ST8-WiFi Overview
Installation (Indoor)
Installation (Outdoor)
Rain Bird Mobile App
Quick Start Guide Quick Start Guide
Installation and Operations Guide Installation and Operations Guide

Quick Start

How do I set up my new Rain Bird WiFi timer product and mobile app?

  1. Before removing your old timer check the WiFi signal strength of your timer’s location using your smart phone.
  2. Take a photo of the existing wiring details.
  3. Mount the new timer.
  4. Connect the zone wires.
  5. Connect the power wires.
  6. Insert batteries in the timer and download the Rain Bird App.
  7. Verify the WiFi Module is alternating blinking red and green. If it is not, press the button on the WiFi module for 1 second.
  8. Launch the Rain Bird app and press the Add Controller button. Follow app prompts to setup WiFi connection to Rain Bird Timer.
  9. Test the timer to by turning on watering at the timer and through the Rain Bird app.

For more detailed instructions, refer to the videos and manuals found at the top of the Support page.

App Use Questions

I want to remove a timer from my app. When I click on the Delete (trash can) icon the timer card will not be removed. How can I fix this?

Make sure the mobile device is not connected to a different Rain Bird Timer in hot spot mode. If it is, disconnect and try to delete the other timer. This should resolve the issue.

What happens if two mobile devices try to connect to the timer at the same time?

Only one mobile device can be connected to the timer at a time. If two people are trying to connect it can cause one or the other issues in connection. Sometimes there is an error message sent “The controller is in an active connection.” Other times it may send the error message “Manual time-out”.

I can’t find the Rain Bird app on my iPad?

Change the App store search from “iPad only” searches to “iPhone only”. The Rain Bird app will appear as an option to download on iPad.

Weather

The weather shown is not accurate to where I am. What would cause this?

The weather in the app is based on the zip code set up for the timer. If you entered the zip code incorrectly, or are currently in a zip code that is different than then one at the timer, the weather may show what you expect. You can verify what zip code is set in the timer by tapping the controller card > Settings in bottom right > Controller info.

My weather info says “Unavailable.” Does that mean my timer is not working or connected?

The timer pulls weather info from the server for the set zip code on a regular basis but it may not have done so recently if you are getting the weather “Unavailable” message. If the timer is connected with a strong signal to the WiFi network, and the WiFi network has in internet service provider, then the weather should be available within 24-28 hours.

** Satellite Internet Service Providers may not allow support of weather info to the timer.

When I look at the weather forecast in the app it lists a town name I am not familiar with. What is causing this?

The area name listed on the weather tab is the one most closely associated with the weather station being used for the zip code listed. Sometimes the area name is very local, and may not even be known by people that live in the area. Usually a quick internet search helps people identify the source of the area name. You can verify what zip code is set in the timer by tapping the timer card > “settings” (3 gear icon) in bottom right > Controller info.

Notifications

How do I enable notifications?

To enable notifications, first go to the Rain Bird mobile App’s settings (upper left hand corner gear icon). Once inside the app settings, enable Global Notifications. Next, navigate into the timer card. Once connected, select Settings in the tool bar at the bottom. Expand the Notifications selector and enable each notification that you would like to receive for this timer.

What do the notifications mean?

WiFi Stick Reboot – A notification will be sent if the timer loses power or if the WiFi Module resets.

Date/Time Error – A notification will be sent if the timer’s date and time seems to be incorrect.

Shorted Solenoid Detected – A notification will be sent if the timer is capable of sensing a shorted solenoid on a connected valve.

Timer Experienced WiFi Disconnection – A notification will be sent if the timer has been properly connected to a WiFi router and experiences disconnection. The notification will also indicate whether the WiFi signal strength is strong or weak. If the signal strength is weak this typically indicates the timer is at the edge of the WiFi range of the home’s WiFi router’s range.

System Access AP Mode via Local Button Push – A notification will be sent if the WiFi Module has been accessed in AP/Hotspot mode locally at the timer.

Delay Watering Enabled – A notification will be sent if any user enables delay watering feature. The notification will indicate how many days the system will not water before continuing regularly scheduled watering times.

Automatic Seasonal Adjust Applied – A notification will be sent if the timer receives an updated seasonal adjust value from the Rain Bird server based upon programmed ZIP code’s weather changes

Freeze Warning – A notification will be sent if the server indicates low temperature of the day is below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.

