So we have arrived at the point where one of your zones is not watering when it is programmed to do so.
We need to determine first if we are working with a Software or Hardware issue.
The best way to determine this is try and run zone in question Manually.
If it runs manually its safe to say Your Wiring and Hardware are working properly and you should check the Software section. If your zone still did not come on, then we can skip down to the Hardware section.
Let's start by checking the Water History by navigating to Settings > System > Water History. This is best to be done on the RainMachine Web interface as it can show more details along with the Reason column.
Here we can check to see if a Restriction or Setting is preventing the unit from watering.
Restrictions are usually easy to identify on the other hand the zone Settings need some more investigation:
1. Check if the zone is not inactive this is easy to spot as they are grayed out. This can be changed from zone settings.
2. Check the precipitation forecast in the dashboard. If there will be rain there might be no need to turn on the zone. Some zones vegetation might have higher water requirements than others so it's possible that some zones start and some don't. For example a zone with Vegetables have almost double the watering requirements of a zone set to Xeriscape.
3. Check Available Water for the zone. For example on Web Interface go to Zone properties and click the Show Graph button next to Field Capacity. This should show if the zone has available water from rain events, and it's not necessary to start the irrigation.
How to fix:
- Available Water increases after a precipitation event and it's "taken out" from the soil by Evapo-Transpiration and the value is saved at program run. The quantity of Available Water that can be saved depends on the Field Capacity of the zone. If the soil looks dry and you think that the zone should have started you can reduce the field capacity using the +/- buttons or choose a more appropriate soil type for your zone. IMPORTANT: Even if the soil looks dry on the surface it might still hold moisture at the plant root depth.
- If RainMachine registered more precipitation than it actually was you can either decrease the Rain Sensitivity or augment RainMachine with another Weather Service for improved accuracy.
- If you wish to completely remove the saved values for Available Water the program should be deleted and recreated. This will affect all the zones in the program. A mobile application update is planned to allow per zone management of Available Water.
4. Check if program uses Adaptive Frequency by going to program setting. If enabled the RainMachine won't start a zone if the duration is too small to be beneficial. This is usually safe and recommended to be left on. If you do not with this behavior this this zone, a separate program without Adaptive Frequency can be created and the zone added to this program.
Hardware issues are the hardest to track down, but with a few simple steps we should be able to pin point the problem.
First thing you want to do is to swap the non working zone with a working zone.
Example 1: Zone 3 is not working.
We swap Zone 3 and Zone 4, and afterwards Zone 4 is not working.
By process of elimination we can determine that the issue lies in the Wiring to Zone 4 or the valve/solenoid on Zone 4.
Example 2: Zone 3 is not working.
We swap Zone 3 and Zone 4, and afterwards Zone 3 is still not working.
At this point we would want to use a volt meter to test Zone 3 while activated to confirm the RainMachine Zone 3 is no longer supplying power. In this case you would need to contact RainMachine Support.
Example 3: Program stops after a zone, Watering History shows 00:00 running time for that zone.
Try to remove the zone wire from the RainMachine connectors and reschedule the program that didn't finish with a start time in the next 5 minutes. Allow program to run. If it finishes properly the zone solenoid is either shorted or stuck and generates an over-current that triggers the protection on RainMachine.
Another issue that may arise is if more then 1 zone has stopped working.
In this case you would want to take a close look at your "Common" wire. If there was a break in the wire, all the units down stream of the break would not have a completed circuit and would not work.
If the above steps did not help in fixing the issue and your programs are still having trouble running then it may be necessary to Factory Reset your controller.