Is there a way to have the pump relay turn on only for specific zones

As stated above, this feature is very needed. I use a Rid o Rust system and did not realize that Rachio can not support it. I have a large yard and it will cost several hundred dollars a year worth of wasted chemicals if it is not added. My neighbors were really impressed with my Rachio when it was installed last year BUT when I told them about this limitation it ended the interest. We all have 2 acre yards and can not waste that much money on chemicals.

Is this feature on your product roadmap.


@csh12m - if you only need to use the Rid o Rust system on a few zones, follow the link in my post above for an easy and inexpensive way to accomplish this with Rachio (until they add the feature).

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I have read your post a few times, I think calling it easy is relative. I am not an electrical engineer, that is a complex fix with multiple exposed wires for me to rip off my garage wall. This would be a relatively easy feature to add to the program. It must be on a development list? I wish we could at least get a plausible time frame. If I rewire anything it will be my old controller and my Rachio will go to Craigslist. Both my neighbors would own the system now if this feature existed. We all live in a country sub and have iron in the water.

I came up with an alternative solution. Because I had only one zone for which I didn’t want my booster pump to run, I added one normally-closed relay to that zone that interrupts the pump circuit when that one zone is running.

The relay I used was a Jard 92380. The core is wired to the target zone and common, terminal 5 goes to the M terminal on Rachio and terminal 6 goes to the wire to the pump relay. This works perfectly, but I still think this feature should be on the roadmap.

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@csh12m - I’m not an electrical engineer either. The current running through the wiring is only 24 VAC, so low voltage. If found your other post where you stated that only two zones need the Rid o Rust to be running. That would be two approximately $6 relay switches, some 24 gauge wire and some female spade connectors to connect the relays. I think it is easily within the average persons grasp and capability.

Yes, it could be done in the software. I have no idea where the item is on the feature list. Rachio does listen to their customers as evidenced by the well delay that had been requested and is now in V3 and the bringing back of Flex when it was removed. Rachio rebuilt the back-end systems last year to support new features, so maybe the back-end could support it now and it is getting into the UI with a good UX.

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I am also interested in this feature. I have some very large zones that are using high volume rotors and some zones using drip hose and I would only like the pump to run when the higher volume zones are running to ensure I don’t damage the pump with the pressure reduction devices on the drip line zones.

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Hunter Pro C has this feature. Maybe this will help the next person looking to buy one.

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I also use an injector pump on 6 zones in an11 zone system. Will the requested software fix be done in the near future? If not, I will use the Hunter Pro C which allows the pump to operate on selected zones.

This is not on the roadmap for this year.


Can you provide some feedback as to why? I have sold my unit and reverted back to my old controller system. I loved your product, but can’t for the life of me understand why you would not add this feature. As I outlined in earlier posts, I live in a country subdivision. Every yard is at least an acre. We all use some form of rust inhibitor system as our well water contains a high level of iron. You have lost at least six potential cutomers because of this lack of funcionality. I have gone to several sub parties and explained the hoops I jumped through and how exciting, but then disaapointing Rachio is. At this point I am just confused why this issue does not get addressed. No worries if you dont reply, as I mentioned, I gave up on Rachio last year. I just dont get it.

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I just installed the Rachio on my new home sprinkler system. I also would request an option to set a zone to not start the pump. I have a drip zone piped from culinary water and the rest from a pump supplied by canal water. The drip system would get clogged from the canal water hence the need to run this way. Please consider adding this option ASAP as it is obvious that there are many who really do need it and it really should not be too difficult to add on an advanced menu.
Thanks and I look forward to using your product.

I made a simple script that can run a zone with the pump off. You can also connect a small relay in parallel with the ‘drip’ solenoid, with a normally closed contact that breaks the circuit to the pump relay.

I have a gen3 sitting in the box and can’t use it. I’m looking for the same feature as many other’s here. I have an injection system that runs on all zones but only on Fridays. My current KRain Pro controller has A,B,C programs and you can assign the pump to the program (not the zone). You say you wrote a simple script? Where does this script run? Is there any way to achieve pump on/off specific to a schedule or program as apposed to a zone? TIA

Assuming that you have set up your schedules so that you are never watering at midnight, you could run a script to enable the pump output at midnight Friday and disable it at midnight Saturday.

It could run on any computer that is on at the required times. If your Windows, Mac or Linux workstation is always on, set up a scheduled task / cron job there. Or, on a cloud server you may have. Or, on e.g. the DVR for your security cameras or a Raspberry Pi.

There are various ways you could run this on a mobile device, but I’d be concerned about a dead battery or being out of range when it runs.

Interesting way of going about it. I could run it on a Pi3. Does the script issue commands to the Rachio via API OR SSH? Thanks!
Last night I also came up with another work around. I have a Rachio 16 zone but have only 8 zones on my property. If i could run zones 1-8 only the zone valves for each zone. Then jump zones 1-8 to corresponding zones 9-16. Zones 9-16 would have a jumper wire to zones 1-8 and the injector on each. I believe i need some sort of isolator on the jumper between zones.

Is this on the roadmap for '20? That is quite unfortunate if not and I will have to return my Gen 3 that I’m waiting to install pending the answer. My earlier reading of posts about this topic (from a couple of years ago) made it appear that this is a software update (not hardware), and based on the number of views and topics this has generated, I believe is widely needed. This is not a niche use case.

I didn’t see this thread but posted the exact same request using rid o’ rust for certain zones in a now 6 year old thread:


Am wondering if one could use a diode (wired in parallel to the zone valve) on each zone terminal that needs to run the rid-o-rust pump and not use the master valve option at all. The diodes would be connected to a singular NO 24V relay
Any electrical engineers on this forum?

Alas zones are driven with an AC power, meaning that the diode would act as a halfwave rectifier, whereas supply to the singular 24V relay would be OFF for 50% of the time

It is possible to add a sizable capacitor and drive a DC relay, such as what is described by @Stewart here:

But the downside of such approach is that, as far as the current draw, Rachio would see 3x the load during the one half cycle (1x zone solenoid + 1x DC relay + 1x capacitor charge), compared to another (1x zone solenoid). Depending on the relay, and inefficiencies of the components involved (diode, current limiting resistor, capacitor, etc…) you may run into the limits of the supply and the current limit protections.

There are improvements to the idea which can be implemented, such as using a smaller capacitor and driving the triac driver to run an AC relay full term, but at this point there are better, and cheaper, solutions which were discussed.

As one of the earlier requesters of this feature, I have been waiting for this feature since 2016. I solved the immediate problem back then with interposing relays, but now have additional zones that do not need the pump.

I tried many things back then to try and “motivate” them to add this super simple feature, including adding as many negative reviews of the company as possible as I could do. They were positive reviews of the product, but negative reviews of the companies leadership. As a software developer, and former industrial controls engineer, I even provided pseudo code.

So maybe the fact that this trivial feature does not yet exist can be blamed on me and my “bullying” tactics. They even called me and asked to buy the unit back from me if I would remove the negative reviews. My claim of poor leadership and and lack of confidence In Rachio’s leadership are Still confirmed.

The intent of my checking on this today was that if that feature were in the current product I would have upgraded on the spot. But I guess one more Rachio to Craig’s list.