Using meter to test outputs


I have a gen 1 unit and am attemting to use a meter to test the outputs before replacing my existing controller. I am manually turning on different outputs and measuring the continuity between common and the output. The blue light on the controller comes on when I sand the command but I get no closure. I wanted to make sure that I should be able to use a meter for this testing


Unfortunately, you cannot use a meter to test Gen 1 controllers. The power comes from the faceplate, and I can’t think of a way to use the meter while simultaneously having the faceplate on. Did you buy your controller new or used?

McKynzee :rachio:


I am running a 3’ length of wire from the terminals to test with. I had purchased it as a refurb’d unit from


@Thedoge, just curious, how are testing with your meter? Here’s a good video on the basics of different ways to test your wiring using a multimeter.

If you’re experiencing issues with your existing controller, I’d recommend using an Ohmmeter to see if you have any issues with your field wiring. Here’s another good video on the topic.


I am using an Ohm meter. I am testing continuity between common and all of the zone outputs and am not obtaining a closure on any of them when I manually activate the zone output. The blue status light on the unit comes on when I send the command but no closure. It is looking like I have a bad unit


Zones do not short to common to operate. Instead they apply 24VAC to the output. I’m sure Rachio is using triaks, so you can’t use OHM meter on a line without having a VALVE connected. To test connected zone, use an AC voltmeter to make sure that an active zone gets 24 VAC with the valve connected. If you do an OHM test while the zone is OFF, you will get an impedance across your water valve, allowing you to test that valve connections. If you get an open circuit across the valve, you need to make sure that the valve side connections are good and none have came loose.

In any case test AC voltage between an active zone terminal and C terminal, you should get about 24VAC. If you don’t have a valve connected, DO NOT test AC amperage, rachio is not designed for low impedance high amperage loads (type of load a multimeter testing a current would represent), make sure you are using some impedance (such as a valve or a 10k+ resistor) between zone terminal and common and use voltage test to verify operation.


OK. I had thought that I would be providing power to the common and then when the output closed it would then go to the valve. I did not realize that there was already 24v at the common. I will retest with this info.


@Thedoge Let us know how it goes! If there is an issue with your unit I can open a support ticket for you and get things sorted out…


@Gene, this is correct :thumbsup:

@Thedoge, think of the common and valve wire creating a loop with the controller and solenoid – however the common is a shared leg to the loop for each individual zone.

Let us know if you need any additional help testing your wiring.

Out of curiosity, have you attempted to connect the valve wiring to the controller and test your zones using the remote? Sometimes that’s easier than pulling out the voltmeter :slight_smile: