Jump wire between two zones

I have a 9 zone RainBird ESP 12-LX Plus and purchased Rachio 16 zone.
I looked at my current wiring and I understand how to connect everything. The only confusing part is that I have one jump wire connected between zone 1 and zone 3. So, Zone 1 has one wire coming in, and a second wire going out to zone 3. Zone 3 has only the wire that is coming from zone 1. All other zones have their own single wire.
In my yard, zone 1 and zone 3 are totally different area of the yard. Turning on one zone does not turn on the other zone.

I don’t understand how this is working and how can I set this up on rachio. Here is a picture of my current wiring. You see the yellow wire that is connecting zone 1 to 3.

Yes, that is a mystery. What is that mysterious pink wire, which apparently is terminating somewhere out of view at the bottom left of your picture? I’m also curious about that green wire which is connected to GND from seemingly out of nowhere on the top left.

That being said, I guess your best bet may be to just start pulling wires off and installing them into your new Rachio (congrats by the way). I recommend you connect the two white common wires to different C terminals (you have more than one) and don’t forget to properly label (keep and eye on) the orange wire which is connected to the MV terminal (it will need to be connect to the M terminal of the Rachio), looks like you have a master valve so don’t forget to enable it in the software.


@omidhz - I’m wondering if there isn’t a wire doubler in the field line to deal with a wiring problem. What happens in the current set up if zone 1 is manually run twice in a row? Does zone 3 come on with the second run instead of zone 1? Or if the zones are run backwards (e.g 4, 3, 2, 1)?

If there is some sort of device in the wiring to handle a broken wire or an additional zone (e.g the field wire is only 8 wires with 9 zones), that would play havoc with the flex part of Rachio as it won’t be able to correctly water zone 1 and zone 3. One would be able to use the fixed schedule of Rachio and wire it just like the Raindbird and I think it would work.

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@DLane I think you may be right about the doubler. If it is that, then he could switch that out for an Add-A-Zone to solve that problem. Or run a new wire. There is a pink, red, and black wire hanging out of the box. Maybe those are extras he could tie into out in the field.

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@DLane: You are correct. When I run zone 1 manually twice, first time zone 1 turned on, and second time zone 3 turned on.
In this case, how can I wire my zone 1 and 3 with rachio?

@Sprinklerman: What is Add A Zone? how can I set this up?

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@omidhz - A couple of options. First, thing GTS “add-a-zone” any of the top hits should answer that question (https://www.sprinklerwarehouse.com/RCO-Irrigation-Controlller-Add-Zone-p/add-a-zone.htm). Although I found the instruction manual (page?) lacking in consistency/clarity with the picture.

Off the top of my head here are some wiring options:

  1. Run a new single field wire from the controller to zone 3’s solenoid, find and take out the doubler so it won’t mess up zone 1. Then each zone will have a dedicated wire.

  2. Find and replace the existing doubler device (check the zone 1 valve box first) and replace it with the the Add-A-Zone device mentioned by @Sprinklerman. Wire the Rachio with the Add-A-Zone device connected to Zone 1 and Zone 3 and configure as desired.

  3. Put zone 1 and zone 3 in the same schedule to where they’ll always fire in sequence and wire the Rachio just like the existing Rainbird.

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@DLane: Thank you for your reply. I went with option 3 which was the easiest. I always run zones 1 and 3 in the same schedule.
Everything is working fine now.
Thank you.

@omidhz - You’re welcome. Just remember that the zones can get out of sequence if they are run an odd number of times (e.g. testing zone one only). This would only be important if the duration for the two zones was different by more than a small amount.

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Got it. Thanks.

@DLane @omidhz

Well done.

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