App says system is running, but zones are not watering

Good morning. It’s been about three months since I last posted about this issue, but I discovered this morning that my watering schedule was running per the Rachio app, but when I looked outside, the sprinklers weren’t on. I tried stopping the schedule and running a quick manual test, but again, the same thing - the app said that the zone was running but no water. I overseeded our lawn last week, and thankfully this is the first time I’ve noticed this issue since June, but since it’s imperative that my grass seed stay wet, it’s important that I figure out what’s happening here.

I posted pictures above of my setup and rain sensor, which was previously installed before we bought this house, so I don’t know if the rain sensor is preventing the zones from watering or if there is an issue with the current as you stated in your previous post back in June. Are you able to see whether there are any issues with my four active zones?

Please note that we have not received any rain in a few days, and my watering schedules have been operating properly since the last rain, which makes me think this may not be a rain sensor problem. Also, I don’t ever receive any notifications about the rain sensor being activated or deactivated, so I don’t know if that affects anything.

Your help is appreciated. Thanks.

So I think I determined the cause - I removed the top of the rain sensor and manually ran one of the schedules and now it’s working. With that said, does anyone know the easiest or best way to deactivate or remove the sensor so that it no longer overrides my schedules?

As previously mentioned, the sensor does not appear in the Rachio app, so I don’t know if that means that it’s in-line with the common wire.

@Kyle6286 -

  1. What you just did (removing the top of the rain sensor and leaving it off)


  1. Cutting the rain sensor out and connecting those two wires together with a water tite connector.

Based on the description I’m 99.9999% sure that the rain sensor is in-line on the common wire.

Good detective work.


Maybe a stupid question, but is there any problem with simply leaving the top off, i.e. will rain getting in it cause some sort of problem? If not, I will just leave the top off as it appears to have resolved the issue. What’s weird though is that we haven’t had rain in a few days, so it’s odd that this morning it suddenly decided to override my schedule.

Thank you for your help!

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@Kyle6286 - the rain sensor is designed to get wet. When it gets wet the discs expand, pushing down on a switch and opening the circuit. So unless some heavy debris from the roof washes into it or a squirrel decides to put something in there it should be fine.

Another option is to replace it with a new rain sensor so that in the event that there is an unforecasted rain event the rain sensor will prevent watering. Having the rain sensor in-line with the common is a PITA as there won’t be any notification that it is tripped - like when the rain sensor is wired directly into the Rachio.

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A quick way would be to just disable the rain sensor while you are figuring out the problem. The rain sensor is really just a fall back anyway – it’s only function is to let your system know that you had rain RIGHT at your house and that it doesn’t need to water yet — it’s just an on/off switch, and your PWS weather station/Weather Intelligence normally handle things pretty well. So you can live without it for a while without harm.

From the main screen, go to Accessories -> Sensor -> and then toggle the Sensor off.

Edit – oops — I just reread that you are not seeing the sensor activating/deactivating in the app, so this is probably not applicable. But I can’t figure out how to delete my post, and maybe this will help someone else sometime.

It looks like your sensor is very close to the house. It’s suppose to be in full sun all the time, and as high as possible with no interference from objects.

If you had rain a few days ago, the sensor is probably still drying out since it’s not in full sun. Therefore, it’s still activated.

@sprinklerman is right. Rain sensors need to be in full sun and free from any overhanging tree canopies or other objects that can drip more water or keep the normal evaporation from happening.

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