Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller and Smart Water System FAQ

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Interested in purchasing a Rachio 3 or simply want to know more about your brand new controller? In this article, you will find frequently asked questions about the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller and more information on its new Weather Intelligence™ Plus feature.

Product Overview

What is the Rachio 3 Smart Water System?

The Rachio 3 Smart Water System is made up of the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller and the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter – two products that integrate seamlessly for the best in sprinkler control and flow monitoring. With the Smart Water System, you will experience wireless leak detection, leading smart sprinkler control, and Weather Intelligence™ Plus for the ultimate smart watering experience.

What is the Wireless Flow Meter and how does it work with my Rachio 3?

The Rachio 3 Smart Water System pairs leading smart sprinkler control with the precise flow monitoring of the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter to avoid catastrophic leaks and gain insight into your outdoor water use. The Flow Meter detects broken heads, ruptured pipes, and even low-flow leaks with highly-sensitive, state-of-the-art Vortex technology and is able to issue notifications for leaks and blockages (and even trigger instant zone shut-off when leaks are detected!). 

When will the Rachio Smart Water System be available and how can I purchase?

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller is available for purchase on Rachio.com! As for the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter, unfortunately, its sale and production have been discontinued due to the complicated installation process for some of our customers, which falls short of our mission. For more information, click here.

What is Weather Intelligence™ Plus?

The new Rachio 3 comes fully loaded with our new Weather Intelligence™ Plus. This exclusive, premium feature is only available with the Rachio 3 and brings hyperlocal accuracy, continuous monitoring, and comprehensive data right to your lawn and mobile device. Don’t worry - Weather Intelligence™ Plus has the same beloved features as its predecessor (Rain Skip, Wind Skip, Freeze Skip, Climate Skip, and Seasonal Shift), just improved! Read on below for more information on how this feature works. 


Are you a visual learner? Check out our video on Hardware Installation and see how easy it is to get your Rachio 3 up and running!

Want to explore how to set up the Rachio app and create schedules? Go here!  

Will the Rachio 3 work with my sprinkler system?

You’re in luck - our smart sprinkler controller works with almost any existing sprinkler system! 

The following system types are not currently compatible with Rachio:

Is it easy to wire up/install?

The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller has streamlined hardware for quick and easy installation. Our new easy-press connectors accommodate 14 & 18 gauge wire, making Rachio 3 installation a breeze compared to other controllers on the market. Most installations can be completed in 30 minutes or less, with no special tools or expertise required! The Rachio app provides guided installation every step of the way. Steps are easy – replace your old controller, plug in existing wires, and complete setup within the free Rachio app.

As for the Wireless Flow Meter, professional installation is recommended, however, Rachio did make the process easier than ever before! Contact your local irrigation professional for assistance, or explore our installation guide for DIY suggestions and requirements.

Which controller should I buy?

The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is available in both 8-zone and 16-zone models. Both rely on the same free app and software that allows for unparalleled watering control. We recommend selecting the model that accommodates the number of zones in your yard (i.e. if you have less than 8 zones, select the 8 zone controller; if you have between 9 and 16 zones, opt for the 16 zone controller). If you have more than 16 zones, we recommend using two Rachio controllers to satisfy your zone count.

Do I need a rain/soil sensor?

Rachio 3 does not require any rain or soil sensors to take full advantage of smart watering. In fact, the Rachio controller acts as both soil and rain sensor by using our powerful software, numerous zone settings, and advanced weather forecasting to eliminate the need for external sensors (though you can certainly add one or both if you like!).

Is the Rachio 3 compatible with my other equipment? What about my existing flow meter?

You will be able to wire any existing flow meter to Rachio 3. For a list of compatible equipment, see here.

Can the controller be used outside?

While the Rachio controller itself is not weatherproof, we offer an outdoor enclosure to mount your controller outside. The outdoor enclosure is fully weatherproof and can withstand temperatures between -4°F and 140°F. All mounting hardware is included in the enclosure box, which can be purchased along with your Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller from Rachio.com. Already have a Gen 2 outdoor enclosure? You can use it with your Rachio 3!

Can I control Rachio 3 from the unit?

Yes! Rachio 3 includes on-unit buttons to Run, Pause, and Skip your watering. You can also control and monitor your watering from the Rachio app on any mobile device, or the Rachio web app from any computer.


Can you hardwire the Rachio 3 for internet?

Rachio 3 relies on Wi-Fi (2.4 or 5 GHz) and cannot be hardwired. Wi-Fi allows for the greatest coverage and mounting options without the hassle of running wire. If you lose signal for any reason, your Rachio 3 will continue to water. We recommend double-checking your signal strength using your phone in the location you will be mounting Rachio prior to purchase.

What happens if I lose power?

All of our controllers have built-in memory and a small battery to save the time. So once your home regains power, it will pick up right where it left off.

What happens if I lose Wi-Fi connection?

If you temporarily lose internet connectivity, your Rachio controller will attempt to reconnect to your network every 30 seconds for 24 hours, after which point your controller will go offline. If this happens, you will need to manually unplug your Rachio and plug it back in (you may also need to do this with your router). Each controller has a small amount of built-in memory so that any schedules or settings you had before connection loss will be saved. Your controller will continue to run those schedules indefinitely until it can reconnect (and update, if needed). So don’t fear - your lawn won’t be without water if you lose connection!


Is the app easy to use?

We’ll let the reviews for our top-rated (and free!) app speak for themselves. We’re constantly innovating to ensure our app is cutting edge and a great experience for all users!

Are there any recurring costs to run the Rachio 3 Smart Water System?

Nope! There are no monthly or annual subscriptions, the app is free to download at any time, and all software and firmware updates are automatically updated for you for the life of the product.

Can the controller be shared with other accounts?

You can absolutely share your Rachio 3 controller to another user. If you are a homeowner and would like to share access to your irrigation specialist or a family member, you can do so from within the app. More information is available here

Do you adjust automatically based on weather forecasts?

With the new and improved Weather Intelligence™ Plus feature, your Rachio 3 will adjust not only when it waters, but also how it waters based on premium weather data.

How does Weather Intelligence™ Plus work?

Weather Intelligence™ Plus pinpoints the forecast in your exact location - within a 36-foot radius - then adjusts watering accordingly. Using comprehensive satellite, radar, and weather station data from more than a quarter-million sources, Rachio makes sure you’re never caught watering in the rain, wind, or snow.

Do you allow for watering restrictions in my area?

Absolutely. We understand the need to work within local watering restrictions and have built features that allow our users to easily plug in restrictions from within the Rachio app.


Do you have any rebates/where can I find rebates?

The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is EPA WaterSense Certified, which means there are many rebates available through regional municipalities and water utilities. 

Not eligible for a rebate? You can still save by checking for special promotions at Rachio.com!

Can I buy a controller if I live outside of the USA?

At this time, the Rachio 3 Smart Water System is currently only available for purchase and use within the United States and Canada (we do not currently ship internationally). Purchases can be made from Rachio.com.

Is Rachio 3 compatible with Apple Homekit?

Yes, the Rachio 3 now supports Apple HomeKit! To find out more, go here.

How do I get in contact with Rachio?

Visit Rachio Support for more information, or join the conversation on our Rachio-moderated community! 

Find a Rachio Pro

Interested in the Rachio 3 Smart Watering System, but not sure how to install it? Click the button below to find a local Rachio Pro!

Connect with a Rachio Pro


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