*NEW* installation, no prior system or controller


I see MANY, MANY posts dealing with replacing an existing controller or system but what if I have NOTHING? The installation video shows pulling wires off of the existing controller and swapping them onto the rachio controller but what if I don’t have anything existing? What needs to be wired? What do I need above and beyond the rachio to create a new setup? I’m looking around on the internet and finding very little information. If I buy this $200 product am I looking at another $700 worth of equipment to make it useful to me or is it $20-$30 worth of wiring and a DIY project to make it useful and working?


That is an extremely open ended question.

You need an irrigation system if you are watering your turf. I would suggest having someone install it for you, else use the designers provided by hunter and toro, then call your utility companies…

If you are using this to manage pots or flower beds and do not want sub-teranian plumbing, you will need to at least buy a valve and some adapters to hook that up to a spill cock or something. Some ppl have done that and can be more helpful than I.


Yeah it will really depend on what kind of system you are installing. To give you a general idea, I recently expanded my system to add three new drip lines. I think the final bill came out to around 230. It also took a good two days of work ( I tend to work slow). This included valves, pressure regulators, a new valve box, drip and spaghetti line, and drip emitters and fittings. I had to trench (about 175 feet) for all the lines and run new wire to the system.


Sorry, I should have specified. I’m more looking for something temporary/seasonal. I wasn’t looking to do anything in ground; it’d just be hoses above ground. My lawn was OK when I moved in 8 years ago and it’s only the past 2 years or so that I’ve STARTED to pay it any attention. I think something like the rachio might be a little overkill for me at this point. Thanks for the responses :slight_smile:

Hose based irrigation system

The Iro is for an in-ground irrigation system. If you are simply looking at using hoses and sprinklers, the Iro is most likely not for you. I will say I did what you are looking to do and eventually had an in-ground irrigation system installed and love it!!


Here is an idea. Consider constructing a temp above ground system with either PVC or poly pipe. There is also a Hydrorain product called Blu lok, where you simply connect pieces of pipe and fittings without glue. You can buy a hose timer. I think Orbit makes a decent hose timer. But Rachio would not be the right product for you. Look for some YouTube videos about temporary irrigation systems.


@robertokc @beamupscotty @kieranlavin I might have to disagree :wink:

Ironically, I don’t have an in-ground system, but 3 zones with hoses. I apologize in advance, and please no judging. :sunny:

I’ve been running the Iro for 3 years on this system.



as a moderator, i feel compelled to delete that post, but as the court jester, its never good to urinate in the cheerios of the king.


Ok, I believe you. Man if I were in Denver I would help you install an in ground system with poly pipe. But if this works for you, that is the most important thing.


That’s awesome!


for varying degrees of awesome, yea!

if @franz didnt ride a lion to work everyday, i would clown on him so hard at this point. so i have to keep taking these carlos hathcock shots.

i mean, i really feel like this is a crocodile dundee moment, when i just found out mic franz-d is not going to eat the yams because they taste like shit!!! and he just pulled out a can of spaghetti-os


Hi Franz, this is really awesome !!! This is what even I have been looking for. Quick question … are the wires from the valves plugged into Rachio directly, or do we need something intermediate between the valves and Rachio?



@manthena If you look closely at the top of the solenoids, that wiring harness is about 50ft long and is routed to my controller on the back of my house (under a covered deck). I believe I have one common and 3 zones wired into the controller. I have an outlet on the outside of my house that I plug the controller into. In the winter I just move the controller inside. Very unconventional but it’s been working for 3 years.

Another developer at the office did the exact same thing and it’s been working for him great.



I have a very small yard (0.2 acre) so this would perfect for me instead of a costly in-ground setup. Thank you @franz for a very quick reply :slight_smile:


Great post - I was looking at doing something like this as I have some hoses run and they do the job great but it kills me to wake up during watering hours and turn them on individually. I know its not optimal but its a good fix for now while we look at getting a proper irrigation system in the following year or two.

Just a question on the hoses - do you have one valve control one sprinkler at the end of the hose or did you do something more elaborate? Any issues with your system or things you wish you did differently (without going in-ground system obviously)?


I love Blu-lock for service work! I use it almost everyday. I may be the only irrigator in my area that uses it. I have to special order it through a supplier since no one stocks it.


YES, I am familiar with Blu LOk.

It did well in Oklahoma until many of the fittings manufacturers came out with clampless fittings for poly pipe. A lot cheaper and parts easier to find. But I like Hydro-Rain as a company.


franz, Thanks for your post. I have a quick question about the parts you used to create this. I see that you have an Orbit 3 Valve manifold but where did you get the adapters to change it to a standard watering hose?

Also, are you still running this system? Is this overkill for a small above ground setup?



I believe in the irrigation or fitting aisle at Home Depot. They can help you find the right one.

Yes, about 10 years in :wink:. It depends, I have three zones of irrigable grass so it makes a lot of sense, and I haven’t been ready to commit to a full in-ground system.