Irrigation Event Complete – A notification will be sent when any irrigation event completes. The notification will include the number of minutes of irrigation as well as the date and time the event completed.

Why am I not getting notifications when I turned them on?

Since notifications and Automatic Seasonal Adjust require an active internet connection it is possible they are not being delivered due to an internet interruption. Check the internet service to make sure it is working properly.

WiFi Connection

Do I need WiFi in my home to use the Rain Bird WiFi Timer?

You do not need WiFi in your home to use the Rain Bird WiFi Timer. However, you will not be able to use some of the product features without WiFi access, such as notifications, weather data, or daily Automatic Seasonal Adjustments. You will only be able to connect to the timer to make schedule and settings changes to the timer or operate your system manually from the Rain Bird mobile app in Hotspot mode.

What is the “Rain Bird” network name that is viewable as an available network from my device?

The RainbirdXXXXX network is the internal WiFi Access Point (Hotspot) for the Rain Bird WiFi Timer. This connection method can be used either for initial setup or simple remote access to a timer. This method will allow for simple remote access to operate your system or make changes to the system schedule, but will not allow access of features such as notifications, weather data, or daily Automatic Seasonal Adjustments.

What is the range of my timer’s wireless signal?

The following table lists the typical expected operating range, which is dependent upon the connection mode:

Mode Indoor (feet)
802.11b 115
802.11g 125
802.11n 230

**WiFi range can be affected by materials in the range path, in particular dense materials.

What can I do if I can’t see the timer’s wireless network?

First, ensure you are well within range of the timer itself. If you are standing next to the timer and still do not see the timer’s wireless network, ensure the WiFi Module’s status indicator is alternating between Red and Green. If it is not, press the button on the WiFi Module for one second. Once the WiFi Module is alternating Red and Green, rescan for the network. If this does not remedy the situation, please disable and re-enable WiFi on your smart device, as occasionally smart devices scanning for WiFi networks need to be refreshed.

Can my phone access the timer if there is no internet in my wireless network?

Yes. This system does not require the Internet to allow the mobile app to talk to the timer, if the timer and smart device running the Rain Bird App are on the same local WiFi network. However, there are certain features (such as automatic daily seasonal adjust and notifications that originate from the Rain Bird server) that will not work unless an Internet connection is available.

Why won’t my timer stay connected to my WiFi network?

This is most likely due to the timer being on the far range of the WiFi signal broadcasted by your home’s WiFi router. The best way to check this is to open the mobile application when it is connected and select the timer from the list of timers.  Once you are inside the expanded timer view, you can select the tab with the icon showing a WiFi signal. If the signal strength indicator has very few bars, this confirms the timer is on the edge of the WiFi range. If possible, move the timer closer to the WiFi router. If this is not possible due to wiring or its location outdoors, the next best option is to attempt to move your WiFi router closer to the timer. If the timer is unable to communicate with your home WiFi router at all, place the WiFi Module in AP mode and connect your mobile device directly to the WiFi Module’s broadcasted AP signal (Network Name: “RainBirdXXXXXX” where XXXXXX is the last 6 digits of the WiFi Module’s serial number found on the back of the device).

I have a timer on the outside of my home and I can’t get the connection to my Rain Bird Timer work. My WiFi network connects to my phone. What can I do?

Some homes, especially though with exterior brick walls, have very poor WiFi signal outside the home. Try moving the router and the timer closer together, or add a wireless signal repeater (also known as a booster or range extender).

Why can’t I access or find my timer when I am not on my local wireless network at home?

This can be caused either because the timer is not connected to an Internet connection properly within your home WiFi network, or if the timer is unable to establish a connection with the Rain Bird server, or if the mobile device’s Rain Bird App and your timer’s passcode do not match.

If I do not have a 2.4 GHz network available, what do I do?

The industry standard for the majority of WiFi router manufacturers maintain the capability to connect to a 2.4 GHz network directly upon powering up the router. If the router has both 2.4 and 5 GHz capability, then this will be viewable for the majority of routers in the WiFi network (SSID) name. The suffix of the network name should indicate whether it is 2.4 or 5 GHz.

In the event that a 2.4 GHz network is not available from your list of selectable networks, please refer to your router manual or IT specialist for further information.

My WiFi signal strength is strong, I selected my WiFi network from the list, and I entered the correct password but it will not connect.

Double check the password is entered with the correct capitalization. There is a switch to see the entered password that can be used to verify this.

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Security

Where is my WiFi network information stored?

