Wiring-what am I missing?

I’ve wired up my Rachio 3 with everything from the old Rainbird (which worked fine) other than the 24v and ground wires. I’ve got all the zones wired in, the system is added to the app, yet when I go to test zones. I get nothing. Any ideas?

It looks to me like someone hooked the valve’s Common to Earth ground by mistake (white). It should have been to ‘VC’ (Rainbird) or ‘C’ (Rachio).

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Thanks, I’ll give that a try! Can you explain how you know those wires are common and not ground? Just the color?

Oh sorry, I forgot to mention that. It is hard to tell from the Rainbird picture where those wires are exactly coming from . . . possibly as follows:

  1. one from the black bundle which looks like the larger set of zones (maybe 1-5
  2. another from the brown bundle which looks like a smaller set of zones (maybe 7-9)
  3. and the final wrapped and soldered to the brown bundle’s white. This looks like a loose wire with 5-6 that might be a couple other zones? And not sure why two wires are connected to zone 5)

Summary is, I am not positive if all of these are valve common wires or if one is an Earth ground.

I wish I had been the owner when it was originally wired. I don’t know why some wires are combined. I guess to combine pumps into one zone? Unfortunately I clipped the white wires down to tidy things up so I’ll have to strip some more wire and try later. Thanks for all the help!

What are the pumps you mentioned?

Oh, I don’t know what I’m talking about. I assumed the wires are connected to pumps that pump water to the sprinkler pipes. Maybe it’s called something else.

I would guess the two wires that I see connect to zone 5 are going to valves. To the right of Zone 6 on the Rainbird is where a “MV / Pump” (MV = Master Valve) would be connected, which no wires are connected. Therefore, I do not think you have either. It is possible you could have a pump for a water feature or something else. It seems unlikely that you would have a pump for one zone of sprinklers though.

Ah, gotcha. I think I was just using the wrong word.

It happens. Please keep us informed. Hopefully getting the white wires hooked in will not be that difficult. I know many people really like to clip wires. I personally like to wrap the spare, unused sprinkler wires around the insulation that is around the wire bundle, never know when I might need it.

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In hindsight that’s definitely what I should have done. Live and learn!

You don’t have your common wire hooked up

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This worked. The white wires should have been going to common. Everything works great now. Thanks for your help!

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Glad it is all fixed, good work!

@Wilhelmthorpe We had a 15 zone controller. When we upgraded last fall to the Rachio we discovered we also had two zones combined. We separated them and now have16 separate zones to control with the Rachio… something to consider if you didn’t do that.

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Good point, I would probably do the same thing . . . create a new zone by separating the two wires connected to zone 5.

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You know, I did see there were two zones linked together when I tested everything. They’re far apart - one in the backyard and one in the front. I should separate those. Thanks for sharing!

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