Zones 1-7 out of 11 Not Working


Hello all,

I’ve had my setup for a bit and everything seemed fine. Started noticing that a lot of my lawn wasn’t doing well and initially figured it was just because the sod was still fairly new compared to neighbors.

Turns out zones 1-7 will not activate. However, zones 8-11 are good.

The valve control box that houses 8-11 is closest to the unit and apparently stays pretty dry during rains. The 4-7 valve box becomes completely flooded and the 1-3 gets sort of wet. I know those items should be basically waterproof, and I do have someone coming out Monday.

I have done basic testing as in moving a known dead zone to a known working location. Don’t think I have a multimeter at home or I would have tried that. I can manually open the valves and each zone works.

My fear is that they will blame the new control box. The system should be under the builder / contractor warranty. Any input is appreciated.


I do not see a common wire for zones for 8 and up. Could it be that the common attached for banks 1-7 is part of the wiring for 8 and up (and not part of the wiring for those below 8)? Is there another white common wire available to put into a C jack for 1-7 and put the current common in 1-7 into the 8-11 zone C jack? I Don’t have any sensors or a 16 zone unit so these are just some ideas to check. Could be one of your needed commons is in a sensor jack and is needed in a C jack for banks 1-7?

Or is the sensor erroneously triggered and the wiring is actually correct? I probably shouldn’t have replied to this :slight_smile:


@chrisngrod - the wiring is a little bit of a rat’s nest and hard to see what is going on. Are there three separate field wire bundles to the three different valve boxes? If this can’t be determined at the Rachio, look at the valve boxes and see if the wiring bundle terminates there or continues to the next valve box. If there are three different wire bundles, then there should be three common wires. While inspecting the valve boxes, see which color wire is connected to every valve as that will be the common wire. There is an unconnected blue wire, not sure where that was connected before - is there a before picture? And looks like there is a powered rain sensor connected? I’d confirm that the white wire in the SC (sensor common) is part of the sensor wiring.


Thank you for the replies. After the initial install all zones were running properly. I did have to redo the wiring on the rain sensor as I did notice it was incorrect. I believed everything to be working after that as well.

Here’s the original controller box wiring to help sort out the mess. I’ll check the valve boxes but I think there is just one common wire for everything. I’ve moved that one wire around to different connections and the same results were found. The blue wire that is disconnected was disconnected on the original box. This home is a new build and came with the system.


@chrisngrod - thanks for posting the “before” picture. The Rachio looks like it is wired correctly/the same as the Hunter. I’d be concentrating on the connections in the two troublesome valve boxes. The connectors used should be water tight connectors (available from Lowe’s and Home Depot) and not regular wire nuts or crimp connections. As the valve box for 8-11 is closest (first) to the controller, I might check the first common connection in the next box in sequence as a bad connection there would logically knock out the all valves in the next two boxes.


Thank you!

X marks the spot of the controller. Box 1 seems to have all the wiring in it (only zones that work). Box 2 is currently under water and box 3 has the fewest wires. Guessing they strung all the wires around from the controller to 1 to 2 to 3.

Hopefully they’ll repair it Monday and the lawn will come back in. Just wanted to be armed with knowledge in case they wanted to blame the Rachio =).


@chrisngrod - that wiring route makes sense. A simple ohm meter test between the white common and the light blue wire for zone 1 (or any of the others from 1 - 7) should identify if there is a wiring issue. The other cause could be the entire field wire bundle being cut between valve box 1 and valve box 2.