A while ago a couple of the circuits in my sprinkler controller stopped working. The result was that my front yard and a spot in my back yard stopped getting any water whatsoever. I had to water them manually. I tried to make it work for a long time but, as I stated above, my talents do not lie in that area.
I was on the web and I stumbled upon Rachio. I don't remember if I found it on Amazon or read an article on a tech web site but I was intrigued. Here was a controller that you could control from your phone, would adjust your schedule based on weather (it won't water if it's raining), and I could control it from my Amazon Echo. This looked really cool but was it worth it? Was it affordable? Would it last?
I read the reviews and they were overwhelmingly positive. This looked like the real deal. Then I looked up what it cost vs what a replacement of my current controller would cost. I found that they were about the same price except that Amazon was running a special that included a $50 Amazon gift card with the purchase of the Rachio controller. I was still worried about installation and how to wire it up but my lawn was really not doing well and, after opening up my current controller and finding that the wiring was really pretty simple, I decided to try it out. I ordered the Rachio controller for 8 zones and an outdoor enclosure.
|Wiring from the original controller|
|Wiring on the Rachio Controller|
I have an Amazon Echo and it's fun to give it voice commands for my connected home. I wanted to add Rachio to that so I sat down at my PC and added the Rachio program to my Echo. A quick test of "Alexa, ask Rachio to water zone 2 for 2 minutes" turned on my zone 2 sprinklers for two minutes. Now that's fun!
The real test, of course, is how a machine does at watering my lawn. The answer is great! My front lawn is now green and thick instead of greenish brown and sickly. My back yard is nice and green as well and the grass is coming back but it was a lot worse off.
Over all, I'm really impressed with the quality and usability. I can set it and forget it or I can go in an manually tweak it. All based on what I want to do. Best of all, my lawn looks great!