8 does not equal 16

I accidentally bought an 8-zone Rachio 3 and need a 16-zone. I tried the chat function on the website but have not heard back from anyone. Anyone have any suggestions around arranging an exchange?

Hey @neverfamous! Just pinged the team, should have a response for you asap :slight_smile:

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I have a similar question. I bought a Rachio 3 that is 12 zones but have 14 zones on my current Rainbird.
Can I double up on a couple zones to stay at 12?
Or, is there a way to add zones to this unit? (12ZULW-C)

I do not believe there is a way to add zones. Doubling up may or may not work as they obviously would have a drop in pressure and more power draw.

The pressure drop could be accommodated for with longer watering times. But are there pairs of zones which require exactly the same water and frequency of watering?

and the drop in pressure may reduce the coverage causing dry spots.

Also true.

Can be done depending on what your zones are. If you have a grass zones that have similar characteristics, and currently have pop up spray nozzles, you can swap out the nozzles for the Hunter MP Rotator nozzles and successfully double up zones. The MP Rotators have a PR of a third or less of most spray nozzles. I was able to consolidate a number of my zones this way to fit in my 16 zone Rachio. Like others have said, a lower PR will result in much longer run times, but that has the added benefit of less runoff.

Soil type can affect the amount of runoff too. If you end up with this, you can have it do cycle & soak.

If possible, I would probably try to return the 12 zone controller and get a 16 zone. I know that for me, I decided to go with the 16 just in case and glad I did:

  1. Starting point: 2 drip + 4 lawn + 1 future garden (& wiring for 2 more) + 7 unused
  2. Splitting lawn: 2 drip + 5 lawn + 2 future garden + 7 unused
  3. Next, added water feature (only manually ran without any other zone): 2 drip + 5 lawn + 2 future garden + 1 water feature (& wiring for 2 more) + 4 unused
  4. This spring, I hope to split lawn & add drips: 4 drip + 6 lawn + 2 future garden + 1 water feature (& wiring for 2 more) + 1 unused
    1. While I am add it, I will likely route the wiring for the unused/extra 3 to a different location for possible future use