Zones not working?

I returned from vacation to a dead old controller. It has been having issues for a while, so I wasn’t surprised. I know the system ran while I was gone and I also know we had a brief power outage while I was gone. But a deep freezer is plugged into the same outlet and is still working, so I knew it wasn’t a power issue.

Did research, chose Rachio 3 to purchase and install as a replacement. Documented old setup and easy transition over to new system with Rachio.

However, when I ran through the app installation to set my zones and test the system, none of my zones will engage.


Does the app say it is running, but no water is coming out? If you have a master valve, pump, or any other kind of automatic or manual valve, I would check that. Can you post before and after photos? Do you have any kind of rain sensor? Common is hooked up? Blue lights on the Rachio? Does the zone light come on when running a zone?

App shows that the zone is running. I did go through my yard to check all zones and none ran.


Yellow is rain sensor

Not sure what the brown/blue that are connected with a wire nut are

Orange wasn’t connected anywhere


Rain sensor did eventually show green

I tried the common in both slots

I’m not sure what you mean when you say “does the zone light come on when running a zone”

On the old controller, it looks like the wire to the right is for the sensor, I see two yellow (power), white (common), blue (wire nut), and orange (no connection?). Is that correct?

Next, I see the zone wires are all red, a brown (wire nut), and then I presume the black wires are power for the old controller. Again, correct?

If all of that is correct, you correctly do not connect the old controller’s power (black) and you have the red zone wires correct. Where I believe you have it set up wrong is the common. Most rain sensors just break the common for all zones so they do not actually turn on. The Rachio is set up differently. I would completely disconnect the rain sensor for now. With the way the Rachio does handles the weather and depending on where you live, you might not even need it. I believe most people do not use them any longer. In any case, we can figure out the sensor another time. With the rain sensor completely disconnected, I believe you will end up with one wire not connected, the brown that is with the red wires. If I have it all correct, that is your common wire and should be connected to one of the “C” terminals. As mentioned, the rain sensor should be completely disconnected at least for now and maybe even turn off the rain sensor in the app. It should work in this configuration.

I took a closer look at the current picture and saw it looks like a Hunter wireless rain sensor. After you know it works with the above and if you really want the rain sensor, the following link should be helpful on how to hook it up properly. You will not move any of the zone wires to do so. Rachio compatibility with Hunter Rain-Clik Wireless Rain Sensor

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Thank you SO much for your help. I didn’t realize the brown wire was the common for the system.

Disconnecting the rain sensor and plugging in the brown main common fixed everything!

I’ll revisit the rain sensor issue another day. Again, thank you SO much.

Sorry for “talking out loud” while I was figuring it out, which made for a long post. I am glad it works and you are up and running. Please feel free to come back with more questions as you might have them.

Oh, I actually really appreciated the walk through. Helped me learn! Thanks.