Rachio 3 vs 3e comparison

I have the same exact question. Rachio’s website doesn’t show many details to see what’s the difference.

Looks like it is a Gen 2 controller within Gen 3 body.

Based on information I found on another forum (link), this is what people receive when they ask Rachio staff over the email:

The R3e Smart Sprinkler Controller offers a lower-priced entry point for customers looking for a weather-based smart sprinkler controller. The R3e lacks the following features available on the Rachio 3:

Weather Intelligence™ Plus
Flex Daily
Yard Map
Future premium software features
Any wireless integrations

Looking at the list, it is still better to buy a Gen 2 controller because that one comes with a Flex Daily support, this is the best schedule type you can use with a Rachio controller since it can be customized to emulate the other schedule types and it is the only one which actively tracks your available water within each zone.


THIS IS UTTERLY RIDICULOUS Come on, Rachio! People should not have to speculate hither and yon about such things. @franz, can’t you guys get somebody to traightent his out? Should take what, 5- to 10-minutes?

Hey friends! Sorry for the delay here! Still working on getting our comparison page up but in the meantime, what @Gene shared is correct!

Rachio 3e is limited to 8 zones and does not have the following features:

  • Weather Intelligence Plus
  • Flex Daily schedules
  • Yard Map feature
  • HomeKit integration
  • Future premium software features
  • Any wireless integrations



Thank you @laura.bauman

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You’re welcome @7Natives :slight_smile: Always happy to answer any questions and concerns (and will try to respond faster this time :wink: )

To those who do not plan to use a Flex Daily schedule, and there are many who currently do not, 3e may offer a few key advantages over Gen 2. 5GHz support means it has a better compatibility with the modern mesh routers and better wire terminals mean fewer issues during installation / adjustments.

The most intriguing revelation is that someone at Rachio is perhaps working on “Future premium software features”, wonder what these may end up being. :slight_smile:

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Mmm maybe something that’ll convince me to get the 3 (hard target perhaps since I focus on watering fruit trees and native shrubs, not grass)! :slight_smile:

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Any wireless integrations

what does it mean exactly?
Can the Rachio API be used with the Rachio 3e controller?

Great question @spud!

Any wireless integrations is basically our way of saying that R3e is not compatible with the Wireless Flow Meter or any wireless products that could be integrated in the future. It does not have the LoRa radio that connects wireless integrations like the Wireless Flow Meter. And it can be used with our API :slight_smile:

You may want to remove the Wireless Flow Meter from this page and any other marketing or pseudo-marketing pages like it, based on @franz comment here that it has been discontinued.

Fwiw, I was looking at upgrading to a G3 w/WFM due to a problem I’m having, but would have passed because it lacked a supply line valve to shut off the water if I have a broken valve or sprinkler head. If y’all are considering some sort of Mark II device, you may want to include a shutoff (or better yet, auto-shutoff) valve in it. I would absolutely buy a WFM/Smart Shutoff valve if it was compatible with my G2. Right NOW! :slightly_smiling_face:



Thanks @7Natives for spotting that information. @laura.bauman ^^ :wink:


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Can the Rachio 3e use a hardwire flow sensor or water meter device?

Hey @SouthernRain! R3e should be compatible with the same flow or water sensors that R3 is with the exception of any wireless accessories.


So I can use the 3e with my google assistant all the same as the 3? I can create custom routines and tell google to turn on each zone individually?

@Ccollier53 Should have no issues. R3e should work the same in regards to integration as R3 :cheers:

I’m thinking about buying a smart sprinkler controller, and after reading one of the reviews my choice fell on Rachio 3 (especially because it was an editor’s choice). This is an interesting thread because I didn’t know there could be a 3e version. As here was said, the main difference between 3 and 3e is that Rachio 3 can cover only 8 zones. I have a small yard, and 8 zones would be enough for me, I suppose. As for other functions, I can’t say I need them. If Rachio 3 works well without them, I will take it instead of 3e…

@Liplet It is the Rachio 3e that can only cover 8 zones. The Rachio 3 is available in both 8 zone and 16 zone versions. The 3e is less expensive than the 3. See the link below for a comparison of the 2 models.


Now that Rachio 3e is being upgraded to Weather Intelligence + I am glad I bought the 3e. It has done the job for me and saved many gallons of water. The nearest decent PWS station is about 4 miles from me and there are times when the rainfall is local enough that it doesn’t reflect what rain we actually received but it works well enough.

When I can use WU stations I will have several within a mile from which to choose.

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The upgrade is suppose to happen today. So far I have seen no changes on the Weather Intelligence menu.