Set all zones individual schedules?

Just installed a rachio 3 in a new to us house and I know very little about how to care for plants… so bear with me.

I have 6 working zones that are all different (different amounts of sun/sprinkler types etc.) Is there any benefit to grouping zones together in the schedule (like running a two zoned lawn together) or would I be better off letting Rachio decide all 6 schedules individually? Seems like if it is adjusting on the fly I would be better off letting it choose the days for all zones individually, but this is not how I see other typically setting up their schedules… Why?


This depends on if you would like to use a fixed schedule (pre-determined days or intervals) or something more dynamic like a flex monthly (watering days are adjusted once per month) or flex daily (fully dynamic watering based on forecasted weather)

We tend to recommend grouping “like” zones together since they typically have the same watering requirements and patterns.

If you do decide to choose one of the flex schedules I recommend starting with one zone (typically grass) and see if you like the way it works. Add more zones as you get comfortable, or stay with a fixed predictable schedule which still has all of the weather intelligence (rain skip, seasonal shift, etc.) features.


one benefit of having multiple zones in a schedule is the anti water hammer feature which will turn the next zone on a little before turning the current zone off, helping avoid the water hammer. When each zone has its own schedule, the current zone is fully turned off before the new schedule starts by turning its zone on. This negates the anti-hammer feature completely.

Welcome to the Community!

If you live outdoors and use your lawn, you might benefit by limiting the number of days that you water (which incidentally, is good for your vegetation). You can create one or two flex (I prefer daily) schedules that, between them, contain all your zones, and set them to only water on certain, though different, days. The “Daily” in Flex Daily doesn’t mean daily watering - it means, considering everything, maybe watering this day, maybe not - without your intervention.

Don’t shy away from fully dynamic watering. Even with a mix of zones, flex daily will put the right amount of water down for each, as required. There’s a learning curve, but this forum will show you how.