Can Rachio Replace a Toro TMC-212?


#1

Hi–has anyone replaced a Toro TMC-212 Controller with a Rachio 8 or 12 zone? My Toro is dying (buttons & display) & need to replace it fairly soon. If it’s more than just swapping out wires, I may have to go with my landscape service for help. Any help is appreciated!


#2

Of course, if you have Wi-Fi. I had a Toro Evolution controller. It worked fine, but before taking it down I took a picture of my wiring. I just watched a Rachio install video and followed instructions. It was so easy. Just put back the wires in the same valve wires. You will really like Rachio!


#3

@cbullock14, shouldn’t require more than swapping out wires. If your controller is outdoors, you’ll need to install an enclosure which might require some electrical work.

Here’s a wiring diagram of a TMC-212:

You’ll just need to match the wiring to the Rachio wiring diagram:

For more details, please see this Quick Start Guide (Gen2).


#4

Thanks! After viewing all the videos & install instructions, I thought “it can’t be that easy”…


#5

Thank you, Emil! That was very nice of you to go to the trouble. It does look like a simple swap but based on everything that I have had to do with this house, nothing is simple…


#6

Here is my last issue. If you look at the wires going into the Toro module wire connectors, they are not labeled in proper sequence. The first module on the left should be for zones 1 & 2 but the wires are labeled #4 & #6. According to the Toro set up, all my wires for zones 1 thru 8 are wrong (except for #8) so my guess is that I should go with the order that they are installed on the modules (1, 2, 3, 4, etc) & assume the hand written number on the red wire itself is wrong or irrelevant. It looks like the only wire that is numbered correctly & in the correct module location is #8.


#7

One nice thing about upgrading your sprinkler controller, is that you can renumber your zones any way you choose! Just take note as to what wire operates which physical zone in your yard, then when transferring to the Rachio, put that wire into the zone# you want it to be. It may be helpful to write on each wire the location of the zone. For instance, “NW corner”, “back lawn”, etc… Your physical valves do not care what number they are, or order they are placed in. In fact, it looks like a previous owner already changed the order to match their idea of how the sprinklers should be setup. You can also rename the zones from a # to something more descriptive in the Rachio app, so the numbering is really not too important.


#8

I look forward to the change to Rachio but I want to keep the sequence of my current system (zones 1 thru 8) without having to go thru the trial & error of testing to see if wire #8 is really zone #8 for example. In the end it does not matter since I can program the new Rachio controller how long to run which zone regardless of hand written number on each wire. That’s just more work…


#9

@cbullock14, have you had a chance to install your Rachio yet? It might not hurt to label your wiring prior to installing if you haven’t already if you’re concerned about testing each zone. However, if any of the zones get out of order (or you wish to change them) you can easily change the order of the zones on each schedule if needed by drag & dropping the zones into the order you want.


#10

Well I finally found the time to install my new Gen 2. I had some issues with the wiring–some due to wrong wire labeled as wrong zone–but the big issue for me was inserting the wires into the zone modules. I found it very difficult using the current wiring (gauge unknown but looked standard compared to other pictures). The wires were too thick & stiff to easily be inserted. I installed a terminal block to allow for smaller 14 gauge solid wire & even those did not go in evenly. The module for zone 8 & C2 got messed up by inserting & removing once too often. I then used smaller stranded wire from the terminal block but tinned the wire ends to get them to fit the modules. The flexible wires made it much easier to install the unit in the outdoor box.


#11

My only complaint with all of the Wi-Fi controllers on the market is the cheesy/cheap wiring ports. I know they probably come from China, but the major manufacturers of standard controllers have their stuff manufacturerd there, too. So it’s possible for Rachio to upgrade their wiring ports one day. They worked fine for me, but I have 18 gauge wire.


#12

After getting the zones straightened out & installing the Toro Rain Sensor, this is a photo of the final install using tinned 14 gauge stranded wires (other than the Common) from a terminal block (behind the Rachio). If you look closely, you can see where the connectors for zones 1, 8 & C are messed up due to inserting & removing solid wires more than once. I could have done a better job on the wires for zones 3 & 4 but I don’t want to mess with it & cause more damage to the connectors. The unit is cool & now that the zones are correct I am sure some of my friends will be asking me if they can get one too. IMO, the connection method could be more robust & flexible.


#13

Nice neat job cbullock14!


#14

Thanks! I wish I could be able to start over…


#15

Hello,
I am newbie and would like to replace my Toro TMC 212 with a Rachio. Trying to figure out the wiring. Please see picture below. Zones 1,2 and 5 are connected together with wire nuts and a cable. System also has a pump/master valve connection terminal.


Thank you in advance.
Naga


#16

@newtorachio, welcome and thanks for reaching out!

Looks like your TMC 212 supports 6 zones; how many zone wires do you have? They might have doubled up the wiring on a few zones if you have 6+ zones…

The photo you posted is a bot difficult to tell what wire is going where – could you maybe detail what color wire is going where?


#17

Hope this pic is clearer. MV is yellow, Com is white, Zone 1 dark blue, zone 2 brown, zone 3 light blue, zone 4 green, zone 5 orange, zone 6 brown. Zone 1 and 2 are connected to a 3rd wire by a wire nut and lead to an orange followed by a red wire that goes to the wall. I tested watering zones 1 and 2 and they are separate. Could you please Help with connections? Thank you. Naga


#18

@Naga - I think you have a device to get around a broken wire or a limited number of field wires (AKA wire doubler). I’d hook up the Rachio just like the Toro - put what ever wire is in the Toro zone 1 connection to the Rachio zone 1 connection, etc. and don’t mess with the other connections outside of the Toro. I would investigate to see if there is a device in one of the valve boxes that splits the signal off - if so, then I would keep those two zones on the same schedule and depending on the type of device (simple latching relay versus intelligent device) I might keep those two zones on a fixed schedule so they won’t get out of sync.