Water Pumps & Pump Relays

Want to know more about how Rachio works with water pumps? This article will provide an explanation and explore how to wire a water pump for proper operation. 

Video Guide

Are you more of a visual learner? Check out our video on Water Pumps & Pump Relays!

Water Pumps and Advanced Wiring 

If you’re running your irrigation system from a well, pond, or stream rather than city water, you most likely have a pump that will require advanced wiring. Keep in mind that the pump should never be wired directly to the controller; doing so will damage your Rachio controller, as well as void your warranty.

Pump Relay 

You will need to use a pump relay to connect the pump to your Rachio. A pump relay acts like a switch that the controller can turn on to provide power to the pump. Since the controller outputs 24Volts AC power, and most pumps require anywhere from 110-220 Volts AC, the pump relay acts as a step up transformer to route additional power to the pump and activate it. Anytime a zone is activated, the pump relay is activated to pressurize the system with water.

Wiring the Pump Relay 

  1. When wiring a pump relay, you will find it has two leads on your old controller; one connected to the common terminal and another connected to the "master" or “pump” terminal (which may be labeled as ‘M’, ‘MV’, ‘P’, or a combination such as “MV/P”). We recommend labeling each wire to avoid confusion.
  2. On the Rachio controller, refer to your model’s wiring diagram to identify a common terminal and the “master” terminal. For tips on inserting the wire(s), please refer to this video.
  3. After connecting the controller to Wi-Fi, the app will ask if your system has a master valve. Select “Yes”.
  4. If you’ve already completed zone setup and wish to double check to ensure that you have enabled your pump, select the "More" tab from the navigation bar, then click "Controller Settings" and select "Master valve" in order to toggle the master valve on or off.


We recommend using the Munro StartBox or SmartBox. Specific model recommendations below:

StartBox models

  • MPSR242W11 110 volt up to 2 Horsepower pump
  • MPSR242W22  220 volt up to 5 Horsepower pump

SmartBox models

  • MPLC242W11T 110 volt up to 2 Horsepower pump
  •  MPLC242W22T 220 volt up to 5 Horsepower pump


Now that you’re all set, configure your controller for to enable pump features:

More > Controller Settings > Advanced Wiring (M Terminal) > Well or Pump Start Relay

Doing so will enable the Delay between Zones feature for scheduling.


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