Consider Internal transformer


#1

I am a huge fan of Rachio, but when I compare just the quality of materials to other controllers on the market there is need for improvement.

  1. Rain Bird ESPTM2. I like the heavy quality of this controller. It has an internal transformer with a heavy weight cord and plug. This controller has stainless steel wiring terminals. I also like the faceplate programming, too. But this controller fails when it comes to the app and weather interface. Indoor outdoor cabinet
  2. Orbit B-hyve. Internal transformer and beefy cord, face plate programming, indoor outdoor cabinet. Excellent app. Cheap wiring terminals. Low price. Mystery where weather data comes from.

Bottom line: Rachio is best, but it needs some hardware enhancements as above. My two cents.


#2

External transformers are easy to replace when they fail, especially for the homeowner, and they do fail.


#3

That is true. But internal transformers can also be replaced. The main reason transformers fail is from power surges or lightning strikes. It comes down to a quality perception and versatility of an indoor or outdoor installation.


#4

I just installed a second Rachio at my house, this time a 16 zone, and I would also say that I would give up the smaller footprint in order to gain standard screw terminals like the Hunter Pro-C it replaced. It was a REAL PITA to get all 16 wires (actually 17, but I can comfortably combine two small grass zones) into those push connectors, along with the 4 different common wires I had going to 4 different valve boxes.

Also, I am expecting to run into some major scheduling issues as summer comes around. With my Hunter MP-Rotator nozzles, the grass wants to run for 53 minutes per zone (10 zones), plus 3 tree drip zones that want to water for 4-1/2 hours each, 2 shrub zones looking for 3 hours 23 minutes each, and 3 more spray nozzle grass zones looking for a minimal 7 minutes of run time each. My other 4 zone Rachio currently in action will water the grass almost daily in the summer months, so I’m not sure when other zones will find time. My Hunter Pro-C could run multiple zones at once…


#5

Those sound like very long run times for drip irrigation. What GPH are the drip emitters? Are you using the flex daily settings? I do not know where you live, but is it possible to not water the grass every day?
I agree with you on the wiring terminals. Stainless steel screws would definitely be a big improvement.


#6

@robertokc I’d like that too. When I install my wires into the Rachio, I always leave some extra copper showing outside of the terminal block in case I have to use my volt meter for troubleshooting in the future.


#7

Depending on the size of the tree/shrub, each will have 1-6 2gph emitters. The run times are based off the calculations from the local “Water use it Wisely” document for us desert dwellers. They actually have a really good website that walks you thru recommended watering here in the desert. Also @azdavidr created an awesome spreadsheet that uses the “Water Use it Wisely” as its basis. azdavidr Excel Sheet Here!

The next screens on this interactive watering guide give you recommended intervals, and it almost matches Rachio to a T all year round.