URGENT: Need fix to multiple Rachio units so they work as one system

Thanks @DLane, I missed that one.

I am a programmer, work with programmers. The significant and primary reason that this would be complex is due to the stated, “more sophisticated weather intelligence features across schedules”.

What about allowing multiple controller merge only with Fixed Schedules? That is what most of us with multiple controllers are using anyway. Grey-out the “intelligent” features with a caveat that explains the feature is not available for multiple controllers once merged. Schedule data is stored on the controller itself. The iOS/Android/Web interfaces are talking to the controllers and affecting changes to databases anyway. I don’t need a dB in the cloud (would be nice of course as then you could implement intelligent features), just simple coordination of timing across controllers with Fixed Schedules. Let the app check for busy true/false for the desired start/stop time and if the app sees a conflict, warn the user. if the user persists and is okay with two zones overlapping, notate it in the app and display the warning.

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Hunter’s Hydrawise already allows up to 36 stations. On July 10 they are rolling out expansion to 54 stations on larger station capacity models. But I hate the Hydrawise product. Basically a regular controller with percentage adjustments.

You are asking for things that are currently available only with sophisticated commercial equipment or low-end smart controllers like Hunter’s smart controller line with Hydrawise. Rachio is a residential controller and the majority of residential systems are 6-8 stations. Examples of fine large products are Irritrol Rainmaster Eagle plus and Hydropoint WeatherTrak ETPro. The price: $2,000 or more. Schools, parks and large commercial landscapes are suited to these products.

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I install a bunch of sprinklers down here in South Texas, 99% on water wells where we have to make a lot more zones most of the time. I have a lot of my customers switched over to the Rachio and have them all on my phone which is amazing…until recently I have ran into the no more than 16 zone problem and now after reading this I am really worried. I know I have several customers that will be over 16 zones one day, and my current personal house is maxed out at 16 zones. I do not want to deal with two separate controllers that are not linked in some way. I do not care if I have to buy expansion boards or another controller, but it does need to be implemented soon. There has been so many smart controllers coming out and they all do 16+ zones.
I added a drip line to my house around my slab before I realized that my controller is maxed out…so I am buying a Hunter node to remedy, which I do not want to do, but I have no other options really.
I think I am going to try the OpenSprinkler, up to 72 zones!! Even in Texas the TCEQ requires that we still install a manual rain sensor on the Rachio controller, so even if the OpenSprinkler smart feature isn’t is good, at least I do not have to have the complexity.
Hopefully Rachio fixes this…I have been die hard Rachio…until now.

So, I’ve read this entire thread… 3 years. What I see from Rachio is a series of non answers, vague implications of a fix, etc… stringing along customers begging for a fix. How about honesty. What ya’all are asking for us not coming anytime soon. Period. I love the controller in my condo with 6 zones and I will stay with it. What I need is a solution for a large yard with 22 zones. I don’t care if I need to link two zones within the app, or if I need a unit with 24 zone capability… just one or the other.

I’ve quit holding my breath. The Hydrawise controller will do what I need today. May not have all the trick features, but I can control all zones.


Hey @Llkida!

Our CTO, Franz, made an official statement regarding this in June. See below:

-Lo :rachio:


Read the statement from Franz. Since this is not currently possible with Rachio, there are a couple of options. I believe Hunter is introducing the ICC2 controller with Hydrawise, but you need Wifi. And I believe with Rain Bird’s ESP4ME modular controller with Lnkwifi module you can go up to 22 stations. But it is Rain Bird. Neither brands have the capabilities of Rachio. I hope this helps. Another great option is Irritrol Rain Master Eagle Plus with ZipET, but you are talking $$$.

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I just got the Gen 3 system installed and ran into the same problem with 2 zones. Even the installer thought this was possible and why went with this verses the Hunter.

It’s a shame the software won’t be modified to access across multiple controllers. It really does have a nice interface.

Please let me know how to get a refund.

I think I am appalled - Over the past 2 years I have had multiple conversations with Franz, he always acknowledged the need and desire to make this work and even explained to me what new framework Rachio was going to to enable the features that are needed. In fact I ran into one of your programmers in Frankfurt Airport one day about 18 months ago and we discussed it there to for a moment.

We have a number of programmers on our staff in the USA, Canada and Germany who work with far more complicated database structures that are real time functions and cloud based in Linux on a daily basis. I get the “commercial viability of a feature” has to match the resources it requires to create the backend, and I realize there are many people who would never have a need for more than 16 (OH MY!!!) stations. But the specific reason I chose rachio was the planned inclusion of building out the systems to manage larger projects.

