Controller Offline - Basic WiFi Tips & Troubleshooting

Summary

Does your controller have intermittent WiFi or connection drops? Take a read through our Basic WiFi Tips & Troubleshooting first!

Simple Wi-Fi Checks

Steps to ensure your Rachio is getting reliable Wi-Fi

  1. Try restarting your router
    The best first step in troubleshooting these types of issues is to try restarting your router. While most routers just need to be unplugged and plugged back in to restart them, we recommend referring to your router’s documentation for specific instructions. Once your router finishes restarting, test it by connecting to your Wi-Fi network with a computer or mobile device and visiting a popular website.
  2. Check the controller's signal strength
    Still experiencing intermittent connectivity problems after restarting your Wi-Fi router? You'll want to check the Wi-Fi signal strength at the location of your controller. To test the signal strength using your smartphone, simply walk to the location of your controller and see how many bars your network connectivity has. We recommend at least 2 bars for the signal strength to be considered reliable.
  3. Extend your Wi-Fi Range
    If you have a weak signal at your controller, you may want to consider purchasing a Wi-Fi extender. If your controller is located far away from your router and/or there are materials that may interfere with the signal strength, an extender can make a big difference. This will enhance the range of the router and can potentially increase the coverage.

For more details on backup schedules, please refer to our support article: What if my controller goes offline?


How can I tell if my Rachio has intermittent connectivity?

You can tell if your controller is experiencing connectivity problems if your device displays "Offline" when you log in to the Web or Mobile apps. For quick troubleshooting help, tap the "Offline" banner to access our in-app Wi-Fi help tool. 

V4.0_Home_Offline

If the connectivity issues happen often, or if your controller is ever offline for 24 hours or more, you can view this in the History feed by tapping the "More" tab, then "History".

V4.0_More_History_Offline


Common Issues causing intermittent connectivity

There are many factors that might cause your controller to be offline occasionally. Before spending the time troubleshooting your home network, you should verify that one of these more common issues isn’t causing the problem:

  • Connection to the Internet at your home is down.
  • Power failure at home.
  • Problem with your Wi-Fi router.
  • Signal loss or interference.

Step-By-Step Troubleshooting

  1. Update Wi-Fi

    Have any of your network settings changed? (SSID / Password) If so, update your Wi-Fi network. From your App Homepage go to More > Controller Settings > Update Wi-Fi Network and follow the steps provided. Please be sure to enter your network password correctly — including uppercase, lowercase, and any other special characters — as the network credentials are case sensitive.

  2. Check Network

    No recent network changes? Next, check your network. Are other connected devices offline? Can you confirm that your network is running on 2.4 GHz (Gen 1/Gen 2) or dual band (Rachio 3) (separated bands are recommended, while "blended" [2.4 / 5 GHz] networks are not recommended). The network must use WPA or WPA2 Personal security encryption. This helps ensure your network and connected devices stay safe while online. Rachio will not connect or display without this.

  3. Router Firmware

    Double check to see if your router firmware is up to date. If you purchased your router through your internet service provider (ISP), please contact your internet service provider's technical support to confirm that all firmware is up to date. If you purchased your router yourself, refer to the manufacturer's technical support documentation and resources for instructions to update.

  4. Unplug / Power Cycle Rachio device

    Try manually power cycling your controller. Unplug the power cord from your Rachio, wait 10 seconds, then plug it back in. Take note of the light code the controller is flashing.

    Light Codes:

    1. Generation 1
    2. Generation 2
    3. Rachio 3
  5. Troubleshoot / Strengthen Wi-Fi Signal

    Check for any sort of wireless interference that could be interrupting the router's communicating with the controller, or any other device in your house for that matter. The biggest contributor to connectivity issues, from years of evidence, is often the placement of your controller in relation to your router. Materials in your home can interfere with the connection between your router and your controller, resulting in intermittent connectivity or unexpected disconnections.

    Interference: Low Medium High Very High
    Material: Wood Water Plaster Metal
      Synthetics Brick Concrete  
      Glass Marble    

    If there are any materials that could be causing interference, you may want to consider moving your router to a new location. This doesn't mean that you have to move the router to a completely different room or location in your house; sometimes moving the router to a different location within the same room will help. Consider moving the router out from underneath/behind a desk or cabinet.

    Another option is to purchase a Wi-Fi extender or booster. An extender, or booster, will provide a device that was out of range of the router, or that had a poor signal strength, a stronger one. In addition, a power line adapter can be very beneficial. Power line adapters turn your homes electrical wiring into network cables. We advise browsing Amazon or Best Buy for the purchase of an extender or a power line adapter.

  6. Need more help?

    If none of the solutions above work, please refer to the following article: advanced offline troubleshooting.

What if my controller goes offline, but only while it's watering?

If the controller goes offline during a scheduled run, there may be an issue with the wiring or the irrigation system itself.

When zone faults occur, it is often because the controller receives too much electricity from the irrigation system, causing the controller to shut down. To fix a zone fault, start by looking at which zone was last run.

  • If you have a Generation 3 Rachio, you may see a notification within the app that says “Zone Fault Detected” with a specific zone called out.
  • If you have a Generation 2 Rachio, you may see a notification within the app that says “Zone Fault Detected” with a specific zone called out.
  • The Generation 1 Rachio may require some light "detective work" for this first step. Check out this article for more Generation 1 Offline Troubleshooting tips. 
  • For more info on zone faults, and how to fix them, please see article: Zone fault detection

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