Rachio 3 vs. Rachio 3e — Brief & Full Overview

Here’s our brief, straight-forward comparison between Rachio 3 vs. Rachio 3e. If you have more questions about the products feel free to ask them in the comments section below. We’ll be more than happy to help you make the right choice for your home.

Sale Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, 8 Zone 3rd Generation, Alexa and Apple HomeKit Compatible with Hyperlocal Weather Intelligence Plus and Rain, Freeze and Wind Skip
Sale Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation: Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa, Gen, Gray

Rachio 3 vs. Rachio 3e — Comparison Chart

Rachio 3Rachio 3e
8-zone modelYesYes
16-zone modelYesNo
Flex DailyYesNo
Yard MapYesNo
Future premium software featuresYesNo
Rain SensorSupportedSupported
Soil SensorSupportedSupported
Wired Flow SensorsSupportedSupported
Wireless Flow MeterSupportedNo
Manual ControlOn-unitOn-unit
Cloud SyncYesYes
Weather IntelligenceAdvancedStandard
Amazon AlexaYesYes
Google AssistantYesYes
HomeKitYesNo
SmartThingsYesYes
WinkYesYes
NestYesYes
IFTTTYesYes
AppiOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+
Wi-Fi Connection2.4 or 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n2.4 or 5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n
Temperature Range-4°F to 140°F-4°F to 140°F
Indoor UseYesYes
Outdoor UseWith EnclosureWith Enclosure
Dimensions9.1” x 5.5” x 1.4”9.1” x 5.5” x 1.4”
Weight1.05 Lbs.1.05 Lbs
Warranty2 years2 years

Rachio 3 vs. Rachio 3e — Differences Explained

Rachio Gen 3

Differences #1: Zones – Rachio 3 offers 8 and 16 zone models, whereas the Rachio 3e only supports 8-zone control. So, if you have a medium-sized yard, then the 8-zone system should be more than enough. However, for bigger yards, Rachio 3 is the way to go.

Differences #2: Flex Daily – Rachio offers three different water schedules for you to choose from: Fixed, Flex Monthly, and Flex Daily. With the Fixed schedule, as the name suggests, you’ll be able to set up fixed schedules to water your plans. With Flex Monthly, Rachio will be checking in every month for seasonal changes to adjust the watering frequency and duration accordingly. 

Flex Daily, on the other hand, is a very smart and unique watering schedule. It collects moisture levels, hyperlocal weather forecasts, and individual zone characteristics every single day to deliver the most efficient watering to each zone. Rachio will be checking all these factors one hour before watering to make sure each zone gets just enough water to stay fresh and green.

Unfortunately, Flex Daily is only available for Rachio 3 whereas with Rachio 3e you can only choose between Fixed and Flex Monthly schedules. 

Differences #3: Weather Intelligence – The Rachio 3e features standard Weather Intelligence technology. The tech triggers Rachio controllers to skip unnecessary watering. You can set up Rain Skip (don’t water when it rains), Wind Skip (don’t water when the wind is XXmph), Freeze Skip, Saturation Skip, and Seasonal Shift. 

Rachio 3, on the other hand, features the Weather Intelligence Plus. While Weather Intelligence relies on a single National Weather Service Station, the Weather Intelligence Plus expands by adding data from satellite, atmospheric flight, radar, and other climate sources. This throughout collection of information builds an all-in-one, precise weather system. You no longer have to rely on one weather station. Instead, Rachio 3 will use other datasets to create unique watering schedules daily.

So, for peace of mind, it goes without saying that Rachio 3 is the one to get. Otherwise, with the Rachio 3e you still need to be cautious of watering schedules.

Differences #4: Yard Map – With the Yard Map feature you can create a unique picture of your landscape by customizing sprinkler heads to your zone boundaries. It helps improve water usage reporting.

Rachio 3e doesn’t support the Yard Map feature. It is only available on the Rachio 3 controllers that are equipped with the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter, which brings us to the next difference.

Differences #5: Wireless Flow Meter – The Wireless Flow Meter works with the Rachio 3 to provide precise outdoor water usage monitoring. Moreover, it notifies you when there are leak detection and blockage to trigger instant zone shut-off. The Wireless Flow Meter also features low-flow leak detection with highly-accurate Vortex technology.

So, needless to say, with the Wireless Flow Meter you really won’t have to worry about leaks. Unfortunately, the Rachio 3e doesn’t offer support for the Wireless Flow Meter.

Differences #6: HomeKit – Rachio 3 is the only controller from the Rachio product line to support HomeKit. So you’ll be able to add Rachio controller to your other smart devices in the Apple Home app.

Even though Rachio 3e doesn’t offer HomeKit support, it still does work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Differences #7: Future Premium Software Features – only available for the Rachio 3. 

Sale Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, 8 Zone 3rd Generation, Alexa and Apple HomeKit Compatible with Hyperlocal Weather Intelligence Plus and Rain, Freeze and Wind Skip
Sale Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation: Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa, Gen, Gray

Which Rachio Controller is Perfect For My House?

Rachio 3 - Lifestyle - 01
Rachio 3 is perfect for you if…

you’re really into gardening and ready to spend a considerable amount on your passion. Besides, Rachio 3 is great if you’re a HomeKit fan and enjoy having super-precise control of your front yard which includes support for multiple zones (up to 16) with flexible daily watering schedules and improved Weather Intelligence reporting. 

Rachio 3e is perfect for you if…

you have a medium-sized yard and just want to keep your lawn green without spending hours on figuring out water schedules and checking for weather reports. The Rachio 3e is a perfect, basic controller that won’t break the bank.


For more information about differences and similarities between all Rachio models, check out our Rachio Gen 1 vs. Gen 2 vs. Gen 3 vs. 3e — Brief & Full Overview.

Last update on 2020-10-01 at 05:30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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