Controller says on but only 1 zone out of 4 working

Controller shows it’s on but only one zone out of four is actually sprinkling water

What is your configuration like? Obviously, you have four zones and presumably you have run through all four zones. Do you know where your sprinkler boxes are and each valve? In other words, are all four zones together or spread out some way? Has it previously worked and suddenly stopped? Has there been any digging recently? With what you have said, my first guess might be that it might be a grounding issue with one making a good connection and the other three not.

The system was installed last year and worked fine up until a few weeks ago. Ran the manual mode from both the console and the app and and only zone 4 works. All 4 sprinkler boxes are together but each in individual boxes underground. No digging, How would I test the grounding?

@kanuk01 - an ohm meter is used to test continuity (AKA grounding). Remove the wires from the Rachio and measure the resistivity between the Common wire and each zone individually.

It could be that zone 4 is actually the first zone coming from the controller. Therefore, I’d check the common wire connection going from it to the other zones.

Thx @DLane. I’ll have to pickup an ohm-meter at the local hardware store but in the meantime, can you point me in the right direction of a website that shows me how to setup the ohm meter and the readings I should be getting

Here is one such link:

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@kanuk01 - here is one option from Home Depot:

They do require one battery (either a 9V or AA) to power the resistivity test. The Ohms setting may use the Greek letter Omega as that is the symbol for Ohms. After turning the meter to the lowest Ohm setting (x 1) touch the two meter leads together and there should be an adjustment wheel to set the meter reading to 0 ohms - move the adjustment wheel until the needle is on 0 (far right on the Ohm scale).

Next take the common and the zone wire to be tested out of the Rachio controller (this way the meter won’t measure back through the controller - path of least resistance). Put one meter lead on the common and the other meter lead on the zone wire. The reading should be in the 25 - 30 Ohm range. If the needle doesn’t move, then there is an open circuit.

If the resistivity reading is high (guessing 100 Ohm range or higher) then there is probably corrosion in a joint. If there is potential corrosion, then I’d take apart the connections starting with the last working zone and move out away from the controller. When putting the connections back together I’d recommend waterproof wire nuts like these:

Picked up the multi meter today and here are the results! (Forgot I had 5 zones, fifth zone was a bubbler line that we never used)
Zone 1: OL
Zone 2: OL
Zone 3: OL
Zone 4: 24. and change
Zone 5: 24. and change

I’m guessing OL means there’s an open circuit…what’s next?

@kanuk01 - there appears to be a broken wire/cable or bad connection between zone 4 and 3 (I’m assuming that the zones are actually wired in reverse order - although not necessary). I’d look at the connections for zones 1, 2 and 3 to see if they are good. I’d also check the common connection at 4 to make sure it continues on to 3. If you have spare wires in the field wire (e.g. a seventh wire), you can make that a common wire for zone 3, 2 and 1 to see if that works.

Has there been any digging where the sprinkler wire runs?

The house and landscaping is new construction (18months). There has been no digging near the wires. I checked the condition of all the connections and they look good (waterproof wire nuts were used by the landscapers).
How do i check ‘common connection at 4 to make sure it continues at 3’?
I do not have spare wires in the field.

@kanuk01 - at zone 4 there will be two connections to the solenoid. One connection should have two wires (this should lead to terminal 4 on the Rachio) and the other connection should have three wires (this should lead to the common terminal on the Rachio and on to the next station). Check the connection with three connections.

Are there multiple solenoids in one valve box are the solenoids in individual valve boxes?

It worked!!!
Thank you very much.