Newbie Setup in UK

I’m looking to install a lawn sprinkler system. I keen on getting a smart system as the rest of my house is connected. However, I’ve never set up standard or smart sprinkler system before.

I found the rachio on a few other review sites and it looks good and what I need. But I’ve got s few questions that I would appreciate your views.

  1. I can see there have been many posts about use outside the US (how to buy, power supplies, frequencies etc). So I wanted to ask if the rachio 3 or 3e have improved and are ok to use in the UK?

  2. The other question I have is about wiring. I’m unsure how you wire zones to this. I will be installing around 40 pop-up sprinklers. I would like to create a few zones front/back, right/left, beds etc), but how do you wire that up? Most sprinkler systems I see come with the water pipe, connectors and heads. I don’t see any wiring, so how do you wire these in zones?

A lot of these questions might be very basic, but am just starting off and so any help would be appreciated.


Concerning your second set of questions, I will attempt to answer them. If I do, great. If I do not, please feel free to ask more.

The Rachio is what controls the valves for the zones. When the sprinklers are designed out, they are broken into zones according to several factors including water pressure, area, number of heads, type of head, etc. I had mine designed by a sprinkler supply company and used that as a basis. Each zone has a valve, which usually is with a group of valve in a valve box. A set of wires usually goes to each valve box with one wire per valve plus a common for all the valves. Each wire set runs through trenches (waterproof & underground) to the controller, where it is gets connected. My wire came with all of the parts that I bought, plus I got an laid extra which I am glad as I split a zone. Actually, I will be running some more and doing more splits soon hopefully.


That’s very helpful. I wasn’t sure where the wires fitted in.

So if I got it correct

  • You lay you sprinklers (position determined by your flow rate and coverage of each head)

  • The water pipe that connects to the main water source and the sprinklers has its own value

  • That value then is wired to the unit/rachio.

Do you find people place the value close to the zone (and track back to the unit for the wires) or do they keep all the values close to the unit and so run seperate piping to each zone and a shorter wire to the unit?

Get the feeling keepinh them all together is better so you can get quick access to each zones value and that it’s a smaller area to run and protect the wiring.

I currently have three valve boxes (front and two in back) with three valves in each. I be splitting one or two zones again hopefully soon and putting in another valve box or maybe two. So, the are relatively close to the zones, but still grouped together. I personally would say it is easier and probably cheaper that way (instead of more boxes, wires all over, fewer manifolds which is something I recommend, etc.).