If you are a homeowner, you may be looking at the best ways to automate your home. Unfortunately, some people overlook their yards as places that they can use smart home devices. However, Rachio devices are an amazing way to control your water sprinkler system with just a few clicks. But if you’re new to the brand, you may have trouble deciding whether you should purchase generation 2 or 3. What are the differences between these generations?

The following are the biggest differences between Rachio gen 2 and Rachio gen 3:

 Rachio 2Rachio 3
Voice AssistantOnly works with Alexa and Google AssistantAlso works with Siri
SensorsHas wired sensors to monitor rain and soilHas wireless sensors, plus water leakage control

You might still be wondering what these differences mean in terms of usability. Don’t worry; we will go over why the differences in features are important and which Rachio device may be the better choice for you based on these features.

What Is the Difference Between Rachio 2 and 3?

Both Rachio 2 and 3 have some similarities, but the differences should be the main factors you consider when deciding which one may work better for you and your sprinkler system.

Check out this chart for the main differences and similarities between the two generations:

 Rachio 2Rachio 3
App & ButtonsCan control with the app and buttons on the deviceAble to control with app and buttons on the device
ZonesAvailable in 8 or 16 zone modelsAvailable in 8 or 16 zone models
Voice AssistantCompatible with Alexa and Google AssistantCompatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
SensorsRain, soil, and wired flow sensorsRain, soil, and wired flow sensors as well as wireless sensors and water leakage sensors
Weather UpdatesReceives weather updates from weather channelsReceives more accurate and detailed updates from the weather channels

As you can see, many of the features the two devices offer are exactly the same. However, most of the slight differences are pretty important ones.  

  • If you solely use Apple devices, you will want to go with the Rachio 3 because it’s the only generation that is compatible with Siri and Apple HomeKit.
  • The other most considerable difference is the addition of wireless sensors in gen 3. This allows you to get a more accurate picture of the condition your yard is in. The extra sensors can also detect any parts that are leaking or potentially broken.

Some additional features of the Rachio 3 are:

  • Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity; connect to 2.4GHz or 5GHz
  • Automatically tunes into the nearest weather station and can send you weather alerts
  • Monitors water consumption and water leakage
  • Intelligently plans the watering sessions to keep your yard in the best possible shape
  • Use the controller to map out your yard and know the exact location of your sensors
  • Manual override buttons in case you need them.

Should I Buy the Rachio 2 or 3?

Because these devices have similar features, the generation you choose comes down to personal preference and how much control you want over your yard.

Benefits of Rachio 3

The Rachio 3 has some pretty unique extra features that give it an average of 4.7 stars on Amazon.

The most desired feature with the Rachio 3 is that users can set it up to monitor the weather conditions in their area. Then, the device can determine precisely how much water your yard needs. This takes away the stress of possibly over watering or under watering your lawn. The extra intelligence feature can also save you time and energy.

Users are also impressed with how well the controller still works a year later and that it’s fully programmable.

So, you’ll want to buy the Rachio 3 if:

  • You’re not sure how much water your yard needs
  • You’re concerned about potential leaks and want the additional sensors
  • You want weather updates sent to the app
  • You want to use Siri

Benefits of Rachio 2

The Rachio 2 also has an average of 4.7 stars on Amazon. Users love how much water consumption they save since switching to the Rachio 2. The price is also lower than the Rachio 3, but it has many of the same main features.

So, choose the Rachio 2 if:

  • You are new to smart sprinkler controllers and just want something simple
  • You want an inexpensive controller that still has all the main features
  • You don’t need plug intelligence features
  • You only use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

Final Thoughts

Overall, the main difference between the Rachio 2 and Rachio 3 is that Rachio 3 has more smart and weather condition features. It’s also compatible with Siri, which is an excellent addition for Apple users. On the other hand, the Rachio 2 is less expensive and still has many of the same features, though it can’t detect water leakage or weather conditions as well as the newer gen model.