Rachio 3 Power supply in Spain

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.

Here are the links to the power supply I have used (twice, one in UK as well) and also the trailing socket.

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…:frowning:

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.

Let me know how you get on with the smart watering!

If you are only watering grass then you have the advantage of each zone being of one type of soil etc. My issue is that I have replaced the poor quality grass with artificial grass and each zone now contains a mixture of plants, soils and pots for which I was unable to successfully set up smart watering so have reverted back to fixed times for each zone which we amend every couple of months depending on the weather.

@Spanish-garden @Pedro I am considering the Rachio 3 for a large urbanization community in Mojacar. We have large gardens so we need to look at Smart Watering.

Firstly, do instructions come in Spanish ? I want the local gardeners to be fully responsible for the system.

Secondly, can the one install be logged onto by multiple people with the app installed ?

Thirdly, I thought the Rachio 3 was more clever than the 2, and there is a PWS installed by someone about 2 miles away (although we could go and get our own). Are you saying 100% that if it had just rained, or is about to bucket down, that the system would still water anyway ? Or it will water just as much on a cool day as on a baking hot day ?

We are using 1000’s of m3 per year for our gardens, so we need to be just using only what we need, and save as much as possible

Thanks in advance

Hola championc

  1. No, there are no instructions in spanish and there is also no option to select a different language in the Rachio app.

  2. You can install the app on multiple devices / for multiple people but there is no ability to set a user type so everybody can do absolutely everything via the app, which is far from ideal. If you have multiple users, who will take responsibility?

  3. I don’t have a Rachio 3 (just 2 x Rachio 2) but I have been unable to get SEASONAL SHIFT working. The reason I have been given by Rachio is that the historical weather data is only available for USA and Canada. In Spain it goes through the motions and sends an email every month but never changes anything.

I have just searched on RAIN SKIP and found this explanation which suggests Rachio does take into account rainfall in the last 24 hours as well as projected rainfall in the next 24 hours, which is better than I thought. In which case I suggest it would be worth your while installing your own PWS as rainfall could be a lot different 2 miles away. WIND SKIP is only really relevant if you are using sprayers and prevents watering if it’s so windy that the water is likely to miss it’s target. So should probably be turned off if you are only using drippers / leaky pipe. And I think SATURATION SKIP is difficult to use on legacy systems where zones contain a mixture of plant types and pots.

My FIXED SCHEDULE setup definitely does water just as much on a cool day as on a baking hot day. However, if you can define the types of soil and plant per zone better that me, maybe the flexible daily/monthly schedules will work better for you?

And a possible way of overcoming the lack of seasonal shift would be for you to increase/decrease water times per zone on a percentage basis every month. And if you are happy with the results then I suggest you look at Home Assistant that can interface to Rachio and one day might allow you to fully automate the monthly changes you need e.g. number of minutes per zone (it doesn’t allow this yet but somebody may add this functionality soon).