Continuous Sensor Activated/Deactivated?


Is this a bug with the Rachio 3? I recently switched from the Rain Bird controllers to R3’s and I am getting these?

Can you post a photo of the wiring? We have a few amazing people in this forum that can help out.

It is more than likely a wiring issue and not software. We have no known software issues with the rain sensor.


I am also getting these on My Gen 3 . There has been some past discussion that the rain sensor might need to be cleaned. In my case, I was getting these PLUS a LOT of Power Cycles. After working with support, I unwired and turned the rain sensor off. I was still having problems, and the support staff sent me a new replacement controller (LOVE that Rachio stands behind it’s product!!!). New controller installed and Power Cycle problem seems to be gone.

I had the activate/deactivate happen once on Aug 22, and then not again until after Florence came through, and I was getting them constantly. The sensor was replaced last November (I had been having similar problems on my Gen 1). My hardware guy seems to think that the rain sensors rarely fail, but now that my controller is again working well, I’m going to start arguing with him that it might just need cleaning. That storm could definitely have gotten some debris into it. It would be worth looking at yours if the wiring looks correct.

I have 7 or the R3’s around town, all with rain senors connected. 5 are the Rain Bird WR2, 2 are Irritrol. All units are behaving similarly with the activated/deactivated deal. Attached are screenshots from my 6 other units, as well as an install pic of one of the WR2’s.


@Gene @DLane :wink:


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The wiring, at least on the Gen 3 unit shown, looks good. Have your customers been getting any rain at all during this time? What is the central zip code of the area?

If you get a chance, it would be helpful to get a picture of the WR2’s LCD readout from one of the locations which shows increased activity.

Are the Irritrol sensors wired or wireless?

All of the wiring is exactly the same as the pic attached. I installed them all on the same day.

One of the screenshots I attached is from the wiring photo I attached.

It’s been raining off and on during this whole time of Activated/Deactivated alerts.

The Irritrol units are also wireless.

The WR2 displays look correct. If you manually engage the WR2, the Rachio3 senses it as it should. Same thing when you disengage the WR2, the Rachio3 also senses this.

A quick random theory comes to mind… wonder if it has anything to do with the controllers being in “standby mode”? I doubt this has anything to do with it, but just a thought…

Based on everything you’ve mentioned, it sounds to me that the system works as intended.

Please keep in mind that when the rain sensor is activated due to rain, the spongy material within rain sensor physically soaks up water and triggers when a preset threshold is reached (you can adjust threshold on the sensor and/or the receiver unit). In order to reset, the absorbed water needs time to drain / dry out which can take a long time if the weather is overcast, during high humidity and due to additional rain.

If the weather doesn’t clear out for long enough time, sensors will stay “tripped” indefinitely, while waiting for a chance to dry out.

The reason why I asked for a picture of the receiver unit from one of your WR2’s installs is that threshold may be set too low. Just because the unit has reached the threshold and tripped, doesn’t mean that the outside sensor does not continue to absorb moisture which in turn will require a longer time to dry out to reach a low preset.

@though - how about the batteries in the remote units? I don’t know what would happen if the batteries are not providing enough juice to broadcast back.

Have the remote units been cleaned recently?

What happens when the units are manually tripped?

I’m assuming that when the rain sensor option is turned off on the Rachio, the messages stop. Correct?

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Hi @Gene,

I understand that they will stay tripped for as long as it takes to dry out. That’s not the issue. The issue is that I get a notification at 3:42p that it’s dry and ready to go! Then get another notification the same minute (3:42p) that it’s wet and “tripped” again.

Not once did this happen when I was using all 7 sensors with Rain Bird WiFi controllers.

@though, yes, I see what you are talking about.

It will be a good questions for @franz as to what signal conditioning / software debouching is being done with the rain sensor data. As the rain sensor dries / gets closer to the set point, parameters like wind and temperature can cause a “noisy” signal and I would not rely on the rain sensors / receivers themselves to do any sort of signal conditioning.

@though Our firmware engineers are researching this behavior on the controller. Will let you know once they’ve determined what could be causing this.


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The sensor simply is open or closed. The Rachio takes that info and does what it’s supposed to do with it.

Having said that, I just winterized my systems today for the season. I will circle back on this issue when I get them up and running again in April/May. I will probably put new batteries in all of the sensors too, whether they appear to be needed or not. It’s possible that the sensors could be going off/on randomly, with a weak battery, and thus triggering the Rachio to send the Activate/Deactivate notifications.

Having said that, it may be best to delete this thread and start a new one next season if the problem persists.

Thank you, @franz.

My rain sensor is a wired Hunter Mini-Clik that is having the same symptoms as @though on my Rachio 3. My controller is still operating (we JUST got our first fall day today in NC — It’s been pretty darn hot for too darn long).

I have exactly this behavior. The unit SEEMS to work correctly, but I get the activated decativated report often.


@though I have a WR2 on a Gen 2 and it triggers activated and deactivated a lot during a weather event. Like within one minute or so. Makes no sense. It’s done this since day one.

I’ve got a wireless Irritrol sensor that never does that. It activates when needed, then deactivates normally.

I recently disabled the sensor setting.


I have both WR2’s and Irrirol wireless sensors dispatched. I’ve noticed this exact behavior with both brands/models.

I want to make sure that any units that are doing this have new batteries installed in them before I say for sure this is a Rachio issue. A theory that I have is that, for example, maybe a sensor is triggered (wet) and you get notified. Meanwhile, the battery is low/intermittent on the wireless transmitter and it comes back online and wet. The Rachio may treat this info as a dry/wet event thus getting 2 additional notifications because of the low/intermittent battery.

I have no idea, just tossing out ideas…

@though, I have the same problem and my Hunter Mini-Clik is hard wired.


Are you 1,000% sure that your connections are solid and no breaks in the wire?

Nope. But I’m 99.9% sure