How do I wire one master valve, pump, or common wire to two controllers?

CAUTION

Interconnecting two controllers sharing the same common wire without the following provision is a violation of the National Electric Code. Failure to follow these recommendations could cause severe damage to the controllers and any adjacent equipment.

IN THIS ARTICLE

Parts List

  • Isolator (one for each controller). Order direct save 15% with code RACHIO, or order on Amazon. Isolators will be required for both shared master valve/pump wiring and shared common wire installations.

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Shared Master/Pump Installation:

  1. Unplug Controllers

    Power to each controller should be off prior to wiring.

  2. Wire Isolator <-> Controller

    The black & white pair of wires on the Isolator connect to the controller

      1. Connect the black wire to the Master Valve terminal.
      2. Connect the white wire to one of the Common terminals.
  3. Wire Isolator <-> Isolator & Field Common

    The red & white pair of the wires on the Isolator connect to the valve field wire.

    1. Connect the red wire to the hot wire going to the pump/master valve.
    2. Connect the white wire to the common wire for the pump/master valve.
  4. Repeat

    Repeat steps 2 & 3 to install an Isolator on each additional controller.

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  5. Completed Example

    The following image shows a working example, from a two-Rachio user:
    (click to enlarge)

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Testing:

  1. Activate all controllers to ensure they are watering correctly.
  2. If step 1 fails, attempt the following:
    1. Apply 24 VAC power to the black & white pair of wires; 24 VAC should be passed to the red & white pair of wires.
    2. Apply 24 VAC power to the red & white pair of wires; 24 VAC should not be passed to the black & white pair of wires.

Note

Controllers wired in this way can operate simultaneously.
Please be aware, however, running two zones at once will likely affect your overall water pressure. To avoid issues with proper coverage, it is recommended that zones with higher pressure requirements be placed in schedule(s) with off-set watering windows.

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Shared Common Installation:

Shared_Common_Wiring_Diagram.png

  1. Unplug Controllers

    Power to each controller should be off prior to wiring.

  2. Wire Isolator <-> Controller

    The black & white pair of wires on the Isolator connect to the controller.

      1. Connect the black wire to the Master Valve terminal.
      2. Connect the white wire to one of the Common terminals.
  3. Wire Isolator <-> Isolator & Field Common

    The red & white pair of the wires on the Isolator connect to the valve field wire.

      1. Connect the red wire to the red wire coming from the other Isolator(s).
      2. Connect the white wire to the common wire for the valves in the lawn.
  4. Repeat

    Repeat steps 2 & 3 to install an Isolator on each additional controller.

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Testing:

  1. Activate all controllers to ensure they are watering correctly.
  2. If step 1 fails, attempt the following:
    1. Apply 24 VAC power to the black & white pair of wires; 24 VAC should be passed to the red & white pair of wires.
    2. Apply 24 VAC power to the red & white pair of wires; 24 VAC should not be passed to the black & white pair of wires.

Note

Controllers need to be programmed to not operate simultaneously.
This requires off-setting watering windows to ensure the controllers do not water at the same time. The first controller has to be completely finished with irrigation before the second controller begins. If both controllers try to operate simultaneously, the valves for Controller A will operate but the valves for Controller B will not.

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