Master Valve only on specific zones

Glad it worked out for you. Post some pictures if you can, always great to see the end result.

Don’t forget to add some worm clamps, you don’t need to redo the hoses, just unscrew the clamp to be fully open, wrap it around the ends and screw it closed / tight again.


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Just wondering if anyone can help me figure out a wiring solution for my setup. I have 2 valve boxes. One for the main sprinkler system that runs 6 zones, one for the driplines in the back that runs 3 valves for my driplines. I have one of the 6 zones setup as a master valve as it supplies the secondary box. Currently this is set as the master valve and opens whenever a zone is running. This works but obviously is not ideal as it is poly pipe with blu-lock fittings and will eventually fail due to constantly being pressurized.

What I am thinking is to use 3 of the SPST relays attached to the 3 dripline zones to also activate the 1 valve used as the supply. I am unsure how to wire this so that it is not running 2 valves off of each of these zones at once. Can anyone give some guidance?

As a sidenote, I really wish they would add the feature to select the master valve per zone as they said they would. This would solve this issue without the need for any addon solutions. It seems like it would be simple as the logic and code already exists as the master valve can be selected/deselected in the controller settings. Just add that same routine to the zone routines and expose it to the user. This is a highly sought after feature and there are endless requests for it on every controller manufacturers forums including this one.

@noahdare - welcome to the community. The 24 VAC SPST relays that I’ve found on Amazon don’t pull much current, so there should be no issues with running them and the zone valve.

So - zone 6 = master valve and 7, 8 and 9 are the drip valves.

  1. Disconnect the zone 6 wire from the Rachio master valve terminal.

  2. Connect one side of the SPST relay coil to the Rachio terminal 7 along with the solenoid valve.

  3. Connect the other side the SPST relay coil to the Rachio C terminal (all the relays can be wired together and just one wire put into the terminal).

  4. Connect one side of the pole to the zone 6 wire (all the relays can be wired in parallel to this solenoid) .

  5. The next step depends on which generation of Rachio that this is being connected to.
    For Gen 3, connect the 24 VAC + to the other side of the pole on the SPST relay (again all the relays can be wired in parallel and only one wire needs to be in the Rachio).
    For Gen 2 connect the SC (sensor common) to the other side of the pole on the SPST relay.

Let me know if there are any questions.


I think I understand what you are saying. So the wire coming from the “Master valve” is connected to one side of the pole, with the other side of the pole in the 24 vac connector on my gen3. My confusion though is, what serves as the common then for the master? When the relay is activated by power from 7, does it just go to the common on the coil?

@noahdare - the common for the “master valve” will still be the C terminal on the Rachio, where it is currently connected.

So zone 7 fires both the solenoid for zone 7 and the SPST relay they will both return through the C terminal. When the SPST relay closes (I should point out the relay should be Normally Open - NO) the current from the 24 VAC + will flow out to the “master valve” and then back via the C(ommon) terminal.


duh. I wasn’t thinking that through completely, obviously. Thanks for clearing that part up. Ordered the relays and am going to give it a shot.


Spent Sunday afternoon getting things hooked up and it works great. Thanks for the help DLane. Went with the Packard relays, they do have quite a noticeable buzz when they are active. But they are in the garage and in an enclosure so it isn’t too bad.


Is this still in the backlog? I need to disable my pump on a few of my zones, it would be nice to not have to build a relay system to do it.


So here we are almost 6 years since the first post in this thread and still no option for the master pump on for specific zones.

Let me ask for some help from this crew as it looks like I am going to have to go the relay switch route this year. I need help understanding how to wire what I am looking to do so let me summarize.

I have an injector pump that injects rid o’ rust into the sprinkler system. Currently this works on the Rachio by setting the injector pump to turn on via the master pump valve connection. However, this makes the injector pump turn on and use rid o’ rust for EVERY zone I have any time I turn the sprinklers on. Rid o’ rust is not cheap and I only want the injector pump to send rid o’ rust to a few zones that spray over walkways and fences - not all my zones.
For example…I would like to have the injector pump with rid o’ rust turn on and be in use for zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11 and off for all the rest.

Could someone on here walk me through the exact solutions I need to buy and wiring so that the injector pump only turns on for the zones I need it for and is off for zones I do not need it for?


P.S. Unless @franz has it working in software about to be released…

As I currently need to activate a Master Valve when operating specific zones only, (Gen 2) I was pleased to read that, as a requested feature, it was well on the way to being implemented.

@jstew4880‌ @peacock‌ Definitely plan on doing this, fortunately ‘master valve by zone’ is just a software change.

As the work on this, presumably easy coding, began in 2014, I was wondering how the work was coming along. It seems this development cycle is a bit long.

Thanks, Bob

Not that easy just due to all the people we would need to bring in (firmware, mobile, cloud) to modify this, regression testing, firmware rollouts, etc.

Unfortunately not on the current roadmap as other priorities are ahead of this. I will definitely forward your request to our product team.

Thanks and have a great day!



OpenSprinkler is able to do what you’re looking for natively but requires a bit more configuration.

I’m also a bit surprised this is still not a native feature. I had to jury rig this with a relay as described above (a bit odd for a $200+ controller). If they haven’t done it yet probably won’t happen…

I eventually brought a separate water supply to another valve box eliminating the need for the relay and just tied in the zones directly.

As a product manager, I will say I am concerned focus has turned more towards subscription based add-ons vs core product, the market seems saturated already with Sunday, Wondercide and so on.


Hi @franz

I’ve been quietly waiting for this for a LONG time. I don’t need to run a pump for all of my zones. So, whenever I’m running these zones, the pump is running needlessly. We’ve been asking for 8 years now.

Pretty please!?

So, I have decided to go the relay route for this. I only have a single zone that doesn’t need the Master valve. So, that simplifies things for me a bit. (It’s actually my swimming pool pump that I’m controlling. But, don’t tell Rachio that :wink: )

While searching for an appropriate relay, I came across the PAM-1. From what I can tell, It looks like it’s used for all sorts of switching needs in multiple industries. Anyway, it’s just what we need for this. It’s inexpensive. It’s all encapsulated and sealed up and ready for use in a wet environment. I just wired it in quick and dirty at the valves. Here’s a quick diagram of how I did it. Basically, the relay breaks the Common connection to the MV when the “No MV needed” zone is active.


Looking at the label, I see maybe contradictory information. The text only talks about 24VDC and the graphic shows 24VDC/VAC. Off hand, your drawing does not quite look right to me, but I would have to look more into it. How many watts/amps does the swimming pool pump use?