Validating Rainbird ESP-Modular Configuration


In my reading so far, I don’t think my Rainbird configuration is particularly unique, but I was wondering if someone might be able to validate that this would be a straightforward migration from my current Rainbird setup to a Rachio 16-zone setup?

Below is my current setup. I don’t really know much about it, but I believe there’s a Master Valve (MV) and there’s an external (and defunct) rain sensor (SENS) which I won’t be using with the Rachio.

The AUX one is a bit confusing to me, but I suppose it may just be acting as a 13th zone?

Any experts out there able to tell me whether or not this is just a straight-forward swap, or are there some things that I would need to change/workaround when moving to Rachio?

Thanks for any help!

Hi karlhungus,

Thanks for reaching out! Your wiring should be pretty straight forward. You’ll move your MV (Master Valve) wire to your M terminal in your Rachio. Your COM (common) will go in your common port, and then your zones will go in order 1-12. Your Aux may be just like you said, acting like a 13th zone. The Aux was designed to bypass your rain sensor so if you have any zones that cannot be skipped, it will run even with the sensor activated. This will act as a normal zone.

You won’t need to use any of the wires in your upper left corner (24VAC, SENS, GND), those provide power to your RainBird controller and sensor. Since your sensor is defunct, you’re all set to not move those wires over. If you decide to get a rain sensor, let us know and we can help with your wiring!

Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be happy to help!

Have a great night,

Thanks Krista, I’ll definitely follow-up if I have any issues.

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Hello karlhungus, a helpful tip for your replacement if I were you I would label the zones/wires to what number they are as you unhook each zone. I just did the same job and replaced the same exact controller for my sprinklers as you are doing. I have different color wires for each of my zones (8 zone configuration), and some zones have duplicate colors. I took a picture of my wires before unhooking them and labeled those duplicate color wires so I wouldn’t mix them up when I reinstalled them on the Rachio 8 zone controller and including hooking up my irrtrol wireless rain sensor. Also, it’s a good idea to label them because when you unhook each zone in your case you will need to hold and squish all those wires together to pass them out thru the controller box when removing your old rainbird, and with your configuration (same color wires) they may get mixed up if not labled.

Hope this helps,


The transition is not difficult. Just swap the wires into Rachio and set up each zone according to plant type, soil type, slope, sprinkler type. The auxiliary terminal on the Rain Bird can be used as a another valve or an auxiliary zone for landscape lighting, filling a pond, etc that you set up on a different program. Rachio is great. I switched from a Toro Evolution with a soil sensor. Rachio is so much better.