Hi everyone, new guy here. I’m about to order a Rachio 3 for my new lawn in Spain. I know this topic has been discussed a million times here, but I can’t find any actual links to power supplies that would work for a Rachio 3 in Spain, and can be bought here (Amazon.es etc…). I’ve searched, but the ones I find seem unreliable or work at 60Hz instead of 50Hz. Any help would be appreciated!
Why would you need one, the Rachio comes with one which I assume is both 110/220 Volt, and if so all you need it a plug adaptor.
I don’t think so. Everyone in the international threads has had to buy a new power supply. The specs from the Rachio website say their transformer has an input of 120VAC and 60Hz, so that makes it incompatible with the spanish plugs.
You are right, this is a major oversight from Rachio… These days every power supply should be universal.
It does say 120V 60Hz, 300mA on it.
Normally a 50Hz version should be fine, but you should confirm with Rachio if that will indeed be the case, in the off chance they have some issue with 50Hz.
The output is 24VAC 1000mA, so 24VA
So something like this should work
The one below also looks good. 100/240VAC 60Hz Out: 24VAC 1A
Yeah, I have that one in my basket, but it says the input is 60Hz, and of course we have 50Hz here, so I’m not sure if that would actually work correctly in Spain…
Given the low power consumption, I would expect the Rachio to be OK with 50Hz, but Running a 60Hz device on 50Hz does increase the Amps a bit and so to be 100% sure, you should ask Rachio if they foresee any problem running the Rachio at 50Hz.
If Rachio says they will operate fine with 24VAC at 50Hz, then it is best to use a 50Hz power supply.
Using a 60Hz power supply on 50Hz could overheat the power supply
Yes, I already asked them about the frequency, so let’s see what they say. Ideally, I need a transformer that accepts a 50Hz input and outputs 60Hz…
That is unlikely to exist.
You can buy 60Hz to 50Hz converter, but I believe they are big and expensive
Actually, I saw that on amazon, it looks like it takes the 220-240V 50Hz you have and outputs 110-120V 60Hz the Rachio Power Supply would need.
Or a more expensive all in one
If it helps, I installed a Rachio 2 in my house in Spain about 3 years ago and I have had no problems at all (with the electrical supply, anyway!).
Mine is fitted outside so in the Rachio 2 outside enclosure which is big enough to fit a UK power supply plugged into a trailing socket behind the Rachio 2.
Don’t forget the seasonal shift feature doesn’t work in Spain so I have installed a Netatmo Weather Station and Rain Gauge to get accurate local weather and rainfall data for rain skips etc.
Thanks for the info. So the Hzs apparently work. Regarding seasonal shift, I believe that if I activate a Flexible Monthly schedule, which I intend to do, then seasonal shift is actually off.
I’m not so sure…
Reading Rachio’s FAQ’s on Flexible Monthly schedule, it clearly states
Seasonal Shift is not listed as an option under Flex Monthly Schedules, as this feature is automatically “baked in” to the schedule and is responsible for how your watering adjusts to fit the current season.
and lower down it states
Your bucket empties over time due to a variety of factors which are primarily driven by the weather. Based on 30 years of weather history in your area, we can determine how quickly, on average, your bucket should empty for each month.
What Rachio frustratingly don’t make clear is that IN YOU AREA only applies to USA and Canada - they don’t have data for anywhere else so it won’t work! I think this is one of the main reasons they don’t officially sell or support the product outside USA/Canada.
I have programmed mine to use fixed schedules as that’s all that I think works outside USA/Canada. So not really any better than my old Hunter controller, except that I can amend the watering times remotely, which has been very useful this year with Covid-19.
I’m still not sure… according to this article about Rachio’s weather forecast: https://support.rachio.com/hc/en-us/articles/115010542268-Weather-Service-FAQ, they pull their weather info from www.wunderground.com, and that site has international weather information, including Spain and my city.
I don’t blame you for being cautious!
Yes, Rachio uses wunderground and PWS weather station networks and I have installed Netatmo Weather Stations in both UK and Spain to ensure accurate local weather.
As far as I am aware, Rachio relies on data from the local weather station for Rain Skip, Wind Skip etc. and I can confirm that when it rains, Rachio Rain Skip is triggered. I don’t think it is predictive e.g. if rain is forecast, Rachio still waters until AFTER it has rained! You can probably achieve the same result by simply wiring in a rain sensor instead.
The big problem for us in Spain is that Rachio cannot or does not use PWS and Wunderground for historical data, hence seasonal shift functionality does not work outside US and Canada. When I say it does not work, it goes through the motions every month, including sending out emails that it has reviewed the scedule, and has changed the schedule by 0 minutes e.g. it doesn’t actually change anything because it can’t find any data to compare!
Ok, I understand what you mean now. So, if you actually setup a Netatmo weather station, does it save historical data which the Rachio 3 starts using for seasonal shift etc…?
I should have mentioned that the lack of the seasonal shift facility outside USA/Canada is why I bought another Rachio 2 last year for my house in UK and didn’t waste money on the extra features of a Rachio 3 that are either illegal (radio frequency used for connecting to flow meter) or simply don’t work outside USA/Canada e.g. Weather Intelligence Plus is no better than having your very own weather station and remember that the weather network tends to only update every 30 minutes so if it rains 15 minutes before a scheduled watering, there is a good chance that Rachio will still water anyway.
In a nutshell, the only real benefit that buying a Rachio controller gives over any other controller in Spain (and in fact anywhere outside USA/Canada) is the ability to start/stop/amend schedules remotely via the internet, which is useful to me having homes in both UK and Spain as I am always away from one of them…
No, it doesn’t store or access any historical data at all - I wish it would!
FYI Rachio doesn’t talk directly to Netatmo but instead via one of the weather networks e.g. PWS or wunderground. I am having difficulties getting two Rachio’s talking to two Netatmo’s but have sort of managed it with two separate Netatmo accounts but still working on an ideal solution.
I have connected each Rachio controller to my own Netatmo weather station because I like seeing what the weather is in my other house but in Spain, I could have achieved the same results (no watering after rain) by just connecting up a rain sensor instead. The UK is slightly different because I have a greenhouse that needs water regardless of whether or not it has rained so I have created two scedules, one with rain skip enabled and one with it disabled.
Frustratingly, all controllers seem to work the same way e.g. if a rain sensor detects rain, all zones are skipped. Why Rachio cannot enhance their software to allow the user to determine which schedules should water after rain, I don’t know! Are the Brits really the only country in the world to have greenhouses?
Well, there’s also the smart watering that takes into account how each zone is (slope, soil, sun etc…), so that’s another factor which makes it better than other controllers. Regarding buying a Rachio 2 instead of a 3, I don’t think they sell Rachio 2 any more, at least not through the channels I can access to get it in Spain, so I’ll probably go for Rachio 3 anyway.