All wired up and nothing

Hi all. Just got my Rachio 3 wired in. Comparing the pictures it appears I got the wires transferred over correctly. There is a rain and flow sensor in the system, but I’ve left them off for now. I had them wired in earlier, but pulled the wires for trouble shooting.l

Anyway, I go to start setting up the zones and try to test them, but none of them work. I have 11 and none of them turn on. I’m fairly certain the controller is getting the command because I get a push notification that the irrigation is on. I suppose the next logical is something in the wiring, but I don’t know where to begin.

The original controller (Rainbird ME2) worked find this morning, so clearly I’ve missed something. Any ideas how to test? Something? Anything?


From what I can see, it looks good (it is hard to see where all the wires are going on the old controller). It is a good idea to leave the sensors off for now. That could be part of the problem too depending on how the sensor was hooked up. Two areas that I can think of:

  1. Master valve might not be coming on to turn on the water
  2. The common to all zones is not having a good connection

I would suggest:

  1. manually open the master valve
    1. run a zone from the app/controller
      1. *** If the zone works, the issue is probably with the master valve
      2. If the zone does not work, try manually turning on the zone
        1. If the zone still does not work, do you have another valve off?
  2. Manually close the master zone
    1. run a zone from the app/controller
      1. If the zone works, the issue went away it seems
      2. If the zone does not work, try manually turning on the zone
        1. *** If the zone works, probably something with the common to the zones
        2. If the zone still does not work, do you have another valve off?

@crashdb - is the Master Valve option enabled in the Rachio app?

The master valve option is selected in the app. Tried it without it just to be sure.

I have a conversation going with tech support as well and she could see voltage at the zones.

I have to figure out how to check the master valve. There’s not much to it in the outside box. I’ll check for voltage at the two wires first.

I think there are likely two brown wires, you may have accidentally used a wrong one. Try looking for another brown wire and using it with M terminal.

Edit: Nevermind, I see the second brown cable on the second picture, it is not striped back, thus unlikely to have been used, unless you’ve cut the cables off of the old controller.

I’d check the physical water valve feeding your irrigation lines. Sometimes people turn those off during the install, and forget to turn them back on.

A little update: I’m able to open the valves manually. And it looks like my problems are with the master valve. I’m meaning to do an ohm check on it when I get the chance. Either way, I have a pro coming on Tuesday.

When I was testing the valves I could hear the relay buzzing when I turned on the zones via the app. Probably not a good thing and possibly a good clue as to what’s going on. Can a relay be energized in reverse? As in, the Rachio requires the MV wire and Common wire to be reversed compared to the Rainbird. Or does it even matter at all?

I’m hoping to have time to mess with this thing later today.

More updating: Went out and tested the resistance in the master valve. Checks out. I also tried to manually test the valves in the correct order. I opened the master valve and attempted to turn on the zones via the app. No go.

Bad unit? Guess I’ll wait until the professional gets here.

@crashdb - Manually open the master valve and then manually (not via the app) open a zone valve. This will determine if there is water pressure to the system.

Have pressure. Did this unthinkingly the first time I was running through checking things.

So problem solved. See in the picture of the Rachio? The first four zone inputs are unlabeled? Well those first four are actually zones one through four. Not as labeled on the controller.

I feel a little dumb. I saw that and never even tried moving wires over. Wasn’t sure if it’d fry anything; brand new system and all. So lesson learned. Hopefully this will help someone else. Hopefully, Rachio sees it and edits the picture in the instructions or the labeling on the controller.

Thanks all for the help.