No Zones will turn on - Lawn Genie

This is the current wiring for my Rachio system. I cannot get any of my zones to turn on. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

My previous system was a Lawn Genie L71206P

@john_harlan - The wiring looks correct via the photograph. Is there a before photograph with the wiring going into the Lawn Genie?

Can one manually active a zone using the bleed screw on a solenoid?

Does a zone work when using the manual buttons on the controller versus the application?

Is there rain sensor in-line on the common wire?

Do you have access to a volt/ohm meter?


Have you tried resetting your WiFi? Sometimes a reset will fix all issues. Please keep us updated with what worked.

@DLane and @mcermac Thanks for helping me out with this. I have reset the wifi and used the manual buttons to try to fire up a zone and it has not worked.

The system was not working before I added the Rachio unit. I’m not sure how to test the system and am not sure what other factors could be at play here.

Please let me know your thoughts.

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@john_harlan - Knowing that the system was NOT working before the Rachio was added is important. Let’s troubleshoot the sprinklers before worrying about the Rachio.

  1. Some sprinkler systems may have a second water meter just for irrigation, if so make sure the water is not turned off there.

  2. Most sprinkler systems will have anti-siphon, check valves or backflow preventers before the master valve or first valve in the system. There can also be a separate cutoff valve in the complex too. Check to see that those valves are not closed. If these devices are in the ground look for a larger rectangular valve box - probably with a green top.

  3. From the photo above there doesn’t appear to be a master valve in the system. A master valve is used to turn off the water pressure to the rest of the sprinkler system when it is not running to help prevent leaks. Double check that there isn’t a master valve in the installation - look for a round valve cover - probably green.

  4. The valves for the sprinkler system should have a bleed screw on them that will manually activate the valve. The valves will be in a round valve box. If a valve can be manually activated and water comes out of that zone, then we know that there is water pressure to the system and from a plumbing perspective things are working and we can start looking at electrical.

If water isn’t coming out of a zone when its valve is manually activated or if a valve can’t be located, it might be worth it to have an irrigation professional come out and check out the system. I believe Rachio can make some suggestions of folks they work with if you send them your zip code.

Good luck, let the board know the results and if we can provide more hints, tips, suggestions or thoughts.

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@john_harlan Everything @DLane suggested above would be the best place to start when it comes to troubleshooting. If you still can’t get it working after that, write into support and we can find a local pro in your area to come out and take a look.

I had one wire that was loose on one of my celluloid’s that caused one of our stations to not work properly, took a few times of trouble shooting because it would work intermittently. Please keep us updated with your fix, I love my system, since fixing that mine has worked flawlessly.

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Just so you know, Lawn Genie valves can be rebuilt with Irritrol valves, which are a division of Toro. The solenoid is an R811, which you can purchase from any Toro or Irritrol wholesale distributor. Don’t cut out the valves. Buy new Irritrol valves and rebuild them.

Off topic, but funny you mention that. I had a buddy at my house the other day when I noticed I had a station hung open. Went and grabbed a new valve (I have Hunter) and he said he’d give me a hand…He asked me where my shovel was, and I asked him why. He thought we were going to be digging up the valve to replace. I blew his mind when I zipped off the top, replaced the guts, put the new top on and wired in the new solenoid. He has always dug up and replaced his valves! :joy:

Yes. Makes life so much easier

@tmcgahey We call those type of valves a “Pop a top” since you only need to change the whole top without cutting the mainline nor the lateral.

The original post sounds like either the water is off or a common wire is loose.