New Construction Suggestions?

We’re in the beginning stages of building a new house, and I’m really happy to have discovered Rachio here at the outset. Are there any suggestions from the community for someone in my situation? The lot for the house is cleared, but not so much as one square foot of earth has been moved.

I’d love to hear users’ insights. Thanks!

It’s easier to put in more zones from the start than it is to go back and add later! If in question, split the zone even if you initially wire them together into a single zone.

Make sure area/vegetation/soil/etc within a zone is similar as much as possible.

Run a few extra wires in case you want more zones later.

Put in a flow meter that works with the Gen 2 controller.

Its so super easy to run a cycle from the “remote” consider watering pots, etc.


Thanks for the feedback. I’ve never done any irrigation installation work myself. If I go and buy my Rachio and show your suggestions to my contractor, is it likely he’ll understand them? In particular the comments about the flow meter and about watering pots.


Great insight here, do you have a few flow meters that you know work with the gen 2? We are building a new home as well and meeting with landscaper soon.

Any insight is appreciated. Thank you,

These are the current flow meters, although adding new ones to this list is trivial (they consist of a multiplier and offset).

Note that seeing flow data and using it for building schedules, etc. is coming soon. It will just be a mobile client upgrade when it is ready.


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Awesome, thank you!

@brkaus speaks the truth, get a 16 zone unit and install lots of zones. You don’t want shade and full sun on the same zone. I started with 4 now I’m up to 8 as I can save more water this way.

And flow sensor dude, they are the bomb.

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Great advice, our home will be on .80 acres with a lot of it being grass. Any recommendation on number of zones or zone planning?

I think your water pressure is going to define the minimum number of zones for your turf. You will need to read up and do the math or talk to a pro. As long as you have good head to head coverage and don’t lower your pressure too much with too many heads on a single zone, your golden.

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Ok that makes sense, I’ll keep researching our pressure and different head pressure requirements. Thank you

If you don’t mind me asking on average what kind of water savings are you seeing with the Rachio controller?

i cant give you a finite number of gallons. i can tell you that i saved ~$200 last year based on run times and my pricing tiers with the county. with flex schedules enabled, i ended up skipping a lot of waterings because it was a pretty wet year for us last year and my rain sensor was dry within 2 days after the rain, where flex was typically taking me out 5 days after the rain before watering.

that is just a rough comparison on when my old system should have run compared to iro with flex schedules actual runs. there could be some error in my method.

anecdotal, you will notice it, even my wife whom could care less about irrigation was noticing the difference since the push notifications were coming to her phone. and even she noticed the system was running a lot less than our old pro c on a fixed schedule.


May be nerdy, but that’s pretty exciting to me. I’m excited to get the new 16 zone fired up and watch the magic happen.


Oh it’s nerdy geeky techy or my favorite, intergalactic.

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Your tap size is what dictates available flow for a site. Generally you need your pressure upstream of your backflow preventer to be at least 15-20 pounds higher than the operating pressure of your sprinklers. A typical tap size for residential is usually 3/4" copper which will provide about 10 GPM available for each zone.

Hunter has a nice residential design guide HERE.

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Absolutely, well said!

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That is a great guide by Hunter, thanks for linking that. That will definitely help with zone and overall layout.

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Definitely :slight_smile: If you need help don’t hesitate to ask.

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I appreciate it, any zoning or sprinkler head lessons learned? Anything you have changed or would advise when planning? Thanks again

On slopes make sure that you use sprinkler heads with check valves in them so you don’t get low head drainage.
If using sprays, select bodies that have 30 psi pressure regulating stems to prevent misting.
Separate full sprinklers from part sprinkler zones ( some exceptions apply with MPR nozzles )
Zone by sun exposure ( ie don’t put plants on the north side of your house with plants on the south side )


ronjonp has proven he knows what he is talking about.

ill add that im a huge fan of drip in the flower beds. it keeps disease down (leaf spot for roses, etc.) and its easier to drag water to new plantings years after the installation. plus you can tailor the watering needs for the plant by changing the emitters instead of having to adjust the entire zone settings.