Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller Setup

Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller is the new smart irrigation system controller. It’s the highest-rated controller you will come across in the market. With this smart irrigation system controller, you will be able to save water. Its Premium Weather Intelligence feature predicts weather accurately and adjusts its watering schedule accurately. The device is easy to install and setup.

Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller looks almost like the second-generation model but sure has some notable differences. The controller easily connects to the home Wi-Fi. So you will be able to toggle the in-ground sprinkler system using your phone from anywhere you want.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller Features and Specifications

  • Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller is easy to use and can manage the yard without any hassle.
  • The Weather Intelligence Plus feature uses advanced weather forecasting and a more than 300,000 weather station network to make sure your plants get the right amount of water. So, if there is a rain forecast, the device skips watering, automatically.
  • The app lets you optimize and monitor your plant watering so that you don’t have to.
  • The device has a LED light bar which runs the width of the cover to let you know the zone that is being watered. It flashes if there is a connectivity or system error.
  • Rachio 3 supports Google Assistant and Alexa’s voice commands. Also, it comes with its own IFTTT channels where you will be able to create apple for triggering other smart devices at home.

How to Set Up Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller Indoor?

If you want to set up the sprinkler controller all by yourself, you will only have to follow a few instructions given below. Here, take a look:

Step 1

Test the old system to make sure that everything is working properly. Thereafter, take a photo of the wiring inside the existing controller to refer to during the installation process. Now, take out the controller from the wall.

Step 2

Use the Mounting Template to mark where you would like to install the Rachio 3.
Now, you will have drill holes in the locations you have marked for the anchors. You need to use a 3/16 inch bit for drilling through the drywall. Thereafter, you need to use a hammer to tap on each anchor gently to make sure they stay in place.

Step 3

Your next step involves removing the magnetic faceplate of the device. Now, mount the controller by screwing into the wall using the screws that have been provided to you.

Then to mount the template, make sure that the lower holes are at the same level. Take a pencil and mark every hole’s center. Check if the wires have enough slack for reaching the drill icon.

Step 4

Now, you have to connect the wires. Make sure that you insert the wires in the right terminals.

C: Common wires are usually labeled as ‘Com’ or ‘C’. You can put them into any of the terminals marked ‘C’.

Zone Wires: Zone wires are referring to the landscape’s zones. So, you have to put them into numbered, blue terminals.

M: It’s the Master Valve. Not every system comes with a master valve but if it does, it is labeled as ‘MV’, ‘M’, or ‘Pump’. So, if there is a master valve, insert them in the ‘M’ terminal.

S1-2 or 24 VAC: You can connect up to 2 rain or flow sensors for the controller using ‘S1’, ‘S2’, or 24VAC sensor power terminals.

Step 5

Finally, you have to download the Rachio app from Google Play Store or App Store. Once you are done downloading, create an account.

Step 6

Launch the app and choose the option ‘App Controller’. Follow the instructions on the app to complete the process.
Once you find the controller online, the light bulb flashes blue light. So, it’s time to replace the magnetic faceplate.

Step 7

Voila, your controller is online. Now, you can use the app for creating a schedule or customizing your zones.

How to Set Up Rachio R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller Outdoor?

You can also install your Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller outdoors using its Weatherproof Outdoor Enclosure. This protects the controller from the environmental elements. It keeps the controller safe from all water damage.

Rachio 3 comes with a custom outdoor enclosure which makes it easier to switch the existing controller and get a clean looking outdoor controller. This can be locked up and also hardwired.
To install the device outdoor, first, you need to make sure that you have removed the previous fixture. Disconnect the power of the circuit breaker by turning it off or just removing the fuse at the fuse box.
Now, let’s proceed to the steps to install.

First, install the enclosure
  1. Take pictures of the wiring. Make sure that you label the duplicate so that you don’t get confused.
  2. Now, take out the old enclosure and also the controller from the wall.
  3. In case you have wiring conduit into the enclosure, check to account for the space requirements or fitting which are different on the Rachio enclosure.
    In case the conduit doesn’t align, cut and reroute is as required.
  4. Check the conduit opening measurements.
    Zone Wiring: 1 -1/8 inch (knockout expands to 1-3/8 inch)
    Hardwired Power: 0-7/8 inch
  5. Now, it’s time to mount the Rachi enclosure to the wall. In case you are mounting to drywall, you will require anchors.
Hardwire Power

1. The controller is going to use a supplied power adapter for hardwire applications and outlet. You have to connect the power by using the method given below.
 In case the old controller came with a power adapter and was plugged into a covered or outdoor rated outlets, use the same outlet for your new Rachio Power Adapter.
Just feed the power adapter wiring through the enclosure’s bottom right hole. Make sure there is a 6-9 inch of slack.
 So, your power adapter doesn’t fit into the covered or outdoor rated outlet?
First, you are going to require a few extra parts. You will get them from a local hardware store or online. The things you might need are, Strain relief bushing, AC outdoor-rated power cord containing pigtails.
To get started, plug the pigtail to the outdoor and follow the steps listed below.