Your personal WiFi credentials are only stored within the Rain Bird WiFi Timer so that it can connect to your network.
The credentials in the Rain Bird app are masked with “***” for your security. These are “read-only”. If you attempt to backspace a character on the WiFi password, the entire masked password is erased.

What is the “Controller Password” and what is it used for?

Note: “Controller” and “Timer” can be used interchangeably – they have the same meaning.

This password can be changed at any time for the timer while connected in Hotspot mode. The Controller Password provides security for accessing the controller from the Rain Bird App. The security extends out to the timer on your personal device or if you have shared your timer to any other user, such as your landscaper or irrigation contractor.

Error Messages

Controller is Busy

If you receive this message when attempting to connect to the timer, this means another smart device is currently accessing the device. Only one mobile device can connect remotely to the timer at a time.

Manual Time Out

Establishing communication to the timer timed out. It attempted to connect to the timer; however, the timer did not respond within an expected amount of time. Try again, as in most cases, congested network connections can cause this to occur.

Lock Out

The encrypted password in the Rain Bird mobile app for this timer does not match the encrypted password in the timer and the user attempted to connect with the wrong password more than 3 times. This locks out the timer from being accessed remotely for 15 minutes.

Phone Error Message – Connected No internet

Some Android devices have a setting that can prevent from connecting to a hot spot without internet access. If you get this error code while trying to connect to a Rain Bird Controller then this setting needs to be changed. On some phones it can be found here: “Settings/WiFi/Advanced/Avoid bad Wi-Fi connections” Different Android devices may have a different path. Once the Rain Bird Controller is connected this setting can be turned back on.

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Installation

What mobile devices does the Rain Bird WiFi Timer work with?

Apple iOS version 8 or greater, Android devices 4.4 (KitKat) or later.

What wireless networks does the Rain Bird WiFi Timer work with?

2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n channels. Does not support 5 GHz networks.

Can I install this product on my own or do I need a professional contractor?

A home owner can install this device with little to no assistance. The videos and manuals at the top of the Support page provide complete instructions. If you find you need assistance then please call Rain Bird Technical Support at 1-800-RAINBIRD (724-6247) and we can walk you through any issues that you are experiencing.

Router Compatibility

Which routers are the Rain Bird WiFi Timer compatible with?

The Rain Bird WiFi Timer is compatible with 2.4 GHz WiFi router networks only. This product is not compatible with 5 GHz WiFi router networks.

How do I know if the network I am trying to program to is a 2.4 GHz WiFi network?

When selecting an available network during timer setup in the Rain Bird mobile app, only 2.4 GHz networks that are within range of the timer will be available networks to select from.

Programming

Do I have to use the Rain Bird app to program my timer?

If you don’t have your mobile device handy, or your hands are dirty and you don’t want to use, it you can always program the timer via the timer’s front panel.

Why does my timer run through all my zones, stop, and then start all over again?

The reason why the timer is running again is because you have additional start times scheduled close to the first start time. Double check all of your start times and run times. If you have run times that amount to more watering time than the time between the start times, the watering program may begin again immediately after finishing.

Why is my timer not watering the run times I set the zones for?

Example: I set it for 10 minutes per station, and its watering 5 minutes per station instead. This could be due to the seasonal adjust setting. Double check the setting in the App or at the timer. If the seasonal adjust is set for -50% when the run time is 10 minutes, it will only water 5 minutes per zone.

Why does my timer still water even after turning it off?

If your timer is off and the water keeps running there is an issue with one or all the valves. When this happens, it may be necessary to clean or replace a valve, or to call a contractor. For assistance in getting a contractor referral, please call: 1-800-RainBird.

How do I program my timer with the Rain Bird mobile app?

Once the timer is added to the Rain Bird mobile app a “Controller Card” will appear on the mobile app home screen. Tap on the picture of the controller model within this card to access the controller. Tap the “pencil” icon within the controller’s existing zone card(s) to edit existing irrigation schedules.

Please view the Rain Bird Mobile App video for further instruction.

How many zones can I connect to and manage using the Rain Bird mobile app for Android or Apple mobile devices?

The Rain Bird mobile app is capable of managing and monitoring all available zones that are currently available in your existing timer. The Rain Bird Mobile app is also capable of managing multiple timers at different locations from the same app.

Is there a built in back-up schedule for this product if the power goes out?

