Multiple Start Times - UPDATE?

I just installed my Rachio and so far pleased with the hardware, but somewhat disappointed in the programming options. Almost all standard controllers have the option to schedule multiple start times per day. As with many users, I live in AZ where multiple short watering periods per day are required. I did see the IFTTT work-around, but hourly is quite an overkill, and unfortunately there are no other multiple day timer triggers.
I did a search on the community forum for “multiple start times” and noted that the first request for the feature was made back in December of 2015. It was then addressed by Rachio support in July of this year, where there was mention of it being integrated in the next software release. I’m hoping support can give a more specific response in when they plan on addressing this issue.


What are you watering multiple times a day?

My lawn. More specifically, a winter rye grass that needs continuous moisture until germinated. Aside from my scenario, there are many situations which would constitute more than a single water time per day.

Create multiple fixed schedules for each run time. That is what I did.

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Speaking only from my own experience here, but…

don’t most “standard controllers” (AKA “simple timers” :wink: ) simply do this via an A,B,C,… schedule? I know my old one was set up in such a way. The option of setting up multiple schedules with Rachio seems congruent, if that’s all you’re referring to here.

With that said, I can assure you Rachio isn’t satisfied with just being “congruent”, and would rather continue being advanced and innovative. :wink: That’s about as far as I can go, without making promises on behalf of the company’s product & development teams.

Just as an option, I’ll return to the IFTTT recipes and a “work-around” I used this Spring for fresh grass seed.
I simply linked IFTTT to my calendar (Google Calendar in my case, but there are other options) and set my recipe’s trigger (the IF portion) as “Event from Search Starts” - and programmed according to my needs. This way, every time an event with a specific phrase like “water grass seed” began, my chosen schedule would run.

The simpler option, of course is as @tmcgahey suggested.

In my case, I already had enough schedules set up and only wanted to add one more for the seeds to get a quick surface watering.

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It is reasonable to be expect to be able to program multiple start times per program. It is a glaring omission with the Rachio in my opinion. I am a landscaper and manage 9 Rachios at this point. Every cheap controller at Home Depot offers the feature. It is exceptionally useful in an overseeding situation.

We are rebuilding all of our scheduling (and our entire cloud platform) for next year which will support this feature along with a whole variety of new scheduling features :wink:



My Hunter Pro-C has Program A, B, C, D and each program can have up to 10 (yes ten) individual start times per day without having to set up a mirrored program. It is a commercial grade clock though. My standard Hunter clock that one Rachio has already replaced only had 4 start times per day.

Agree that it would be a nice to have, but it honestly did not take me more than 10 minutes to program 4 fixed schedules for the different times with all the lawn zones affected by reseeding, leaving the remaining zones unchanged on FLEX. Has produced great results (with climate skip off, rain skip on, freeze skip on, seasonal shift off). To put it in perspective, Hurricane Matthew was by far my bigger reseeding challenge, sweeping seed from bare areas, despite the straw… Can’t wait to see next year’s platform. Go rachio!


During the hottest days in the desert summer, I have a second fixed schedule enabled for the vegetable beds to prevent wilting from the heat. It’s easy to disable during the winter when there is no need for it.

Is it still not possible to set multiple start times or am I missing it on the app?

We have the concept of hourly schedules (unfortunately can not set start and end times yet) but do not officially support multiple start times in schedules. I have seen some users create a schedule using manual cycle soak and essentially using the “soak” time to pause the system between runs.


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Thank you.

Ok so using the smart cycle - if I have drip irrigation what are the default cycles if I have two zones that each need an hour of water. Would it be: zone 1 on 30min, zone 2 on 30, zone 1 on 30, zone 2 on 30? Arizona dirt isn’t the best at absorbing water so I’m prob going to have to set it up with the manual soak to minimize runoff.

If using manual soak - 15 min on, 30 off… would that be something like this? 7:00 zone 1 on, 7:15 zone 1 off & zone 2 on, 7:30 zone 2 off & zone 1 on (30 min cycles from when it came on). OR is it - 7:00 zone 1 on, 7:15 zone 1 off & zone 2 on, 7:30 zone 2 off, 7:45 zone 1 on (30 min cycles from when it shut off).

This is dependent on your zone characteristic makeup. We actually don’t apply smart cycle to drip zones due to their typical “long” watering nature. This has more explanation.

The later. I also noticed that for drip zones the manual cycle soak is not applied unless you choose a different type of nozzle. If you do that you can just override the precipitation rate(s) so that it matches a drip zone. I also noticed one other limitation. Manual soaking maximum time is only one hour, so just creating multiple schedules with unique start times might be the easier route to go. Hope this is helpful.


Well, this just keeps getting more disappointing. I guess I will just have to build in multiple schedules which is a total pain and should not be necessary. I got this thing to make things simple and thats sadly not the case in my situation. Maybe eventually you’ll make the app more customizable since not everyone has awesome soil.

I just moved into a house that has Gen 1. I have yet to figure out how to schedule multiple starts in one day. I’m in AZ where to get our Summer (and Winter) seed to germinate we must water atleast twice a day. Please help!

@Seany75 - What type of schedule is programmed - Fixed, Flex Monthly or Flex Daily?

With a Fixed schedule I think that one can create two schedules using the same zone and have them start at different times - e.g. 9 AM and 3 PM.

One could also configure a Manual cycle and soak with a long soak time.

One might also be able to use IFTTT or SmartThings to schedule another run could be another option.


Yep. Every fall I overseed here in AZ and set up 6 fixed schedules with start times throughout the day. I’ve found this to be the easiest as I can delete individual schedules to cut back on the waterings as the seed begins to grow.

Thanks for the comments. I think I got it figured out!