Better to install before or after irrigation pro opens system for spring?

I have a Gen 3 system and will install it myself. My irrigation pro comes in 2 days to open my system for summer. It’s it best to install the Rachio before they come, or let them get it all set up for summer and install it afterwards? Or should I have them install the Rachio?

You might want to install the controller and then share it with your pro so they could get familiar with the system, just a thought.


@Bgstewar - at the risk of going over the top of @franz :grimacing: I might suggest a hybrid approach.

I would configure the Rachio for the various zones and settings and have it all set up before your pro shows up. There are two choices here, set up in the cool comfort of the house not using the exact electrical plug and location the Rachio will be normally installed in or place the Rachio where it will be - either temporarily (leaning/set on the existing controller) or permanently if there is enough slack in the wires to swing them from the existing controller to the Rachio when hooking it up for good.

Have the pro get the existing system read so that one knows all the valves, wires, zones, etc. are working.

Then quickly swap out the existing controller for the new configured Raciho controller - wire for wire for the zones and common. Just make sure there is good WiFi coverage where the Rachio will be installed and the power outlet is in reach of the unit.

And welcome to the community.

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Ha, @DLane we all know you are much more knowledgeable than me. I’ll defer to the community ninjas any day.


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Thank you both for your help. I couldn’t set up the zones because the system isn’t working until the pro comes out to turn everything on. I also don’t know which zone is which sprinkler. So I have the base unit set up and connected to my wifi, but that’s as far as I went. I’ll see what he says when he comes out - hopefully he can help. I’m not sure if he’s dealt with these units before or not - my neck of the woods is pretty behind the times.

@Bgstewar - you’re welcome. Some additional comments:

  1. If you know the zone characteristics, but not which number it is, then go ahead and set up the zone. Then just move the wire to the correct terminal when one figures out which existing zone goes to which terminal.

  2. I would recommend starting out using the Fixed schedule, with maybe one or two Flex Daily schedules (if you want to use those) so you can get the Flex schedule configuration dialed in.

  3. Ask plenty of questions in the Community if you don’t understand what is going on. There are several folks that are very irrigation knowledgeable.