IFTTT Charging Now

I’ve been using IFTTT for years now when I’m sprouting my garden or overseeding my lawn. I started using it before the Fixed Hourly option was available. But now, IFTTT is about to start charging for their service, a monthly fee, which is too much in my opinion.

I looked at the Fixed Hourly options on Rachio and don’t like the limitations (no Start & Stop times settings), only can be hourly (when overseeding, I run my east lawn sprinklers on the 15 and 45 minute marks and the west lawn sprinklers on the 00 and 30 minute marks every hour through the day to keep the ground moist and keep the birds off). Neither of these options can be done with the Rachio Hourly settings. So, unfortunately, Rachio suggests using IFTTT, which we will have to pay for now.

In light of these upcoming IFTTT charges, does anyone have any suggestions for an IFTTT alternate, or maybe Rachio can increase the number of programs from 16 so we can just use their app? Or they can increase the options of start and stop times, etc. Anyone have any good suggestions for IFTTT alternatives?

With IFTTT, Google Assistance can pass a number and/or string variable on which I would like to see Rachio’s interface using. This would require less recipes in IFTTT for me. However, I do not think that would help you.

I might suggest checking out other “works with” options to see what would work. In my case, as a software developer type, I would probably write my own if I had to. I wonder if one could do what you are talking about within a Google Script App.

Thanks for the idea Thomas. I first went to Google Home app because Rachio listed it as a compatible integration app, but, my first trial was a total failure setting up a “Routine.” I actually tried that before posting here.

If anyone has experience setting up a Google Home App Routine or even a Google Script app to run a program on the Rachio, your input would be highly appreciated.

I think the easiest way to do what you are asking, is a simple 3rd party cronjob service, something like cron-job.org should do what you are asking. Later on it will be easy to disable and reenable the croon-job as needed.

It is not as easy as IFTTT, but not more so than a custom Api / script solution.

What you are interested in is zone start endpoint:

Within cronjob you wish to name the job and use endpoint as address:

You’ll want to use custom timing, customize minutes and hours as you see fit. If you want to water less often during the night, setup separate schedule for the night vs day:

Finally you’ll want to specify that the request should use PUT method, along with zone data (such as ID and duration), as well as your API key as part of authentication:

If you have any questions about how to get your API key, or zone IDs, let us know, otherwise you can read more about it on the API documentation I’ve linked to earlier.

Way to go @Gene, I forgot about a cron job service. Definitely easier for most people than to set up their own.

I have done some routines and working on a script app right now, but not for this. When I had new sod, it was too late in the season and the pressurized irrigation was already off. It was a good time to lay the sod otherwise and used hoses and hose-end sprinklers. Only once ended up with a patch of ice. The sod looked great after winter. What does this have to do with your request? I guess I just have not needed to deal with new seed yet.

Another possibility is to use openHAB and create rules to turn on/off your sprinklers. There isn’t an official binding yet, but somebody has been working on one for a long time. See https://community.openhab.org/t/rachio-smart-sprinkler-controller/7078/331 for the latest version.

I just might have to check that out sometime. I see I can load it within a docker container or onto a raspberry pi. It also appears to have Google Assistant. Some day…

That looks like exactly what I need. It looks like cron-job is actually more powerful/versatile than IFTTT, which caused me a little frustration, honestly. But, as I tried to go in and make a job, I realized that I needed a little help.

Can you give me a little guidance as to how to hook up (or direct) cron-job to my watering zone specifically? I figure that I need the API key from my Rachio and probably a user ID first, but this is where I’m at a loss. I’m not sure how to connect to my Rachio to begin this process and the link you gave me at https://rachio.readme.io/docs/zonestart is pretty vague on how to do this if you are not familiar with these processes. Sorry that I’m such a newbie at this.


