Easy install and programming. Have a question

Just purchased a Rachio, 3rd gen, 8 zone controller. The switch from my old controller to the Rachio was very easy. The only challenge was Rachio’s labeling the pump terminal as “M.”

The programming was also easy, although I was not prepared for all the questions for each zone. Obviously Rachio is much more complex than my previous controller. Weather Intelligence is an awesome option and better than sensors.

My irrigation lay out only used 7 of the 8 zones. My pump is in the lake under my dock. Zone 8 is not hooked to a solenoid. Would it hurt the controller to use zone 8 simply to turn on the pump? I want to add a hose bib on the dock and this would allow me to turn the pump on/off using the Rachio app.

So, running your “phantom” zone 8 would turn on the pump, same as the other zones, but just not open a valve; you’d use that valve manually at the hose bib. Seems reasonable to me. You’d want to not have it on a schedule, and just run it manually, or maybe have a Fixed Schedule set up for XX minutes (10-15?), Disable the schedule, but then run it manually, and it would turn off after the set minutes, in case you forgot to turn it off yourself?

Only thing I can think of is to be sure the pump has protection on it so that turning it on without opening a valve wouldn’t cause a problem (bypass, overpressure protection, etc.). If that would cause a problem, you’d want to open the bib valve first, then turn on the pump and turn it off when done.

My thought was to manually run zone 8, via the app,when the the hose bib is in use. Zone 8 is not included in my regular irrigation program for the yard.

What about not leaving the hose bib in the on position and remove the handle and put a sprinkler valve on it that is connection to zone 8? This would allow you to turn on the zone 8 (water starts flowing) without any concern about over-pressurization, etc.? Just an interesting thought.

Thanks for your ideas.