The Rachio Is My Favourite Good Hose Timer

Good hose timers make a lot sense on paper—they help you flip something hooked up to your hose spigot on and off from wherever utilizing your cellphone. And if it’s raining, the good timer will know and switch off the movement for you. It will even monitor how a lot water you’re utilizing, help you arrange automated watering schedules, activate and off with a single button press—although these are guarantees even “dumb” hose timers make.

The issue with good timers is that you simply typically can’t belief them—the wifi disconnects, the batteries run out, or they leak, and also you’re out of luck. After making an attempt various good hose choices in the marketplace, from the Hunter BTT to the Orbit B-Hyve, I examined out the brand new Rachio earlier this summer time, and it outperformed all of them—it’s the primary timer that’s been predictable and steady. Sadly, it’s additionally missing a number of the superior options and suppleness of these underperforming fashions.

The Rachio is actually two components: a hose timer, which attaches to your hose, and a wifi hub, which is able to reside inside your own home. Irrespective of what number of timers you may have, you solely want one hub. You should purchase the preliminary hub/timer combo for $99, and extra timers for $79.

What I preferred concerning the Rachio Good Hose Timer

Many hose timers are likely to look misplaced—like a snake that ate a bicycle wheel. It’s because so lots of producers cram lots of buttons and screens onto a tool that can be caught to a hose. Rachio takes the other tack with a sleeker, less complicated design that all however forces you to make use of the app for each interplay. Their timer is lengthy, rectangular, lacks a display screen, and has solely one button, which turns it on and off. It has a smaller footprint but additionally is coloured and formed to soften into the background. It’s positively fashionable.

The button responds in a tactile approach to let you already know it’s been pushed, which different timers don’t. I really like that the battery cowl is held in place by just a few small screws. Usually, this might be a ache level, because you want a small screwdriver to vary the batteries, however this has been a failure level on different fashions, just like the B-hyve. The battery chamber wants to remain dry even when it’s raining or if the hose leaks, and on different fashions, the rubber collars meant to carry the batteries in place all failed, inflicting battery points. The screws on the Rachio do the job, although I want it shipped with the screwdriver you want.

Talking of batteries, since these hose timers aren’t linked to energy the way in which regular sprinkler timers are, they burn by means of batteries. Battery life on a “dumb” hose timers will be years, but earlier good hose timers had been burning by means of batteries in weeks. The Rachio’s batteries have barely diminished since I obtained it, which is a superb signal.

The Rachio doesn’t leak, whereas every different timer I attempted leaked, and was fussy about the way it was positioned—if I knocked into it ever so barely, they would begin to gush water. Whereas I did want to make use of some plumbers tape on the tap to safe the Rachio, that was anticipated, and I’ve had no points.

Largely what I really like concerning the Rachio is that it really works. It’s by no means as soon as missed a cycle or gone offline for days. I want that wasn’t saying lots, however it’s.

Easy to a fault

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Screenshot: Rachio

Loads of folks want just one hose timer for one hose, however a few of us have a number of hoses going to totally different yard areas. Personally, I’ve sprinklers hooked up to at least one hose timer, and drip to a different. Different manufacturers, like B-hyve, supply a 2-zone possibility. Rachio has determined to maintain it easy and demand you employ single zone timers—simplicity to a fault, as at $70 a pop, that may get costly. This additionally means you could’t create schedules with each timers, as they function fully unbiased of one another within the app. You’ll need to program them individually.

Extra annoying than bothersome is that every time I open the app, there’s a lag the place the app says my gadget is disconnected. This freaked me out the primary time, however it resolves after just a few seconds. I’m hard-pressed to think about a hose emergency by which 5 seconds would make a distinction, however I’d wish to see the bug resolved. Total the connectivity is nice, however I suggest establishing the notification that can provide you with a warning if your gadget goes offline.

What I don’t love concerning the Rachio Good Hose Timer

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Screenshot: Rachio

Since I even have a Hunter Hydrawise Good Timer in my entrance yard—a full panel for a drip system—and I’ve tried different good timers like B-hyve, I do know that lots of the rationale to get a wise timer is for the help they provide when replying on native climate and AI to resolve whether or not it’s worthwhile to water. Rachio, withits fashionable aesthetic and tech startup really feel, ought to have that half down, however as a substitute they’ve gone actually simplistic. As a substitute of utilizing predictive watering to water kind of primarily based on the climate, Rachio appears to make use of an easier “don’t water if it’s raining” setup, with little configurability.

Moreover, the app will be laborious to navigate, regardless of its simplicity. The explanation I normally open it is to see the watering report, which is tough to entry. That mentioned, these are mere annoyances, because the app does operate.

The gist

Good hose timers nonetheless have a approach to go. However of the fashions on the market, the Rachio wins for being essentially the most constant, with nice battery life, steady wifi connection and a usable, if overly simplistic app. Whereas I’d wish to see all of the set up instruments you want within the field (together with a micro screwdriver and plumbers tape), and a extra strong use of AI for predictive watering, none of those points are dealbreakers, and the Rachio is a brilliant selection.