You can get API key (part after “Bearer”) on the app.rach.io site. Simply login with your account and go to “Account Settings” on the left hand side after you’ve chosen a controller. Within that page you’ll see “Get API key” link:

Easiest way to get a zone ID (part next to “id”: within request) is on the same page, simply go back from account settings, click on Zones to see the list of the zones you have and than select the individual zone you are interested in, id for that zone will be at the end of the address bar, for example:


Duration is set in seconds, so setting duration for 45 will water said zone for 45 seconds, etc…

Here are some useful text you’ll be able to copy & paste into cron job:

URL for the job is “https://api.rach.io/1/public/zone/start

You’ll need to add a custom header in the request, name / key will be “Authorization”, value of said header will be “Bearer api_key” whereas api_key should be replaced with your specific API key.

Request body should contain the following:


replace zone_id with ID of your zone.

You can create as many jobs as you need to run different jobs / schedules.

That did it. That info was all I needed to figure out how to program the cron-job. Thank you very much for you help! I truly appreciate it.

Now I can delete all my IFTTT applets :grinning:

Honestly, this cron-job option is more powerful and will be easier to use in the future, now that I know how to do it. Thanks again!


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I think you need to read further about the changes at IFTTT. The IFTTT Pro version is what is going to add a fee (which you can set the price of BTW) not the standard free version. At their page IFTTT Pro is this text:

IFTTT Standrd
$0 / Forever

Discover remarkable new ways your favorite apps and devices can work together.

  • Create 3 Applets of your own
  • Turn on unlimited Applets

Given the specific example of situation @Gerald is in, he’d have to jump through hoops to keep using free account.

Three custom applets would need to be created for first three runs of the hour, and rachio’s official “Run watering time every hour for sod” would have to be used in place of the fourth applet.

Only one individual official applet can be active, meaning you can’t simply use the rachio’s sod applet four times with each having a different time, that’s why you’d use up the custom applets trying to get a four runs per hour. It doesn’t matter if it’s day or night, or if you have water restrictions on Tuesday.

Furthermore duration cannot be anything other then 1 minute, or something dividable by 5, these are your only options.

IFTTT is not well designed for schedule type of events, rather it works well with triggers.
“unlimited Applets” are nothing more than an advertisement, since you are limited to just one of each per account.

I understand the differences between the free option (3 applets) and the set your own price for unlimited applets. The truth is, I not only used IFTTT to overseed my lawn, but also to sprout my and my father’s gardens, amounting to about 70 applets, so free was never an option. Back when I started using it, there wasn’t the Rachio applet that Gene mentioned, so I had to make one applet to run every instance. It’s gotten better now, but still, it wouldn’t be free. The name your own price option is also deceiving because the minimum price is $7/month, which is steep in my mind. Who in their right mind would pick a price above that? So come on, the name your own price is just a gimmick. I can’t fault them for doing this. They have to support themselves, they got people to buy into using their service while it was free and now they can charge. But, I’m too cheap to do that if viable (and better) free alternatives exist.

Personally I would completely support paying for IFTTT if it was only for pro features, free tier was left as is. Furthermore if at least some of the money was spent actively developing integration with devices or even adding support for devices not otherwise part of the platform, than it would be money well spent. As is IFTTT charges companies to “have access” to IFTTT api and then leaves it up to the companies to determine which triggers / actions they would bother to provide, most choose to do minimum amount since IFTTT for them is simply a marketing gimmick.

As far as custom price for IFTTT pro (min $1.99), while the price may end up being the same, if 99% choose not to pay more than $1.99 then further development of pro model will quickly loose it’s luster. Mark my words, there will be regular sales, where new users will have “one more chance” to lock in the lower rate, signups during regular times will be abysmal and IFTTT will loose much of the main appeal of being a marketing tool for the companies. (Most people willing to pay IFTTT, have long since locked in $1.99, getting new users to pay who do not already have 70+ actions will be difficult).

Soon IFTTT may find themselves with a shanking client base and reduced device support as companies will not have as much incentive to support and develop for IFTTT. I think they’ve jumped a shark.

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