Can a short in zone wiring kill a Gen 1 unit?

I moved to a new home a couple months ago and brought my Gen 1 unit from the old place.
The new place had a Hunter X-Core controller and until a couple days ago I had not even bothered to look at it closely since I was planning to install the Gen 1 anyway.

The installation was smooth/painless and I configured my five zones in the app successfully, but did not get around to actually testing any of the zones (I was doing this installation late at night in the garage) so I figured I would simply let a fixed schedule run the next day.

The next evening, I noticed that the power LED was not on and the app was reporting my unit as offline. The outlet was working fine, so I opened a support ticket asking what could have caused this failure. Rachio support (awesome as usual) offered to send a replacement power supply as a first step.

In the meantime, I took my power supply to work and saw that it was still putting out ~26V AC, so clearly something in the Iro itself might have died.

I hooked the old Hunter X-Core back (this was the first time I paid close attention to it), and noticed that it was reporting an “Err” for zone 3. I’m guessing that means a short in that zone’s wiring or solenoid. I don’t have a multimeter at home, unfortunately.

Anyway, my question is - can such a “simple” (?) short cause permanent damage to the Gen 1 unit? I thought the app had some ability to detect these things and present an error notification or alert, so it should not really be a “fatal” condition.

Has anyone had any similar experience? I already replied to my support ticket indicating that the power brick is unlikely to be at fault here. My worry is - even if I replace the Iro, will this same wiring condition kill it again? The Hunter X-Core is still “working” at least on the other zones so I would have expected the same of Iro in the first place. Still, quite a coincidence that this happened shortly after installation in a “faulty zone wiring” scenario.

Any helpful feedback is appreciated.

I would be surprised if killed the entire controller. Typically it just smokes a relay on that one station input. You might try leaving the one you suspect to be the problem unconnected and try it again. I don’t know anything about the Gen 1 controller but most controllers have a fuse on the incoming power that would be something to check as well.

Thanks for the feedback. I was hoping something along the same lines too.

It has been a while since I’ve had to mess around with this, but if I recall correctly, the Gen1 was supposed to be able to power up even when the front plate was taken off the back plate (the power supply plugs into the front and all the zone wires are on the back plate). If that is the case, I would have expected the thing to power up with none of the zone/sensor wires hooked up at all.