    • In case the old controller didn’t have a plug, you will have to hardwire the outlet inside the Rachio enclosure.
    • Take out the screws on the Hardwiring Bay lid for accessing the outlet’s enclosure wires.
    • Turn off the Power to the hardwire power source. Straighten and clean the wires. Now, you will have to attach a strain relief bushing if you are installing a pigtail or have some slack in the wire. Place the wire an inch below the beginning of black insulation.
    • Insert the power supply wires from the enclosure’s bottom left hole.
    • Use connector caps for attaching the wires
    • Attach the black supply wire to the back wire. It is the power supply wire and is also called ‘hot’.
    • Next, connect the white enclosure wire to the white supply wire. It is the neutral wire.
    • In case you have a ground wire, attach it to the enclosure ground wire.

To keep the connection

  • secure, wrap the wire connection using an electrical tape.
  • Close Hardwiring Bay with a cover and 2 screws provided with the enclosure.
Mount the Controller

Take out the sensor wires and the valve through the center opening on the base of the controller. Now, mount the controller to the enclosure with the help of the bolts that have been included in the package.

Create mounting holes, one at the top center, and two at the bottom. Don’t install the cover on the controller’s base after it has already been mounted on the enclosure.

Now, you have successfully set up your Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller Outdoor.

How to Perform a Factory Reset on Rachio 8ZULWC R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller?

Just like any other electronic device, issues might occur and it can prevent the controller from functioning in the right way. In that case, you can do a Factory Reset on the Rachio Controller to get it to work properly.
Take a look at the reasons why you might need a Factory Reset.

1. Wi-Fi Setup Error

In case you have attempted to connect the controller to Wi-Fi through the Wi-Fi settings on the phone, you will have to perform a Factory Reset to clear up the memory of the controller prior to connecting it through the Rachio app.

2. Changing Owners

In case your Rachio controller has changed hands, you will be able to do a Factory Reset in order to clear the data and make sure it is smoothly transferred to the new owner. In case you have purchased or received a used controller, you have to delete the Rachio account of the first owner before you add it to your Rachio account.
Now that you know when you have to perform a Factory Reset the controller.

There are two different methods to do a Factory Reset.

1. Reset the Controller from the App

To do a Factory Reset Rachio 3 using the Controller Settings menu, you will have to follow the simple introduction listed below:

  • From the ‘Home Screen’, you will have to choose the ‘More’ option.
  • Next, you will have to tap on ‘Controller Settings’ and then find ‘Remove Controller’ present at the bottom of your screen.
  • In case you want to delete the data related to the controller permanently, click on it and then tap on ‘Remove’ from the warning label.
  • In case the controller is offline for some reason, you need to reset using the controller buttons.
2. Controller Reset Using Controller Buttons

For performing a reset of Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller using the Controller buttons, follow the steps given below:

  • You have to power cycle the control just by unplugging and then plugging it back it. Now, wait for the controller to boot again.
  • Hold down its stop button until you see the light bar getting illuminated. The Rachio 3 shows blue light to indicate that the connection has been successful. The device is then going to shut down, reboot, and get to quadrant 2 blinking amber light. It means it is all set to connect to Wi-Fi.
  • In case you have a Rachio account, the controller still has to be deleted from the app to remove the controller from the account.

How to do Upgrade Firmware on Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller?

Is your controller out of date? There is no need to worry as there is an easy fix for it. You just have to follow a few instructions to update the firmware of the controller. We have listed the steps below:

  1. Go over to ‘More Tab’ listed in the Rachio app.
  2. Now, you need to click on ‘Controller Settings’.
  3. Go to ‘Technical Info’ for viewing the current firmware version. In the case the firmware version is out of date, you will find an ‘Update Now’ option. If there is no such button, it implies that the firmware is up to date.
Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Smart Sprinkler Controller FAQs

How to Stop Water Hammer on Rachio water sprinkler?

With Minimize Water Hammer setting on Rachio, you will be able to control the pressure surge caused when the zone is abruptly shut and is diverted to some other zone. Using this setting, the Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller is going to open the ‘next’ scheduled zone for running in a watering schedule 10 seconds before the current zone time ends to transition between zones smoothly and preventing the knocking noise on the pipes.

