Newbie help!

Hi there!

I am trying to upgrade my old system to the Rachio 3. I thought I had gotten it right but no watering is happening regardless of the zone. I just realized that I do not seem to have a common cable. What should I do?!!!

Attaching photo of the old system.


@Arivaden - this looks like part of an Intermatic timer that runs an indexing system. Can you upload a picture showing more of the system. If this is an indexing system, a pump start relay will probably be needed to trigger the pump.

Thank you DLane. I am probably in way over my head with this project. Hopefully the pictures below will help.

@Arivaden - Yep, that is an Intermatic timer - probably running a pump that goes to a indexing valve.

Here is one post describing the installation and full conversion of the system to individual zones. It is a DIY capable job.

The Intermatic timer runs off 120 or 220 voltage depending on what the pump needs.

To complete the install the following will be needed (if not already procured):

  1. External Rachio enclosure (or install the Rachio inside and wires through the wall.
  2. Pump start relay (available from Lowe’s or Home Depot). The Rachio M and C(ommon) wire will run to this device.
  3. Optional, to get best performance out of Rachio, valve manifold with one valve per zone to replace the indexing valve.

How was the Rachio wired up when nothing would water?

Hello! I put the project on hold but decided to not give up :slight_smile: thankfully we had lots of rain over the past few days.

I see that I need a pump start relay. Rachio seems to recommend the Munro brand but went with a Orbit one that I was able to find in Home Depot. Is that a problem? Now, how do I connect the pump start relay to the Rachio and to the pump themselves?

Before finding out that I needed the pump start relay, I had connected the Rachio outdoor enclosure to the power source. I know it works because the Rachio turns on. I have two black wires coming from the pump / valves. What do I need to do? What do I need to change? I only have two zones.

Lastly, does the pump start relay really need to be like 4 ft away from the Rachio? Thanks!!!

@Arivaden - is the water source for the irrigation system the municipal/domestic water supply? I don’t see a pump in the pictures. If so, then return the pump start relay and check the solenoid in the valve. In this configuration it appears the solenoid may use a 120 VAC coil. If so, replace the solenoid with one that has a 24 VAC coil and hook one wire to the Rachio C terminal and the other wire to the Rachio M termninal.

I am confirming the source. Recently bought the house - the wife and I seem to be in disagreement. Anyways, it looks like it already has a 24v solenoid. Should I still “upgrade”?

@Arivaden - no need to upgrade, use the existing solenoid and wire one side to the C and the other side to the M terminal in the Rachio. Then set the Master Valve option on in the Rachio app. Most of the Intermatic installations that I’ve seen posted here in the forum switched the line current and didn’t drop it down to 24 V.

Is there just one zone?

Two zones.

@Arivaden - ok. Then configure two zones in the Rachio. It will turn the master valve on and off to switch between zones. Also, configure a small delay between zones so the indexing valve can change positions. There is an indexing valve that isn’t shown in the pictures, correct?

Success!!! I went ahead and still got a new solenoid. Rachio installed and working (tested the two zones through quick runs). Any special tips on setting up the zones in the Rachio? A million thanks for everything!!!

@Arivaden - with an indexing valve system, one cannot use the Flex Daily type schedules due to the fact that indexing valves are sequential and not random access. Be sure to set the right soil type as that will impact the schedule greatly.