Discovered a 9th zone

New member here. I love my Rachio 3 and I’ve been running it for over a year. I bought this house and decided to redo the landscaping, which meant that most of the irrigation had to be redone. The irrigation in the front yard was fine, so I left it alone and installed all new zones in the backyard.

Fast forward a year and I just discovered that one of my zones in the front is actually 2 zones. There was a buried valve I didn’t know about that was wired to run whenever another zone was turned on. I would love to run a new wire, but I’m using the 8-zone Rachio 3. If I want to seperate that zone back to 2 zones; is my only option to upgrade to the 16 zone unit and run a dedicated wire to that valve? Any other options I’m missing?

I have seen something called a zone doubler, which is two separate zones across one wire. However, that still uses two zones on the controller. I have not seen anything that uses one zone on the controller for two separate zones. However, that does not mean it does not exist. Well, maybe it can be done with a zone doubler and one zone on the controller . . . maybe if both zones always take the same amount of time, using the “Cycle and Soak” feature of a schedule. If you do not want all zones to be using that, it might have to be on a different schedule. That is all that I can think of at this time.

If you want to use a daily schedule on all 9 zones and track moisture levels individually, then no, you’d need to upgrade or simply buy a second controller.

If you are planning on running at least two zones on weekly or monthly schedules, than you could run them off of one zone output and use a dumb timer relay to designate the time slots where one zone or another is active.

Downside of timer relay is that you won’t easily be able to turn on the least used zone on demand, another downsize is that you will not be able to individually track leakage as well if you have a flow meter. Advantage is that it is somewhat cheaper, though not hugely so.