Rain Bird to Rachio 3

Hello all, new guy. Not new to Rachio though. I have the first version back home in NH. Bought a house in Florida with a Rain Bird controller. So I’m purchasing a Rachio 3 cause these babies work great.
I figured it’s a easy install cause I did my first one many moons ago. Well, this Rain bird has a whole different setup. It’s outside so it’s got power connecting it to it but mama mia the wires to me look like all white electrical wires and just 3 colored ones. Some sort of transformer too. I did so much searching that my head hurts. Any guidance?

Ouch, that looks a bit rough. I see:

  1. Left set of terminals (left to right)
    1. 24VAC
    2. 24VAC
    3. ?
    4. Rain sensor (SENS)
    5. Rain sensor (SENS)
  2. Middle set of terminals
    1. Top row (left to right)
      1. Valve test (VT): of course nothing hooked up
      2. Master valve (MV): none
      3. Common (COM): looks like two wires
    2. Bottom row (left to right)
      1. GUESS Zone 1
      2. GUESS Zone 2
      3. GUESS Zone 3
      4. GUESS Zone 4
  3. Right set of terminals (left to right)
    1. GUESS Zone 5
    2. GUESS Zone 6
    3. GUESS Zone 7

Actually, I see numbers that seem to indicate the guesses on the zones might be right. So, I may have figured out almost all of them. Do you know the model number which might be helpful?

The trickiest part looks like it might be power. It looks like you might have 120VAC hardwired to the transformer in the Rain Bird. With the Rachio, it has a transformer that plugs into an outlet. Is the Rain Bird somewhere like on the back of the garage that it might be easy to run the Rachio power inside to plug in (and hopefully disconnect the existing power)?

With it outside, you will want a waterproof box for the Rachio if you do not have one.

With the wires in the worst case, I would take each wire one at a time, label, remove, and attach to the right place on Rachio. Then, move to the next wire until you are done.

3 is GND (ground)

Thank you.

The rain bird model is EPS-ME. I figured easy search but there’s a whole bunch of them outhere with those letters. No model numbers anywhere. It’s got to be at least 10+ years old.

Yes it’s mounted outside and I got the waterproof box.

The zone 1 is throwing me off cause there’s 2 wires connected to the terminal.

I wondered about those two wires. I wonder if two valves get turned on with that . . . like someone ran out of zones on the controller so combined two. You might try disconnecting one, run that zone to see what goes on and then switch to the other wire to see what it does.


I’ll check it out. I went thru all the zones, mark down all heads and came up with 7 zones. I’ll start taking it apart when the sun goes. I’m taking a beating with this Florida sun last couple of days. Thanks

Looks like the one that was doubled up was another front yard zone. So I got 8 zones hooked up and all are running.

Just the wiring was the challenge. System must have been installed many many moons ago with 5 white stiff electrical wires. At some point 3 more zones where installed using correct colored wires. I’ll clean it up and make it neat.

My only question now is, the rain sensor. The original setup had 2 terminals for the 2 wires on 1 sensor. The Rachio has 2 terminals for 2 sensors. Do I split the red and black to each terminal?

We are so glad that you have everything worked out with the wiring, except the rain sensor. With the weather intelligence, you may not even need the rain sensor unless you want more localized measurement. Rachio can take two sensors, so the sensor would hook one wire to, say, S1, and the other wire I would refer to the following page:

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