I think this is the problem I’ve run into as well.
I just purchased my Rachio series 1 from a friend, who never installed it. I wired it up, installed the app, connected to WiFi, and successfully set up the first zone. Easy! However, once the zone stopped, I was unable to get the next zone to start. I found that no zones work, even the one that had already been set up successfully.
I checked all my wiring, all looks correct. I power cycled (pulled power cord, counted to 10, plugged back in), and was able to set up a new zone. But just one. As soon as it stopped, I was unable to activate or set up any more zones. I was able to set up all the zones successfully, but only after power cycling in between each one. That confirms that the wiring is correct, but doesn’t give me a working system.
The app acts as if it’s working, but the Rachio controller doesn’t, in that the blue “status” light does not come on, as it does when I am able to active a zone after a power cycle. I think the problem could be the WiFi dropping, but I don’t know. I would think the app would detect if the controller has dropped off WiFi, but dunno.
I submitted a ticket, and hoping to get some answers. Would love to use this system, but not a great start.