Was working, no more

Rachio 2. Worked recently, had a guy add a head… Went to test and didn’t work. We turned it on manually with valve, can’t turn on with app or with controller buttons. the guy that installed the head said there was nothing in the ground as far as wires so that shouldn’t be an issue.

I restarted the controller and reconnected the Wi-Fi but still nothing. I do have a rain sensor but it is not hooked up nor has it been. I did an ohm test with the controller on standby and got 35-45 ohms. No indication of a broken wire.

I opened a ticket with rachio last night but still no response. Of course this happens during a heatwave. If you guys have any ideas I would be grateful.

Check to be sure your service guy did not turn off the water to the system at the meter or backflow. Try to find a valve box with a. Electric valve in it and see if you can manually get the zone valve to come on.

Yeah forget to mention, water is on in both spots. Yes the water comes on in the valve box when the screw is turned on manually.

I did notice there was an app update on June 8, the day they new head was installed… Not sure if that’s a coincidence.

Take a multimeter and confirm that you are getting power to the wires in the box (I think power is present when the zone is on in the controller). It should be 28 VAC.

I had a contractor do some work on my sprinklers that involved digging and afterwards nothing worked. After complaining a lot, the contractor finally referred me to a guy who has some kind of electrical sensing device used to find broken sprinkler wires. That guy found the break … right where the first contractor was digging. Yeah, the first guy cut the sprinkler wire and didn’t tell me or didn’t notice (likely the former). Fun times.

thanks for the input.

I actually did that a few hours ago. I tested the volts when the system was NOT running, got 2.3 volts. Then I started a zone and got just over 25 volts on both the zone running and the master valve wire (M)

I did ask the guy if there were wires that he may have nicked, he claimed there weren’t any. He did an ohm test before he left, I did one yesterday also, all zones gave a normal reading. I guess I can take up the sod and check for myself.

would one cut wire make the whole system shut down?
side note, the valve box is full of water… maybe I should clean it out to get a better look at things. Wires are not submerged.


My Gen 2 stopped working on Jun 8 as well.

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hmm, same thing? says it’s watering but it’s not?


No need to rip up sod yet. Try the following troubleshooting.

On your controller, remove the common wire C and the wire for the zone that is not working. Use a multimeter to measure the volts (AC) between the C terminal on the controller and the terminal for the not working zone. It should read 0 volts when the zone is off and something like 24-28 volts (AC) when the zone is on. If this works, then the controller works and the problem is somewhere else.

Next test the wires by reconnecting the common wire and the zone wire and repeating the same test on the other end of the wires in the valve box (connect the multimeter to the other ends of the wires and turn the zone off and on). If the readings are roughly the same as they were at the controller, then the wires from the controller to the valve box are fine and the problem is somewhere else.

At this point, the problem is either the sprinkler solenoid or the valve itself. You can troubleshoot this by changing the solenoid on the not working zone with one on a zone that does work or a new solenoid. If it still doesn’t work, then there is something wrong inside the valve. You can take it apart and clean it and see if that helps.

@LawnNoob, I think you might find the problem inside the valve box holding the water. Most likely you have a bad connection possibly due to a non-waterproof connector. And yes if the problem is on the common side it will take out all your valves. Good luck.

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Hello there thanks for all that, well I will start by saying none of my zones are working. So I proceeded with your tests with only doing two of the six zones I have.

That being said I had a good volt reading at the controller. I proceeded to the valve box, got a 0 when it’s not running and got another zero when I turned the zone on. I proceeded with another zone and tested it when paired up with the valve wiring as well, all 0 voltage.

What is that telling me? I didn’t proceed to your next step since step 2 that you mentioned my system failed. Thanks again and I did take the opportunity to dig out the valve box and get rid of all the water.

it does look like some of the wire nuts are not waterproof but regular ones with some silicone. I’m going to probably replace all those as soon as I get to home Depot to get some new ones

The controller is working.

Your controller is putting out power when the zone is on, but it isn’t making it to the other end of the wires. This means your wires are cut/disconnected somewhere … probably where there has been recent digging.

One more thing to note is that if the wires are cut, then you will need an underground splice kit. The guy who fixed mine connected each cut wire together (I cannot recall how he did this, maybe just by twisting them together or using small little splice devices) and then encased everything in epoxy. The epoxy thing was something like this.

Okay and why would I get a good ohm test if the wires weren’t cut? I’m not doubting you since this all happened right after the guy added the head… the guy said if it’s his fault he would come fix it for free but I just wanted to make sure it was before he came out and found something else that he needed to charge me for.

I’ll take note of that underground splice, hopefully that is the issue. I will let you know the outcome, thank you again.

@LawnNoob - regarding the ohm test, if the wires weren’t disconnected from the Rachio, they could be back feeding through the Rachio unit. Do the ohm test with wires disconnected from the unit. If the wires were disconnected when the ohm test was run, then they could be shunted together where they are cut (doubtful).

With no zones running, the usual cause will be the common wire somewhere between the controller and the first zone (in distance from the controller, not necessarily the first Rachio zone.

Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never tested my sprinklers wires using an ohm test. I’ve always done it the way I described, which is how the guy who fixed mine tested them.

Well I dug up one spot where the installer dug, the only place I’m assuming a wire would be, next to a pipe that goes underneath the driveway. I don’t see any wiring that could have been nicked so I guess I’ll go back to the valve box and start swapping out wire caps

@LawnNoob - have you check to see if your schedule have an end dates also are your zones enable within the schedule Something to consider to take a look at

yeah that was the first thing I checked.
I have dug around more and have yet to find a wire near where the recent work was done.
I do think there is a second valve box somewhere on my property since there is only 4 valves in the main box and I have 6 zones. No idea how I’m going to find it without getting a professional with a wire detector.

You probably already did this but do you get connectivity (very low ohm) on each wire when connected (w/fresh cut) on one end with each of the other wires? A pure continuity test. Perhaps you already said you now have no power to the box, but you did have it earlier, I thought?

After 34 years of low voltage controller systems in 7 homes, my personal lesson was to always, always put the controller wire in conduit. 1) it’s much tougher to accidentally cut it, get shorted out/corroded, or have it get pinched by a rock, 2) if the wire proves to be the problem, it is extremely easy to replace or upgrade; and 3) troubleshooting later on is much faster because what happens to one wire will probably happen to all of them and won’t be subtle.

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I did do an ohm test but without a fresh cut. The test was at the controller only, with wires disconnected.
I recently did a fresh cut on all the wires in the valve box and replaced all wirenuts with waterproof versions. There was no voltage reading at the box.
Good call with the wire in the conduit, however I didn’t install the system, no idea what they did for the wires, they could be in conduit or maybe not. I have an irrigation tech coming out tomorrow to look at the system since I can’t find the problem. He is the last one to work on the system before it stopped working. I hope it’s something he did accidentally so I don’t have to pay for the service!

Ok thanks for all the input, finally got the problem solved. The guy that came and installed the new head came to my house again. He had a tool that detected wires in the ground. Sure enough, he found the wire, which he cut clear through. He repaired it and it’s back up and running. Down side is I did all the troubleshooting, up side is he didn’t charge me.