Rachio has just announced version 3 of their popular sprinkler system controller. Rachio's generation 2 hardware was such an improvement on their first controller it may be hard to top. Gen 3 looks great and has new hardware to go with it. First Look video below!
Rachio's approach to irrigation hardware has been pretty straightforward.
Replace your existing irrigation controller, water smarter, take advantage of mobile to control it.
What they have done over the past 2 iterations is make it easier to do all three. Generation 2's hardware simplified the install immensely and the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller looks to do the same as well as offering more options for the homeowner. So how do you improve on an already great controller?
Increase the smarts with enhanced weather data
Add a 5Ghz radio along with 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi
Add long range communication for add on devices
Let's just jump to the new devices. Rachio is announcing an add on flow meter called the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter. It will sense water flow and shut down water supply if it detects a leak.
This is an interesting addition to the product because it moves Rachio from a true DIY product to on that may need help from a professional. If you know your sprinkler system you know you have a back flow valve somewhere on your property. It is usually above ground and the Flow Meter can install in-line, after the backflow valve. Rachio has tips and guidance on the install if you would like to attempt it yourself but it may be prudent to involve your irrigation pro if you don't already have the tools to perform this type of work.
The "smarts" surrounding Rachio 3 cannot be overlooked. Their new weather intelligence is impressive. You can gain insight on weather data within a 36 foot radius of the Rachio 3 controller. Thirty Six Feet!
Rachio 3 ships April 2018 and can be pre-ordered today at http://www.rachio.com Rachio Flow ships May 2018. Pre-Sale pricing is $279 for the 8 Zone and Wireless Flow Meter. $329 for the 16 Zone and Wireless Flow Meter. Outdoor enclosures are still $29.
Flow Install Guidance - https://www.rachio.com/pdf/flow-install-overview_final.pdf