Run Multiple Zones At Once


DTWinters, Here’s my shot at the schematic. Zone 6 is the Garden. Zone 7 is both the Garden and the Backyard. Don’t forget to enable the master valve option under Advanced Settings (I believe) in the application as I split the power load between zone 7 (the relay coil) and the master valve would be firing both sprinkler solenoids. One might be able to source the power for all three from the zone 7 connection, but I’d hate to overload that circuitry.

Along with a relay like this ( I haven’t verified that the Rachio can drive this relay coil, but something like this.

And the standard disclaimer - “your mileage may vary”.


@DLane Wow!!! Thanks so much for drawing this schematic and sourcing the relay.

Can anyone from Rachio or familiar enough with their controller confirm whether zone 7 could power the relay and two valves or should I leverage the master valve power per @DLane’s suggestion?

There’s nothing like a strong community to overcome a product limitation! :slight_smile:


@DTWinters, makes sense, we’re on the same page.

How many extra wires do you have available?

Love the idea! However, there might be an easier solution. If you have two extra wires, you can run one from the first zone and another from the second zone, then connect both wires to one terminal on the controller. The controller is capable of running two zones at once, allowing water to the garden + larger section.


@DLane Does your newly proposed approach require two separate wires being run to the original (and first in line) valve? Unfortunately, I don’t have an extra wire available to that first valve even as I have 5 conductor wire going to the newly installed second in line valve.

Thanks for the continued efforts and enjoy your weekend when you get to it.


@DTWinters, Nope. One wire runs to each solenoid. You’ll have a connection there at the controller for that zone that will have three wires - Wire one will come from port 6 on the Rachio, wire two will come from the NO DPST relay and wire three will be the wire running to the solenoid down the 5 conductor wire.

@Emil, I don’t think connecting two wires together will work. A) it sounds like there isn’t a spare wire and B) when the Garden only zone triggers (AKA Zone 6 above) I believe the current will travel back up the second wire on the first valve/solenoid back toward the Rachio and then back out the wire it is doubled with (AKA Zone 7 in the example) connected to for the backyard zone - which would cause the backyard zone to run when either Zone 6 or Zone 7 is triggered. If I understood the comment correctly. That is why the NO DPST relay is in-line to prevent the backyard valve/soleniod from activating when Zone 6 is triggered.


@DLane, @emil Ooops. I meant to pose my last reply question to Emil. DLane, thanks for raising the same concern.

To solve this once and for all I will spend 15 minutes this weekend trying Emil’s approach with a pigtail. I hope that approach works and saves some money. Otherwise, I will order the suggested relay.

I will report back.

Much appreciated.


@emil @DLane I have confirmed that the pigtail approach doesn’t work as both valves are opened when either zone is powered on.

It’s time for me to order the relay described.

More to come.


@DTWinters, you can probably find a normally open double pole single throw relay that uses a 24 V AC coil (NO DPST 24VAC) relay in town from a supply store and not have to order it and wait. I just wanted to provide an example. No guarantees on the example provided - I was looking for a good picture.


@DLane I’m a patient guy and the supply houses here in Austin tend to have limited hours, be located far north or south, and have high prices.

I found this unit on eBay at only $8 with 3 day shipping. It appears to by a winner. :slight_smile:

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Rachio just allowed multiple zones to be powered at once. Hopefully, they get around to that before long.


DTWinters, I think the eBay option has DC (Direct Current) coil and I believe Rachio puts out AC (Alternating Current). You’ll want a relay that uses AC for the relay coil.


@DLane Thanks for the catch. Ebay suggested this model and I hadn’t caught that particular. Fortunately, I hadn’t pulled the trigger, yet.


SUCCESS!!! A hearty thank you to @DLane for his schematic and sourcing the required relay.

A backyard zone now has an extra valve inline so that I can sprinkle just my garden or the garden and the much larger area beyond. @DLane and @Emil stepped up and through their guidance I got around the current inability for the Rachio controller to power 2 different zones at the same time.

I bought this 24VAC relay from Zoro for $15.25 all in and it arrived 2 days later.

@Dlane, let me know when you are in Austin and I will buy you a beer, or better yet I’ll make you a salad with vegetables from the garden.

Thanks for all the help!

P.S. My hardest part was realizing that the Master Valve setting is enabled through the web interface and not the mobile app. :slight_smile:


@DTWinters - thanks for the confirmation that my Aggie ingenuity worked! I’m in Dallas so I make it to Austin every so often.


This is great :clap: :cheers:


@DLane, yes, I overlooked this. I shouldn’t reply to wiring posts at 2a :wink:

@DTWinters, woot! Great news!! All credit goes to @DLane…I owe him a beer too, or a six pack at his current pace!

We’d love to see a photo of the wiring when you have a chance :nerd:


@Emil, just trying to be V3 Beta worthy and to make up for a year of stalking the forum. But, next time I’m in the Denver area :cheers:


@emil, your request for pics inspired me to remove all the alligator clip patch wires in a quicker timeframe than I may have attempted otherwise. Thanks for that.

Please see the pics below. Note that the device to the lower left of the Rachio controller is an unused Invisible Fence controller. The relay is wedged between the two. I worked with wire and spade connectors I already had or the install would be more attractive even as it is 100% effective. I even went to the nursery today and bought tomatoes, squash, eggplant, peppers, and Swiss shard. It’s on!!!


As long as there is an extra spot avaiable on the terminal you can use a doubler. The feed about running extra zones at one time. This feature is only avaiable when you get to advanced commercial controllers, such as Toro Sentinel, Rain Master Eagle Plus, etc. Golf courses and sports fields take advantage of this feature


@DTWinters Alright now I’m calling for pics of the garden… Swiss chard? Seriously :heart_eyes:?!

And @DLane- let’s see if I can work some magic for you on the beta front…


Is there any update on the roadmap to support multiple simultaneous zones? Half my zones are drip and I can certainly run more than one of those at the same time.