Hooking up my Rachio 3, wiring questions

Howdy from Eagle, CO,

Been wanting to try Rachio, now I’m going to. I’ve ordered a Rachio 3 16 zone, hopefully it’ll be here early next week.

Right now I’m using 2 Ether Rain8 Controllers and Lawncheck.com. Shout out to Jim Lemezis over at Lawncheck.com. He’s awesome, we’ve been using his setup for years now.

But like I say, I want to try Rachio. It’s a little more user friendly. And the company is here in CO, which I like.

So. Attached are two pics of the wires coming from my zones. We don’t have a Master Controller.


  1. I don’t know what gauge the wires are. On Rachio’s site it says they’re compatible with 14-22 gauge wire. I don’t know if this means 14 and 22, or 14 to 22 (14, 16, 18, etc). Do my wires look like they’re compatible?

  2. Do I just plug in the Rachio, then attach each of the wires?

  3. In one of the pics, one of the wires coming from the zone has two wires. Last year I had my irrigation guys split a zone into two zones, maybe that’s what this wire is for?

Many thanks,

@spinsbackwards -

  1. 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 is the answer. I can’t judge wire gauge by picture/sight, but all but the small white and green look fine. And I think those two may be fine with a Gen 3. If necessary, one can wire nut a 22 or larger gauge wire to those and insert the pigtail into the Rachio.

  2. By chance did you do one last run on the Ether Rain8 controllers to make sure everything was working before disconnecting? Are the wires labeled? My steps would be:

a. Determine mounting location based on irrigation wiring and power outlet.
b. Mount Rachio
c. Connect irrigation wires
d. Download latest Rachio app
e. Insert power plug
f. Configure controller using wireless device.
g. Configure individual zones and schedule.
h. Run a test of each zone.

  1. No clue, without seeing the wiring attached to the prior controller. Could be a common and zone wire for the additional zone. If so, put the white in a C(ommon) terminal and the green in a zone. Do you have access to an ohm meter? If so, check continuity across those two wires. If in the 20 - 50 ohm range then that wire pair is probably the additional zone.


Many thanks for the thoughtful reply. Super helpful.

  1. Everything was working fine on my other setup. Reason for trying Rachio is I can give my lawn folks access when they need it. Rachio has some other advantages I want to try out.

  2. I confirmed the two wires are in fact each 1 zone.

So I think this should go smooth. I’ll post back once I’ve hooked it up.

Peace and love,

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I can’t get it to connect to my wireless network. I’m using Apple’s Airport network, everything is updated.

I tried moving the Rachio right next to my router, it still wouldn’t connect.

Then, I can’t call support.

Do these guys have a phone number?


support number is 844-4RACHIO.

What flavor of the app is being used for setup - iOS (I didn’t want to assume) or Android? iOS seems to work better.

Find the RouteThis app, run it and have the code ready for support - it might highlight something.

What is the light pattern on the front of the Rachio?

Now your app hangs.
I’ll delete it, download it again.

After dinking around - deleting the app, downloading, resetting the device, I got it connected.
All my zones are connected.

I moved one of my Airport Express’s right next to Rachio. The Airport Express is connected to my network via Ethernet. So hopefully they’ll be no connectivity issues. Apple doesn’t support the Airport line anymore so at some point I’ll have to change my network. But not today.

So far I like what’s there. Already, I see some big advantages over what I was using - EtherRain8 + Lawncheck. Not bagging on Jimmie at Lawncheck, we had great years with him.

Next up I’ll figure out how to attach a rain sensor. And I’m also on the list for the leak detector.

Sorry to be so uptight. In doing all this I found some holes my irrigation guys said they fixed. These are no issues compared to what others are facing. Super grateful.


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Why not make a device with an Ethernet port?



Apple released a firmware update for their Airport line a week or so ago.

Something in that update wasn’t working well with my setup. I think, I was linking too many of them together.

So I reset my Extreme and Time Capsule’s (which I use to extend my wireless network) to factory default, started over. I also removed an Extreme – I was linking two together.

Now that I’ve simplified my network, I haven’t noticed any connection issues. I ran a schedule last night, looking good. My network is running good.

Right now I’m thinking the problems were network related.

I’m going to replace my Airport network with the Netgear Orbi Mesh. It’ll be here Tuesday. I should see another a big bump in performance. Mesh is better than Access Points.

Many thanks for what is looking like a great service.

I hope you don’t sell out to Google!