All Rain Bird timers contain a non-volatile internal memory. The timer’s schedule, whether programmed at the timer or via the Rain Bird mobile app, is stored in the timer’s non-volatile memory in the case of a power outage or unexpected timer reset.

What does Automatic Seasonal Adjust do?

Automatic Seasonal Adjust allows the Rain Bird server to keep track of local weather based upon the programmed ZIP/Postal Code. The Rain Bird server will calculate a daily Evapotranspiration (ET) rate for each ZIP code and translate to an appropriate seasonal adjust value. The seasonal adjust value is then sent to each timer in that ZIP code. This is done every day to ensure the watering duration is increased or reduced as local weather changes. It is important that if you use this feature that the watering schedule is based upon the hottest/driest time of year.

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Product Questions

Why did my timer water after we had a big rainstorm if I have a rain sensor connected?

Your rain sensor may not be working for the following reasons:

1. Your rain sensor may be in an area where it is not exposed to the rain AND/OR

2. Make sure the rain sensor is active in the App and Bypass is not switched on.

Will my App and timer ever be out of sync?

Each time a mobile device communicates with a Rain Bird timer, the mobile application will query the timer for all of its most up to date settings and display those in the mobile application. When the app is closed by pressing “Done,” any changes made in the app are saved to the timer. If changes are made at the timer while the mobile application is open, the next time the app is opened the timer changes will be reflected in the app.

Can I connect to my Rain Bird WiFi Timer through an Ethernet cable?

This timer is only capable of connecting to a local area network via WiFi.

Is it possible for me to access my timer through a desktop computer?

No. At this time Rain Bird WiFi timers can only be accessed via the timer’s front panel and via the Rain Bird mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

Is my timer compatible with other home automation devices?

This device is not currently compatible with any home automation systems.

Why can’t I see watering option “All” when I press the “Water Now” button on the timer?

This is because none of the zones are scheduled. As soon as one of the zones is scheduled with a start time and duration the “All” option will show when the Water Now button is pressed.

What happens if this product breaks or fails to operate?

If the product breaks or fails to operate for any reason do not attempt to repair on your own. Contact your authorized Rain Bird irrigation products distributor or contact Rain Bird Technical Support at 1-800-RAINBIRD (724-6247) for support.

Does this product support a combination of turf, low-volume drip, vegetable garden zones, etc.?

Yes, this product can support any combination of zones configured for specific irrigation use. This product is not compatible with landscape lighting zones at this time.

What do the various LED light sequences on the Rain Bird WiFi Timer Module represent?

This blinking LED is on the module located under the wiring bay cover on the left side of the timer.

Sequence: Solid Red followed by three rapid Green flashes
Action: Module is booting up and has successfully authenticated with the Rain Bird timer

Sequence: Alternating Red and Green flashing
Action: Module is powered ON and broadcasting its WiFi Access Point (Hotspot)

Sequence: Red flashing
Action: Module is powered ON but is not connected to a local WiFi network

Sequence: Red flashing followed by five rapid Green flashes
Action: Module has successfully connected to a local WiFi network

Sequence: Green flashing
Action: Module is powered on and is connected to a local WiFi network

Can I use a rain sensor with my timer?

Yes. All Rain Bird timers have terminals for a rain sensor. Remove the yellow jumper wire from the terminals marked “SENS”. Connect both rain sensor wires to the rain sensor terminals per the rain sensor manufacturer’s instructions.

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Change Router

Will my Rain Bird WiFi Timer ever need to be re-connected for any reason?

If you perform a simple router upgrade or change your Internet Service Provider you may need to re-connect your Rain Bird Wi-Fi Timer.

My router changed, how do I connect my controller again?

1. Connect to the controller in hotspot mode
(see FAQ: What is hotspot mode)
2. Go to Controller Settings (3 gear icon bottom right)> Network settings> Change WiFi Settings
3. Update the WiFi SSID (name) and the WiFi Password and press next in the top right

Change Internet Service Provider

Will my Rain Bird WiFi Timer ever need to be re-connected for any reason?

If you perform a simple router upgrade or change your Internet Service Provider you may need to re-connect your Rain Bird Wi-Fi Timer.

What happens if I change my internet service provider?

If you change your Internet Service Provider you should not see a change in your ability to manage your timer from within or from outside of your home WiFi network, as long as your router settings have not changed.

**This does not apply to Satellite Internet Providers at this time. If you decide to use a Satellite Internet Provider, you could potentially lose access to your timer from outside of your home WiFi network.