Controller going offline every 24h, doesn't try to reconnect once offline, zones skipped while offline

My post-June-2020 Rachio v3 has not been able to stay connected for more than 24h since adding an additional zone around a week ago. Once offline, the controller does not attempt to connect to my wifi network (according to my AP and DHCP server logs) although the second yellow light is pulsing. Updating the wifi settings has in some cases worked, and in some cases caused the controller to successfully DHCP once then go offline.

In three interactions with support this week ahead of a few days away from home, support had me:

  • update wifi settings
  • create a new 2.4ghz-only network and connect my device to it
  • configure my router such that the rachio is always assigned the same IP when it DHCPs

Of course, the device went offline 24h after my last support interaction, and upon returning a few hours ago I see that several zones that should have been watered appear bone dry (including the area where I just had some sod relaid :frowning:).

I then attempted to update the device’s wifi settings. It DHCP’d once, then immediately disconnected. It has not attempted to DHCP since, and continues to flash yellow in the second segment. It’s offline again now.

The device is directly on the other side of the wall from a Unifi UAP-HD with the latest firmware. This AP is the only AP broadcasting the 2.4ghz network that support had me create. The Rachio is sitting there, flashing yellow in the second quadrant, but debug logs from the Unifi controller and the AP this device should connect to don’t show any activity from its MAC address at all.

I easily connected to the dedicated network I created with my iPhone, ran RouteThis, and generated a code: RQTAVT4F. If someone from Rachio could take a look and see if anything sticks out there, I’d greatly appreciate it. Additionally I’d appreciate being able to see the data contained in this report myself to support my own troubleshooting.

Some open questions I have about this situation:

  • Has anyone here experienced any similar problems?
  • Why does the device appear to not actually attempt to connect once disconnecting the first time? Support assured me it would attempt to reconnect, but couldn’t clarify the interval.
  • Why would some zones not water when the device is offline? Support assured me watering would continue, but now I’m off to water the recently replaced sections of sod with a hose, I guess…

Controller still offline. No watering occurred today. I’m pretty frustrated. :angry:

I emailed this thread to support, who sent back some information about “Zone Current Start” values, but not enough to clarify the impact of the situation they’re describing:

We have the current reading for the zones (Atrium Garden Drip Zone Current Start: 690, and Backyard Drip Zone Current Start: 664) on our end and yours is showing a little bit higher, however, not that high.

Both of these zones have existed for several years, and shouldn’t have been impacted by the new zone added before these problems started.

Does anyone have any information regarding how I might be able to test this value myself, or experience with values that are “a little bit higher, however, not that high” causing the controller to fail initialization in such a way that it never tries to reconnect to WiFi?

Additionally, if Zone Current Start values being out of range can cause the controller to violate one of its key features - watering even while offline - would it be possible to expose those values to customers and front line support so we don’t collectively waste time blaming the wifi network? If it was possible to view this value, I’d have certainly had the irrigation contractors I had out recently to add a zone look into it!

@jnewland - I’m wondering if it a brownout that is the root cause of the issue. The Rachio power supply only supplies 1,000 milliamps of power (1 Amp). Is there a master valve in the system?

The two tests that I can think of are:

  1. Disconnect the Atrium Garden Drip and Backyard Drip zone wires from the Rachio and test the resistivity down each wire and back to the common wire. The resistivity value should be around 35 Ohms +/-. If higher, then I might check the wiring connections where the field wire transitions to the solenoid. Check to see if waterproof wire nuts were used. I might take those four connections apart, clean the wires and replace with new waterproof wire nuts.

  2. Disconnect the common wire from the Rachio and see if it stays connected to WiFi for over 24 hours. If so, this may point to a brown out condition. I would then re-attach the common wire and watch the unit when a zone is run to see if the unit’s light dim.

On the WiFi side of things:

I had issues with my Unifi system disconnecting some thermostats. The root cause was the Unifi WiFi minimum data rate setting. Is that setting enabled on the WiFi network the Rachio is using?

Any minimum signal strength (RSSI) settings?

Thanks for the suggestions @DLane! Minimum data rate settings are disabled.

I agree with you that this looks like a brownout situation more than anything. Support had me swap some wires to confirm voltage values, and when swapping them back the device rebooted. I’ll check out both of those zones cabling and see what I can find.

For anyone from Rachio following along, it’d be nice to be able to distinguish between “device disconnected from wifi due to signal or other problems” and “device rebooted due to brownout or other issues” in some fashion, either via a device LED or via the payload of the Device Status Webhook. Using the flashing yellow second quadrant as an error message for both seems to have sent a few support reps and myself down a few fruitless debugging paths and also led to false assurances about ongoing watering.