Can't get zone to turn off - Rachio 3 - need help

It seems that after a power outage, I can’t get the Rachio 3 controller to ‘turn off’ Zone 5. It runs continuously. I’m almost certain it’s the controller.

Here’s the detail: We had a power outage. After power came back on, the sprinkler system (Rachio 3) started to water automatically. We were away while this happened. I could not get the sprinkler system to shut off via the app, even by toggling the zones and disabling the controller. After returning home, I unplugged the controller to reset power. After reboot, Zone 5 still came on by itself. I could operate all other zones, but Zone 5 still stays on no matter what. I tried doing a reset, and that didn’t make a difference. I disconnected the wire from Zone 5 and plugged it in to an unused zone, and the sprinklers are now off, which suggests that it’s the controller.

This is the first season I’ve used this controller, which I loved up until this. Anyone else seen this issue? Any idea how to correct it?


Try moving one of the wires from zone 1, 2, 3 or 4 to zone 5 to see if the problem exists with one of those zones. If not then it could be a short in the zone 5 wire or problem with the solenoid or valve in zone 5.

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Yes, I left that out…I did move a wire from another zone to the Zone 5 contact on the Rachio controller, and that zone fired. So the issue is definitely with the controller.

What does that mean? When you connected one of the other zones to zone 5 did the other zone run continuously and you were not able to turn it off?

Yes, the other zone ran continuously. Whichever wire is plugged into Zone 5 on the controller, the sprinkler heads for that zone will operate.

Certainly sounds as if it is the controller. Perhaps others with more electrical experience than I have will comment. If it was me I would contact Rachio support. The warranty is for 2 years.

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Just to double check some things, I would suggesting using a multimeter testing the zone & common terminals for power when no zones should be running (zone wires disconnected). If it has power in this case, it would likely be a relay or equivalent within the controller.

I have seen this in many types of controllers(not my Rachio) but it’s fairly common with power surges or lightning. Can you run the station you moved from zone 5 to a spare station(b/c the solenoid may have taken a hit as well). If so, I would setup that as I my zone 5. Not sure how old your Rachio is but that sort of thing may not be covered under warranty.

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Excellent thought @gaustin . . . trying an unused zone at least for now! I wish I would have thought of that. Was just thinking about how to diagnose it and did not think of how to fix it for the time being.

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