Master valve with hose bibs

I have a system being installed with a master valve and 13 zones and gen2. In addition to the zones, I have 2 hose bibs installed without electronic valves. I can bypass the master valve if I want, so the system can control the zones while keeping the bins available at all times, but I’m trying to figure out how to put the electronic master valve in line. It’s almost like I’d like to have it open when a zone comes on early morning then also have the master open from 8am to 10pm or whatever for normal day hours to allow the bibs to be used without an iPhone handy. Thoughts?

@prsguy, great question. The master valve is a device level setting; therefore it’s on or off for all zones. You would need to enable it to provide water to your hose bibs without having access to the app.

If you install the master valve after the supply lines to the hose bibs, then you wouldn’t need to worry about enabling the master valve to turn on the hose bibs from the app. Hopefully that makes sense. If needed, free feel to post a drawing of your new system’s layout and we’d be happy to review it.

Best, Emil

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We’ve got the same setup. What we did was take one of the unused zones and call it “Hose Bibb”. You can then put it on a fixed schedule for the times you want it open (which will trigger the master valve to open). If I remember correctly, the other other schedules will run fine even if this schedule is running at the same time.


Emil/Stonecliff - thanks for the responses. There’s pros and cons to everything of course…I wanted the bibs after the master valve to protect against them leaking as well. To Stonecliff’s point, I thought of that, but didn’t know if you could have simultaneous zones running. If you can, then that’s a reasonable answer. Move the master wire to a zone spot and create a schedule for it that includes watering times and day time for bibs. Ideally, the software would be updated to allow me to keep the wire on master valve connector, but be able to create a schedule for the master valve to be open during the day. It would also open each time a zone fires up in the early AM (normal behavior now). Really it could simply work the way it does now, but allow for adding a schedule to the master valve for it to be open at certain times too.

I guess another question is…can I just set up a dummy zone with no connection and schedule it for 8am to 10pm during the day. If the master valve wire is on master valve connector, that should open it like any other zone. As long as the rachio doesn’t sense the lack of wire on that zone and you can run simultaneous, this should work too. Re-reading, I believe this is what stonecliff meant.

Still - best answer is to allow scheduling of master valve in addition to it turning on when a zone comes on.


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@stonecliff & @prsguy, this is a good work around. Just remember that the controller will think a valve is running this entire time so your gallon reports might be artificially inflated.

We only allow one schedule and one zone to run at a time to avoid scheduling collisions. This might have worked on your old timer :wink:

Valid concern.

You can do this now by creating two different schedules; 1) Zones & 2) Hose bibs

Yep, you can do this. We do not disable a zone if there’s no wire in the terminal.

I’m not sure if I follow this statement as I believe the current logic of the Master Valve supports this. i.e. MV + Zone turn on at the same time (if MV is enabled).

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It sounds like the zone hack will get you by, but is less than perfect. If two schedules or zones can’t run at once, then I wouldn’t be able to ad hoc run a zone during the day if it’s ‘hose bib’ time.

In my case, the best solution would be to have the master valve open if closed any time a zone turns on (normal behavior), but also allow me to create a special schedule for the master valve (Separate from zone schedules) that allows me to have it open from 8am-10pm (or whatever) when I may want to use the hose bibs. Zones should be able to be run at any time independent of the master valve schedule…the SW will just have to realize the master valve is open already when it is and open it when it’s not to run the zone.

@prsguy, backing up, will the hose bibs be opened electronically or manually by hand? I think I remember you mentioning I have 2 hose bibs installed without electronic valves. – if so, then you can manually open the hose bibs anytime a zone is scheduled to run as they will be pressurized by the enabled master valve for said active scheduled zone.

If you have an unused zone terminal, you can create a fake “hose bib” zone and run this schedule during the day while no other zones are scheduled to run.

Currently, this is not supported on the Rachio controller as the master valve setting is a global device (controller) setting. Supporting MV by zone is in our backlog, but I do not know when/if it will get developed.

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I understand what you are saying…that’s why it’s less than ideal. I don’t want the fact that the master valve “zone” is on to keep me from running other zones. If my family decides to turn on a bib (yes it’s manual), then I don’t want to tell them to make sure they have an iphone handy. Likewise, if I want to run a zone during the day for whatever reason, I don’t want to have to disable the “hose bib master valve” zone. I don’t think your last comment about MV by zone is what I’m asking for. I’m simply saying it would be nice to add the ability to tell the controller to keep the master valve open during certain hours of the day…in addition to opening as zones are run.

@prsguy, I think we’re thinking the same end result.

I don’t believe we’d encounter any conflicts in scheduling logic. Since the MV is a global device setting, it will always be on anytime a schedule is running (or off if no schedules are running).

Please see the diagrams below. A green circle indicates a valve is on, black line indicates there’s no water available, and a blue line indicates water is flowing (or available to flow):

ON (MV enabled and Z1 running)

OFF (MV enabled and no zones running)

Application to your system:

If you had a lawn schedule set to run from 5a-7a, then the MV would turn on with each zone valve. The hose bibs would pressurized the entire time from 5a-7a.

If you setup a fake hose bib on an unused zone terminal, the schedule to run from 8a-6p, the MV would turn on to pressurize the hose bibs during said time, but no water would be used unless a hose bib was turned.

Hopefully this helps to clarify the system status between MV and zone activity.

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