Rainbird to Rachio 3e install not working

I have 3 zones that were powered by a Rainbird controller and also had a rain sensor attached.

The white wire from the rain sensor plus a brown wire were capped together. The light green and the black were not in use.

I removed the rain sensor and the wires that powered the rainbird.

Here’s the setup I tried. Inserted the brown wire that was capped along with sensor white wire into Common. But no luck. Please help.

What happened to the other wires? I am not sure I completely understand how the Rainbird was wired. How do you know which wires went to the rain sensor (are they the wires going down parallel to the PVC pipe)? It seems more often then not, a rain sensor is wired between the common terminal and the zones’ common wire. In other words, the rain sensor is connected to the common terminal, and the other side is connected with the common wire going to the zones.

Here are the 2 sets of wires that I removed. The first set attached to the Rainbird power supply. And the second set attached to the Rain Sensor. Should I be bringing any of these back?

You should not need to bring either of those back. As you said and it looks like, the light green and black were not connected, correct? That only leaves the brown as something that was hooked up and not one of the zones (red, white, and blue), correct? From what the controller things, all three zones seem to be going, but no water? It looks like you do not have a pump / master valve, correct? I might double check the length of the stripped wires and they are making a good, solid connection. Are you able to get to the box where the wires are connect to the valves to verify the colors?

Light green and black were not connected, I dont think I have a Master Valve and have turned that option off in the app. And I checked all the connections which seem strong. Havent been able to get to the valve box yet, will try that next. May need to return the system if things dont work out. Thanks a lot for trying to help!

Another way of testing might be using a multimeter (if you have one) as described in the following link:

@Ta66 - Let’s try to narrow down the problem to water or wiring.

  1. For water - when is the last time the Rainbird system worked? Was the Rainbird system run to check out all three zones before the change over? Is water turned on to the sprinkler system? Can one of the valves controlling one of the three zones be found and manually activated (turn the solenoid or a bleed screw) - if so, does water come out of that zone?

  2. As @Thomas_Lerman suggested, an inexpensive multimeter (volt/ohm meter) available from Lowe’s or Home Depot can show it the field wire has been cut someplace? Has there been any digging around the yard where the sprinker system is installed?

In the original wiring, is the thin brown wire in MV or Com? The angle of the photo is very deceiving, and I can’t read what is left of the COM, where the thick orange is and dk blue. Looks to me like thin brown is in MV.

If the thin brown is Com, going out to rain sensor, and coming back to the wirenut as white, and going out on thicker brown. So the way you have wired it appears to be correct.

The other way to be sure is to go look at the valve box. One of the colors will be wired to every valve(hopefully brown), and then there will be (Red, White, Blue) going to valves. Also, while there, see if you can manually turn on a valve and get water to come out. That’ll prove you do not have a master valve.

I was finally able to check the valve box today and one of the wires was lose. Things are working now. Thanks!

Glad to hear you got it figured out. A wire loose happened more frequently than it seems many think. Great job!