Schedule Advice for Newbie


I’m excited about getting a Rachio 3 to replace my 15 year old Rainbird controller. Before it arrives I’m reading all I can and laying out how to categorize each of my 15 zones. With that done, I’m at at stopping point when it comes to schedules.

I’m assuming flex daily and flex monthly, but not sure which zones to put into which schedule. I have 5 zones of cool grass in clay with lots of sun, 7 zones of low ground cover (shrub?) in clay loam with lots of shade, and 3 of cool grass in shade.

I’m looking for ideas on the initial schedule setup, knowing that it will have to be tweaked later. Also, I’ve read in the forum that people adjust the advanced settings to change zone watering frequency/intervals. Do people tweak the zone advanced settings very much? That would seem to be a fairly involved process.




Hi and welcome to the Rachio family.

Most of us recommend starting with the standard schedule for a few weeks before getting into the flex schedules. This give the Rachio a chance to build its history of a water table.

Once you have been irrigating regularly, you can switch to a flex schedule since it will go off of your history and make irrigation more desirable with a better set of parameters.


@jebgg Welcome to the community, continuing from what @spscoutenPhD mentioned.

I would put one or two zones (front/back) into a flex daily schedule and see how it behaves for a couple/few weeks. Once dialed in I would roll out to other zones assuming the results are satisfactory. Glad to review any zone settings that you have questions on. The moisture graph for each zone will show simulated watering for the next two weeks so there won’t be too many surprises.

Here is some good reference documentation:


Thanks for the input. Your suggestions sound like the prudent way to start out. I should have it up and running this weekend but there probably won’t be much watering due to the wintry mix we’re going to have here in NC.


Wow, that was easy. I had 15 zones wired in less than 30 minutes. The weather feature connected right into my personal weather station. I created a flex daily zone and a fixed zone using some of the zones to see how they work. We’ve got cold rainy weather in the forecast so probably won’t run for a while.

I do have 2 questions concerning the setup. 1) why does the light bar keep pulsing instead of staying a steady blue? 2) I need a better description of the sprinkler heads. Most of my zones are Hunter PGP heads. Is that a rotary nozzle? Are there pictures on the website somewhere other than the crude drawings?


@jebgg - pulsing light = breathing. All is normal. Idle.

see ->


@jebgg The Hunter PGP heads count as Rotor Heads. Rotary Nozzles would be the Hunter MP and MPSR Rotators,Toro PRN Rotators, Rainbird R series Rotary Nozzles, Rainbird R-Van Nozzles and the K-rain


Thank you


You are most welcome. Please feel free to ask any questions. That is how we learn many of the professional tricks of the trade.