Manual Watering Removed from 2.0?

Can you confirm you removed manual watering from 2.0? I have been going nuts on my phone and online looking for manual control in the new version.I am considering removing my unit because this is the most annoying thing I have ever seen…I can’t believe that you think it is ok to have a sprinkler controller where you cannot manually activate a zone.

Why can’t I manually control a zone, the whole point of the unit was to have easy control over the system and now I cannot control my system. There are plenty of reasons to want to control a zone manually.

Testing zones and checking heads for damage. I don’t want to have to crawl through my bushes, pry up the valve box cover and then get a screw driver to manually turn on each zone and hope that I remember which valve is which zone. I needed to check my system after some work was done at the house to see if there are broken heads and now I need to manually turn on each zone at the box, wander around the yard to find the running zone and then return to the box, shutoff a valve and start a new one. I have 16 zones spread over an acre so this is a huge pain in the ass compared to walking around with my phone, turning on a zone and checking each head quickly.

Adjusting heads is much easier walking around turning zones on and off while I adjust the heads, again I do not need to crawl around in the control boxes running all over my yard each time I want to turn a zone on and off.

My kids wanted to play in the sprinklers the other day and I was going to throw a zone on in the back yard to let them get wet and I could not do this any longer.

Right now I appear to have a stuck valve and I wanted to cycle the zone to turn the valve on an off to see if I could get it to close but since I cannot control the individual zone now I can’t do this. So now how do I test if there is a problem with the Iro unit or the valve? I can turn the valve off manually but can’t control the electrical component to see if I can get the solenoid to activate. Even if I replace the valve and want to test if the zone is working now I need to setup a watering schedule to see if the Iro is properly controlling the valve? Why can’t I just turn the zone on?

I have been doing a lot of work lately around the yard and there are areas that have been seeded and I temporarily need to water more, I like to be able to look at the seeded area and decide if it needs additional watering, how does the Iro know a zone has been seeded and needs to be watered more frequently for a specific period of time. It is my yard why can’t I just control the zone as I see fit?

You can’t think the Iro really knows the amount of water in all situations because the forecast station is miles from my house, there have been many times where the amount of precipitation was dramatically different at the reporting weather station vs what actually happened at my location. We have seen the Iro delay watering due to rainfall when we have had no rain and the opposite.

PLEASE give me back the ability to control my system at the most basic level. I am a responsible enough adult to control my sprinklers.


Thanks for reaching out to us. Really sorry for any confusion with this.

You can definitely still do this through the Remote feature that we have. If you click on the blue Remote icon you will see that All Zones is defaulted. From there you click on the small arrow and it will drop down all of your zones. You can then choose the specific zone you want and set the time. Then once you do that you can click the arrow again and select another zone and set the duration. You can do this to as many zones as you want and then at the end click Run Now. This article shows how to do this. (Starts about half way down entitled Manually Run Specific Zones)

If you have any additional questions please feel free to let us know.

Thanks again for your time.



It would also be nice to cycle a zone on and off from the actual My Yard area as it shows a picture of the zone being controlled.

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Why would they ever make this so difficult to manually control the valves??? This has made me look elsewhere for a controller, think Rachio blew it.

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This has change has completely turned me off on the Rachio, if you find a replacement please post. I am going back to the old style just for this reason.


Interesting concern. I find the manual control works fine. An extra step to set the time that could likely be avoided, the dial is strange. But I love the fact that the order can be changed and I can walk the yard in whatever direction I like.

Perhaps they would be better with a table with zone on/off for each one in a maintenance mode, but I’m not a fan of on forever so I like setting minutes.

1 Off / On
2 Off / On
3. Off / On

And yes, adding on/off on the specific zone page would be nice. Or perhaps Off and +1 minute to add manual time right now.

Hi @Chuckalbri,
Don’t know if it addresses all your concerns, but there’s a simplified version of the remote (without the dial, drag and drop zones) in the web app…

Dan :rachio:

Sorry to hear you are upset regarding the new remote that was released last summer.

Is there any feedback in particular you would like me to relay to the product team?

Have a great day.


BTW - Here is an FAQ for the remote if you have any questions about it.

I just got my unit the other day and figured out how to manually turn on the unit using my iPhone from the instructions above. It was quite easy, and so far I am quite please with the unit. It does have manually start from the app, you have to click on the icon in the middle at bottom that looks like an Apple TV remote. Very simple.


Hi Franz, I second that the manual watering could be improved. Like already mentioned being able to manually water directly from the my yard screen would be great

Ya, we want to rework all of that, hopefully sometime this year. We have some ideas how to make all of that much better :wink:



You need to be able to just turn a zone on and off - heck, the front panel on the controller works better than the iOS app for this!

Two obvious scenarios:

  • I just finished installing my Rachio device for the first time.
  • Summer starting, I need to check all the zones.

In each case, I want to easily pull out my phone, turn on station 1. Watch the result, then turn off station 1 and/or turn on station 2 (which should automatically turn off station 1).

I’d be happy enough if there was a fixed 10 minute time limit.

But seriously, the main display with the zones should let me turn any zone on or off in two touches. Touch zone, touch “On” button.