Lightning blew up my Toro TMC-212-OD! Can I do Rachio?


#1

I had landscapers here today to provide an estimate on replacing my very old Toro system and they had never heard of Rachio systems, and were TBH pretty much naysaying on the whole wifi controller arena. We are very interested in Rachio and wondered how hard it will be to install Rachio on our system since it has been blown up by lightning a couple of weeks ago.

Do I need to let them install the Rainbird they suggested or can I influence them to open their minds to new technology?

I am super new to lawn work and irrigation, so pardon my ignorance. Thank you

K


#2

@kegdsto - from a cursory review of Toro manual (https://cdn2.toro.com/en/~/media/Files/Toro/professional-contractor/Controllers/TMC-212-Series/TMC-212-Series-Users-Guide.ashx), yes the Rachio can replace it - but it may not use any of the Toro’s wireless devices (e.g. controller or rain sensor).

It looks like the installation has one wire per zone (red wires) and a common wire (white). I can’t tell if there are any special features like a master valve or pump start relay.

The only thing I don’t see if the 120 V AC for the plug. If the Toro transformer was remote and just 24 VAC was sent to it, then the Rachio transformer and plug will need to be spliced into that line. If there is 120 VAC at the sprinkler box, then it can be connected to the Rachio outdoor enclosure. Some close up pictures may help. I think there will be a couple of community members that can help you get going.

I’d order a Rachio outdoor enclosure and a Gen 3 device and go for it. Do you have good WiFi signal where the existing controller box is? I’d label the existing wires where they are connected to the Toro? Were the solenoids checked out after the lighting strike (they could have been damaged too)?


#3

@Dlane thank you for your response.

I am still quite new to all of this - I don’t even really know how my toro system worked, so I may not be able to respond to all of your questions very effectively.

I do see a wired rain sensor out there - but I bet it didn’t ever work because our lawn was getting sprinkler even during and after rain. The second irrigation company I met with today said that if i got the Rachio controller that they would install it (somewhat begrudgingly - this company has done them and said they are hard to install because they are small - “no room”) They said they would install a rain sensor too - I read elsewhere that rain sensor is optional not required.

Existing controller is outside. Can Rachio controller live outside? 2 bars of wifi showing up on my phone when I stand next to site of the blown up controller.

I don’t understand your AC question though - what info can I provide that would clear that up? IS the toro transformer different from the controller?

Thank you so much!


#4

@kegdsto,

Rachio sells an external enclosure for $29 that the Rachio would live in when outdoors:

The Rachio uses a power adapter/brick as shown in the upper left hand corner of this illustration:
image

So the 120 VAC wiring, e.g. from a plug circuit, is brought into the enclosure and connected to the pigtails on the plug in the enclosure. Once the enclosure is connected to 120 VAC electrical supply the Rachio transformer just plugs in.

For the rain sensor, yes they are optional to use with Rachio.


#5

Thank you so much - I have the controller and the enclosure and its getting installed tomorrow!


#6

You are the boss. Do not let the contractor tell you stories. Rachio is great. Mine has been up nearly three years. I took down a Toro Evolution and installed a Rachio controller myself. Get a different contractor. Call Rachio and ask them for contractors near you. Or if there is a distributor called Ewing Irrigation near you, call the local branch and ask for names of Rachio installers. Do not install a Rain Bird controller, please.


#7

I would like to see this enclosure as the standard box that could be used for indoor or outdoor. The transformer would be in the box and include a pigtail. This would make it similar to Rain Bird’s ESP-TM2 with LNKWIFI module. Obviously this is a hardware change to look at for the future.