Rainbird ESP-8Si to Rachio 3

I replaced my Rainbird ESP-8Si with the Rachio 3 controller. When I got to the test zones part of setup, the zones are not activating. It worked prior to repacking the Rainbird. And there were only 3 wires: Red for Zone 1, Blue for Zone 2, and a White coms wire. I put the red into the 1 slot and blue into the 2 slot and tried the white wire in both C slots.

What do I do next?

Rainbird Wiring

Rachio Wiring

Do the corresponding LED’s light up for zone 1 or zone 2 light up when you test that zone?

Not sure how, but after being out of town for a week, i just tried the system again, and it worked. so maybe it fixed itself??? Weird.


Any ideas on what the fix could’ve been? I just bought the Rachio R3 and also replaced a ESP-8si and I’m having the exact same issue. Everything seems to be wired properly, especially after comparing to your pictures, but the zones don’t activate.

@kdon - can pictures of the before and after wiring be posted?

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

Do the zones activate when the manual bleed screw or solenoid is turned?

Was the system tested immediately prior to converting to the Rachio?

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Was this ever resolved? I am considering this same upgrade and want to know if its a simple answer or required some other adaptation.


@Dklepac - should be easy and straight forward. Post a picture of the existing wiring and I’ll comment.

I also recommend running the existing system real quick on each zone to make sure there are no plumbing or wiring issues before the switch over.

And in a later post trbrooks73 said it was working.

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