Common wire

I don’t have a common wire. There are only two wires coming from my solenoid. Do I need to buy a different solenoid. Thanks Bob

@Bob78 - one of those wires will be the common wire. There are two types of solenoids out there DC and AC. Rachio only works with AC (24 VAC) solenoids, one wire carries the current and the other is the common. The common wire runs to every solenoid, that is why it is called common.

Post a picture of the solenoid if there is still a question or concern.

Sounds like you are using an indexing valve (basic mechanical valve which directs water to zones in sequence with each cycle), along with a single master valve to run your zones. These are common in Florida as there is no real worry about freeze damage.
Depending on your controller, the valve is either a 24VAC (in case your controller had a transformer) or a full 110VAC (in case it didn’t), if it’s the latter you’ll need to replace the solenoid (part to which wires are attached, it can be unscrewed from the valve and replaced at a local home improvement store for a similar model rated for 24VAC), but if you take photos of your controller, we may be able to identify which one you have.
Rachio will work with an index valve, if you have one, but you won’t get full advantage of the weather intelligence unless you upgrade to an individual zone valves. If you ever go down that road there are several DIY examples of others going through this process, we can link to some if / when you decide to go down that road.


I took one wire from the solenoid and put it in the common and the other in zone one and it worked. Thanks

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Gene I have a 24VAC valve. I used one wire as common and the other in zone one. You are correct my system uses an indexing valve and I only have two zones. Zone 2 won’t start until zone 1 is finished.
Thanks bob

For best results, move the valve from zone one to “M” (master valve) terminal. Be sure to choose a well option when enabling the master valve as this will give you access to delay between zones and allow your indexing valve to work.

Delay Between Zones - How to include a well in your irrigation setup (

You’ll then be able to enable two zones (numbers don’t matter) and choose 1 minute delay within the schedule. Until you upgrade to individual zone valves, both of your zones will have to have identical settings (plant type, area, slope, etc…) as the controller won’t really know which zone it’s watering at any specific time.

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Gean thanks for the information. I will definitely try that, I do plan on changing it over to individual valves. The way this is setup with one solenoid and an indexing is very confusing I can’t even start Zone 2 without running zone 1. I tried that this morning and it didn’t even work. Zone just kept running.

Thanks Bob

Yes, that’s the problem with index valves. They don’t care about which zone you wish to water, they just make sure every zone gets a turn. You can’t water a particular zone, until you’ve done so with every zone in sequence leading up to the zone you want.