One or two Rachio's across separate taps... what would you do

Hi there,

I currently have one 8 zone Rachio which is currently utilising all 8 zones across two tap outlets as follows:

Backyard - Tap 1
6 Zones (6 solenoid valves)
1 Master (1 solonoid valve)

Frontyard - Tap 2
2 Zones (2 solenoid valve)
This area triggers the master valve in the back yard for no reason when running as the Rachio doesn’t allow for two separate master valves (as far as I know)

I’m about to tear up the front yard and in the process will be dropping in lawn irrigation on a separate zone. My options as I see it are as follows:

Option 1
Combine the current 2 zones in the front yard to one to free up a new zone for the lawn irrigation. There are no issues combining the 2 existing zones as I separated them simply as they are two distinct garden beds. This solution would mean the front yard still does not have a dedicated master solenoid

Option 2
Install a new separate 8 zone Rachio Controller for the front yard and either wire it up as 2 or 3 zones AND introduce a master valve for the front yard tap.

Do you think there is significant need for a master valve at each tap. I know it’s good redundancy for if a valve sticks open. Would you go to the effort of Option 2 OR would you go down the path of consolidating a zone and operating with one piece of hardware.

@Dukebox - I think the answer may depend on the flow rate for the various front yard zones and how identical their soil and evapotranspiration rates are. In other words, can the one tap supply both front gardens with enough flow and are they the same type of plants with similar exposure? For the lawn irrigation, will it be plumbed out of the tap or the main line.

Also, one can use two solenoids to drop out the back yard master valve when the front zone runs.


Both gardens in the front are very similar and there is sufficient pressure to run them at the same time.

I guess another way to phrase my question ---- how important do people think a master valve is.

The risk from my perspective is that the current set up may mean that if the valve(s) for any of the front yards stick open… then there is no secondary control (in a master valve) to have the water shut off.

Any horror stories on valves sticking open?

My water bill has increased by over $200 one time when the valve got stuck in front of an index valve. I was away on business trip & my neighbour has called to tell that my sprinklers have been working nonstop, it only took him 3 days to notice.

I think that’s my fear…

Go away on Holiday and come back to a swamp.

Perhaps I will just install a second rachio up the front for just three zones :safety_vest: :frowning:

It’s a shame the current system doesn’t enable “Splitting” of the zones across two taps with an option for two separate master valves.

@Rachio… product enhancement? :slight_smile:

You can go DIY route using ~$20 worth of relays to divert the master valve power for select zones to a secondary valve. This would still mean that you’d need to combine two of your zones in order to stay within 8 zone limit. Good news is that when it does come time to upgrade (sooner or later you’ll want to), you can get a controller with more zones. I’ll see if I can create a schematic if you are interested in trying the relay route.

Sure. I’d love to. It’d save deploying another 8 zone rachio!