How to have controller turn on the water pump

I am using the Rachio 3 controller for a drip system with rain water. I need the pump to be able to talk to the controller and have the pump turn off & on as scheduled. Currently, I have a portable sprinkler pump, with a manual on & off switch. If I stay with that pump, I will need a relay to turn the pump off & on. OR: should I go with an automatic pump of some sorts? I will also need the pump to cut off when it is out of water.

Does Rachio make such a relay?

Thanks for the advice & education

@natman - what is described (mainly) is a pump start relay. Rachio can trigger a pump start relay using the Master Valve wire and the setting in the application. These are available at Home Depot or Lowe’s and turn on and off the current to a 120 or 220 VAC powered pump. For low water, I’d put in a float switch that is in series to the pump start relay wire from the Rachio where is would open the circuit and shut off of the pump when the water gets low. However when this happens, Rachio won’t be aware of it and will keep running thinking there is water. I would think one would be able to rig a solution to put potable water in the rain barrel using an air gap when the rain barrel is low to keep watering.

Hope this helps.

I have a relay hooked up as a “zone” on my Rachio 3 that runs a water feature. It is not on a schedule and only is on when I manually turn it on. This uses pressurized irrigation water that “never” runs out (has an automatic float fill for it). I have not seen one that has a float sensor for indicating it has run out of water, but believe buying something separate would not be difficult. Rachio does not make relays.

Not that I have done this yet; but you can take the cue from water harvesting. Currently, I fill all my clients water features and pools with Rachio, but I calculate the loss according to Et /inches and replace automatically with check valves and emitters or not.

I would try the following though for water reservoir you have. 1. 24 VAC 115 AC Relay. 20 Amp SPDT with Nema Housing 2. Little Giant has a Piggy Back Vertical Mechanical Float Switch. you have a high and low setting. 3. If your landscape usage is more than your rainfall, you can add a potable supply to top it off below your high mark with an autofill and float. I like to calculate the landscape usage, and reservoir and calculate the durations for fill, depletion and usage. When I have a couple extra bucks and time to do it, I’ll try it but you’ll see the advantages to the piggyback switch as the pump is always wet. Pumps are expensive and I’ve replaced several in large ponds difficult to get to basins, and wiring , many if not all with a faulty float switches.
I may have missed a part since , I looked this up days ago… however with system and the 24 VAC relay you can then select any zone on the controller and program it any way you want, especially having the back up potable line you’ll always have the adequate water volume for your plant requirement. Good luck , up date your progress! Thank you.