Perhaps I will put someone on this. What ever happened to the API that was discussed.

Sadly Disappointed

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Plus one more who would like to integrate more than 16 zones into one controller. I do not own a second Rachio and I’m not sure I will for my next 8 plus zones.

With 35 zones( 3 controllers) you must be on a fixed schedules and not on flex schedules. I have 30 zones ( 3 controllers) and tried flex schedules and got zones conflicting ( reduce water pressure) with one another so I was forced to go back to fixed schedules. I would be interested to know if you are on fixed or flex schedules.
I live in Southern California so very minimal rain.

Right now Rachio’s target market is residential, with 16 stations or less. Until they come out with a controller with a higher station count, you are stuck with multiple controllers. Or you can buy a competitive product like Hunter’s HCC that can go up to 54 stations. But that product’s software DOES NOT allow input for zone info like soil type, plant type, sprinkler type, sun exposure or slope. This makes it an inferior product to Rachio.

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Add me to the list also. I have four existing manual controllers already wired and operational in different parts of my yard. I would love to replace them with Rachio Controllers, but there is no logical way to do so.

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I’m glad I read this thread and related posts. Without proper integration, like others, I will have no viable option but to to go with another product that supports more stations. Shame.

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So, all 5 of my Rachio systems made it through the Woolsey fire that ravaged our canyon. We lost all our barns, tack rooms, outbuildings and a lot of fence and trees, but saved the house and vineyard.

However we lost our booster pumps and water distribution manifolds and now the single controller limit issue is even worse. Without the water pressure boost for the main water line (Due to be repaired by August 2019) I am back to manually adjusting fixed schedules every time the weather changes here in Southern California. Except I am not able to live there (for another ±3 months) and I cannot get any real data on ground moisture so I have to drive over the 10 miles every other day to check on everything.

Multiple controller integration would help.

API so we could manage the system in other ways would help.

Multiple moisture sensors would help.

In fact almost all the things people ask for would help.

FIXED only schedules would help for allowing simplistic multi-controller set ups.

Look back in this thread - The need for MORE zones not less will only increase as water rationing increases across the country and that means we have to have a way to communicate with more zones. 16 will soon not be enough. In fact it already is. We are renting a small house on an R8 lot until our home is repaired. It has a small back yard (45 sqM) and a small front yard (30sqm) lots of planter beds and flowers in each yard. THey have 19 zones to keep water pressure in check when watering.

This thread is about what we were led to believe and what we were told was on the road map. Do I like Rachio the product? Yes. Do I feel the same about Rachio the company? Not so much.

I don’t follow the line of reasoning described by the CTO. Seems like an attempt to overcomplicate.

From a very high level these devices are nothing more than wifi connected, database controlled, 24v relays. How difficult can it be to make one unit act as a dumb slave to a primary unit. For one database to extend the other. If this is complicated to implement at the database level, something is very, very wrong already.

My personal issue is not that I need over 16zones. I simply have two dumb controllers that I want to turn into a smart system without having to extend the 24v lines to a single point. Having me buy two units to accomplish this seems like an easy money maker for rachio Mr CTO.

I would sit down with your database and software guys again and take a more constructive approach to solving this moneymaker before the competition arrives with an easy fix.

The fact that two devices can be on the same network unaware with each other in order to not interfere with each other without user intervention, (manual scheduling) seems beyond strange in 2019. In a world of connected devices, this seems like a must have feature.

I love the simple intuitive UI that is miles ahead of competition but this is such a thorn that for me takes away the entire value proposition of ditching my dumb timers…that do work.

Raising my hand here as another residential multiple unit user. I have a 2.5 acre property, and I’m currently running 3 controllers, 8+8+16. Conflicts for me mean the pump shuts down, and that’s no fun. I really like the product otherwise; I’d love to be able to take advantage of more of its features. An API would be great; then I’d just roll my own schedule adjuster.

Rachio has pretty good API support, as documented here (link). Feel free to ask if anything is unclear. Always nice to see 3rd party developers :wink:

I’m a newbie to the forum…
We have 29 zones across to 16 zone units. Adjusting the schedules to not overlap is frustrating. I would love it also if they could be controlled as if they were one unit.
Thank you


I have 2 controllers covering 21 zones, as do many of my neighbors… it is not uncommon for homes to have more then 16 zones, especially ones on 1 Acre+ Lots… Not having them work as one or at least some sort of zone expander is horrible. All of the sprinkler companies around here recommend against Rachio because of this, they push Rainbird smart controllers because they goto 24 zones. This seems like a super simple development cycle.