Why multiple zones not running together with qick run?

I’m new to Rachio, so I’m sure I have things to learn. The app is pretty straight forward, easy and intuitive to use, for me at least. I bought a Ferrari and drive 40mph cause I wanted is a reliable system I could easily control from my phone for spot watering or quick run.

What I can’t seem to be able to do are 2 things:

1- run several zones at the same time when on quick run, which is the main setting I use because our water is very expensive and I run the system only when needed, which is quick changing weather dependant. It’s not a big deal, but it makes sense to me that if I select multiple zones, they should run all at once, at least that’s what I’d like them to do.

2- select and keep a set time for a quick run program instead of going back to the pre-programmed 3 or 6mn. Not a big deal, but why not ? Something like a “save custom run” box maybe ?

A part form that, I like highly customizable UI with name, pics, etc, and all other setting I haven’t used yet.
Thanks !

No consumer clock on the market will manually run multiple valves at once, and Rachio is no different. Is there a reason that you need them all to run at once instead of one right after another?

ok… thanks for the info. I noticed that on my basic Rain Bird and bugged the hell out of me when I had a lot of sprinkler issues. I wonder why this is not an option since all zones run together when programmed. As a tech this doesn’t make any sense, but I’m sure that there must an explanation somewhere if it’s
an industry standard.

To answer your question, I’d like to be able to do that simply because a) I don’t see why not and b) my water is very expensive. As a tech I don’t intrinsically trust automated systems, especially when I see my neighbor’s sprinklers going off randomly and read about a lot of controller malfunction.

I’m more of a software person, but running the sprinkler system at my house and some others, I’d guess a main reason controllers in general don’t support running multiple zones at the same time, is you’ll get unreliable water pressure.

For instance, lets say a home has an inflow pressure from the main of 80psi. When only one valve is open at a time, all 80psi can be used to push water through the system and achieve the full range of the sprinkler heads used. If two valves open at once, that 80psi from the main, would be split. Maybe it’s now 40psi to one zone and 40psi to the other. If that’s the case, water may only spray half the distance out of a sprinkler head which could leave areas of the lawn unwatered. If more zones are split and run at a time, the pressure continues to drop and may not achieve anything more than a bubbler kind of flow from the heads.

That’s just a guess though.

If you’re looking to save water by doing that, you can still achieve water savings running one zone at a time. Based on my guess above, if you’re splitting water between two zones you can instead water one zone at a time and just cut the watering duration in half. That way the water that would have been split 50/50 for two zones is now 100% for one zone but just 50% of the time.


@zachio nailed it. Pressure drops in a system will cause inconsistent water delivery, and depending on the sprinklers, this can be drastic. If you are just eyeballing your watering, this may not be an issue for you, but for most it would make a pretty big difference.

1 Like

As stated above, depending on the length and size of your service line pulling too much flow really drops pressure. For simplicity sake we’ll assume you have 100’ of 5/8" type k copper feeding your system. 7 GPM yields a loss of ~12.5 psi. If you run another zone concurrently with the same flow 7+7 gpm through that same service line has a loss of ~45 psi!


I have 1" PVC as main feed, but I get your point and you’re probably right. Thanks for taking the time

Agree with @tmcgahey. A big driver for needing zones is water pressure constraints.

Other reasons would be watering different vegetation, different environments (sun vs. not much sun) or different delivery methods such as the type of sprinkler.

A good irrigation design should always start with the zone first by looking at these factors above, which you can imagine each of these things would contribute to you not wanting to actually run multiple zones at once (i.e. you wouldnt want to run a shade zone simultaneously with a full sun zone, or shade may get more water than needed, or sun may get less of what needed).

1 Like