issue is trying to understand the watering schedule it is trying to go.

Even after customizing the settings it is suggesting twice the water my Hunter ever used and I always have the nicest and greenest lawn in the neighborhood.

Yes, if you have a huge yard, I would think soil sensors would be very hard to get working.

I’m just not seeing that kind of use. My rain sensor would be dry by now, yet the system knows ground water is so high it will not fire for two weeks, depending on vegetation. Length of runs, as I have read, are typically longer than you might think. I think the savings is in that not all zones are run at once sitting, based on predicted needs and precip. I’m sure as Spruce matures it will get there too… but I needed something now.

To be honest, the soil sensors are the main reason I haven’t purchased a Spruce yet. I know they will be destroyed by the big commercial mowers from the lawncare company in a week. Even if I flag them, they won’t pay attention.
2ng Gen Rachio (as far as right now) is what I will get, but only once it is integrated into ST. There’s really no reason for me to purchase anything that does not integrate.

It’s good to hear that others like the Rachio!


So I have both…and the Spruce controller is in a box.

Rachio is mounted and working.

I did leave the soil sensors in the ground so I could keep an eyes on how the Rachio was doing. (doing fine by the way :smile: )

I only have a 9000 sq ft lot and I keep loosing communication with 2 sensors.

I feel that the dedicated Rachio app is easier to deal with and understand what is going on.

I use the Flexible Daily schedule, it has been working great since the last update.

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First gen here and love it! Came from Rain Machine and is incomparable. Rachio Rocks!!!