Rachio 3 and Rachio 3E are two smart sprinkler controllers developed by Rachio Inc. that help homeowners and businesses save water, time, and money by automating their irrigation systems.
Both devices are designed to be easy to use, environmentally friendly, and technologically advanced, with features such as real-time weather monitoring, personalized scheduling, remote access via mobile app, and smart home integration.
Recent research has shown that smart irrigation systems like Rachio 3 and Rachio 3E can significantly reduce water usage and increase plant health compared to traditional irrigation methods.
According to a study by the University of California, smart sprinkler controllers can reduce water use by up to 60% while maintaining or improving plant health.
Another study by the Center for Irrigation Technology at California State University, Fresno found that smart irrigation systems can save up to 40% on water bills compared to traditional irrigation methods.
In terms of differences between the two devices, the Rachio 3 offers more advanced features than the Rachio 3E.
For example, the Rachio 3 can control up to 16 zones, has weather intelligence plus, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and voice control with Apple HomeKit in addition to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
On the other hand, the Rachio 3E is a more affordable option that can control up to 8 zones and offers basic smart features such as remote access via mobile app, weather monitoring, and smart home integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
|Feature||Rachio 3||Rachio 3E|
|Zones||8 zones or 16 zones||8 zones|
|Weather Intelligence Plus||Yes||No|
|Wireless Connectivity||Dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth||2.4GHz Wi-Fi|
|Voice Control||Yes, with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit||Yes, with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant|
|Rain Sensor Compatibility||Yes||Yes|
|Installation||Wired installation required||Wired installation required|
|Smart Home Integration||Yes, with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit||Yes, with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant|
|Mobile App||Rachio App for iOS and Android||Rachio App for iOS and Android|
|Price||Starts at $229.99 for 8 zones and $279.99 for 16 zones||Starts at $149.99 for 8 zones|
Overall, the Rachio 3 offers more features and flexibility than the Rachio 3E, including the ability to control more zones, weather intelligence, voice control with Apple HomeKit, and dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
However, the Rachio 3E is a more affordable option for those who do not need all of the advanced features offered by the Rachio 3.
Differences Between Rachio 3 and Rachio 3e Explained
Number of Zones
- Rachio 3: The Rachio 3 can control up to 16 zones, which makes it ideal for larger properties with a variety of irrigation needs.
- Rachio 3e: The Rachio 3e can control up to 8 zones, which makes it a more affordable option for those with smaller lawns or gardens.
- Rachio 3 offers three options: Fixed, Flex Monthly, and Flex Daily
- Rachio 3e offers two options: Fixed and Flex Monthly
Flex Daily is a smart and unique watering schedule that is only available on the Rachio 3.
It adjusts the watering frequency and duration based on moisture levels, hyperlocal weather forecasts, and individual zone characteristics to provide efficient watering for each zone.
Flex Monthly, which is available on both the Rachio 3 and Rachio 3e, adjusts watering frequency and duration based on seasonal changes.
The Fixed schedule, which is also available on both models, allows users to set up a fixed watering schedule.
Dos and Don’ts:
- DO customize your watering schedule for each zone based on factors like soil type, plant type, sun exposure, and slope. This can help ensure that each area of your property receives the right amount of water for optimal plant health and water conservation.
- DON’T water during or immediately after rain, as this can lead to water runoff and waste. Use the rain sensor feature on your Rachio device to automatically adjust watering schedules based on current weather conditions.
- DO monitor your water usage and adjust your settings as needed to optimize efficiency and save money on your water bills.
- DON’T neglect your sprinkler system, as this can lead to costly repairs and wasted water. Regular maintenance and monitoring can help you avoid problems and keep your system running smoothly.
According to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), up to 50% of outdoor water usage in the United States goes to waste due to inefficient watering practices.
Another study by the University of California found that smart sprinkler systems like Rachio can reduce water usage by up to 60% while maintaining or improving plant health.
Rachio 3 has Weather Intelligence Plus technology, which uses multiple data sources to create a precise weather system and unique watering schedules daily.
Rachio 3e has standard Weather Intelligence technology, which relies on a single National Weather Service Station and offers features such as Rain Skip, Wind Skip, Freeze Skip, Saturation Skip, and Seasonal Shift to skip unnecessary watering.
The Rachio 3’s Weather Intelligence Plus technology provides more comprehensive and accurate weather data, resulting in more efficient watering schedules.
On the other hand, the Rachio 3e’s standard Weather Intelligence technology still requires users to be cautious in their watering schedules.
Weather Intelligence can help businesses mitigate risks associated with weather-related events. For example, insurance companies can use weather data to better understand the risks of natural disasters and price their policies accordingly.
Utility companies can use weather forecasts to anticipate power outages and allocate resources to restore service as quickly as possible.
