How do I create a watering schedule?

Rachio offers 4 schedule types:

  • Fixed Interval - Waters on a set interval or odd/even days
  • Fixed Days - Waters on specific days of the week; i.e. Mondays/Wednesday/Friday
  • Flexible Monthly - Adjusts monthly based on historical climate data; watering duration & interval (frequency) change takes place after the first watering in the following month
  • Flexible Daily - Adjusts daily based on soil moisture; watering schedules dynamically update on a zone by zone basis

Video Walkthrough



Steps to create a schedule:
1) Schedule Type

You will be asked to select the type of schedule to create.


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2) Zone Selection

You will be asked to select which zones you'd like to add to the schedule. Please note, zones cannot be added at a future date to Flexible Monthly schedules.


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3) Interval/Frequency Selection

Select days or the interval you wish to water. Please note, days/intervals cannot be selected on Flexible Monthly schedules.


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4) Select the Start Time for the Schedule

You will be asked for the time the schedule should begin.


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5) Select the Start and/or End Date for the Schedule

You will be asked if you'd like the schedule to start on a specific future date and/or end on a specific day (for example, start on 05/01/2017 and end on 05/01/2020). This can be used to set up schedules for specific needs like new grass seed or seasonal watering restrictions.


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6) Smart Watering Features

You'll have the opportunity to disable any Smart Watering Features you do not wish to use. Note: All Smart Watering Features are enabled by default. Flexible Daily schedules cannot edit or disable Weather Intelligence features.


Smart Features

Smart Cycle (Automated Cycle Soak)

When running a watering schedule with Smart Cycle toggled on, Rachio will break up the total watering time for each zone into a number of cycles. For each cycle, a zone is watered for a period of time that matches the infiltration rate of your soil. During this process, it's important that the soil in each zone gets enough time to absorb the water; the controller schedules at least 30 minutes between each watering cycle on the zone. For more details, please see: Smart Cycle FAQ.

Weather Intelligence

Weather Intelligence is a collection of weather rich "virtual sensors" that use forecast data to productivity skip your schedules; helping you save water whenever it's possible to do so. Make every gallon count!

  • Seasonal Shift (formerly Water Budgeting) - will change intervals on a monthly basis, allowing the user to see exactly when watering will occur. *Note: this feature cannot be disabled on As Needed schedules. To learn more, please see Seasonal Shift FAQ
  • Climate Skip (formerly ET skip) - uses evapotranspiration data and forecasts to calculate the soil moisture balance in your soil to skip schedules anytime your yard has enough moisture in it to last until until your next scheduled watering. To learn more, please see Climate Skip FAQ
  • Rain Skip - checks the observed and forecasted rainfall from the last and next 24 hours (48 hour window); anytime the combination of the two measurements meet or exceeds the selected threshold, your watering schedule will be skipped. The default threshold is 1/8" (Threshold options from 1/16th to 1 inch). To learn more, please see Rain Skip FAQ
  • Freeze Skip - checks the observed temperature one hour before your scheduled watering time; anytime the temperature is at or above the selected threshold, your watering schedule will by skipped. The default threshold if 32 degrees (Threshold options from 32 to 45 degrees). To learn more, please see Freeze Skip FAQ


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7) Schedule Summary

Using the zone settings entered during the zone setup, Rachio will overlap hundreds of data points and crunch the numbers to recommend the optimal watering schedule for your lawn and area. You can name and edit the schedule to your liking. Remember to save! 


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