Cannot get the wires in (Gen 2)

Is there some trick I’m missing when installing the wires? In the manual it says to use a screwdriver to push down to insert or remove wires. Does that mean hold it down while I insert? Does that mean press it down, release, and then try to insert? I saw at least one youtube video where he says to just “shove” the wires in. Well I’ve tried every combination (but I’d like to just know the correct way) and after about 30 minutes I got one in. That was after stripping the copper on the wire where I already have very little clearance and popping out the “button” from pushing it so damn much. Any help is appreciated.

Are you using a single threaded (solid) copper wire (where the copper part is one thick wire) or a stranded wire (where the copper part is numerous thin wires, like this (link))? If you are using a stranded wire, than you may wish to try twisting all of the little conductors (like this), of an individual wire, together before inserting them into the terminal.

With solid copper wire, you should be able to insert it without use of screw driver, with stranded wires you may need to keep pressing the release button(s) while inserting the twisted strands.

For best results you may need to strip about 1/4th of an inch (about 7 mm) of wire to ensure that you have enough of the wire to connect to.


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It’s solid, here is an image of it currently:

New photo by Michael Scragg

The builder didn’t leave me a whole lot of clearance outside the PVC enclosure. It seems to be enough as the tops of the copper are bending as I’m trying to push them in. Like I said, it took awhile for the first one, even the exposed piece of the copper broke off because of it bending after so many attempts. Luckily for that one it is a little longer, so I was able to strip it down to expose more copper, as for the rest don’t have much room for the “tips breaking off”.

You can always get some wire and create a extension btwn the wires the builder set up & the new piece of wire using a wire nut to connect the 2 pieces of wire. That way you’d have the slack needed to get the wires into the slots without pulling the wires from the PVC pipe too far.

F@seminull sorry to see such short clearance, how is the PVC attached? Please keep in mind that you do not need to bend the wire, it should go straight in, at about 45 degree angle. The capture mechanism of the wire terminals is located under the push “buttons”, so at least half of the exposed wire should end up under the release button.

I am still having issues, I can’t get another wire in and have broken another exposed head from bending it and then straightening it back out so many times. This can’t be so difficult, I am truly regretting this purchase as I’ve spend so much time and not making any progress.

Sorry to hear that you are having so many issues. At the end of the day you will need to find a way to extend the wire, you simply do not have sufficient length to connect everything properly.

If you can not find any slack along where the wire run takes a turn or comes in from outside, you may need to buy a wire terminal like this (link) and a short length of irrigation wire like this (link).

Alternately you can simply unscrew the Rachio from it’s current location and move it down a few inches to give yourself enough slack, the difficult part will be to trim the protective pipe without damaging the wires.

I’m still not sure why you feel like the wire(s) need to be bent, you may wish to get a short length of practice irrigation wire and try different angles to find how to insert / remove the wire without bending the copper core.

Finally I am curious about the number of wires in your picture. You’ve bought an 8 zone version, but I count 9 red zone wires (not counting the Master valve 10th wire), is one of the zones unused?


I appreciate your help, but I think I have enough length as I’m able to push it hard enough to bend the copper inside the catch area.

My previous system had the white wire in ‘C’ and one of the red wires in ‘P’. According to the manual P is the Master Valve. That is why the one red wire I got to catch (after breaking the unit, you can zoom in to see it). The other 8 wires are the zones. (9 red in total).

I may be mistaken, but I count a total of 10 red wires, including the master § wire.

You’re right, here is my original setup. It looks like 2 of them were connected on zone 7.

New photo by Michael Scragg

When I recently installed mine I felt like I had to push the button pretty hard (I used a screw driver) and angle the wire into the hole.


I would also want to make sure you are pushing the terminal into the controller, rather than down/parallel to the controller. Are you still having issues @seminull?

Another thing for you to consider, maybe before you get the wires connected is the attachment of the cover. It looks like the catch for the Rachio cover is going to interfere with the top of the PVC pipe. I know there have been other users that have found the cover very difficult to remove due to the proximity to the incoming wires and conduit used.

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I have just run into too many issues. I have returned it back to amazon, hopefully it’s accepted.

I’m thinking of just getting a rainmachine as it uses screws and doesn’t require me to stretch the wire further than I need to.