Help installing gen 2 8 zone unit!

Hey So I just got Rachio 8 zone Gen 2 Unit, but then looked at my wiring and remember how dodgy it was. We got our manifold re done last year, but wires I remember took a little bit of messing around work to get everything working on the old controller. We have Centrifugal Pump, A pump relay, and a master valve. Below I tried to mark up some pics to show how the wiring is. Can some one help me with where the wires would go in the rachio gen 2. I get the zone wires which are clear cut but the pump relay and master valve is whats confusing which i’m guessing you’ll scratch your head when you look at the below pics. I do know that this wiring does work right now…so i’m praying the the rachio will work with this set up also. Please help and Advise:

Stuff both reds in the comm

Stuff both of those mvs (black/blue) in the mv port on the rachio.

Play Vasquez sound bite from aliens.

So i just watched that video…and before I was thinking damn i’m going to have to return that thing based off what rachio said, but if what you said works well damn i def want to give it a try.

So do you think or know it will work with that set up suggested?

Well, I think it will work, unless it puts too much load on the iro with 3 leads pulling current, I don’t see why it wouldn’t?
I know iro can open 2 solenoids, maybe 3 is too much?

I’m no pro, but I would try it on my gear.

Those 2 black wires, are those providing power to your controller, or,do they go into the pump relay?

It actually looks like it provides the power, so if it does, you don’t need to connect those to the iro.

I edited my recommendation above, I feel pretty good about that.

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hey plainsane,
first want to thank you for your quick feedback really appreciate it. I will be reciving rachio tomorrow by delivery.

So those two black wires on left of the controller pic, come from the pump relay. So I belive your initial suggestion was correct? You edited it I was wondering if you could re post it? Let me know what you think, because those two wires are the only communication between the controller and the pump relay/pump.

Also this was rachio response in email just to be transparent. But your initial suggestion seems doable to me unless there is some voltage or load problem on the rachio device? This is the email response from Rachio:
“I understand you are looking for wiring guidance
from your old controller to the Rachio controller. Upon reviewing your
ticket, you mentioned that you have a pump, a pump relay and a master
valve. I have looked over your wiring images, and it looks like it is
too advanced for our controller. The controller is not be capable of
powering the pump, the master valve and then the zones. It is only made
to handle a pump or a mster valve. Feel free to consult an electrician
and/or in irrigation specialist at your own discretion. Here is our Warranty Information otherwise. Let us know if there is anything else we can help with. Thanks!”

I was honestly pretty disappointed with the response slash capability as my set up is pretty common where I live. But with your suggestion you made me dream again!

Can you please re suggest your initial suggestion? or let me know what you guys think


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I’ll post again tonight but based on the picture, those 2 black wires seem to be coming from an Ac/dc power supply that is spliced to go to the pump relay and the controller. This should be the power supply for both the relay and the timer. Rachio has their own barrel plug for power so if you put those black wires into the iro, I’m pretty sure your next task will be putting the smoke back into the iro.

From the email it sounds like the iro can’t push the amperage to run all 3.

Let me google, I think there is something out there that will help

Is that relay the sr-1? I hope so!

What valves so you have?

WOW I’M SUCH a moron. You were correct, I tried to answer, and even labeled the picture wrong. That is short term memory for ya.

So those two black wires towards the left are from the AC/dc power. I was completely wrong in my picture, will edit and here is updated:

So I guess we are back to your edited reply which is still here:

"Stuff both reds in the comm

Stuff both of those mvs (black/blue) in the mv port on the rachio."

So is this supported or work?


I think so, I need to know the valves you have. If you don’t know the model, a brand and year will be enough.

Iro supports 1.3 amp. If what you have is the Sr.-1, then that uses .1 amp. Since we are running 2 additional valves I need to know what the inflow current is, it’s usually .4 amp so that would be .9 amp and yes, it will work.

Hey so they are all Hunter PGV Valves i believe . One or two might be equivalent Rain-bird valves. I have to check.

Crossing fingers.

You’re good, the inrush on that is .35 amp, you will steady state at .5 amp

I think Vasquez is going to sing her song.

YES going to put that on repeat once i see that water coming out by my finger touch.

Will I have to do anything special in software set up interface? Guessing there will be a MV option/Pump on option not sure how the set up interface works just yet.

You will have to enable the master valve option under device settings.

Just recieved email back from rachio support again:

“Like I mentioned before, the controller
is not be capable of powering the pump, the master valve and then the
zones. To clarify, the output from the controller will not be able to
power your master valve, pump and then the solenoids. Unfortunately our
controller is not going to be compatible with your system. Please let me
know if you have any questions. Thanks you.”

Guessing support is misunderstanding the two black power cables power the controller and not the relay/pump? Or??

I’m just going to hope I’m good to go at this point and try.
Thanks Much again

I think you are good to go. I think they assume that the controller is also powering the relay.

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Search for pump start relay. You will see the 1.3 amp limit.

IF YOU HAVE THE Sr-1 irritol relay and hunter pgv, I feel super serial about this.

Hey so looks like I have this controller unit Rain-Bird ESP-8si

Was also thinking, if I manually keep master valve open from manifold, and ignore the MV wire, would that make everything a “proper” set up? Is there a risk, to that. I have an outdoor back flow prev installed last year also.