Virtual Zone?


Hope to get some suggestions or possibly have Rachio implement. I add a hose bib connection right before the sub-valves in my backyard. I would like a way to turn on the master valve without calling any zone to open, thus have the master valve open and getting the water over to the hose bib for manual watering.

I though either

  1. Rachio could implement a Virtual Zone we could activate via the app that would only trigger the master valve
  2. Add a relay and control it somehow via automation (wifi automation relay?) without blowing up the Rachio controller…

Virtual zones would have many applications and I’d like to see them implemented. I’ll write a separate post about that.

However, in your situation, if your controller has more zones than you are actually using, just define an unconnected zone output as ‘dummy’ and run that when you need the hose bib. If not, you may have a drip zone which uses very little water and you could run that when using the hose.

I don’t know whether it would be safe to use an SPST relay to bypass the MV output. Possibly, the inductive surge when the relay opens could cause trouble. Could a Rachio engineer please comment?
You could use a DPDT relay (with break-before-make contacts) that disconnected the MV from the controller and connected it directly to the transformer.

Hi - I may be missing something here but for your specific use case why not connect the hose bib before the master valve? The hose big would constantly get water.

I have a zone that I don’t use so I just do a manual run on that zone to run my garden hose.

“Using” an unused zone seems like it would be the easiest way. I presume bypassing the master valve going into the backyard would be too much effort digging possibly from the front yard.

+1 Master-channel only. I’m already using all 16 zones, and my master channel controls a pump - bypassing isn’t feasible.

I would love this feature too. I used an “extra” zone on my old controller for exactly this purpose…i.e. to activate a master zone that fed the BBQ sink faucet. It only needed to active when I’m BBQ-ing. Unfortunately, I forgot to account for this extra zone when I purchased my 12-zone Rachio3. I hope Rachio looks into this feature.