Valves on a branch line

Hi Rachio Community! New here and needing some help/assistance/advice.

We just moved into a home and dealing with a bit of a unique circumstance. The previous owners seemed to have connected a drip irrigation (three rows of raised beds, zones 11-13) set up to a branch line on their existing irrigation system. It looks as if they put in a 3-zone manifold off the branch line (zone 7) in the main irrigation system. We are trying to make this work but need to run zone 7 simultaneously as one of the drip zones in order for it to get water out to the raised beds. I’ve read on some other threads that running two zones simultaneously is not supported, but wondering if there is anything we can do, short of digging up everything and/or removing the zone 7 valve altogether.

Any thoughts? Happy to elaborate where needed. Thank you in advance for your help/time.


@Ddub - it’s a math problem. Rachio’s power supply only supplies 1,000 milliamps of power. If each solenoid uses about 300 milliamps to be held open then with a master valve and the reduce water mater option enabled there will be three valves operating at one time (the preceding zone and the current zone) leaving about 100 milliamps to power the Rachio circuit board - remember it’s electronic not mechanical.

The other issue is water pressure - does the system have enough water pressure to run both zones at the same time.

So three solutions -

  1. If there isn’t a master valve in the system you should be able to run both valves at once.

  2. If zone 7 doesn’t have any heads on it beside the other zones (so it is acting like a master valve for zones 11 - 13), then just set zone 7’s valve manually open all the time by opening the bleed screw or turning the solenoid.

  3. Get an additional 24 VAC adapter and power zones 11 - 13 with power from the additional adapter. Ideally, there is a separate common wire for these zones so the common wires won’t be mixed between the two power supplies.

Option 1 and 3 require some Single Pole Single Throw (SPST) relays to work. There are previous posts that discuss this and have wiring diagrams. Diodes can also be used for option 1 to keep the other zones from running due to back current when one of the three drip zones is run.

Thank you for the quick response DLane. Much appreciated.

It looks like the valves are hunter 1” pgvs which are rated 350-370 mA inrush and 190-210 mA holding so two at the same time should be ok. I don’t think we have the water hammer feature set up but will need to check.

I don’t think pressure will be an issue. There is a pressure gauge on the drip manifold that holds at 60 PSI when I open zone 7, and each of the drip lines has a 25 PSI regulator after the valve.

I’ll look into options 1 and 3. Don’t see a master valve on the main system and will review the wiring diagrams you suggested. Thank you.

Option 2 sounds like the easiest but I’m seeing a few capped heads (heads removed with 1/2” threaded pvc caps) in the area where zone 7 is and worried they’ll pop over time under constant pressure.

In the meantime while I sort this out, am I able to schedule zone 7 and one of the drip zones to start at the same time or is the controller smart enough to prevent this? For example schedule zone 7 to start at 7:00pm and run for 30 mins then separately schedule zone 11 to start at 7:01pm and run for 29 mins.


@Ddub - the system is smart enough to prevent two schedules from overlapping. A master valve would be wired into the M terminal on the Rachio.

Another option would be to move zone 7 to the M terminal and turn on the master valve setting (assuming there are no functioning heads on zone 7. While the zone will get pressurized when every zone runs, when the system is not running the valve will close.

Got it. :ok_hand:

Thank you for your help! It is very much appreciated. =)