Rachio 3 in Europe (PL) does not stop watering - valves & solenoids are ok

to days ago I have launched my new Rachio 3 with new 6-zone watering of my wife’s garden.
Unfortunately, I hit some troubles and need help.

Rachio app was able to start watering for each of the zones, but it was not able to stop it - for none of them. I mean:

  1. “test runs” during zone setup. Here it started watering, reported end of watering, but actually water was flowing.
  2. manual run from the app. the same behaviour
  3. manual run from the console. Neither “stop” nor “pause” button did stop actual watering though sometimes when I was switching to another zone it stopped watering.

I found an article that it might be that DC valves would behave like that, but I do have AC valves (Hunter PGV-100G-B 1"). So that’s not the case.

To make it more strange, when two zones were scheduled for watering, starting a new zone (or switch to a new zone) was stopping watering of the previous zone.

Now I do not know where to search for the problem.
Does polarity of cables attached to the valves have any meaning - despite this is AC? Should I try changing them or “short-circuiting” manually to see if valve reacts at all?

I must say I bought Rachio 3 with great hopes - for convenience and for bringing some modern high-tech home. I am disappointed at the moment, though of course I cannot exclude this is a problem with wiring or valves themselves. Though “valves” I assume as not very likely - all 6 of them are brand new, all six from Hunter, “professional-grade” (at least that is what Hunter writes about them).

Any suggestions on how to diagnose the problem and what to check (and of course - how to fix it) would be very useful.

yesterday I have tested the solenoids and Rachio 3 in a simplified configuration - just with one valve.

  1. polarity has no meaning (As expected, but I felt so confused and topic is new to me, so I needed to work all hypothesis from ground up). The solenoids are meant for AC (Hunter PGV 100B-G).
  2. Ration sends current to the solenoid, opening the valve - all nice and as expected. BUT when it says that it finished watering OR when I press “stop watering button” - Rachio console leds signal watering is finished, Rachio app says the same, yet solenoid gets current despite this. Thus watering continues. Getting power off or wire out helps to force stop it.
  3. Thus - solenoids are ok, they open when there is current, and close - when there is none. Valves are not stuck. Only once suspect remains on scene - Rachio 3 and something inside that should break the circuit, when told to do so, by the app, but does not manage to do it.
  4. I do not use a standard power supplier, as I live in Poland, and have not only different power outlets (this I could easily adapt mechanically), but also different voltage. Or, would the Rachio adapter work with ~230V?

I have reported both the problem and the aforementioned diagnosis to Rachio support, but got nothing back. I suppose I will send the controller back.

Any help, comments, advise?


I guess I have it - thanks to Gene replying to someone in New Zealand.

It appears I got the power adapter the turns AC into DC :frowning:
Dumb me. Am I living prove, that (former) software engineers should not touch hardware? :wink:

I will get a proper AC / AC adapter and now I expect everything to work as imagined. Will let you know.



@Stan.B - Thanks for posting an update. I don’t know that I would have figured that one out.

No, the Rachio adapter won’t work with 230 V, it would supply twice the voltage (48 VAC) the unit is expecting.

So get a 230 V AC/AC transformer (aka power brick or adapter) that outputs 24 VAC with 1 AMP or 1000 mA (milliAmps) or so of current. The other option is a power converter from 230 -> 120 infront of the Rachio power adapter, but I would favor a native power adapter.

Welcome to the community.

1 Like

do try the international category if you hit a wall, helps sometimes.

@DLane Thanks for your answer and suggestions. It appeared it was not so easy to get appropriate transformer in Poland. The only ones still on sale had to low amperage. I found appropriate AC/AC in Germany (amazon.de), but… they do not deliver anywhere outside, 'cos they do not handle international VAT. Grrr…
Fortunately my boss works in Germany and will bring me one transformer in a week time. Good 'cos starting from tomorrow we shall have above 30 degrees Celsius.

@sbarnhard thanks as well. Actually I found help in the international category (I mentioned it in my first post, someone from New Zealand had a problem), but I do not know how to make my posts to fall into that category.

Thanks guys and cheers,

Hi everyone,

great moment today. I got appropriate AC/AC transformer and my Rachio 3 started to work flawlessly!
All the symptoms vanished (I repeat for future reference):

  1. valves opening but not closing, despite Rachio claimed they closed - and this happening both from the app and from the physical buttons
  2. device restarting from time to time (quite often), especially after pressing buttons “next” and “start/stop”.

For reference as well: as I live in Europe, I could not use the original (American) power transformer. I got one from the internet, but - by some mistake - I got all the parameters right, with the exception of TYPE of the output current, which should be AC and not DC.

Getting the right one (not that simple, I found mine on amazon.de, but had to ask someone from Germany for buying and bringing it for me) solved the problem.

I hope this helps international user community.

Now i can move on - to assessing of soil type :open_mouth: