Zones running simultaneously

I replaced an old dial controller with a Gen 2 Rachio a few months ago. I verified all zones as running, but still needed to tweak advanced settings to get reasonable watering times.

Then… we had to dig a new electrical trench in the process. The machine severed the entire bundle of control wires as well as several pipes, a few of which were in the same area. We hired the original irrigation installer to make repairs, and he does not use Rachio.

The installer spliced wires and pipes, and left confident that the system was working.

Knowing that the zones would now be different, and given that I had not spent much time setting up zones, I reset the controller.

All seven zones are working. HOWEVER, I now have multiple zones running simultaneously.

My initial thought was that I have not properly identified the control wire. I’ve swapped that a few times, and the result was that no zones turn on. Alternatively, I guess it could be a problem with pipe splices.

Before paying the installer to return, I thought I would ask the community if this sounds like a piping issue or wiring issue. I appreciate any advice!


Wires at the controller are multicolor (with only two wires sharing the same color). Wires in the severed bundle appeared to be all red, though there may be a white control wire.

What happens if you manually open the valves on each of the zones one at a time (You can manually open a valve by loosening the screw on the valve until water starts coming out of it, I wouldn’t fully remove it)? Does the single zone run then without others? If so, then it could be a wiring issue. If manually opening a valve also releases more than that 1 zone, then it could be a pipe issue or maybe a valve stuck open or something, but hard to give a definitive answer.

If it seems to be a wiring issue, you could try taking the wires off and rewiring a single zone at a time to verify that everything works. I had to do something similar when I mixed wires up replacing one of my solenoids at the beginning of the season. I started by removing the wires (mine were still color coded which helped with keeping my zones consistent) then connecting the common wire to a single solenoid followed by the zone wire and testing that zone. Then connecting the next zone wire and hooking power to that next solenoid into the grouping off the common wire.

I’m not an expert on wiring and such, but going with the manual enable of zones help me isolate the issues I had.


Zach - thank you for the detailed reply. I finally worked on the system this morning, following your advice of manually opening each valve. Turns out the irrigation company had left the valve open on the zone that had was running constantly. I turned it off, and other zones are functioning as desired. Now I can get back to programming the system! Again, thanks for the help.