RainBird ESP-LX to Rachio 3

Upgrading from a Rainbird ESP-LX modular to Rachio 3 16 zone controller. Current Rain Bird controller is dead. Haven’t been able to test zones before changing over - moved into house recently. Wiring is doubled up in some zones. How should I install that into the Rachio? Do I need to use the 24 VAC IN or Ground or does the outlet plug for the Rachio take care of that?

You can skip / ignore everything on the left. You do have a wireless rain sensor (cable with two yellow, blue and white wires) which you can use with your new controller, here is info on how to hook it up:

On the right, the white cables connected to black terminals are your commons (should be connected to any of the C terminals). Others are zones and can be connected to any of the numbered terminals. Order of these does not matter, during the setup you’ll be able to photograph / name them with something other then a number.

You likely have 16 zone controller, meaning you have enough zones and don’t need to double any of the wires. I recommend you hook up each zone to an individual terminal and see how it goes.

You do not have a master valve, so indicate as such during the setup.

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Hooked everything up as you suggested. Attempting to test zones 1-15 to set up the app / system. I let all zones run the 60 seconds and none of them began watering. Any thoughts ?



Nice job on the changeover and troubleshooting @Ulmquist!

Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one to ever forget to turn on the water supply! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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So I tested the zones a few I didn’t locate. Zone 4 didn’t start watering. Zone 14 was working (backyard - single 360 degree). Any ideas regarding zone four? As previous controller was dead so I don’t know where all zones are.

In case you don’t already have one, I recommend you buy a cheap multimeter at your local home improvement store (about $20), something like this (link) from home depot.

Use an ohm (Ω) setting and measure resistance between zone 4 and your commons (leave commons attached to the controller, but disconnect zone 4. Measure between the zone wire going to the yard and either of the common’s exposed copper.

Let us know if you see any reading, or if meter will display same result as when it is completely disconnected.

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Well! I bought what you suggested. Watched some YouTube and I’m ready for electrician work! Lol!

Tested the zones I know to work and got the steady reading in the 40-60 range. Zone four was all over the place. When I run 14 the back yard runs. Then I. Do a quick run of zone four and I hear the solenoid kick on. I’m going to check for a potential leak in the yard.

I’ll be back with results.

Thankful for this community and the learning I’ve been getting. Lots of reading!

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I figured out zone four. Leak. No rotor installed. Lol. Zone 14 and zone four are in a single file line across my back lawn. Makes sense. Now to just order a sprinkler head!


Glad you found that quick! That could have been a lot of water lost!