Considering purchase

Hello, I’m considering a purchase of the rachio and have a couple of questions.

  1. can u set the system up on a set schedule where it will water at a certain time like an older system such as rainbird?

  2. does the system only water one zone at a time?

  3. is there an option similar to a" water all now cycle"? Where if you want to water all zones or certain zones immediately?

Thanks for any help. Seems like a great product.

We are installing a new sprinkler system this spring and it seems this product would be a lot more convinent to start off with.

Yes to all 3 questions.

Unlike an old system you can not walk up,to the controller and run a zone. Everything must be done through the web or phone app.

Initially the product is a little technical to setup but unlike the rain bird, it will adjust itself to increase watering efficiency.

Fantastic, hope you make the right decision :wink:

I believe @plainsane answered all of your questions, please let us know if you have any others.

Thanks and have a great day!


@lilbopper, this is the only question I’d clarify; you can run any zone or combination of zones on demand (for details please see our remote control FAQ), but they will queue up in order and run one at a time. Sometimes I’ve seen the request to run all zones at once – the Iro is not capable of doing this.

Hope this helps.

Best, Emil

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Thank you for all of the replies. I am going to order it today and looking forward to some warmer weather so we can install our system and I can play around with the rachio. :slight_smile:

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I unboxed my rachio 16-zone on Monday. It’s sitting on my desk, fully programmed and running. It isn’t connected to my sprinklers yet (but the box doesn’t know it). I have run programmed cycles, manual cycles, and am messing with the flex schedules. Here are my thoughts after a few days.

As a Basic “timed” Sprinkler Controller -

this is a great drop in replacement ss long as you have wifi available for the controller, have basic internet skills, and are OK with not being able to walk up to a controller on the wall to run a manual cycle. The extra cost is payed back nearly immediately during setup. No standing outside rotating knobs and pushing up/down buttons until you got it correct. Also easier to change as seasons change.

I don’t think I will miss the manual cycle buttons. It was always confusing to get my old one to run the right manual cycle, esp since I didn’t do it much. However, if you have a yard person this may be a problem. They wouldn’t be able to run a manual cycle, stop a cycle, and if they aren’t familiar with the system they won’t be able to adjust it for seasons (if your a hands off type person).

Having the ability to skip cycles based on forecast is nice if your forecasts are good in your area. Turning off based on a local weather station is nice as well, those plug in rain detectors never worked well for me (but are available as well). Even without this, not having to rotate the dial and push all the buttons during setup made it a worthwhile purchase.

As a “Smart” Controller

It appears to me that the real strength is the “flex schedules”. If you want to use this I feel like you should be prepared to do a good bit of reading and spend some time stumbling through it. After a few hours I believe I have it understood, but not confident yet. It isn’t that it is hard or poorly documented, there is just a bit more science/math to it. It is also appears to be very dependent on proximity and accuracy your nearby weather station.

Hopefully someday one could just bury a handful of sensors throughout the yard (1-2 per zone) and it would all be magic :slight_smile:

I do think it would be cool if they could create some sort of flex schedule simulator. If you could create “test” flex schedules that “run” in parallel to the old style timed cycles and provide a report at the end of the week/month on how usage compared. It would help with confidence in a new system.


  • There are some inconsistencies between the web and app.
  • Support respond very quick!
  • I haven’t tried to wall mount it, no idea how that will go. I hope ok, won’t do it until spring.
  • Gallons used is prominently displayed, but not accurate unless you go into the advanced tab.
  • There is a server dependency, so depended on Rachio staying around…

Don’t feel like you have to wait to play around. The box doesn’t need to be mounted or connected to any zone wires. It doesn’t know any better. Just needs to be plugged in with the transformer.

Flex schedules will be much easier to adjust with our 2.5 Spring release :wink:

Also, fixed schedules are getting a make over, mostly on the algorithms on cloud dealing with water budgeting. Everyone seems to love the virtual rain sensor (skipping schedules for freeze or rain automatically). Water budgeting works today, but I want to make it even more efficient and real time.

Agreed, cost is going to have to come way down for this to happen. If anyone tells you they have a affordable solution, for every zone, they aren’t telling you the truth :wink:

Thanks for the feedback, always liistening!

@brkaus, just wanted to make sure you were aware of our Limited and Complete Access features that allow you to share your Iro with others. Not sure if you have a yard guy or gal, but if so this is a handy tool.

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Yes, very handy. I’m now a do-it-yourself person. But my previous yard team didn’t have smart phones to the best of my knowledge. The people that do my neighbors yard do… But still sometime should understand the difference from a “old style” controller.

Also, the limited access web app doesn’t like the latest version of safari on iPhone. Alternate browser is required. Not sure who is at fault, hopefully something you guys can workaround, even if it is a safari bug (Ticket #88722)

BTW - demoed to friend this weekend. He is heading to the store to buy one.


Thanks @brkaus. I’ll follow up with the web team to make sure they’re aware of the this.

That’s awesome! Just curious, was there any feature that won him over in the demo? Maybe we’ll need to make you a sales rep for us :wink:

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They had found your controller searching for internet sprinkler. Primary reason they were looking was easy manual control to walk yard and watch zones for broken lines, etc. (see, a flow meter that compared to expected would be fantastic).

Demoed the flex schedules and exactly how remote worked.

The iPhone 4/Safari Limited Access issue should be fixed. Thanks for the feedback!

Dan :rachio:


That would be pretty slick. Do you have one currently installed? If you don’t, would you if we could support it?

Yes, confirmed. Thanks Dan!

No, I don’t have one. I have shopped around and a pulse generating meter is ~$100 + installation (plumbing & wiring) + some system to read it. If it integrated with Rachio and I could do it for a couple of hundred I probably would. Not sure how much I match the typical population though.

I can see the future -

  • Install flow meter & Rachio
    • Go to Rachio web page with high resolution satellite view of yard.
    • Carefully mark area for each zone (drawing the line between zones when they overlap :slight_smile: )
    • Select sprinkler head type
    • Rachio runs a few minutes in each zone.
    • Reports back flow rate, estimated precipitation rate, and if it is in range for the selected head type.
    • set soil type, depth, sun/shade, and vegetation type.
    • Schedules calculated and sample schedule displayed.

@brkaus, too bad it’s not a simple DIY install.

Love the vision! Still looking for the “easy button” to help automate zone settings. Root zone depth is tricky due to historical watering practices. Just curious, did you use a soil probe? Usually this is where users have to get their hands dirty.

True. I’ve replaced the pressure regulator and back flow valves, so I can DIY. Would be nice if it was out of the box easy for anyone.

Its bad, my lawn has a few yards of dirt (wouldn’t even call it soil) dumped on a rock base. So I’m not really measuring roots, I’m measuring the available growing medium. Simple as walking around the yard with a screwdriver and poking it into the ground. Sad.

One of the reasons I don’t really believe in the water rationing 2x (or 1x) a week watering. There just isn’t soil to retain the water.

@brkaus, yes, that would ideal. Like a Fitbit for your pipe :wink:

Soil prep is a critical step to installing a lawn that often gets overlooked due to time and/or cost. Sadly, the homeowner pays for it later in frequent waterings.

Well said. Small soil reservoirs and and long watering durations aren’t the best of friends.