Gadgetry: Rachio, the Smart Sprinkler Controller

By Albert Ornelas

This sprinkler controller not only can be set using your smartphone to save water but also is eligible for rebates from several local water districts, which will save you money.

REALTORS® know that helping their clients save money is good for business; and in this instance, it is good for the environment as well. Introducing the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. This Wi-Fi–enabled controller and the mobile app make using sprinklers easy and convenient while saving homeowners water and money.

Rachio’s EPA WaterSense–certified watering technology helps homeowners save billions of gallons of water with customized zones. And the Rachio app can automatically calculate watering cycles to deliver just the right amount of water for soil and plants while minimizing water runoff.

The Rachio relies on smart watering technology to ensure that your yard will receive exactly the right amount of water, even when you’re not at home. With Wi-Fi access through a laptop, smartphone, smart home device, or tablet, the Rachio references thousands of local weather stations and adjusts automatically to changing forecasts and seasons.

Using the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, you can set your sprinklers to run for exactly the right length of time and prevent wasteful runoff. You can also schedule your watering intervals to match the soil, sun exposure, seasons, and weather so that you do not go too long without watering when the weather is hot and dry, water too frequently when the air is cool and moist, or water during rainfall, when additional moisture is not needed.

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller is made to work right out of the box and easily replaces any traditional controller in less than thirty minutes. Once you download the iOS or Android app, you’re ready to set up, monitor, and adjust your sprinkler system from anywhere at any time.

Add details in the Rachio smartphone app, such as plant and soil types and sun exposure, and the Rachio will automatically calculate watering cycles to fit your individual needs and lifestyle.

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller also works directly with the mainstream smart home platforms that include the Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Nest, and more. These devices can expand the capabilities of the Rachio with voice control, monitor water and energy savings, and help you water some or all the zones in your yard and set up ultracustomized watering schedules.

In 2017, the Denver-based Rachio Company was honored with a B Corp Certification for having the highestrated, best-reviewed smart sprinkler controller on the market, for being committed to sustainability and smart water usage, and for helping homeowners save water through technology.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controllers are available in several models and range in price from $199.99 to $249.99; however, in many instances, rebates are available to help offset the cost. To learn more about Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controllers, visit the company website at

Rebates Available in Orange County for the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

The conservation impact of the Rachio is so profound that water districts offer rebates to help offset the cost of purchasing it to replace a traditional controller. Currently, the following local water districts are offering these rebates.

Moulton Niguel Water District. After you visit an “Estimate Your Rebate” link, the residential rebate offered by the Moulton Niguel Water District can go up to $370 per controller and is based on availability at the time of rebate approval. Funding is provided by the EPA WaterSense for SoCal Watersmart rebates. To learn more, visit

Irvine Ranch Water District. The Irvine Ranch Water District has partnered with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (the Met or MWD), which includes water districts in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties. This rebate begins at $80 per controller for less than one acre of landscape and can go as high as $250 per controller. To learn more, visit

El Toro Water District. The El Toro Water District, in collaboration with the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC), is offering an $80 residential rebate that covers two of the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controllers on a List of Qualifying Models provided by the SoCal WaterSmart Rebate Program. To learn more, visit

These rebates cannot be combined with other utility rebates, and certain additional restrictions apply.