New installation not working


Aloha all, I just replaced my Hunter XC controller with the Rachio 3 controller and when testing my zones, I hear a small “pop” noise coming from the solenoids but they do not turn on. This happens for all 6 of my zones. And on the controller it shows a red light over the numbered zone. I tested the system with the old controller prior to installing the new unit and it worked fine. I checked the wires and they seem secure and double checked the wiring from a photo of the old unit and it seems correct. Any help would be appreciated. Attached are photos of the wiring for both units


Hi @808yinzer, welcome to the community.

Sorry to tell you this, but it looks like your current model is battery powered, implying that all of your valves use a DC-latching type of solenoids (identifiable by solenoids having a Red & Black wire pair). Alas your new Rachio will only work with 24V AC solenoids.

Good news is that you will likely be able to replace the solenoids within your 6 valves without actually replacing the rest of the valve (or deal with plumbing). See if you can get a picture of at least one valve / solenoid on the valve (likely looks something like this:, you will likely be able to get a replacement at your local hardware store (such as Existing wires should work as is.



Thank you very much, I will change the solenoids and see if that works.


@Gene Here is a pic of my solenoids, the wire looks like it was red and black, more white and black now but hopefully that is the issue. Much Mahalos (thankyou)


Yep, looks like 2 colors all right. Theory hold true.

Please keep in mind that when you are replacing the solenoids, the zone controlled by the valve will activate, so it is a good idea to turn off the water as you work. Replacement should not take long.

Your new valves will have both wires of the same color, simply take one from each solenoid and connect them together between each other and the white common cable coming from your new controller. You are essentially recreating the big wire-nut with the bunch of wires on your second photo. It may be a good idea to get a new one while you are shopping (ideally a weather proof model, but a regular one with bit of silicone sealant (paint department) may end up being cheaper).

Remaining wires will individually connect to the other zones from your controller. When working with your old wires, it may be a good idea to cut off the exposed, oxidized, end of the wire, up to the insulation, and stip the wires back to expose a bit of the new copper.

Let us know if you run into any issues / have any questions.



@Gene is on it once again! This should be a quick, easy, and cheap fix. You should be able to pick up some new Hunter solenoids at your local big box home improvement store, or possibly save a few bucks and go to a local irrigation wholesale supply company.


Thank you, this will be my next project. I’ll keep you updated.


Ok this is just an update, finally got my ac solenoids in today. Hooked them up and everything runs great. A Giant Mahalo to gene and tmcgahey for the help!! Now I get to figure out how to use the Rachio, lol.


Nice job @Gene and @tmcgahey. Amazing troubleshooting!