Is Rachio 3 compatible with my RainBird RC-1260 Bi?

Hello everyone!

Newbie here. Really like the “concept” of Rachio 3, just not sure if it’s compatible with my current system. Emailed the Rachio customer service several days ago with no response. So I thought I try my luck here.

Currently we have an old but fully functioning sprinkler system, RainBird RC-1260 Bi. The controller is inside garage, 12 stations. I would like to replace it with Rachio 3, (16 station, I assume?). Do you know if it is compatible with my current system? I will hire an irrigation professional to help to install, but wouldn’t want to waste my money to buy Rachio 3 if it won’t work anyway….

If Rachio 3 is not compatible, do you have other recommendations for a smart sprinkler controller of other brand that IS compatible with my RainBird?

Thanks in advance!


@tt_45 - that Rainbird controller looks very similar to the RainBird model I migrated off of about three years ago. Yes, Rachio is compatible. Yes, you’ll need the 16 zone model. Costco did have a special 12 zone version - but it looks like it is out of stock on Costco’s web site.

Welcome to the community.


Thank you so much DLane!! Really appreciate your help!! :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

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Thank u so much DLane!

Below is the pic I took after I opened the “face” of my RainBird… and immediately decided that I’ll need a professional to install! :smile::smile: The Rachio 3 video is not going to help. WAAAAAY over my head! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Hope my photo shows. Does this look like the one u replaced?

Thanks again! I’ll get one from Amazon then…

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Thanks for sharing that photo, that is :fire:!!!

@tt_45 - yep, that looks like the back of my old one. See the bundle of wires going up on the left side - those are the field wires. There should be a connector that one can take apart. The other side of the connector should be pigtails that the field wires are connected to. Match the wire color to the wiring chart that is typically on the lid of the Rainbird (take a picture and label the wires) to determine which zone a wire runs. Where the pigtail connects to the field wire is where one would disconnect from the Rainbird and connect to a Rachio. Next is a plug to plug in the Rachio - may be able to just unplug the Rainbird and plug in the Rachio. So forget you saw the back of the Rainbird and just focus on the connector and pigtails. I think you can probably do it. Then one needs to configure the app.

Many older installs had a rain sensor wired in to the common wire. If that is the case in this installation, I’d suggest to remove the rain sensor from the common wire. If one wants a rain sensor then hook it up directly to the Rachio.

There is a site to find a professional that is familiar with Rachio on their home page (, I’d start there if one want someone to install it. But again, I think you can probably do it. Post pictures if you have questions or get stumped and I’m confident someone will chime in with an answer.

Thank you so much for your explanation, DLan. Wish I were THAT capable! but it takes me several min to just READ/re-read your post… and still have NO clue! :smile: . You know what I will do? I will print out what you wrote here and show it to that “professional” to make sure he does it right! lol - I did find a local professional from Rachio’s website that you mentioned, and sounds like they’ve done it. So, fingers crossed…

Again, thanks for your help. I will keep you (and everyone) updated on this little project…

Hi @DLane , attached is the same Rain Bird RC-1260 Bi. In your post, you mention that there’s “a connector that one can take apart”. Is the connector you mention the cream-colored thing that’s sitting in the box at the left?

If so, do I disconnect that and then use the colored wires coming into the box to plug into my new controller?

@ESS726 - correct. Also on the back of the box is the legend that should correspond to the wire colors. I’d take apart the cream colored connector, then follow each wire back to the orange wire nut and label the wire going out of the box with the color/meaning of the pigtail wire. Then hook them up appropriately to the Rachio. Before taking apart the Rain Bird, I’d run it one last time to make sure all the zones work and are correctly associated, etc.