Rachio Generation 2 Quick Start Guide


In this article, you will find steps & tips on how to install, set up, and troubleshoot (if necessary), your Generation 2 Rachio controller, starting with two helpful video guides followed by written instructions.

Video Guides

Generation 2 Hardware Install

Generation 2 App and Wi-Fi Setup


  1. Run your current sprinkler system
    Find and repair any issues before installing the Rachio controller.
  2. Take a few pictures
    Photos of your current wiring are important for reference when you are re-wiring up to your Rachio controller.
  3. Unplug & remove
    Disconnect your old controller, and remove it from the wall if needed.



Home Wi-Fi credentials (network name and password) are required for this step.

  1. Download the Rachio app;
  2. Create a free Rachio account;
  3. Connect your controller to your Wi-Fi via the Rachio app.

Tips for Connecting:

  • Make sure your mobile device is connected to the same 2.4Ghz network that your Rachio will be connected to before starting the pairing process. Connect only to your home's Wi-Fi name, not to your Rachio's unique wireless network (usually "Rachio-xxxxxx").
  • Make sure your cellular data is turned off. The best option is to turn on airplane mode, then turn your Wi-Fi back on. This can help keep your controller from hopping back and forth between your Wi-Fi and your cell phone's mobile data.


  1. Attach the Rachio to the wall
    Use the four (4) mounting screws (provided).
  2. Wire it up

    Use the photo from your old timer to reference how your wires should be installed in your Rachio.

    Required Wiring

    Common Wires: Insert common wires (typically white) into the terminals marked "C". If you have more than one common wire, we suggest entering one in each common slot. There are two common terminals for the 8 zone Rachio model, and four common terminals for the 16 zone model.

    Zone Wires: Install zone wires into the terminals listed 1-8 and 9-16. Be sure to reference your old controllers wiring to maintain the original wiring order if desired.

    Master/Pump Valve Wire (if present): Install in the "M" terminal slot. Be sure to enable the master valve in the Advanced Settings menu within the Rachio app. If you would like to learn more about master valves or how to enable it within your app, check out our quick article on Master Valves.

    Gen 2 Wiring Bay

  3. Plug it in
    Light One should start blinking; once solid (will take about 30 seconds), proceed to Connect Step (above).



Rachio needs to know a little about your landscape in order to recommend accurate watering schedules

  1. Set up your zones
    You can configure each zone’s vegetation, soil, shade, nozzle, and slope types.
  2. Create watering schedules
    Choose from 4 schedule types; Rachio will recommend an optimal watering schedule based upon the zone attributes you selected above.


    1. Run Zones
      Use the Remote to run any zone on-demand.
    2. Run Schedules
      Click on a schedule (Edit screen) to run it on-command.
    3. Share Access with others
      Complete Access (default sharing setting in the mobile app)
      Limited Access (accessible via the web app only)


    1. Can't find your controller?
      If you have the Rachio app opened before Light One is visible, you might have trouble finding your controller. See this article for tips if your controller is playing hide and seek.
    2. Master Valve
      Do you have a master valve, but forgot to enable it? No sweat, it's an easy fix! Refer to Advanced Wiring for instructions.
    3. Pump Valve
      If your Rachio is designed to operate a pump start relay, please reference Advanced Wiring and the user manual for your pump start relay, for wiring instructions.
    4. Not Running
      Assuming wiring is correct, double-check to make sure that your sprinkler valves have 24VAC solenoids. Otherwise, be sure to reference the picture of your old wiring to double-check it's wired appropriately.

Want a paper copy of the Quick Start Guide?


We know the graphics are sexy! Download & print a copy of the Quick Start Guide here: Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, Generation 2 

Find a Rachio Pro

Interested in the Rachio Generation 2 Smart Sprinkler Controller, but not sure how to install it? Click the button below to find a local Rachio Pro!

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