New Setup - Converting from RainDial

Hi Everyone,
I’m ready to jump into the new tech age of technology irrigation. I currently have a RainDial 6-zone unit (RD600-EXT-R) and want to get up and running. I’m in Scottsdale, AZ if that matters. I think I’ll need the following:

  1. Rachio 8-zone
  2. Waterproof enclosure
  3. Flow Sensor

Sound about right? Any suggestions as to which flow sensor works the best or is most cost effective?

Hi @jeremysm1 !
Super excited to have you join the team :wink:
Sounds about right if you are installing outside! The only thing I will say is getting a flow sensor is definitely optional. Depending on your needs, I would say there are probably some more cost and time effective ways to get accurate usage from your app. This community is excellent in helping with getting that done!
We also have a large group of Arizona users on here who are absolutely incredible when it comes to getting your system set up. Once you have gotten your controller up and running I recommend taking advantage of their knowledge when it comes to getting your settings fine tuned to your landscape!
McKynzee :rachio:

Welcome @jeremysm1. I’m in north phoenix. I have 5 zones on my system so I went with the 8 zone Rachio. Sounds like you should get the 8 zone system unless you have plans for any type of renovation of your irrigation system. Also you’ll want an enclosure if it’s outside. I’ve had my for 1 full summer facing the southern sun and it’s working great, so far no worries w/ heat as long as it’s within a box. And with flow sensors, I don’t personally have one so I can’t comment on that… I am just mindful of my yard and where I see water that shouldn’t be, I go hunting for a leak.


Thanks for the welcome messages! I ordered the Rachio and enclosure today but will hold off on adding the flow sensor after feeling out the system for a little while. I’m going to shoot for installation over the weekend–so keep an eye out for my frantic posts then. :slight_smile:


I hope you love your Rachio as much as I do, @jeremysm1! I also do not have a flow sensor. I may install one some time in the future as I travel a lot and can’t always monitor my yard. (And with all the traveling I do, I have been very pleased with how my yard looks when I get home, and that I can monitor what’s going on at home from anywhere in the world!)

I was gutsy and went with flex daily from the very start. It took a little bit of effort to understand it and set it up correctly to suit my specifics, but the time spent was well worth it. And the community will be happy to help you out.



Got the Rachio in the mail. Here is a pic of my current RainDial. Is this a simple unplug from here and plug into the Rachio setup?

Also, my electricity is piped into the RainDial on the right side, but needs to be on the left for the Rachio. Since it’s a flex cable, that should be easy enough. But I’m no electrical expert, is it the same cables/power for RainDial as the Rachio? I’m assuming that I just need to shut off the breaker box before playing with the electricity, right? :slight_smile:

Lastly, my landscaper said he’d let me know the settings of the irrigation. But, I’m kinda doing this project because I don’t fully trust the settings that they are using. I went to the RainDial and simply moved the main dial around and marked down the following: Set for ON (Mon/Tues/Wed/Thurs/Sat), Start time 1am, Station3 1hr, Station5 50 minutes. I didn’t check if B or C (top left)-does something live there?

Thanks for your help!

@jeremysm1 I’m no electrician, no landscaper, and no Rachio employee, but I’ll try to help you as best as I can!

Your Irritrol controller and setup on the wall is as same as mine was. I converted to a Gen 1 Rachio… not sure what you got. But your zone wires on the bottom will just go into the appropriate zone plugins on the Rachio. The white wire is your “valve common” and I was told by Rachio support beore that it can be inserted into either white port labeled “C”.[quote=“jeremysm1, post:6, topic:6509”]
I’m assuming that I just need to shut off the breaker box before playing with the electricity, right?

Again, I’m not electrician but yeah :wink: I bought a box for my gen 1 that had an outlet in it and I just had to run the wires into the enclosure box and connect to the outlet (just like you would with wiring any outlets in the house). If you got the Gen 2, I’m not sure what the box has in it.

Those are just different schedules… but the point is mute because that dumb controller is gone! Dont’ worry about carrying over any settings from your Irritrol.

And you shouldn’t with most landscapers… but yeah, that’s the point of the Rachio. You can tell your landscaper to not worry about how your plants/grass gets watered, we’ll take care of that here :wink: He may just want to make sure you don’t water any grass on mowing days, that’s about all the input he should have with your watering.

Have you signed up on the app and did some initial setup of how many zones you have, etc?


Got the Rachio gen 2 installed yesterday. Had to run to Home Depot to get some connectors so the outside case is connected to the feeder pipes properly. Today, I need to setup the programs. The great thing is that I don’t have lawn, just desert landscape. I’ll dig through the other Arizona threads…but if anyone wants to chime in with best practices for programmed times of dessert trees, shrubs, vines and sequencing (ie time of day, duration, and how many days per week to run the program) that will be just about all I need. Thanks!