In order to stop Water Hammer, follow these easy steps.

  1. Go to the ‘More’ tab you will find on the Rachio app.
  2. Now, tap on ‘Controller Settings’.
  3. Next, scroll down the options to disable the switch of ‘Water Hammer’.

How can I Transfer Ownership of the Rachio Controller?

Rachio’s Transfer Ownership feature will let you add an existing Rachio controller to the account to help you water smarter. This can be of help when,

  • You have moved to a new home that already has a Rachio controller and you want to add the controller to the Rachio account.
  • You have bought a used Rachio and would like to control it from your account.
1. Steps to Transfer Ownership to Yourself
  1. The first step you need to take is to scan the barcode. When you are onboarding or installing the controller, you are going to be asked to scan the controller’s serial number. In case the controller is attached to the account of some other user, you are going to receive a message in your app that will inform you that it’s already being used.
    Note: To make sure the transfer is secure, you have to enter the serial number of the controller, manually. You won’t find the option ‘Transfer Ownership’. You either have to go back and then scan the serial or get in touch with Rachio Support.
  2. Choose the transfer option and decide which the right option for you is.
  • Transfer Ownership and Retain All Setting: In case you have moved to a new home, this is the right option for you as you want the zone setup, schedules, and setting information. It will help in saving time. If you choose this option, you don’t have to reconfigure the zones and schedules. But ascertain if you are absolutely sure about the previously chosen settings when you choose this option.
  • Transfer Ownership and Clear All Settings: In case you are installing the controller to some new location, it can be a good choice. You should also choose this option if you have to check whether Rachio has the right setting to water the lawn. When you choose this option, you have to set up the zones and choose new schedules before the device can start watering.
    In case you are not sure who has set up the Rachio in the first place or if you should trust their zone selection, it is better to clear all the settings.
  • Request Transfer: Once you have made the choice, tap on the option ‘Request Transfer’. In case the request is approved, the Rachio support team is going to add the controller to the account in just 24 hours. You are going to receive a mail on your email address informing you that the controller has been set up.
2. Steps to Transfer Ownership to Someone Else

In case you have a controller to your account and would like to transfer it to someone else, you take the help of ‘Shared Access’ for transferring ownership.

Follow the instructions we have listed below:

  1. Go to Shared Access: In the app, tap on ‘More’ and then choose ‘Shared Access’ From ‘Shared Access’, you have to select ‘Transfer Ownership’ from the listed 3 Shared Access types.
  2. Enter Recipient’s Email Address: Next, you will have to enter the email address of the person who is going to receive the controller.
  3. Complete the Ownership Transfer: In case you would still like to have access to the control, you can select ‘retain shared access’ and then tap on the ‘Transfer Ownership’ button. You are going to get a confirmation email when the controller is shared.

How can I Use Alexa with Rachio 3?

You can control Rachio 3 through Alexa. To use Alexa with the device, take a look at the step-by-step guide given below:

  1. Open Skill: You have to open the ‘Alexa app’ on the phone and tap ‘Skills’ on the menu.
  2. Search: On the ‘Skills’ screen, you will have to search for Rachio.
  3. Enable: When Rachio is listed on the ‘Skill’ screen, tap on ‘Enable’.
  4. Rachio Login: Now, it is time for login. This will let your control Rachio through Echo.
  5. Confirm Success: You can either say ‘Alexa tell Rachio *to water the yard for 3 minutes’ or ‘Alexa, open Rachio’,

How can I Set Up Homekit? And How can I add Rachio as the Homekit Accessory?

A little heads up, you might face some problem with HomeKit integration such as difficulty reconnecting, mesh network connection, disconnecting, and no-response notification.

However, it is super easy to connect and use. You can use Apple Homekit to control Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller with the help of Siri on your iPad, iPhone, or Apple Watch.
Using Rachio on your Apple HomeKit, you will be able to,

  • Check watering statuses and every zones.
  • Run zones through Siri or the Home interface
  • Run or queue multiple zones
  • Disable or enable one zone
  • Set up a custom duration for every zone
  • Discern a specific zone by just selecting a zone within Apple HomeKit to light up the zone on the controller.

However, HomeKit doesn’t let the user Quick Run a schedule. Currently, it doesn’t support Scenes or Automation for the Irrigation profile.

