Is it worth buying a Gen 1 Rachio ( used )

I apologize if I am opening an already answered query.

Well, I have just bought my first house. It comes with a non-smart Hunter 16zone Sprinkler Control - it’s a pain to set-up and manage. I would like to upgrade to a smart set-up, but am crippled financially - with the whole expenditure of furnishing a new big house, not to mention that 15K fence.
A friend of mine wants to upgrade from his Gen 1 16-zone Rachio to the Gen 3 model and he would let me have it for around 50 USD. Is it worth spending that much on a Gen 1 Rachio? Any idea how long the support would last ( app control and all that ).

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@melonSkum - While Rachio no longer manufactures or sells the Gen 1, it is still supported by the most recent release of the software. I have not seen any comment by Rachio as to any potential date where the Gen 1 device would not be supported. Depending on the local cost of water, how long local growing season is and whether the Hunter controller is currently over or under watering the landscape I would think the Gen 1 device would pay for itself by the time Gen 1 devices are no longer supported by the backend application. My guess is that you’ll want to upgrade to one of the newer generations of Rachios before the Gen 1 is no longer supported.


@DLane, thanks for replying. Well, feature-wise, I can live without the Hyperlocal and flow sensor add-ons. I just want a sprinkler that has the basic smarts and which I can control remotely.

It would be a shame, if they removed the app support, since the access is only via their cloud servers. ( no local LAN access ) - that would make this absolutely unusable. I hate adding onto electronic trash, if I can.

I don’t feel that technologically, Rachio guys would be incurring major expenses supporting Gen 1 devices, as I guess the common APIs across the various Generation devices do not differ by much.

Forcing customers to make a 300$ upgrade would be a bad business idea as that might give the competitors a chance to woo away existing customers, with cheaper options.

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@melonSkum - I think the backend for the Gen 1 devices is somewhat different due to the IoT technology used in that device.

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If I do make the switch to Gen 1 Rachio and lost app support in 6 months time. Then, I might go the Raspberry PI and 16 channel relay route, with OpenSprinkler image. A little pain to set up and tweak. But, at least I can make it work to my whims for as long as I can - and cool for Christmas lighting as well. :slight_smile:

We have no plans to discontinue support for Gen 1 controllers.



@franz, thanks for taking time to reply here. I appreciate. Just back from my friend’s place - with the Rachio of course. The box has a 2015 label. So, was already assured that it would have continued app support.

Thanks once again for confirming.
Now, I need to rush to hook it up :slight_smile:

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@melonSkum - I’d suggest that if you want to try out all the advanced features using a Flex Daily schedule then set one zone to Flex and the rest to Fixed. It is very important to get all the advanced settings (available water capacity, precipitation rate, efficiency and root depth correct) for Flex Daily to work as desired.

There are some good posts on setting Flex Daily up. If you go with Fixed and all the adjustments you’ll be fine. I’d dip my toe into the advanced features slowly (and do a catch cup audit to confirm precipitation rate).


You better not! #gen1mafia


@DLane, thank you for your tips. Just got done installing the Rachio. I had a little problem inserting the existing 18 gauge wire to the backplate ports - 15 wires for 13 zones was a little tough maneuvering through the back slot. So, took sometime cutting, splicing, soldering & heat shrinking , while adding thinner gauge wires to my existing setup. But, over all a fulfilling job.

The cherry on the cake - the Rachio, gen 1 was a snug fit inside the existing Hunter PRO C enclosure.



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That is a tight fit. I have installed Gen 1 controllers inside of older Irritrol boxes.

I wonder if there are some Rachio retrofit stickers to put on the outside of the disguise box. @franz ???