Reason to upgrade from Gen 1?


#1

Congratulations on releasing the Gen 3 hardware and the flow meter.

The unit looks slick and I’d imagine it would be a superior install experience over the Gen 1, that said I’m not sure there are currently enough compelling reasons for me to upgrade.

HomeKit support out of the box would have been enough. Now that Apple supports the irrigation profile and software authentication, I would have thought we would have seen HomeKit support in their newest product immediately.


#2

I’m in the same boat. I have a 16 and 8 zone on my house, and I’m not sure it is worth the $600 to upgrade from my Gen 1’s. Can anyone at Rachio give me a compelling reason that I need to upgrade?


#3

does Apple actually have a dedicated irrigation profile for HomeKit, I thought Rachio continues to imply it hasn’t been implemented and that’s why they have nothing to announce. I agree… I badly want HomeKit as it becomes more difficult by the day to justify buying “smart home” products that don’t support my Apple “lifestyle.” That said, I am upgrading to the 3 because I love ya guys, but do us a solid, my understanding is Apple no longer requires special dedicated hardware for HomeKit so please lets see a software update to enable it!


#4

well here is a summary as i see it…

  1. as you said much improved installation. the 2 already dramatically improved both the physical design of the box you added but also how you connect to wi-fi, no silly flashing lights. just open the app and it works now. the 3 adds an even simpler design for connecting the wires.

  2. you can add more directly connected sensors if you have it for soil moisture, rain, freeze etc.

  3. you get a very improved weather sensing and forecasting system, in particular it seems if you don’t own a PWS.

  4. the wifi supports more modern 2.4 and 5 802.11/b/g/ac standards that both make the range better and help prevent slowdowns on your internal home network.

  5. using the wireless flow meter now allows an easy solution for accurately monitoring your water usage and preventing leaks. a single leak often would cost you more than the cost of upgrading not to mention the damage and aggravation of fixing the problem after it has gone on for sometime without knowing it.

  6. the 3 also now has even better physical buttons on the box to control the zones, very useful for me as the old unit was non-intuitive for my sprinkler company to use and i would really have to help them test the zones using my app which meant i had to be there. this appears much more “self explanatory” for a sprinkler contractor that doesn’t use rachio products day to day.

i get it, if your install is working today and you are happy with the status quo… if you feel the weather data has been “good enough” in the present setup and you aren’t concerned about potential leaks or monitoring water usage than an upgrade may not make sense. after one of my zones leaked last year and i didn’t catch it for a week when my neighbor told me that he had a pond forming by the fence and i walked out to a section of my yard that felt like a waterbed you can bet my rachio 2 will be going on eBay and i am upgrading.


#5

I recently had a water leak, but it ended up being on a PVC line running with the drip lines to a spigot. I have 4 spigots around the perimeter of my yard, all fed by a 1" PVC line that is run off the sprinkler main feed. I’m a bit concerned that Rachio might freak out any time I use one of these spigots when it senses flow while the system is off, or more flow than it expects when the system is on.

Also, is it going to require a more accurate idea of what a zone might use during a run in order for it to decide that there is a leak vs. normal run?


#6

Yep so far number five seems to be the only compelling reason to upgrade for me, and even that has limited use, because the meter has to be installed after the check valve. This means that only the pressurized lines from the check valve to the to the valve control are protected by this feature. The unpressuized zone pipes are potatoes in this case, unless Rachio learns how much each zone consumes and alerts you possible break in your unpressurized lines. Even then it’s only protecting you from watering your curb while that zone is on or possibly a few dead plants and/or a brown lawn.

Much more useful, would be a whole home monitor installed after your main shutoff that could monitor water usage over a longer interval. This could detect the failed water heater, a burst pipe, or more importantly an open faucet/spigot. I recently got a $500 water bill because my 8 y/o failed to turn off a outside spigot in a inconspicuous location during out normally very wet weather. It ran for several days before I realized what was up. Something like this could pay for itself overnight and I would gladly drop several hundred dollars for a solution here.


#7

There is also the potential that Rachio may drop support for the GEN1’s entirely. Rachio has come a LOOONG way since I bought my GEN1, I would imagine that my GEN1 controller is posing some challenges for their developers moving forward.


#8

I doubt they drop support via the app, a home product like this has to work a very long time, but i also doubt they will bring a single “new” feature to it, even via software unless that is the easiest solution for them when developing for the newer units. A perfect example is that Rachio 3 is the only unit with the new localized weather forecasting… that is clearly a software feature that has nothing to do with the unit, but they are attaching it to the new unit to try to make the upgrade case more compelling. from a business perspective i understand it even if it is unfortunate for previous users. i ordered the new Rachio 3 but i suppose the new weather service won’t help me much since i have a PWS on my property but i still feel good supporting the Rachio team and getting the new wireless flow monitor which will be a first for my property.


#9

FYI - I just confirmed with their support that the meter is for the irrigation controls only. So if you have plans on monitoring spigots and what not, this is NOT the product for you.


#10

I’m not affiliated with it in any way, but you can take a look at www.phyn.com. I had seen a proof of concept demo of this (by the WeMo folks) a couple years back at CES. Seems like an interesting product but certainly a bit expensive.