One zone is watering 2 zones

I noticed a part of my yard seemed to be dryer than the rest of the yard so I manually ran that zone (let’s call it zone 2) to see if there was a broken sprinkler head. The sprinklers in that zone came on just fine but then about 5 seconds later, the sprinklers from another zone (let’s call it zone 1) came on too. I stopped the sprinklers and manually ran zone 2 again. And again zone 1 came on but almost immediately. I manually ran zone 1 and only zone 1 ran, not zone 2. Tried zone 2 again and again zone 1 also ran. I should note that zone 1 and zone 2 are right next to each other and their names indicate their order in the schedule.

I’ve had my Rachio for 18 months I believe and I’m 95% sure it wasn’t like this when I installed it. I’ve manually run all of the zones before to check for broken sprinkler heads and I would’ve noticed.

I had other things to do so I didn’t investigate further but before I check my wiring, has anyone ever run into this problem before?

I would check the common cable connection on the valve end. It sounds like it may have came loose.

I’m not 100% sure if this is the case because if my hunch is correct you would get a similar results no matter which of the two zones you ran, but it is possible in case you are getting a partial (high impedance) connection to commons.

Basically what I think is going on is that the power applied to zone 2 can’t find a low impedance path to the Common terminal and instead bleeds through the zone 1 valve.

I can be wrong. I’ve never checked if Rachio actively connects inactive zones to the commons. If they do, my theory could hold water… :wink:


@chinhster - does the installation have a master valve or pump start relay? If so, and if the valve for zone 1 is stuck open, then zone 1 would run anytime another zone was running. As @Gene suggested can a test be performed using another zone (e.g. zone 3) and see if zone 1 is still discharging water. This way we can start to narrow down the potential error domain.


You are correct @Dlane, zone 1 was discharging water when all of the other zones were running so it sounds like your guess is correct. I’ll check the valve diaphragm and hopefully all I have to do is clean it out. Thanks for your help.

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@chinhster - then the valve at zone 1 appears to be the problem. I’d clean out the valve to see if some debris is keeping it open. It could also be the solenoid is stuck. I think I’ve seen another post (can’t find it right now) where buying a new valve and just replacing the guts of the old valve is cost effective and doesn’t require cutting out the old valve.

Glad we were able to quickly get you on the right track.

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@chinhster Any luck after cleaning that valve out?

Unfortunately, no. The diaphragm looked fine and there was no debris in the valve. I replaced the diaphragm anyway but it still didn’t help. I’m going to try replacing the solenoid next.

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It was a bad solenoid. Thanks for your help everyone.