Rachio 3 Wiring Question--Checked Everything And Won't Water


New to Rachio, and have learned a lot in the community. I have what I hope is a simple wiring issue, and hope to take advantage of the group wisdom, please. I have looked through many postings, and have not found where I may have gone wrong

I installed the Rachio 3 over the winter, replacing a RainBird. The system was closed for the winter; at that time everything worked as it has for years. When the sprinkler company came to open the system last week, none of the zones worked. Here is what I have done…

*Took the wiring out and re-attached
*Ensured the Advanced Wiring “Neither” button is checked
*Manually opened valves (water is flowing)
*Checked wiring with meter:
…28 volts when zone is on; 5-6 volts when the zone is off

Below are photos of the RainBird and Rachio setups. The gray wire with wire nuts on the RainBird is the rain sensor, which is not connected to the Rachio.

Thank you for reading this, and thank you very much for your help!


Okay, with the sensor not attached, I see the black wire going to common. Is the black wire, in fact, the common used for the five zones? Are the four wire nutted wires not connected to anything on the other end?

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As @Thomas_Lerman said. Specifically, from the photo it appears that the white wire in the field cable should be connected to the C terminal, not the black.

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Yes, as @Stewart said, the white.

Oh, my. I see it! I put the photos on my desktop monitor and blew them up. I think I may have taken the black wire from the sensor and keyed on that as the common. It most certainly is the white. I changed them and now everything is perfect.

I was probably staring it it too long and needed your fresh eyes.

Thank you again for all the help! I truly appreciate it!

The nutted wires are “dead” zones that ultimately are not used. The previous owner fancied himself a DIYer (he was not). It looks like when he ran into a problem, he just abandoned it. There are some valves that are not hooked up to anything. When we bought the house, we had a pro do some correcting and re-configuration.

Sometimes fresh eyes or thoughts work for each of us. Interesting about the nutted dead zones and valves hooked to nothing. I guess I actually have some, but they are planned for expansions of drip zones.