Rahio 3 - only 2 zones working

When restarting our Rachio 3 (after winter) we only get 2 out of 5 zones working.

I can turn all of the zones on manually but cannot start the 3 of the 5 (via the App).

I have opened ticket (635745) last week but no response.

Is it possible to do a complete reset of the controller?

Can anyone offer any help? Feel free to ask more questions …

@slittle1874 - when the zones are run manually is that:

  1. Via the buttons on the controller?
  2. Via the bleed screw on the solenoid?

Has there been any digging that could cut the field wire running to the three non-working zones?

Are the three non-working zones in sequence distance wise from the two working zones?

Do you have access to an ohm meter to where you can test the continuity between the C(ommon) wire and each individual zone wire?

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Pinged the team for you @slittle1874

Thanks Laura

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Hi DLane, I cannot start the zones via the Button on the Controller but I can start them from the Bleed Screw.

There was some digging last years but they have worked since then

I don’t understand the questions Are the three non-working zones in sequence distance wise from the two working zones", could you clarify?

I plan to test via the ohm meter tonight.

Thanks for chipping in here

@slittle1874 - OK, since the valves work when the bleed screw is open that tells me the issue is probably electrical.

Most field wires are laid out in a single file line going away from the controller. All the wires are in one bundle. As the wires can be connected to any terminal, the zone number/ordering on the Rachio may not relate to the real world ordering. So if the field wire goes from Rachio -> A -> B -> C -> D ->E and there is a wiring break between B and C or if the Common wire connection at C is bad then C, D and E won’t water. As the issue impacts multiple zones, I’d look at the Common wire connection in the valve boxes that don’t work - starting at the closest one to the Rachio. If there is infinite resistivity when testing a zone wire that doesn’t work and the common, then there is a wire break. I’d take the wires out of the Rachio to do the ohm meter testing.

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Excellent… this is great info. Let me work through this tonight and get back to you.

Hello, so I tired a few things last night.

On the Rachio I tested the continuity of each zone (common to each zone wire) and I got a reading for each between 40 and 50. After looking at some YouTube videos that suggests that the wiring is good. Is that correct?

I then removed all wires in the Rachio (leaving the C wire) and moved a known working zone to each zone 1… though to 5, and the working zone could be started when inserted in to each zone.

I also looked at the wiring (in the field box) and it looks to be ok. Am I missing something here.

I attached some picture for review

From the pictures, nothing looks out of whack…

I guess there is a fluke chance that the winter took out the solenoids. I guess you could try replacing one of the non-functioning solenoids with a new one to see if it fires…


I’ll try switching one of the Solenoids out tonight to see if that fixes the issue

@slittle1874 - I’m with @tmcgahey - I think it has to be the solenoid or valve innards.

Nice touch for the Sharpie ™ color on the PVC Tee corresponding to the wire color for the valve/solenoid!

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But the fact that they can be manually cycled leads me to think that the innards are ok…typically if the guts are bad, you won’t be able to manually run it, or it will stick on. If the solenoids are failed or weak, the plunger may not be moving enough to run the valve.

IMHO, the valves themselves are pretty cheap. When I run into issues with any of mine, I just rebuild the whole thing. Buy a new valve of the same brand/model, and just use all the parts (in my case I also replace the bonnet/top as I’ve had a number of old ones crack) and just leave the base in place. Now you’ve got a whole new valve for under $15.