Rachio 2 vs 3 – Which Is The Best Gardener For Your Lawn

Do you have a lawn with your house and want the most efficient way of keeping it green? Well, if your answer is Yes, then Rachio 2 vs 3, the article is just for you.

Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler...Something Great
  • 5-STAR RATINGS. Amazon’s most- and highest-rated Wi-Fi sprinkler controller.
Rachio 3: 8 Zone Smart Sprinkler...Something Great
  • WORRY-FREE WATERING - Rachio tailors your watering schedule to the specific needs of your yard and plants, providing the right amount of water no matter the landscape. Ensure a beautiful yard and lower your water bill at the same time!

All those of you who have a lawn at your place must have encountered the problem of irregular watering. Sometimes you can’t manage time to water your plants, while other unexpected weather ruins it for you.

Smart water sprinkler controllers may offer you a solution by intelligently controlling the water sprinklers automatically and efficiently.

Did You Know? Rachio is a California-based company that specializes in producing lawn maintenance related products.

The Rachio 2 vs 3 articles is going to compare and review two water sprinkler controllers from Rachio and help you in choosing the best one.

Rachio 2 vs 3 – A Quick Overview

We will quickly review both controllers for people who want a quick answer.

  • Firstly, both Rachio 2, which is the 2nd Generation Controller, and Rachio 3, which is the 3rd Generation Controller are smart Wi-Fi enabled water sprinkler controllers.

You can fully manage these controllers via the Rachio app, however, manual control buttons are also present on the device, in case Wi-Fi connectivity fails.

Moreover, both are available in 8-zones or 16-zones models, that is, they can manage water sprinklers in 8 or 16 different zones of your lawns.

Tip: Tip: 8-zone model is best suited for small lawns, while for large lawns you should go for a 16-zone model.

You must be wondering how these controllers manage the watering of your lawn and plants to keep them healthy and green all year round.

  • Well, Rachio 2 and 3, both have a multitude of sensors to help these controllers make a decision of time and amount of watering in each zone separately.

Moreover, the rain sensor, soil sensor, and wired flow sensors are used to detect the amount of moisture already present in the soil and how much more it needs.

Rachio 3 has additionally, wireless flow sensor support to monitor the flow of water in every zone. It can even detect and alert you about water leakage as well.

Furthermore, both can receive weather updates from weather channels so that these controllers can plan the watering session efficiently.

However, Rachio 3 has much more advanced weather intelligence as compared to Rachio 2.

Though both controllers are compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, or several other smart home software, Rachio 3 has added compatibility with Siri.

  • That’s a negative for Rachio 2 if you are an Apple lover!

We have covered major features and an overview of both Rachio 2 vs 3 devices in this section. However, you may keep on reading for a detailed review and to the point of differences between the two controllers.

1. Rachio 2nd Gen – Highest Rated Controller
Rachio 2 vs 3
Rachio 2nd Gen Sprinkler
Highest Rated Controller

Rachio 2nd Generation Water Sprinkler Controller is the Amazon’s highest rated controller as per the user feedback.
Check Price from Amazon

Rachio 2nd Gen Review

Rachio 2nd Generation water sprinkler controller is the best all-rounder controller in the market.

This smart-looking, 1.2 lbs device may be installed indoors or outdoors. However, you’ll need extra cover for outdoor mounting to protect it from excessive exposure to harsh weather.

The ability to connect to the Rachio app via 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, in addition to being controlled manually, makes this controller best suited for the largest audience.

The 8-zones and 16-zones models make sure it is for every lawn no matter what’s the size of the lawn is. However, you may not be able to map your lawn into this device, which means the controller won’t know the location of the attached sprinklers.

Using internet connectivity, Rachio 2 can gather information from the user-defined weather station.

Utilizing this information in addition to data coming from soil and rain sensors, this controller can effectively plan the watering sessions.

Moreover, the Rachio app can be used to schedule, monitoring, and analyze the whole work of this controller. You can even schedule it to double-check the watering schedule daily.

It will not just water the plants but will also record and convey the water consumption so that you are well aware of the water billing. This is achieved by the wired flow sensor support this controller has.

Lastly, you can control is via Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Nest, and IFTTT smart home software.

Multiple Features of Rachio 2nd Gen

Easy of Control

  • You can control it completely via the Rachio App.
  • Manual buttons for basic functions are also there.
  • However, these manual buttons are inconveniently placed inside the device, making them difficult to access.

Water Metering

  • Apart from watering the plants, it’ll also monitor the amount of water being used.
  • Support for a wired flow sensor allows this device to measure and record the flow of water at all times.
  • You can check the status of the water consumption of the Rachio app.

