Valve Monitoring with Add-A-Zone

I recently add the Valve Monitoring feature to my Rachio 3. 2 of my 11 zones are the wireless “Add-A-Zone”. These are messing up my monitoring. all the dedicated zones register 229 to 236mA. The zones combined with the “Add-A-Zones” read 536mA and 419mA on the primary zone and 0mA on the wireless zones. I change the “number of zones” from 1 to 2 and reset, but it did not change the readings, I assume this is correct as it is monitoring 2 solenoids. The 0mA zones read “Open Line”. Is this the correct way to monitor these wireless zones or is there another setting somewhere? Is the only way to clear the 0mA zones is to stop monitoring these zones (would be nice if I could just set the advanced number of zones to 0).

Boy, not sure if that system was designed to work with “wireless” add-a-zones. This might be something that @drew_thayer and the engineering team need to look at.

Hi @Mckinneyuser, indeed we did not design this with wireless zones in mind, so thank you for bringing this to my attention. If I understand correctly, this is your situation (please correct me here)

  • You have some normal wired solenoids that read 229-236 mA. This is normal; these should now be set as the baseline reading for those zones.
  • You have some wireless zones where you’ve plugged the transmitter wires into your R3 as if they were normal solenoids. These work, but since the current applied during a zone run does not actually do the work of opening the valve, it’s a very low current (just transmission) so it’s below the threshold we built for “open line”.
  • You have zones “combined with Add-A-Zones” that are reading very high (400+ mA) on one terminal and 0 mA on the other. Can you explain further what this means?
  • I change the “number of zones” from 1 to 2 and reset, but it did not change the readings, I assume this is correct as it is monitoring 2 solenoids. This is the correct use of setting the number to 2 valves. Based on my above comment I’m not clear if you have two wire-driven valves plugged in to one terminal (a wireless transmitter would presumably generate very little current)

You clearly understand this feature well enough to have found the currently available solution, which is not going to be optimal for you: to avoid getting an “open line” status, you’ll need to disable the feature for your wireless zones. Unfortunately we didn’t build this with wireless zones in mind… however your suggestion is on point: we could add an option to set the 0 mA reading as “normal” so you can continue to monitor without getting “open line” status. I’m going to do a little research on how common these wireless zones are and talk to my team about adding that affordance.


Hi Drew. I have attached a pic of my Rachio 3 wiring with the two "Add-A-Zone"s. The orange wire attaches to the original zone solenoid wire, the Brown wire then plugs into the original zone connector and the Blue wire plugs into a new empty zone slot. In my case, zone 3 and 11 now share the original green solenoid wire which was originally dedicated to zone 3.
With the new “valve Monitoring”, my zone 3 registers 536ma. when I select this in the android app, under “Advanced Settings” then “Number of Valves”, I set number of valves to 2. I figured this way Rachio knows the higher 536ma is correct (double a single zone). The zone (11) reading 0ma is due to that zone does not have a dedicated wire to the solenoid (this zone, at the solenoid where the signal transmitter is, shares zone 3’s green solenoid wire). Zone 6 and 10 share the black solenoid wire.

Just an aside to subject of Valve Monitoring… I can not believe that Rachio is charging twice for two controllers at my home! This is absurd!

Might consider posting on Valve Monitoring as well

thanks Thomas, I was hoping Drew will respond with guidance/solution after talking with his team or with Rachio developers.

Ooops, I was more referring to @Serenity’s comment.

Thanks, Drew,
I just added a zone with that product and got the same results as Mckinneyuser.

After running a test on the zone with a reading of 0, Rachio apparently set valve monitoring for that zone to off, as shown by the main status page for that zone. Oddly, when I tap VALVE MONITORING on that page to bring up the current reading and the enable/disable slider for the zone’s valve monitor function, the slider is set to the on position and the status reads: Enabled for this zone.

I hope this helps.