Welcome to the team! I’m sure some of our Arizona members will chime in- they are some of the best on here :smile:
Here are some of my favorite AZ threads… most of them are flex schedule focused, not sure if that’s what you are wanting to use!

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I’m going to come clean, I have the faintest knowledge in landscaping but am ready to learn. In fact, I don’t even know anything about my landscape and/or system for irrigation. I did copy down the settings from the previous RainDial, but don’t know (yet) what method to the madness the irrigation uses. We built the house in 2007 and had brand new landscaping that included a backyard lawn. In spring 2015, we got rid of the lawn and replaced with artificial turf–so I’m sure that explains some of the inconsistencies in the irrigation (ie not using zone 1 for instance).

Also, I don’t know much about the plants/trees/shrubs nor do I know anything about the emitters, drip rates etc. I’m going to map out my yard and find every shrub, plant, vine, tree, cactus etc. and also mark down the type of emitters. I may need some help identifying the emitters, and will call in my landscaper to help identify each live plant/tree etc.

In the meantime, I don’t want them to die, so I’ll probably turn things on between now and when I get the info from the landscaper. I’ll try to post with my landscape findings soon and will hopefully inch my way towards setting the system up properly.

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Welcome, @jeremysm1. You will find this forum to be very helpful and the Arizona gang to be a great resource.


YOu’ll learn as we go and probably enjoy it. First, are you all setup with the Rachio? I think you said that earlier, but just want to confirm that your Rachio is hooked up?


Yes, got the Rachio setup outside and is online and ready for programming. I haven’t tried turning any zone on yet. Later today I will try to turn on each zone one at a time and see which areas are controlled in those areas.

Awesome. That will take some time but having a remote in your hand (i.e. phone) vs having to walk to the box everytime will be a great time saver. From a settings stand point, let’s get your proper soil listed. Here is a great reference provided by @azdavidr

Getting the correct soil is vital to knowing how fast your ground will soak up the water and how long it’ll hold onto it. We tend to have sandy soil out here in the desert. Let us know what the AW is per the link.


A bit off topic, but I think most of the AZ folks are watching this thread. Here’s an update of the landscape watering classes some of you guys were talking about earlier. I noted one coming up at Agave Library, which I think is out by @Modawg2k and maybe a couple of others?


Nice, yeah that’s just down the street from me around I17 and Pinnacle Peak.

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My first test is complete, and the Rachio worked! I’m a little baffled that I actually got my system converted from the RainDial to the Rachio on the first try. Okay, so walking around the yard, turning on/off the zones one by one I found this to be the setup:
Zone 1, Zone 7, Zone 8: blank / not used / not wired (followed the RainDial setup for zones)
Zone 2: all of the bigger trees seem to be on this zone. Most have red emitters.
Zone 3: seems like everything in the backyard (except the bigger trees) are on this. Vines, bushes, shrubs, plants.
Zone 4: all I could find turning on is 1 emitter for a plant near the garbage cans.
Zone 5: the entire front of the house (except bigger trees)
Zone 6: all could find is 1 small 4ft tree in front…nothing else on this

I went online to this amazing site, , to identify the types of landscaping we have. Seems like we have an assortment of these: desert spoon, agave, slipper flower, golden barrel, cereus, mesquite, ironwood, palo brea, firecracker bush, green feathery senna, golden eye, lantana, grape ivy, goodings verbena, cherry red sage–at least that is my best guess until the landscaper comes to help identify.


  1. What time of the day should I set the system to water each zone (for simplicity, let’s say front yard, back yard and trees as the 3 zones)?
  2. How many times per week should these zones each get water?
  3. What type of emitters should be used for each? Assume most can be classified into 1-2 types of emitters (ie Shrubs or Trees)
  4. How do I set this up in the Rachio so it knows how many emitters I have and/or how much water I’m using?



@jeremysm1 I encourage you to look at the ‘Water Use It Wisely’ site as a great orientation to how your drip zones should be configured, and how much and how often you should water your plants.

Once you do that, try out this post to see if it helps you set up your Rachio according to what you learned from 'Water Use It Wisely. Be sure not to skip any steps, especially dialing in your soil and root depth settings before using the calculator!


@jeremysm1 Did you do the soil test online yet? I don’t remember seeing you post those.

A lot of your questiosn can be answered with having the appropriate settings

I went outside this morning to first see which plants actually have emitters and if any were broken. My findings upset me.

I only was able to look at the front of the house so far:
-4 broken emitters (spilling out water)
-many plants without water at all (will have to determine if they are xeriscape or not)
-1 crack in a big irrigation feeder hose.

Anyone know how to fix a cracked feeder hose? See picture. I’m planning on stopping by Ewing later today to start on some fixes.

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