Issues with Main Valve and Zones not turning on

My zones will not work unless my main valve solenoid is manually open or my bleeder is open. Do I need to break out the multi-meter to see if the solenoid is bad? Or could this be another issue? Just set my system up and I thought everything was working OK.

Thanks in advance

Has it ever worked, or is this a new Rachio setup?

If new, have you confirmed it is wired up correctly (can post a picture here for us to see)? Assuming it is wired up, did you tell Rachio in the setup that it needs to control a master valve?

Yeah, to my knowledge the main valve has worked. Yes, I have the setting turned on for the Main Valve and all my wiring should be connected properly (I can hear clicking at each valve when I turn my station on remotely; I’m assuming this is the solenoid working?)

The Hunter Pro-C that was previously installed worked fine when I turned on the switch for each station. The kicker to the Pro-C that is super weird is that I had to turn station #1 on before any other station would receive pressure and turn on.

I’m going to check my wiring and possibly change out the solenoid tomorrow with one from another station to see if I can start narrowing down the issue.

After that I’m going to try and clear out the exhaust port of the solenoid.

I have had a pretty major leak in the past on the city side of my water meter and I always thought that this messed up my pressure and my lines.

If station 1 needed to be energized with the Hunter, it sounds like that is the master valve and would need to be wired as such with the Rachio.

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I would also be interested in the common wire as well. Pictures are worth a thousand words.

I have the M wire hooked up. I also attached what my previous Hunter Pro-C set up looked like versus the Rachio set up.

I added the pictures.

I still think the Hunter may have been wired wrong. If you needed to have zone 1 on before the others would work, that has to mean that zone 1 is wired to your master valve.

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I agree with @tmcgahey, try switching station 1 and M on the Rachio.

Took off solenoid and tested with a car battery and had a spark. I believe the solenoid is OK.

I cleaned out solenoid exhaust port. That should be OK.

Cleaned off diaphragm.

At this point I think there is a short in the main valve wiring (testing with a multi-meter tomorrow) or it’s the diaphragm.

Switching M and 1 didn’t work. I think my wiring at the controller is OK

I switched M and 1 and everything station #1 doesn’t work.

Keep in mind nothing has worked when the main valve solenoid is manually closed. I have to open it manually for anything to work.

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I would probably disconnect the wires at the master valve and the wire going to the M terminal and ohm the red wire should get OL. If it has resistance it is probably shorted to ground somewhere. Has there been any work or digging in the yard? If the controller isn’t too far away and you have some spare station wire around you could always run a temp wire on the ground out to the master valve. Just some thoughts and some stuff I have done to troubleshoot in the past. Good Luck!

I had tree borders put in. Where the red circle is drawn is the spot I’m thinking could have been cut (my sketch is not to scale btw. By the looks of it the tree border in red is fairly close). I’m not too sure if it’s a straight shot from the main valve to the controller or not.

Good idea using extra wire. I will have to go buy some from the hardware store. It’s about 40’-50’ from valve to controller.

Going to buy a multi-meter tomorrow to see what’s up.


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Look ma we made it :slight_smile:

So I switched out solenoids from the main valve and station #3 and station #3 works with the main valves solenoid. Rule that out.

I ohm’d out all the stations at the controller and the only one getting a crazy reading was #4 at 35 ohms. The main valve was around 25/26 (at the controller and at the valve). Rule the wiring out.

So I’m thinking it could be the diaphragm and the whole valve needs to be replaced.

What do you guys think?

Very possible. Manual operation might allow more movement of the solenoid plunger, which would allow the valve to function. Depending on what valve you have, try to find the same one and just replace the guts. No need to cut out the valve body, just replace diaphragm, bonnet, and solenoid while yours at ut (they usually come complete).

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Sounds good. Looks like I need to buy the whole valve to buy the bonnet so I might as well do that and just use the new parts. I will keep you posted.

I tried the hard reset and wifi reset and none of that worked.

I also tested voltage for the main valve voltage and at the controller it was the standard reading around 26/27 but at the valve it was 10 which I thought was weird. The ohms were normal for the main valve which I don’t get.

Keep you guys posted tomorrow.

If you were only getting 10VAC at solenoid you have a knick or bad splice and when under load the voltage is going to ground. You need 24vac to fire a solenoid.
From what you posted, you have a wiring issue. Check all your splices and also.anywhere you have done recent construction in ground.
Lastly, rent a wire tracker and trace path to find damage.

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@rangerirrigation is right. 10vac is too low for a solenoid. I’d start with the easy stuff, make sure the wire nuts are all solid and in good shape. From there you might be looking at new wiring to the master valve.

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