Yard Map Feature
- Available on Rachio 3 controllers with the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter
- Not available on Rachio 3e
The Yard Map feature allows users to create a personalized image of their landscape by customizing sprinkler heads to zone boundaries, which helps improve water usage reporting.
|Fact||Rachio 3||Rachio 3E|
|Availability||Available in all models||Available in all models|
|Compatibility||Compatible with iOS and Android devices||Compatible with iOS and Android devices|
|Map Creation||Allows for easy creation of a custom yard map||Allows for easy creation of a custom yard map|
|Smart Features||Uses advanced weather intelligence||Uses advanced weather intelligence|
|Integration||Integrates with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit||Integrates with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit|
|Price||Starts at $229.99||Starts at $149.99|
The above facts highlight the differences between the Rachio 3 and Rachio 3E models in terms of their Yard Map Features.
Both models allow for the easy creation of a custom yard map, but the Rachio 3 has advanced weather intelligence features, making it more precise in its water scheduling
Additionally, the Rachio 3 model is more expensive, starting at $229.99, while the Rachio 3E starts at $149.99. However, both models are compatible with iOS and Android devices and can integrate with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit.
Wireless Flow Meter
- Available for Rachio 3
- Not available for Rachio 3e
The Wireless Flow Meter provides precise outdoor water usage monitoring and helps detect leaks and blockages, triggering instant zone shut-off if necessary.
It also has low-flow leak detection with accurate Vortex technology. The Wireless Flow Meter is only available for the Rachio 3 and is not supported by the Rachio 3e.
- Available on Rachio 3
- Not available on Rachio 3e
The Rachio 3 supports HomeKit, allowing users to add their Rachio controller to other smart devices in the Apple Home app.
While the Rachio 3e does not support HomeKit, it is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Future Premium Software Features:
- Only available for Rachio 3
Rachio 3 controllers will have access to future premium software features that are not available for Rachio 3e controllers.
Which Rachio Is for You?
- Suitable for those who are passionate about gardening and willing to invest in their hobby
- Works well for HomeKit users and those who want precise control over multiple zones (up to 16) with flexible daily watering schedules and advanced Weather Intelligence reporting
- Suitable for those with a medium-sized yard who want a basic controller without the need to spend a lot of time on water schedules and weather reports
- More affordable than the Rachio 3
|Fact||Rachio 3||Rachio 3E|
|Maximum Number of Zones||16||8|
|Power Source||Requires a 120V AC outlet||Can be powered by a USB adapter or 24V AC sprinkler system|
|Wireless Connection||Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz)||Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz)|
|Warranty||2-year limited warranty||2-year limited warranty|
|App Compatibility||Compatible with iOS and Android devices||Compatible with iOS and Android devices|
|Smart Cycle||Rachio 3 has a Smart Cycle feature that reduces runoff||Rachio 3E does not have a Smart Cycle feature|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does Rachio 3 Require a Subscription?
Ans: The Rachio 3 Smart Water System does not require a subscription, and there are no recurring costs to use it.
The app is free to download and all software and firmware updates are automatically provided for the life of the product at no additional cost.
Q: Can Rachio Detect Leak?
Ans: The Rachio Wireless Flow Meter, available with the Rachio 3 controller, is designed to detect broken sprinkler heads, ruptured pipes, and even low-flow leaks using highly-sensitive Vortex technology.
This feature helps you avoid catastrophic leaks and provides insights into your outdoor water use.
Q: Is Rachio Coming Out With New Controller?
Ans: Rachio is introducing a new controller called the PRO Series, which will replace the current Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller.
The Rachio 3 controller will no longer be shipped after February 8, 2022. However, Rachio will continue to honor warranties for the Rachio 3, which are now 2 years from the date of manufacture.
Q: Should I Unplug My Rachio for Winter?
Ans: Winterization is recommended for those living in climates with freezing temperatures to protect the irrigation system and Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller from damage caused by frozen pipes.
This process involves removing all water from the system to prevent pipes from bursting.
- The Rachio 3 offers more options for the number of zones, with models available in 8 or 16 zones, while the Rachio 3e is only available in an 8-zone model.
- Rachio 3 has three watering schedule options (Fixed, Flex Monthly, and Flex Daily), while the Rachio 3e has two options (Fixed and Flex Monthly).
- The Rachio 3 has Weather Intelligence Plus technology, which is more comprehensive and accurate than the standard Weather Intelligence technology available on the Rachio 3e.
- The Yard Map feature, which allows users to create a personalized image of their landscape and improve water usage reporting, is only available on Rachio 3 controllers with the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter.
- The Rachio 3 has a Wireless Flow Meter, which provides precise outdoor water usage monitoring and helps detect leaks and blockages, while the Rachio 3e does not offer this feature.
- The Rachio 3 supports HomeKit, while the Rachio 3e does not. However, both models are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Rachio 3 controllers will have access to future premium software features that are not available for Rachio 3e controllers.
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