Zone runs without schedule and while disabled

I have a Gen 1 8 zone controller. I’ve recently noticed it is running one of my sprinkler zones that I have disabled and not scheduled.

I cannot have my water running when I don’t want it to. It is literally killing my plants. I’m growing drought tolerant native pants and watering them kills them.

What can I do short of disconnecting wires to keep the zone from running. It has run every morning this week despite not having any schedule (I have never scheduled this zone) and being disabled through the app.

I was considering a new Rachio but if it cannot was even handle the one thing I bought it to do, I’ll have look at other controllers. What more can I do to convince it to stop running the schedule?


I will have the engineering team review your schedules to determine if there any issues with the controller.


Thank you. It’s very confusing. I can see physical evidence that my Zone 5 ran. The plants and hardscape are wet. The sprinkler heads popped up (some of them don’t always retract after watering). However, the history in the app says it hasn’t run.

I have not changed the wiring since setting it up. I looked yesterday at the valves and solenoids to see if there was a short or something. My valves are in waterproof connectors and I have a valve box over them. All connections were intact.

I put my controller in standby today because I want to see if at least that keeps it from running Zone 5. If that doesn’t work, I have to disconnect the valve.

An update: nothing ran this morning since the controller was in standby.

I found out that when Zone 2 would run, so would Zone 5 for some reason. I opened the controller and removed the cover. I unplugged the pink #5 wire and bent it so it wouldn’t touch any of the others. Put the whole thing back together, got it on the network and ran Zone 2.

Zone 5 (pink wire) started running, too.

So, I assume this means that my pink wire is touching my blue (zone 2) wire somewhere and being energized whenever the blue one is. Running Zone 5 (pink) doesn’t do anything now (which it shouldn’t, being unplugged in the controller.

@glennonrp - If you manually activate zone 2’s valve via the bleed screw does zone 5 still come on? If so, zone 5’s valve may be open. Another way to test this would be to disconnect the pink wire at zone 5’s solenoid in the valve box - hopefully wire nuts were used and not the use once connectors. Does zone 5 only run with zone 2, i.e. it doesn’t run with any of the other zones (if it runs with other zones, then I would suspect the valve on zone 5).

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@DLane I’m not sure I have a valve box. I have sprinkler valves in the corner of the yard. There are three in the front yard (zones 1-3) and five in the back (Zones 4 - 8). Zone 2 is in the front yard and Zone 5 is in the back yard. The irrigation pipes stick up out of the ground and the valves are on top of them.

The wiring from the controller connects to the solenoids with wire nuts that are inside of caps that have petroleum jelly or something like it inside.

I ran Zone 4 and Zone 5 did not turn on. So far, it only runs when Zone 2 does or on it’s own.

I may be misunderstanding what you’re suggesting and if so, I’m sorry.

@glennonrp - helpful. My sprinkler valves are in the ground, that is why I said to look for a valve box.

Those sound like the proper wire nuts to use - watertight.

It is sounding like a wiring problem. The test that I think would confirm that is if at the zone 5’s valve if you would disconnect the wires that are in the wire nut for the pink wire and then run zone 2. If zone 5 doesn’t come on, then I’d say that zone 2 and 5’s wires are somehow connected.

Did this just start? I think the better test is to remove the zone2 wire and run zone 2. If zone 5 runs I would say the controller is energizing the zone 5 wire in the controller

I think it did just start. I’m not positive but I think it would have been more noticeable if it had been going on for a while. We don’t get much moisture so anything wet looks out of the ordinary. I just noticed it happening in the last week.

I’ll have to try switching the wires as you suggest when I get the chance. I will report back.

Currently, i just have zone 5 unplugged at the valve.