To set up the HomeKit, you will need the following:
  • Rachio app version 3.8.3 or greater.
  • Phone on the same Wi-Fi network as the device you will be pairing
  • Phone on the same Wi-Fi network as the controller after the setup
  • Apple Home app on the Apple device.
  • Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller.
1. Adding Rachio as an Apple HomeKit Accessory
  • From the Rachio app, you have to go to ‘More’ and then tap on ‘Controller Settings’ and choose ‘HomeKit’ In case you need a firmware upgrade, you need to follow the directions to complete the upgrade process. To check the firmware version, you can just to ‘Controller Settings’ and choose ‘Technical Ingo’. Under this, you will find the option ‘Firmware version’.
  • Next, from your HomeKit’s setting screen, you have to record or write down a unique code on the screen. During the pairing process, you have to enter it manually.
  • Choose ‘Add HomeKit Accessory and then tap on ‘Add Accessory’ from ‘My Home Screen’.
  • From the option ‘Add Accessory’, choose ‘Don’t have a Code or Can’t Scan’.
  • From the nearby list of accessories, you have to tap on ‘Rachio’ and then enter the unique 8-digit HomeKit code manually.
  • Next, you will have to decide if you would like to change the accessory name or the name of the room where it’s located. You have the option to change ‘Default Room’ to ‘Outside’ or ‘Garage’. When you complete making the changes, click on ‘Done’ for saving the settings and check the device on ‘My Home Screen.’
2. Configuring Rachio HomeKit Accessory

As soon as Rachio has been paired with the HomeKit accessory, you have the option to customize it. The ways to customize are given below. Check where the controller is located

  • Disable or enable a zone from HomeKit
  • Name the zone
  • Set up a custom duration for every zone.

The changes you make to the controller names or zone from HomeKit isn’t going to be reflected in the Rachio app. However, if you make changes in the Rachio app, it is going to appear in HomeKit.

How to Install a Wired Flow Meter or Wired Sensor Meter With Rachio 3?

Wired Flow Sensors: To complete the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, you can use a Rachio Wireless Flow Meter. Rachio 3 is compatible with various wired flow sensors.
Rain Sensors: In a majority of the cases, the rain sensor functions like a switch. It is a moisture absorbing disk expands, and it activates the switch interrupting the circuit from the controller to all solenoid valves. As soon as the rain sensor dries out, the switch is going to get deactivated to enable regular operation.
If you have to wire up a Wired Sensor Meter or Wired Flow Meter with Rachio 3, follow the instructions given below.

But before you move on to the installation process, you need to know that it can only connect to Sensor (S1 and S2) terminals- for a single sensor, use S1 or S2, and both of them.

Note: Make sure that you don’t connect your sensor to any of the zones. The installation process should comply with all local and national electrical codes. In case you aren’t sure about the right wiring practices, get in touch with a qualified contractor to do the installation work for you.
Now, let’s move on to the steps to connect to sensor wiring.

  1. Disconnect the power to the controller
  2. Now, you have to locate the terminals on the controller, and then you have to attach the sensor control wires to the terminals.
  3. Reconnect power to your Rachio controller.
  4. Lastly, you will have to enable the sensor in the ‘Controller Settings’ of the Rachio App.
  5. Make sure that you don’t route the wire over any sharp edges as it can cause damage to wire insulation. To get the best result, you should hide the wire as much as possible by tucking it under moldings or shingles.
Now to enable it in the app, follow these instructions:
  • First, you have to go to the ‘More’ tab in the ‘Home Screen’ and then go to ‘Accessories’.
  • Next, you will have to choose S1 and S2, based on where you have installed the wire. Configure the sensor as per the sensor you have installed.
  • Toggle it on to enable the sensor.
  • Select the type of sensor you would like to work with.

Rachio Sprinkler Controller Review

Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller is the latest offering and the company hasn’t failed to impress. One of the best things about the sprinkler controller is, it’s easy to install. Connect it to the home Wi-Fi to control the sprinkler from anywhere you want. Its Weather Intelligence Plus feature is incredible when it comes to rescheduling watering cycles if rainfall is in the forecast.

Rachio 3 Sprinkler Controller also responds to Google Assistant and Alexa voice commands. Rachio 3 will follow the schedule seamlessly without even missing a beat. The device responds flawlessly to Quick Run commands. This command will let you water every zone as long as you like.

You will be able to control each and every feature of the sprinkler controller using your phone through the app. Using the app, you will also be able to check gallon units or statistics on time.

It is compatible with other home devices. However, one of the downsides of the product is it doesn’t come at a very cheap price. But the price is worth it. Also, the redesigned Rachio 3 app doesn’t provide yearly water usage reports. However, this is nothing major, and you can obviously look past it. Rachio 3 is one of the best sprinkler controllers available in the market.