Weather Intelligence

  • You can define a weather channel via the Rachio app from where this device will receive weather updates.
  • Additionally, rain sensors and soil sensors will be used in conjunction with weather data to plan the water sessions.


  • The controller can connect to the Wi-Fi router on the 2.4GHz band.
  • Furthermore, it may receive commands via Alexa, Google Assistant, or any other smart home app.
  • Additionally, it can automatically sync data with the cloud at defined intervals.

Operating Environment

  • You can use it indoors or outdoors.
  • However, for outdoors you must carefully cover it to avoid any damage from harsh weather.
  • It is durable enough to work in the temperature range of -4 deg. F to 140 deg. F.

2. Rachio 3rd Gen – Weather Intelligence Plus
Rachio 2 vs 3
Rachio 3rd Gen Sprinkler
Weather Intelligence Plus

Advanced Weather Intelligence of Rachio 3rd Generation Sprinkler controller will efficiently plan the watering of your lawn.
Check Price from Amazon

Rachio 3rd Gen Review

Rachio 3rd Generation water sprinkler controller is the most advanced controller from Rachio.

The size and weight of Rachio 3 are a bit lesser than its competitor, while it still comes in the same white colour. The backlit logo of Rachio in Rachio 2 cannot be found here, which has been replaced by a simple straight line of blue LEDs.

These LEDs will blink when a certain zone is being watered.

Rachio 3 also comes in two different models, that is for 8-zones and 16-zones. However, now you can map your yard into this device so that it always knows where the sprinklers are and where the boundaries of the yard are.

  • Manual override buttons are now available on the outside, hence can be accessed easily.

Another upgrade that Rachio 3 received is dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity. It can use the 2.4GHz band in addition to the 5 GHz band as well. Moreover, apart from being controlled via Alexa, Google Assistant, or a few other smart home systems, Rachio 3 is compatible with Siri as well.

As far as the weather intelligence is concerned, Rachio 3 can automatically tune into the nearest available weather station if the connection to the user-defined weather station is lost.

Furthermore, Rachio 3 has a wireless flow rate sensor compatibility in addition to a wired one. So, it can monitor water consumption and even water leakage wirelessly.

Multiple Features of Rachio 3

Ease of Operation

  • Rachio 3rd Gen controller is controllable via the Rachio App.
  • Additionally, you can control it via Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Nest, and IFTTT.
  • It’s the only Rachio controller that is compatible with Siri.

Yard Mapping

  • Rachio 3 is available in 8-zones and 16-zones models.
  • The whole lawn may be divided into 8 or 16 zones depending on the model.
  • You can additionally map the whole yard, that is the location of sprinklers and boundaries are now better known to the controller.

Water Flow Metering

  • This controller has wired and wireless flow meter compatibility.
  • It can monitor and record water consumption during every session.
  • Moreover, it can find and notify you about the zones in which there is potential water leakage.

Intelligent Planning

  • It has a multitude of sensors, that is rain sensors, soil sensors, wired, and wireless flow rate sensors.
  • Rachio 3 will never lose connection to a weather station.
  • If it fails to connect to the user-preferred weather station, it’ll automatically connect to the nearest available weather station.
  • Using information from sensors and weather stations, it’ll intelligently plan the watering sessions so that your plants receive only the required amount of water.

Differences Between Rachio Controllers

Rachio 2 vs 3 has few but very defining differences.

Firstly, Rachio 3 has support for a wireless flow meter which is absent in Rachio 2.

Secondly, Rachio 2 uses standard weather intelligence whereas Rachio 3 utilizes advanced weather intelligence. This allows Rachio 3 to remain always in contact with weather stations.

Thirdly, there is no facility for mapping your garden in Rachio 2.

Fourthly, Rachio 2 can only utilize the 2.4GHz band of Wi-Fi, whereas Rachio 3 can connect to the Wi-Fi router via a 2.4GHz or 5 GHz band.

Moreover, for Apple lovers, Rachio 3 is the only Rachio controller that has a HomeKit and hence is compatible with Siri.

Lastly, Rachio 3 has manual override buttons right on the device whereas Rachio 2 has these buttons hidden inside it, making them difficult to access.

Apart from these differences, there aren’t any other worth-mentioning differences between the two controllers.

Rachio 2 vs 3 – Final Verdict

You should have made your mind by now, however, if you are still in shallows then let us spell it out for you.

Rachio 3 is far better than Rachio 2 with the only downside of higher cost. It has advanced weather intelligence, better Wi-Fi connectivity, more controlling options, smaller size, and lesser weight.

However, Rachio 2 is an affordable option if you are low on budget and want lesser features with standard sprinkler control.

Thank you!

Hey there, I am Amelia Rose, Online Tech Specialist with plenty of experience in Tech Products including router, speaker & more. I love solving problems. I make very good sushi. : )

Write A Comment