Zone not activating

Hello, I’m sorry if this has been posed but I tried the search feature and was unable to find anything.

I turned on the system the other day and everything works well except for one zone. The system doesn’t turn the zone on and it basically just runs a timer without watering it. I twisted the solenoid and the zone came on but it still won’t be controllable via the app, I have to twist the solenoid shut to turn it off. The sprinkler system is one season old, do solenoids go bad that quick? Did I miss something when I turned it back on and have to fix it on the controller or the app?

Thanks for any replies.

@Mission76 - sounds like you have the potential error domain isolated. So here’s what I’d do:

  1. Swap wires at the Rachio with another known good zone and see which zones work.
    a) They both work and it was potentially a bad connection at the Rachio.
    b) The previously working zone, now doesn’t work and the previously non-working zone works - potentially a bad port on the Rachio. If you have a spare port then move the previously non-working zone to the new port and return the other wire to it’s original port.
    c) The previously working zone still works and the previously non-working zone still doesn’t work. The problem is either the solenoid or the wiring.

  2. Check the wiring in the problematic solenoid valve box to make sure that nothing has “eaten” through any wires and any connections, splices or joints are secure. Make sure the White common wire is connected to the solenoid.

  3. Check the valve boxes between the Rachio and the problematic zone for any splices or connections involving the wire that goes to the problematic zone and make sure the wire isn’t cut or the connections aren’t bad - there shouldn’t be any splices in that wire.

  4. Replace the solenoid. Solenoids should last longer than a year. I’m betting it is a wiring issue.

Good luck.


Great ideas @DLane. @Mission76, keep us posted on your troubleshooting. Doesn’t look like your community email is the same one you’re using with your controller, but I can double check your device logs to see what current the controller is recording for the zone/valve in question if you DM me your Rachio username and zone #


Yes, solenoids go bad. Turn on that valve. Go to the valve box and see if the valve is humming. If not, go to a wholesale irrigation supply house. Purchase another valve, same brand and model. Remove the wire nuts. Using a screwdriver, remove the top of the valve and remove the internals. Unscrew the new valve, pop the internals into the old valve and screw on the top with a new solenoid. I only tell you this because it is usually the same price for a whole new valve as just a solenoid


@Mission76, are you still having trouble with this? Let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

1 Like