Rachio 3 zones not watering

A 2017 Rachio 2 came installed in my house that I purchased in 2019, and it worked great until a month ago when it stopped powering on. A multimeter showed that the power adapter worked, so I figured the controller died for some reason and ordered a Rachio 3 as a replacement. I hooked up the Rachio 3 today, and when running zones, it says it’s running, but no watering occurs.

The multimeter shows the Rachio delivering 29 VAC when zones are powering on, so does this mean that the Rachio is working properly, and troubleshooting must be done on the irrigation side? This is my first time looking into this sort of thing, so any guidance or pointers to information is appreciated.

Rachio 2 wiring: https://imgur.com/a/gNFdlsZ
Rachio 3 wiring (just zone 1 activated): https://imgur.com/a/LbVQXaW

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I presume you have not tried the other zones? It looks like you do not have a master valve or pump, so that can be ruled out. Also, it looks like you have some sensor, but that is not hooked up at this time, so that may also be ruled out. I would suggest looking at some website such as the following to help you diagnose the problem with your multimeter: How to Use a Multimeter for Irrigation | Home Guides | SF Gate

Thanks, I’ve tested all zones, and none work (but diagram just shows one hookup). I just tried manually turning the valves, and they do not turn on, so I guess that means there’s some bigger issue outside of the controller issue.

Ah, good diagnostics. None of the valves turning on means that likely something before the valves. Are you in an area that the city turns off the irrigation water? Whether or not it is culinary or irrigation water, do you know of any valve that is before the sprinkler valves?

Thanks for your help, but I had my local irrigation company come out after I couldn’t get any of the zones to activate manually. It turns out there’s a master zone I didn’t know about that must be activated before any of the zones will work. In the Rachio 2 diagram, the master cable is the black one that looks like it used to be plugged in to S2. I guess it became unplugged at some point coincidentally when the controller died, maybe when I removed the face plate? I now have the master hooked up properly, and all zones turn on (https://imgur.com/a/YfU5qqQ).

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Ah, that explains it, I was thinking the black was plugged into a sensor. Sorry about that! Definitely glad it is working now! Are the dark & lighter blue wires some sensor(s)?

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Haha no worries, there’s no way you could have known. Ya the blue ones are related to a rain sensor that the previous owners set up. I don’t find it very helpful, so I don’t plan on hooking it up.

With Rachio connecting to other weather stations in your area, I would agree that I probably would not hook up a rain sensor unless I really wanted a backup because I frequently get hyper-local rain that does not hit areas around me. If I had a weather station (hope to get on some day), I would want that connected.

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Was it actually plugged into S2, and not M? I don’t understand how it would function that way…

In other words, it was not plugged into S2.